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NE12 Sixth Form

School Closure FAQs

Letter from Headteacher May 12th 2020

Please read our latest update to Parents and Carers

FAQs – week beginning 20th April 2020

1. When will school be reopening fully? 

The government have not announced a timeline or date for the reopening of schools. ‘Lockdown’ was extended for a further 3 week period on Thursday 16th April and as such, we remain closed to all children in all year groups. Media reports over the weekend suggesting that schools may reopen in early May have been refuted by the Department for Education (DfE). Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s speech from Sunday 19th April is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/gavin-williamson-speech-on-covid-19-response

2. I am a key worker. Can my child attend school and how do I organise this? 

We have been open to the children of key workers since 23 March 2020. Children who are in our care in school during this time are not being ‘taught’ lessons; the normal curriculum is suspended. Please see our school closure letters dated 19 March here and 20 March here regarding expectations of parents and students using this service. Students do not have to attend every day and we can respond to shift patterns – we do ask that you let the school know in advance as much as possible whether your child will need to come in on a particular day.

3. My child is a vulnerable student. Can they attend school and how do I organise this? 

The same system applies as above re. key worker children. Please liaise with the pastoral leadership team/your child’s Guidance Manager if you feel they are struggling and need support.

4. How should my child be accessing work while at home? 

The link to the folders for student work can now be accessed from the front page of the school website https://www.gshs.org.uk/students/school-closure-home-learning

If there are any questions about email passwords please contact itsupport@gshs.org.uk

This week, teachers will set 5 weeks worth of work for their subject. Where possible, your child should attempt to complete the tasks set in each subject by 22 May, which would be the last day of this half term.

The work will be available on the website and emailed to students by the end of this week. The amount of work set by each teacher will depend on how many lessons a student would have for that subject each week, so it will vary between subjects. We understand that our students are currently working in a range of different contexts and may not be able to work to a regular timetable, therefore teachers will not set weekly deadlines for tasks, although they may make suggestions about which tasks could be attempted each week that students can follow if they wish. We ask that students aim to complete as much of the work as they can by 22 May so that they continue to make progress in their learning during this time.

As your child works their way through the tasks in each subject, they can email their teachers evidence of the work they are doing and they can request some feedback. We do not expect teachers to give feedback on every piece of work that students complete, just as they would not if we were in school, so please encourage your child to be selective about the work they send, prioritising anything they feel unsure about or would most like some feedback on. Teachers will aim to reply to student emails within a week, although please do bear in mind that staff are also working in a wide variety of contexts and that some may also be self-isolating.

We do appreciate your patience and understanding as we aim to provide the best possible education for your child in what are clearly challenging circumstances for us all. Thank you in advance for working with us to support your child at this time. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding student work during the school closure, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please do not try to worry too much about how much they are completing at this stage or how much time you have to support them when you may also be working from home and juggling other child care or parental responsibilities.

5. My child is in Y11 / Y13. What is happening with exams and grades? 

Exam boards will provide detailed instructions to schools and colleges on when and how to submit centre assessment grades after Easter – we don’t have this detail as yet. What we do know is that students will still receive grades for all of their subjects and the results days in August remain the same. Ofqual, the exam board regulator, have told schools that they must NOT share provisional grades, nor rank orders, with students or parents and carers. Once schools submit these they will still be open to moderation and change.

As with other years, any statistical model will consider prior attainment at school or college level, not at individual student level. Students’ individual performance will not be predetermined by their prior attainment at KS2 or GCSE.

6. My child is in Year 11 and would like to return to the Sixth Form. What should they be doing to prepare for this? 

We have a set of bridging tasks for all subjects, specifically designed for Year 11 students planning to go into Year 12. You can find them here: https://www.gshs.org.uk/ne12-sixth-form/tranisition The link to LHS bridging work is here: https://longbenton.org.uk/students/ks4-home-learning-resources-y10-11/ne12-sixth-form-bridging-activities

At the moment, results day and enrolment day are planned as normal for the summer.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with Rebecca Ronan, Post 16 Guidance Manager on rronan@gshs.org.uk

7. What is the Oak National Academy and should my child be using this? 

Oak Academy is an online collaboration across several state schools around the country. They have produced video lessons and resources which will be launched online on Monday 20th April at https://www.thenational.academy It is open access, so no accounts or passwords are needed.

Please note that the lessons that they are providing on their platform may not mirror our own curriculum topics and there is absolutely no expectation that students have to use the work on this website. It is purely an additional resource which students may want to use if and when they have completed all other work which has been set by their teachers.

8. What about BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons? 

This is another service that has had lots of media coverage in recent days. There is a new daily schedule all the way up to Year 10. Again, there is no expectation that students should use this or have to complete any online content – it is simply there as an additional support/resource for students and parents to reference. You can find daily lessons for each year group here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

9. I have read that the government are providing children with laptops – is this true and how do I apply to receive one? 

The government announced on Sunday 19 April that they are making laptops and tablets available for those children with social workers to help them stay in touch with the services they need. In addition, they have promised that disadvantaged students who are preparing for exams who do not have internet access at home will be provided with 4G routers so they can stay connected while schools are closed – the inference is that this will be Year 10 and Year 12 in the first instance.

The DfE did not consult with schools prior to this announcement, so at this stage we know no more than the general public! At this stage we have not been provided with any details about how this scheme will work.

If you are struggling with access to work due to IT in the meantime, please let us know so that we can try to issue work packs in place of online learning.

10. What resources and advice are available to help safeguarding and mental health for my family during this time.

When schools are closed, this can be a worrying time for young people and parents for lots of reasons. We are conscious that some members of our school community might be experiencing problems at home, be worried about exams, struggling with their own mental health or lots of other issues that young people deal with daily.

We have written two parents on two occasions now with detailed advice on Online Safety, Child Protection, Domestic Abuse, The PREVENT Duty (Radicalisation). A copy of the first letter dated 3th April which contain useful links for parents are here The second letter dated 21st April is here

In addition we have produced a COVID-19 annex to our GSHS Child Protection policy which will appear on the Safeguarding page of our school website here and also a COVID-10 annex to our GSHS Online Safe Policy which can be accessed here

If as a parent/carer, you have safeguarding concerns about a young person during this partial school closure period, you can contact our temporary safeguarding email address on safeguarding@gshs.org.uk which will be checked daily.

You can also speak to a social worker by calling the Front Door Service in North Tyneside on 0345 2000 109. They are open 8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Thursday and 8.30am – 4.30pm on Friday. Outside of those hours you can call the After Hours Service on 200 6800.

You can also email Children's Services at childrenandadultscontactcentre@northtyneside.gov.uk. If you have an immediate concern and feel that a child is at risk of significant harm or danger you must contact the police first on 999.

If you have any further questions which have not been answered above, please get in touch with the school at enquiries@gshs.org.uk

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