Daily Update during School Closure - Wednesday 1st April 2020

Wednesday 1st April

Dear Parents/Carers

As we are half way through our second week working from home, I continue to amazed by the resilience of our young people and those they live with.  Together we are working to make sure that we keep our communities safe as well as studying a variety of subjects through the access to the online resources.  In an age where children have grown up being used to technology and its uses, can I remind all parents and carers to keep your children safe online and ensure that you are checking the sites they are accessing?  I have included a couple of useful sites below which offers help to parents and carers.

We continue to try to keep you as informed as possible regarding any updates from the government.  Therefore with effect from Monday 20th April 2020 families of students eligible for benefit related free school meals will access that national voucher scheme.  More information will be sent to those whom this applies.

As we move towards the Spring break we are working to continue in school to be able to provide support to our Key Workers children by enabling them to attend the Academy.  For all other students, we are hoping to offer some project based opportunities for them to help to occupy their time over the two weeks.  This will be voluntary and accessed via our VLE.  It is another way that our staff are working to support everyone in these unprecedented times.  What we would urge is that the students take time away from their studies and try something new or learn a new skill.  More information will be sent out about these opportunities later in the week. 

For now, I hope that you all remain safe and well and as always, please get in touch if there is anything we can do to help.

Rachel Somerville

Director of School & Curriculum

https://parentinfo.org/

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

https://www.internetmatters.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIktuA5LWK2wIVRYXVCh2afg2aEAAYASAAEgIJ5vD_BwE

  • Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
  • Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
  • Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)

 


Tuesday 31st March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers
 
I’m delighted to report that the vast majority of students are either still logging in and working on line or working through workbooks. Lots of ingenious methods are being used by our students to complete their work and by teachers giving feedback. If you haven’t had a look please go to our website image gallery bit.ly/2QL63tF or www.facebook.com/ConsettAcademy/. Keep it, folks!
 
Today the government launched the national voucher scheme for children eligible for free school meals. We are working through the practicalities of delivering this to those of you who are eligible and will provide information shortly.
 
I wrote yesterday that we are expecting a steer from the government this week on how grades for Yr13 and Yr11 will be awarded this year. Some concern has been expressed at the possible impact on student progression to higher level courses. Although the national response to this is still awaited, the Academy Trust has confirmed that students wishing to progress to the Sixth Form at Consett Academy will be able to do so if they have the support of their teachers that it is the right destination for them and that their predicted grades confirm they would have met the entry conditions. New College Durham has confirmed that the same approach will be applied to students wishing to attend the College. We will encourage other institutions to which our students plan to progress to adopt the same approach. Our intention is to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by the current situation.
 
 
Best wishes.
 
Kevin Reynolds
Executive Principal

 

Monday 30th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Last week has surely been one of the most difficult weeks of our working lives. Regardless of what we normally do, the week brought significant challenges. For what we are all living through now, there is no tried and tested roadmap. We are all having to dig deep and negotiate the twists and turns day by day. I have watched with interest just how many young people are adapting to their new working lives – many quickly and creatively showing huge resilience. Lots of our students are developing their own support networks and timetables within timetables at home. I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at all their Golden Moments – keep them coming in!

In terms of how the government will award grades for Yr13 and Yr11 this year, I am advised that guidance will come from Ofqual around mid-week. I do know that at the heart of the awarded grade will likely be evidenced, ethical teacher assessment. This is an anxious time for students in these years, so as soon as I get any information I will get it straight out to you.

Please do keep encouraging your son/daughter to access the learning resources – we are working hard to respond to all questions and concerns.

Remember, regular breaks and fresh air are really important too!

Stay safe and best wishes.

Kevin Reynolds

Executive Principal


 

Friday 27th March

 

Dear Parents/Carers

 

We reach the end of our first week of ‘home learning’ so could I take this opportunity to commend all of our students for their motivation, dedication and independence in this time of uncertainty and change.  Teachers have been supporting students as best they can and have enjoyed receiving completed work as the week has progressed. As parents/carers we have also had to adapt to life at home and have equally overcome some barriers and are hopefully feeling like a routine is falling into place.

If you require hard copies of work moving forward, please contact your child’s teacher and we can arrange to have work ready for collection at our main reception.  Next week will mirror this week and work will be set in the usual way on our VLE. Golden Moments will feature on our website, Joe Wicks in the morning will be a daily event in most homes and we will work towards our Spring Break with the rounding up of work by Friday.  More information will follow next week regarding the 2 week Easter Break.

DfE have informed us that plans for Year 11 and year 13 GCSE and A-Level results will be shared before Easter, so once we have information on this we will share it with you.  In the meantime, please continue to communicate with us, share your successes and frustrations and we will work together to ensure the future is bright. 

I will leave you with the ever relevant words of William Wordsworth:

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
 

 flowers

Kate Jackson - Director of Outcomes and Teaching


 
Thursday 26th March 2020
 
Dear Parents/Carers
 
Wednesday was our first day of sharing Golden Moments with you all. If you haven’t had a look please go to our website image gallery bit.ly/2QL63tF or www.facebook.com/ConsettAcademy/ there are some wonderfully creative and detailed pieces of work. Remember, if you have something to share with us please email/text individual subject teachers or Year Managers.
 
Our VLE monitoring tool seemed to suggest that fewer students logged in on Wednesday but we feel this might not be an accurate picture. A number of parents we have contacted today have said that their son/daughter did access work on line yesterday - so apologies for the intrusion, we will endeavour to sort the issue out with our system.
 
As of lunchtime today, I have received no further updates from the DfE.
 
We will begin to work on plans for the Easter holiday shortly but are waiting on clearer guidance from the government.
 
Thank for your support and patience as we work our way through some technical hitches.
 
Kevin Reynolds

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Yesterday was another busy day for our students as they settled into their second day of working from home. Our staff have been impressed with how well they have tackled the tasks and how much effort some are putting into their work. Where we can, we are giving positive comments and are trying to showcase outstanding pieces of work on a regular basis. As students are sharing their work with us staff are rewarding students and looking for examples to reward ‘Golden Moments’.  As parents, please feel free to also share your ‘Golden Moments’ of your child(ren) working from home so we can share on our Facebook site.  These can be shared by emailing or texting individual subject teachers or Year Managers.

As I said yesterday, students should take regular breaks (with exercise) away from their devices to ensure they don’t experience fatigue or headaches.

As and when I receive any updates from the DfE or examination boards I will share it with you.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Kevin Reynolds

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