Latest News at Alde Valley School

Letter from Headteacher to Parents

posted 2 Apr 2020, 06:12 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 2 Apr 2020, 06:13 ]

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you are feeling well and are able to follow the government advice on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing.

In education, the advice from the government has been very clear on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19. If children can stay safely at home, they must in order to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings, colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children but the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response may be able to ensure their child is kept at home and every child who can be safely cared for at home must be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they must be.
  • If a child is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents must also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

I would like to personally thank parents for their support over the past two weeks where, due to your arrangements, we have been able to close Alde Valley Academy. This means that our staff and students have not had to expose themselves to any further risk of contracting the coronavirus. It has also allowed our staff to concentrate solely on setting, marking and feeding back on home learning material. I would like to thank all of our staff for the fantastic job that they have done to support our students academically and emotionally over the past few weeks.

You may be pleased to hear that today, Wednesday 1st April 2020, is the final day of the Spring Term and tomorrow is the first day of the Easter Holidays. This means that there will be no school work set for any students until 20th April 2020.

Over the Easter Holidays we have made arrangements to ‘supervise’ the children of any critical workers who have a role to play in the national fight against the coronavirus. Again, I would ask you to contact me directly on the following email address if you need Alde Valley Academy to support you during this time:

Free School Meals
As outlined in my previous letter we have set up a voucher system for the families of children eligible for Free School Meals. Our system has bridged the gap between the school closing and the Department for Education system which starts on 20th April 2020 after the Easter holidays. All parents of eligible students have been contacted and will be given details of the new system closer to the time.

In the meantime, I would like to draw your attention again to the conversation that I have had with the 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.

GCSE Exam Results
We have been provided with a small amount of detail on how Ofqual plan to collect data from school and award GCSE grades for Year 11 students this summer.

Regulators are expected to set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible. By the end of this week we will be asked to submit our judgement about the grade that we believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead. This prediction will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment (including work produced since the school has been closed). 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. The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July and students will be able to appeal their grades if they don’t 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. With this in mind, I would advise continuous light revision to maintain subject knowledge in case pupils choose to complete exams at a later date to improve their grade.

Following the Easter holidays we will not be setting or expecting any work from Year 11 students. I would advise however, that any students looking to study A Level courses next academic year ensure that they are familiar with all of the material due to be covered in the GCSE course in their chosen subjects.

We have not received any information about what will happen with the English Literature exams that Year 10 students were due to sit in the summer. It is extremely likely that students will sit these exams in summer 2021 due to the amount of teaching time missed.

We are here to support you through these extraordinary times so please do not hesitate to contact me direct on the school’s main phone line or on the email address given above. Please also provide us with feedback on how the school’s home learning, welfare and information systems have worked in the first few weeks of our provision.

I hope that you and your family stay safe over the next few weeks and I will be in contact with you at the end of the holidays.

Yours faithfully,
Mr. D. Mayhew

Message from Headteacher to Parents

posted 27 Mar 2020, 06:07 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 27 Mar 2020, 06:09 ]

Dear Parent/Carer,

Our continued thanks and gratitude go to staff and parents that are working hard and in new and creative ways to support pupils’ learning while they are working from home. 

These are challenging and unprecedented times and like you we are trying our best to implement the government guidelines to maintain critical services whilst maintaining social distancing.

With the Easter holidays approaching, there is a need to find the balance between government guidance on ensuring pupils and staff stay safe and at home and a provision made for critical workers to continue to fulfil their roles in the national response. 

The two categories of children who will be considered a school place at this time are 'vulnerable children' and children of 'critical workers'.

The definitions of these two categories are as follows:
  • Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. Children who have a social worker include children in need, children who have a child protection plan and those who are looked after by the local authority. 
  • Critical workers include NHS staff, police, farmers and food retail workers, who need to be able to go out to work. Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place.

If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

I would like to ask parents about their needs so that we are able to work on a rota of staffing to ensure that we have sufficient staff in school whilst staff have the opportunity to have time off over the next few weeks.

I would appreciate all parents who are considering sending their children into school over the next week and Easter holidays to contact me on the following email address as a matter of urgency:

Please do not hesitate to contact me on this address if you have any feedback or questions about the provision for your child during this time.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, I hope you all keep safe and well.

Kind Regards

Dan Mayhew


Latest COVID-19 School Information

posted 18 Mar 2020, 07:56 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 19 Mar 2020, 10:13 ]

Updated information for parents regarding the possible impact of COVID-19 on the school has been released by ourselves and our Trust in the three letters that you can find below.

Advice on the coronavirus

posted 5 Mar 2020, 05:05 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 5 Mar 2020, 05:05 ]

The current advice at time of publication from Public Health England for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.

  1. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.

  2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

  3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

  4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.

The latest information can be found on the coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public website.

School Travel Opt-In

posted 2 Mar 2020, 09:00 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 2 Mar 2020, 09:01 ]
All children using SCC funded school travel will have to opt-in to the service each year by no later than the 31st May to ensure that the transport provision is in place by the start of the new academic year in September. If you apply after 31st May, there is no guarantee that your child's transport provision will be in place for the start of the new school year.
Please see for further information.

Where have all the eels gone?

posted 10 Jan 2020, 05:35 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 26 Feb 2020, 01:43 ]

Our students have been investigating the critical decline in the local eel population. This project was delivered by Victoria Bolton from the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, with funding from Galloper Windfarms. We met every Thursday after school to learn about eels, and made several visits to our local nature reserve on Sizewell Belts to find out more about the eel's habitat. The students were really engaged with the making of this stop-motion film about eels, we hope that you enjoy it.

Visit the exhibition at Aldeburgh Library between the 17th February and 16th March to find out more about the amazing story of the European eel and why this endangered species is under threat of extinction.

Eel Movie

Year 11 Parents Evening - Date Change

posted 28 Nov 2019, 08:49 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 28 Nov 2019, 08:50 ]

Due to the General Election the Year 11 Parents Evening has changed from 12th December 2019 to the 11th December 2019 at 4:00pm - 6:30pm.

After School Maths Revision

posted 13 Nov 2019, 07:32 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 13 Nov 2019, 07:32 ]

Careers and Progression Evening

posted 17 Oct 2019, 02:22 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 30 Oct 2019, 08:40 ]

Alde Valley Academy would like to invite all students and parents to the Careers and Progression evening on Thursday 7th November 5-7pm.
Meeting employers is a vital opportunity for students to talk to them about future employment opportunities and how to achieve them.  Local sixth forms and colleges will be attending to advise students about the courses on offer and where different subject choices can take you. 

Year 11 Parents Information Evening

posted 8 Oct 2019, 06:35 by Robin Oxborrow   [ updated 8 Oct 2019, 06:44 ]

If you want to remind yourself what was discussed at the Year 11 Parents Information Evening, then here is the slide deck that you can download or browse through.

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