March 2021 – Return to School

Key information

January 2021 – National Lockdown Updates

Key information

November 2020 – National Lockdown Updates

Updates to key policies

September 2020: Full reopening of the school

Updates to key policies

Risk Assessment – Partial Re-opening

To read the risk assessment for Avanti House Secondary school, please click here.

COVID 19: supporting learning and development during the lockdown

As parents settle into new ways of working, learning and just being, I thought you might appreciate some guidance on how you can support home learning for your children at this unusual and difficult time.

Guidance to create a positive home learning environment

Be realistic about what you can do! You’re not expected to become teachers and your children aren’t expected to learn in the same way as they do in school. Simply providing your children with some structure at home will help them to adapt. Use the tips below to help you make this work for your household.

  • Share the load if there are two parents at home. Split the day into 2-3 hour slots and take turns so you can do your own work.
  • Take care of your own health and wellbeing. Take a look at the links at the end of this newsletter for some advice on mental health and wellbeing.
  • Keep to a timetable wherever possible – create and stick to a routine if you can. This is what children are used to. For example, eat breakfast at the same time and make sure they’re dressed before starting the ‘school’ day – avoid staying in pyjamas! Stick the timetable up on the wall so everyone knows what they should be doing when, and tick activities off throughout the day
  • Involve your children in setting the timetable where possible. It’s a great opportunity for them to manage their own time better and it’ll give them ownership
  • Check in with your children and try to keep to the timetable, but be flexible. If a task/activity is going well or they want more time, let it extend where possible. If they are finding a task challenging or frustrating they can email or ask their teacher a question in teams, leave the task and come back to it later.
  • If you have more than one child at home, consider combining their timetables. For example, they might exercise and do maths together – see what works for your household
  • Designate a working space if possible, and at the end of the day have a clear cut-off to signal school time is over
  • Distinguish between weekdays and weekends and holidays, to separate school life and home life. At weekends and in the holidays make time for other family activities as well as giving children their own time and space.

Free Learning opportunities (in addition to what Avanti is providing)

You may have seen that many social media feeds are periodically sharing activities and free learning opportunities, some of which are listed below.

Oak National Academy

This is a new collection of high-quality lessons and online resources. Backed by the Government, it has been created in response to the coronavirus lockdown. The online classroom offers free access to great teachers, delivering video lessons, quizzes and worksheets. Available for both primary and secondary levels, it covers a range of subjects. All of the lessons are ordered so your child can learn along a clear plan.

https://www.thenational.academy/information-for-parents-pupils/

BBC Bitesize

Daily lessons are here! The BBC has at least three new lessons every weekday, with videos, activities and more.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

The National Theatre

The National Theatre is streaming full lengths plays for free every Thursday, these are available for 7 days following too: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/

The Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company has released a wide range of resources, videos and access to live performances on their website. https://www.rsc.org.uk/news/watch-rsc-shows-from-home

Keeping healthy and keeping in touch

You may find the parents’ guide to coping with school closures helpful – see link below. This website provides helpful tips and advice for parents to support their children academically as well as look after their physical and mental health.

www.theparentsguideto.co.uk/coronavirus

For guidance on supporting your own mental health and that of your children the ‘Mind’ has a useful section on its website about the coronavirus and your wellbeing:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

While schools are closed, staff remain available to support and provide advice and guidance for all our students. Please do remember you can get in touch if you need to. Your first port of call should be an email to your child’s tutor or subject teacher.

I hope all our families are managing to stay safe and well, while keeping up to date and following the advice on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

 

Mike Ion

AST Education Director

UPDATE: 19/03/2020

Closure for students in Years 11, 12 & 13 – Effective from Friday 20th March 2020

I can advise that due to staff numbers we have taken the difficult decision to partially close the school from Friday 20th March 2020 for students in Years 11, 12 & 13 unless they are the children of Key Workers (see below for more details). This decision has not been taken lightly.

To confirm students in Years 11, 12 & 13 should not come into school on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

We will remain open for students in Years 11, 12 & 13 who are the children of Key Workers – for example, Medical, nursing and paramedic / ambulance staff, delivery drivers, Workers in Adult Social Care, Social Workers, Teachers, Health Care Assistants and Administrators in GP practices / Clinics Childminders (Certificate of Registration) Nursery Staff (PVI) Fire and Police officers – who cannot make other childcare arrangements to come to school as normal for as long as we possibly can. The local authority advice is that colleagues in these professions should show work identification where possible to confirm their eligibility for this (this can be an email from a work email address). If you intend to send your child to school please email [email protected] by the end of the school day. This will allow us to plan our staffing for the day.

UPDATE: 18/03/2020

School closure for students all year groups – Effective from Friday 20th March 2020 3:30pm

Further to the latest government advice I can confirm the school will be closed from Friday 20th March 2020 at 3:30pm for students in all year groups for the vast majority of students.

We will aim to remain open for all year groups until this point but will as previously advised communicate via text and email if the situation should change before tomorrow.

The school will provide educational provision from Monday 23rd March for the children of Key Workers (see below for more details), and students that have an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or are currently receiving support by Social Care.

Key Workers

 

We will remain open for students who are the children of Key Workers – for example, Medical, nursing and paramedic / ambulance staff, delivery drivers, Workers in Adult Social Care, Social Workers, Teachers, Health Care Assistants and Administrators in GP practices / Clinics Childminders (Certificate of Registration) Nursery Staff (PVI) Fire and Police officers – who cannot make other childcare arrangements to come to school as normal for as long as we possibly can. The local authority advice is that colleagues in these professions should show work identification where possible to confirm their eligibility for this (this has to be an email from a work email address).

 

To allow the school to create an effective plan for the education of Key worker children please indicate if you intend to send your child to school by the end of school tomorrow by emailing [email protected]. Once I have the declarations from these parents I will communicate directly with our next steps for these children. We will not be able to make provision without accompanying identification.

We have already communicated with you our detailed plans outlining how we will continue to set learning activities via our online platforms for students and have instructed all students on the key expectations in the event of a closure. Teachers will be asked to set the home learning for each of their classes ready to be started on Monday morning.

We have been fortunate to be in contact with teachers in different parts of the world that have been teaching online for the last five weeks. Their advice is that although the initial few days are challenging, students soon adapt to the new way of working. We will be monitoring use of the learning platforms, and we will be in contact if work is not completed by the deadlines set. Students do have to learn to be more independent, and in the long term this is certainly a positive development, as they need to take more responsibility for their own learning as they progress through the school.

Please find attached a letter outlining how parents can support their child’s well-being during a school closure. This letter is very important as it also outlines how to report concerns regarding safeguarding. This includes a leaflet on supporting young people through a variety of key agencies.

Student work will be set on Show My Homework by 8:30am on Monday 23rd March. Students will be expected to follow their daily timetable to complete the work. For Years 7, 8, 9 & 10, the work is designed to take approximately 5 hours for each subject to complete. Work will be set on Monday morning and classroom teachers will check SMHW daily to answer any student questions via the comments function in SMHW. For Years 11, 12 & 13, lessons will be uploaded by 8:30am each morning, following the daily school timetable. Teachers will check SMHW daily to answer any student questions.

All students need to ensure they have correct log in details for Show My Homework as this will be the key area for posting work and communication with teachers. If there are any issues accessing Show My Homework then please email Mr Dominé ([email protected]) or Miss Bardsley ([email protected]) who will be able to provide a new pin.

Exams

We appreciate the huge disappointment and distress after the news that public exams will not be happening in May and June. As per the latest government announcement, there is no clear final guidance on how examination outcomes will be decided. When I have further information this will be communicated to parents. Therefore, our expectation is that Year 11s and 13s continue working on the online platforms until further notice. Guidance on UCAS and applications to our 6th Form will also follow in the near future.

I know this is a stressful time for many people and I would like to thank you once again for maintaining a sense of calm and confidence in the school’s management of this unusual situation. We are grateful for your continued support in this complex and evolving situation. We will continue to update you as and if the requirements or advice changes and we will continue to follow government advice.

Yours sincerely

Mr Arnell

Principal

Avanti House School

Wemborough Road

Please click here to read the latest updates from the Avanti Schools Trust