Parents Letter 01.05.20

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you are well and able to stay safe. Thank you for the lovely feedback following our staff video message for students that we sent out on Monday. We hope that it made you smile during this difficult and challenging time. We are looking forward to returning to ‘normality’ and filling our corridors and classrooms again with the happy buzz of the young people who make our school a community.

After four weeks of school closure and six weeks of lockdown, we are now into an established routine. This routine in its simplest form is as follows: • All work is posted on ePraise for the start of the day. The ePraise list acts as a timetable for each student. • ePraise may contain the work that is set. Alternatively, it may direct students to somewhere else to download resources or complete the learning such as on OneNote or Google Classroom. • Students should start work at 9am. We know that keeping to a structure and routine during isolation helps the mental wellbeing of all people, especially the young. • Teachers are trying to ensure that work is accessible to all with stretch and challenge for those who need it. We know that we won’t always get this right, so please feedback where work is too hard and inaccessible for your child, and we will try to review what we are setting in that subject. • Our aim is to make work fit into an hour so that our young people don’t feel overwhelmed. • After an hour on a subject your child should move onto the next lesson, even if the work isn’t finished. We don’t want our students feeling like they are falling behind by spending hours on one piece of work and then have no time to do anything else. We know that this feeling of being overburdened by too much work makes our young people feel anxious so please limit the amount of time on each task. • Students should be evidencing their work if they can by uploading work to ePraise, OneNote, Google or whichever platform the teacher is using. Knowing a little bit about what each child has been able to do each day helps us to target our welfare support to those students who need it most.

We know that limited IT access is a problem for many of our families. The government have put forward a scheme for laptops for certain groups of students. Please be reassured we have bid for as many of these laptops as possible although we don’t know yet how successful we have been.

We also know that several students are having issues with IT access. For example, a student may be struggling to log onto ePraise or access email. If you are experiencing any problems with accessing work through your device, then please contact Itsupport@educationsouthwest.org.uk. Our IT support staff are always willing help you solve technical issues.

Finally, while we don’t know yet when schools will re-open, we do know that the government are planning a phased return for schools. Once we know more details about the process of reopening Coombeshead we will be in touch. No details have been announced and, therefore, we don’t know which students will return first or when this process will begin.

Please keep contacting us at welcome@coombesheadacademy.org.uk with any questions you have or problems you are experiencing.

All good wishes.

Yours sincerely

Robert Coles Headteacher