KSA school closure: read on for important information from 23rd March onwards (updated)

Reflecting on our experience of closing the school on Friday 20th March
For many of our pupils, Friday marked a moment of hope and positivity as we said goodbyes to one another and reflected on the precious things that we share as part of our school community. Sadly, the absence of many of our pupils was already felt deeply – with many being unable to be with us, either through understandable concern about their own health or in order to protect others. For our Year 11 and 13 students, both those present and those absent, they entered a period of uncertainty about their next steps. I am proud of how they, and all of us, have dealt with this period.

As the true scale of what our country faces has become apparent over the last week, the weight of responsibility we all face has become clear to all of us. To protect each other and particularly those at risk from the virus, we must limit social interactions so as to slow down the spread of the virus.

As a school, we will do everything we can to ensure that we do not contribute to the virus spreading. At the same time, we will act to make sure our pupils’ future is bright, by educating them at home, remotely. This will be a new period for all of us. We will not necessarily get things right first time, but we will act with conviction and commitment to support our families through this period.

The one thing I would ask of parents and pupils is to stay in touch with the school. Without the daily touchpoint of attendance to the school site, it becomes ever more important that we can communicate well by email and phone.

We now only have a very small number of child attending school on our Younger Years Site on Crompton Street. The Older Years Site on Penfold Street is closed until further notice. The children coming to school each day are doing so in extreme circumstances to meet a very specific need. If you think your child is or has become vulnerable at home or you are a keyworker, please contact parents@kingsolomonacademy.org or call the school to discuss possible next steps.

GCSE and A-Level exams

03.04.20 update
You would have seen in the news on Friday that the government has announced that teachers in will be asked to assess the grades they think pupils would have achieved in cancelled GCSE and A-level exams. More information is available here:

www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summ...

There is still very little information about how this will work and when pupils will find out their exam results. What we do know is that although teachers are being asked to assess grades for each pupil, teacher and schools will not be making the final decision and that a lot of additional information will be taken into account by the exam boards. We will write to you further after the holidays to provide you with more information once we have it. Please do not contact individual subject teachers to discuss your child’s grades – they are not allowed to share these. The government announcement today made it clear that it will be confidential process. Please do also encourage your children in Y11 and Y13 to keep working hard on the tasks that their teachers have set for them – these will inform the view teachers will have of the pupils learning. This work will also be crucial in preparing them for their next steps at sixth form, college or university.

23.03.20 update
GCSE, A-level and BTEC exams are cancelled in May and June and the Secretary of State for Education says he will provide further information soon for students who are impacted. KS2 and KS1 SATs as well as the Phonics Screener are all also cancelled. All parents in Year 11 and 13 received a separate letter giving further details, click here to see this letter.

Free school meals and access to food

03.04.20 update
All parents whose children are eligible for Free School Meals should have received a Tesco voucher last week. Although we don’t normally feed pupils during school holidays, these are unprecedented times so in order to support these families we will continue to provide these vouchers during the Easter break. After the Easter break we will be using the government’s voucher scheme, which will be in term time only. If you did not receive this earlier email about FSM and you think you are in receipt of FSM, please contact Cheryl Francis on c.francis@kingsolomonacademy.org

We have also shared some further information on support with food and essential items for vulnerable families on the website here.

23.03.20 update
From Monday 23rd March, pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals during term time will receive vouchers (£3 a day, £15 a week for all pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals and are not accessing the Vulnerable or Critical worker provision). We are finalising the processing of these payments but expect them to be made every two weeks, with the first payment being made in the week of the 23rd March. Eligible families will receive an electronic voucher directly emailed to them (using the first contact we have on the school system). We will communicate with individual families as soon as possible to confirm the payment they will receive.

Some families, whether eligible for Free School Meals or not will face financial hardship in the weeks and months ahead which will make it hard financially to feed the family.

You can read more information about accessing food and other vital resources in the community on the document saved here.

Learning at home (Remote Learning)

03.04.20 update - Easter Holidays
On Friday 3rd April and Monday 20th April, the school will not be running remote learning and pupil check ins in the same way – these days are part of the pupil holiday. Staff will be receive training and undertake planning on these days to allow for next half term’s remote learning to be successful. If you have any concerns or needs over the holiday, please email parents@kingsolomonacademy.org which will continue to be checked.

Pupils will not be expected to be working every day during the Easter break. Secondary pupils will be set holiday homework which is due to be submitted online as instructed at 4pm on Friday 17th April, so that it can reviewed by their teachers.

Primary pupils are welcome to complete anything they have not done in the four weeks of packs we have provided so far and/or make use of the many online resources shared above during the Easter break. We have shared some fun activities you might like to do indoors as well in our ‘Mountain Passport Challenge!’ 

We are aiming to send out new home learning packs for Half Term 5 for all primary packs in the second week of the Easter holiday so you’ve got everything you need for starting again after the break.

23.03.20 update - weeks 5 and 6
Please click here to fully understand our approach to our pupils’ ongoing education. It is vital that no child falls behind, we need everyone’s support to continue their education.

Communications during school closure
 

03.04.20 update - Easter Holidays
The Younger Years Site will continue to be open from Monday-Thursday of the first week and from Tuesday-Friday of the second week for a small number of children of critical care workers.

The school is closed for all other pupils, as it would be in a normal holiday.

If you find yourselves in an emergency situation where you would like help or support from someone at KSA, you can either:

a) Go to the Younger Years Site – Ms. Deeks will be on site in the first week and Mr. Rimmer will be onsite in the second week;

b) Call Ms. Humphreys on 07415 208 451;

c) Email parents@Kingsolomonacademy.org

23.03.20 update - weeks 5 and 6
Staff are calling every pupil at least once a week, some pupils several times a week or even daily. We are doing this to support every family and make sure you know we are still thinking of you and wanting to support you the best way we can. Please do not hesitate to call or email parents@kingsolomonacademy.org if you need anything at all.