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DMA letter re Coronavirus - 26/03/20

posted 28 Sept 2020, 06:17 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sept 2020, 06:18 ]
26th March 2020
Dear Parents/Carers
As we are a few days into this completely unprecedented period of all of our lives I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on developments relating to education.
Home Learning
All of your children have been provided with, and are actively engaging with Home Learning which appears,
on the whole, to be going very well. Alde Valley Academy staff have been extremely proactive in setting, assessing and marking work in all areas. The timetable provided is a guide as to when the lessons are to be studied but is not meant to be any more than a ‘guide’. For this reason, please feel free to use your own judgement about when your son/daughter completes work in a particular subject. It may be, as we move through this period of isolation, that a member of staff becomes unwell and therefore is not able to set any work for a period of time. The same applies if a student or family member becomes ill.
We are aware that a number of the online packages have been unable to manage the volume of traffic through them over the beginning of the week and have ‘crashed’. We have been reassured that these issues have been resolved and that they are usable now.
School Closure
On Monday 23rd March Alde Valley Academy closed its doors to all students and only opening to provide for
those whose parent are critical workers or who are defined as vulnerable. It has been made clear to us that all children are to be kept at home unless it is unsafe to do so and are in one of these categories. On Monday we had a very small number of students in school but following the Governments instructions on Monday evening we did not have any students in school on Tuesday. In order to protect individuals and the wider community, I have decided to close the school completely for the rest of this week. This situation will be reviewed at the weekend based on information from parents for next week.
If you believe that you are a keyworker or your child is vulnerable and needs to attend school next week please contact me on the schools main phoneline or on the following email address:
Free School Meals
As a school we have a responsibility to provide students eligible for Free School Meals with a meal everyday during school term time. Due to the extremely short notice around the school closure, we have made these meals available from school every day for collection. We appreciate that if you are not local to the school this is not always suitable so have devised a voucher scheme for next week which we will be contacting parents about.
I have been in contact with Leiston Citizens Advice who are reporting an increased number of families who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are in this category and would like advice about what to do next or the availability of local Food Banks please contact them directly on 01728 832193.
Ade Valley Ac
GCSE Exam Results
Following the decision to close schools and not go ahead with this summers exams, the government has announced more details of how grades will be awarded this summer. I know how keen you are to have some clarity, so I wanted to share this information with you right away.

Here are the main points:
     Regulators will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students.
     Exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
     To produce this, teachers will be asked to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment. Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges soon.
          Exam  boards  will  then  combine  this  information  with  other  relevant  data,  including  prior
attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
     Regulators and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising the approach, to ensure that its as fair as possible.
          The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.
          These grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.
          The distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s
students are not disadvantaged.
          Students  will be  able  to appeal  their grades  if they  dont  believe  the right process has  been
followed. In these cases, there will be an option to sit exams early in the next academic year for any students  who  wish  to.  For  this  reason,  it  is  imperative  that  all  year  11  students  continue  to complete the work set from school and continue with a small amount of revision in case they need to take the exams next academic year.
We are here to support you through these extraordinary times so please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughters subject teacher via their email address or contact me directly on the school’s main phoneline or on the email address given above.

Yours faithfully,
Mr D. Mayhew