COVID Update – 19

We hope the first week back has been productive.  Our staff continue to set and respond to work.  Various virtual meetings have been taking place of groups of colleagues who are working on the grades that we will submit for each child in Year 11 and the Upper Sixth.  They are also meeting to review schemes of work and produce curriculum maps which will soon be available on our website.  Other ongoing work such as reviews of policies, timetabling and calendar planning for the 2020-21 academic year continues. We are also maintaining contact with vulnerable children and their families.

We continue to receive very positive comments as well as examples of some of the work being produced by our students which we are happy to circulate on our social media platforms provided the student and their parents give consent for this to happen.

In order to enjoy these and other information do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow us on Twitter @angloeuropean73 and/or Facebook – Anglo European School.

Inevitably, with almost 1500 students to support we can’t always get it right for all families.  We have no way of telling what circumstances you are working under or the pressures the current arrangements are imposing on you.  Of course, our staff will follow up if work is not being completed as we would in school.  By and large that would not have involved parents but now, of course, there is no way of avoiding that. Please accept any contact you receive from our teaching staff as a welfare check; they are just ensuring your child can access and is not having difficulty completing the work. This is not a check on the quality of home schooling provision! What we can say is that the well-being of our students and their families is our priority.  If we don’t get it quite right for you, please email your child’s form teacher via feedback@ and let us have a ‘conversation’.


Other points;

1.  Key worker children and vulnerable children. At the moment we have no demand for the school to be open although we have a rota in place should that become necessary.  In some cases, arrangements have been made for students to attend their local school. The over-riding government advice is to stay at home but the school is available for the children of key workers or children we consider vulnerable.  Let us know if your circumstances change.

2. Live lessons using Zoom or other platforms.  We have taken a decision not to do this for reasons of safeguarding and equity.  Not all students have access to the internet and we are well aware that.  Whilst most families have one computer, they may have one or two adults working from home and 2, 3 or 4 children also wanting computer access. Some of our staff are, however, recording lessons for you to download or view.

3. https://www.myheplus.com. This is new resource developed by the University of Cambridge for Sixth Form and younger students which aims to develop further interest in key subject areas through a wide range of resources and explanation of what it is like to study that subject at university.

4. Laptops

You will be aware that the government are making laptops available for certain categories of students, for example, disadvantaged students in receipt of Pupil Premium funding in Year 10. Unfortunately this is not for everyone. We will be in touch with you if you are in any of these categories. However, we are aware that laptops would benefit a much wider range of young people, including those who only have one computer in the house (see point 2 above).  We are therefore extremely grateful to have received a donation from one family that has enabled us to purchase two laptops to support other families who do not qualify for the government scheme. If you do have spare laptops or would like to make a donation to this fund, please get in touch with us via enquiries@aesessex.co.uk Any help in meeting this demand and making life easier for families is very much appreciated.

5.ESFA asking for bank details. We have been made aware that an organisation called the ESFA which has responsibility for funding academies like ours may have been in contact with parents asking for bank details. Please be aware that this is a scam. Do not share your bank details with this organisation.

6.Exam results dates.  These will remain as previously published – 13 August for A level and 20 August for GCSE.  IB results should also be available at the beginning of July.  We hope to be able to present your grades to you in person as usual along with your Diplome du Citoyen and related papers such as your work experience feedback.

7. Additional resources to support learning

The BBC have launched BBC Bitesize Daily.  This is a new service which will deliver a tailored day of learning across BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Bitesize website and app, BBC Four and BBC Sounds, with curriculum relevant offers across the UK. Together, this comprehensive package is aimed at minimising disruption to children’s education and providing rhythm and routine in these challenging times. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons.

The DfE have launched the Oak National Academy to support schools and parents – https://www.thenational.academy/

8.  Read, read, read.

Remember this can be done for pleasure as well as learning.

a. You can download the library app BorrowBox on your smart device. Log on using your library card number and date of birth. Ready to look for an audio or eBook.

b. Audible has opened up its library for as long as schools are closed. You don’t need a card or to log in, simply follow:https://stories.audible.com/discovery

c. If you don’t know where to start in the link below you have the top 100 books for young adults: https://time.com/100-best-young-adult-books/

d. If you have an Amazon account you can also download free ebooks including literary classics like Brave New World and many others

If you would like to share book reviews with us, please let us know your name and year group, which book you have read, give a brief summary of the plot and context (no spoilers!) and why you have enjoyed it. A picture of the cover/ ISBN number will help others locate it. We will share recommendations on our communications with parents and students.

9. We are aware that some students have not accessed ShowMyHomework.  The attached guide explains how to do this.  If you continue to have problems, let us know.

COVID 19 – Update 18

Welcome back!

We hope your Easter break was as relaxing and as enjoyable as it could be in the circumstances.

We received really lovely, positive comments last term with regard to what we have been trying to achieve in terms of home learning for our students.  Some of these comments are attached below and we’d like to thank those who take the trouble to do this as it really does lift teachers’ spirits to know what they are doing is appreciated, in these very challenging circumstances.

Read Compliments

A ‘thank you’ also, to those of you who have sent in such wonderful photographs and videos of the great “Easterachievements” your children have accomplished.  We invited these as part of a positive approach to Easter but we are happy to continue to receive them and post them on our Facebook and Twitter platforms.  If we do receive them we will assume that we have both your permission and your child’s permission to do so. We will only use their first names.  This is really important but it is a lovely way of giving students some public recognition of their amazing resilience and creativity. We also hope that we can share some good ideas about keeping young people healthy – both physically and mentally and keeping their brains active and challenged. Above all, they have made many people smile!

There is still no clarity about when we might return to ‘normal’. We know that some families for a whole host of reasons find “studying from home’ more challenging than others. As we start afresh with another term of ‘studying from home’, here are some tips that  Ms. Jones, Our KS3 Co-ordinator for English, has put together. It is addressed to students and it may help parents to print it off for them.

Top Tips for Home Study

is important, if you can, to clear a workspace that is dedicated to work. This ideally should be separate from the space you relax in. Ideally, it should be a table and chair but if that’s not available then work with what you’ve got.
It reate a quiet environment, free from distractions – again if this is possible. Perhaps request that siblings (if you have any) don’t interrupt you. Music can be a distraction as well as a study aid. It can help to block out any other sounds in the house but choose your music carefully or it will distract you. Music without words can be best for focusing.

Try to keep a routine Monday to Friday so that it feels a little more structured like a school day usually would. If you can begin work at 9am and finish latest 3:30pm, it might bring some normality back. Schedule in your usual breaks at 11am and a lunch break. Do two hours, break, two hours, lunch and one more hour after if you can manage it.

In your lunch break, try to get some fresh air if you can, do some physical exercise, read something for pleasure or engage in a hobby.  You could also keep a diary of how this very significant event in world history is affecting you.

Pack away your workspace at 3:30pm knowing you’ve worked hard in the time allocated; know this is your time to relax and focus on other tasks you enjoy. Have a reward to look forward to at this time – like sitting down to your favourite series or whatever you prefer.

You should avoid answering messages on your phone when you should be working.

Set yourself tasks to do in those two hour blocks. Perhaps parents/carers can help you come up with a schedule each day to help you organise the work you have set from SMHW.

Finally, go easy on yourself. Work well for the time allocated, try as hard as you can and whatever you produce is better than doing nothing.

Work/Life balance

This is something that challenges us all which is why we have issued well being guidance https://www.aesessex.co.uk/news/well-being-guidance/ as well as ‘studying from home guidance’ https://www.aesessex.co.uk/studying-from-home-guidance/ .  One phrase we have taken as our own in recent weeks is “Stay home, stay safe, stay happy”.  We know it’s important for young people to stay connected. If you have any concerns about a young person’s health and well-being, please contact the school on enquiries@aesessex.co.uk and a member of the Achievement Team will be in contact with you.

Year 11 and Upper Sixth examinations

We are in the process of collating data to be sent to the examination boards. We can base our judgments on previous achievements including mock results, coursework and previous data input on our students. We are awaiting further information on exactly what could be considered. We will ‘calculate’ a grade which is the best we can justify in each subject for each student. These grades will then be submitted and moderated by OfQual. Until we have clarity on the detail of the data they require and the appeals process, please retain all evidence of your progress and achievement – exercise books, assignment, project work, coursework, evidence of wider reading.  Once they have been published there may be cases where students do not feel their grade is fair.  It is at that point that you may choose to appeal and when you may need to produce as much evidence as you can to support your appeal. Please remember that staff are not at liberty to discuss these grades with students, disclose the final grade submitted and will not be open to debate on their decisions.

Show My Homework

This continues to be the means by which we set work.  There are still some students who have not accessed SMH. If you are having trouble logging on please email feedback@aesessex.co.uk.  It is really important you respond to the work set by your teachers because when school does start again it will be less of a struggle getting up to speed in each subject. Our Leadership Team and Subject Leaders are monitoring student engagement with work. If students are not in touch with their teachers or not submitting work regularly, a member of staff will be in touch with you to ensure that the student is well, able to access resources and is coping with the work set.

BBC

The BBC have announced their plans to support parents with home learning.  Information about the arrangements, due to start today, 20 April,  can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52149409 The lessons will happen on a daily basis via BBCBitesize which many of you will be familiar with. Our staff will be looking at these next week and sign-posting areas of interest for their groups.

Free School Meals

If you qualify for Free School Meals and have registered with us, we will have made contact with you to ensure you benefit from the new government scheme.  In some cases, we have not heard back from you, despite e-mailing and telephoning using the contacts we have.  Please contact us via feedback@aesessex.co.ukif you have not been contacted, and wish to claim the free school meals vouchers to which you are entitled.

The Essex School Nursing Team

The School Nursing team have set up a phone line called ‘Chat Health’ 07520 615733. Young people can phone up themselves if they have low level health related questions or want to discuss any worries. Parents can also phone up if they want advice e.g. how to manage children at home with ADHD.

Communication with school

As a general rule, we will use these Parent Updates to respond to questions or ideas you put to us in emails.  Where the situation is personal or more serious, we will respond individually or ask the most relevant person to do so.

Well-being Update

In addition to our previous ‘Well – being guidance’, we have a number of new links to share with you, these include educational resources and well-being advice and guidance:

This link provides a variety of educational resources for school-aged children; Coronavirus (COVID 19): list of online education resources for home education – GOV.UK

We have brought together an initial list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home. These websites have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational …www.gov.uk

 This site provides a list of website resources across for English, Mathematics, Science, PE, SEND and well-being matters..

https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/back-to-school/childrens-well-being-and-mental-health  The Children’s Society has produced a well-being pack with advice for parents/carers and their children. The pack is full of activities, information, and resources on maintaining good well-being. 

Download Well-being Pack here

https://www.minded.org.uk/ – free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health for all adults.

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/about-one-you/ Every Mind Matters gives simple and practical advice to get a healthier mind and get more out of life – from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting our mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support. You’ll also learn about what you can do to help others.

These links provide good advice and help for young people who have mental health concerns;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19  Gives advice on well-being and mental health during the coronavirus (COVID -19) outbreak.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing Further published advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

COVID-19 Update 17

We hope this email update finds you looking forward to a well-deserved Easter break. Look out for our end of term newsletter which we hope will give a sense of normality at last.

We are immensely grateful for the responsibilities you have taken on in recent weeks and the sacrifices you have made in order to support the education of your children. Do remember to look at the well-being guidance on our website. We recently issued our sixth formers with similar guidance (Stay Safe, Stay Happy, Stay Home) thanks to the work of Ms Foster and the Nuffield Foundation. We think the Nuffield document is relevant to a wider audience so here is the link.

We were reminded that it is April Fool’s Day when we heard that one family had told their children that they had a video conference with their Headteachers and made them put their school uniform on when they got up!

As Easter comes upon us, we think it is time to have some fun. We have attached a poster with some fun ideas. If you send us your contributions to enquiries@aesessex.co.uk, we will post these on our website, Twitter and Facebook for the Anglo Family to share. Be creative and make us smile!

Other points;

  1. ShowMyHomework. Although over 1000 students have accessed SMH there are a few who haven’t. If students cannot remember how to login to their SMH account they should go to satchelone.com and click on to the section for student log in. They all have an email account associated with SMH and this should be their school email unless they chose a different email account when it was first set up. If they can remember their email account but have forgotten their password, then they can click on the option to reset their password and a link will be sent to their email address. If they still need support then they should emailenquiries@aesessex.co.uk for the attention of Mrs Gould, who will help them access SMH.
  2. Help with organising a day of learning from home. Attached is a model timetable created by Satchel who run ShowMyHomework. It may help students organise their day and with time management. We appreciate it’s difficult for parents to gauge how much work is right for their child and it’s even more difficult for teachers to do this remotely. Our advice is to work on the subject on the timetable for the hour and then stop. We don’t want students becoming anxious if it’s too much. Some staff have uploaded a bit more than needed this week, in case you need something to keep students occupied over the Easter break, when no work will be set. Students may want to return to some work and complete them in a more relaxed fashion during this time.
  3. Easter Course. In order to continue to support vulnerable children or the children of key workers we will be running a course of study over Easter. It will run from Monday 6th to Thursday 9thApril and from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th April. Each day will run from 8.55am until 3.30pm.The overriding priority is for children to remain at home but this course will run only if there is sufficient interest. We have extended the deadline until 5pm tomorrow, Thursday 2 April. If you would like a place, please emailenquiries@aesessex.co.uk.
  4. Personal Protective Equipment. Thanks to our Senior Science Technician, Ms. Cervera, we were able to deliver 97 goggles, 200 white aprons, 100 white polythene aprons, 1 box of 100 vinyl gloves and 8 pairs of yellow rubber gloves. We were pleased to do this and to support our colleagues in the NHS.
  5. Houseparty. Further to our update on staying safe online, there are renewed concerns about the Houseparty app. Please be aware that Houseparty asks users to link to all contacts in your phone. When you are in the app, anyone can see that you are online and join you in a live chat. They can do this without your approval or permission. There is even a ‘sneak’ facility so people can sneak into your chats without you knowing you are there. We know that young people have a tendency, despite our best advice, to add people they do not know on Snapchat. If they do this on Houseparty it is like inviting a complete stranger into your home; there is little control over who can join your chat. There is a padlock facility to lock people out of the chat but this also means that someone with a bad intention can lock a chat and stop a parent joining to see what is going on. Our advice is that students use Houseparty with extreme caution and parental supervision. The guideline age for using social media such as this is 13, but 16 for WhatsApp. For further advice on staying safe online visit: https://esafetytraining.org/parentcarers-area.
  6. Webinar – Managing wellbeing for you and your children. There is a free webinar that will take place on 1st April 7.30-8.30pm (TODAY!!) for parents and staff; Managing you and your child’s wellbeing. Professor Amanda Kiby will focus on being realistic and human (not super-human!). This session will: Help you better understand what anxiety is, provide practical tools to help you and your children manage and minimise anxiety in these uncertain times and improve happiness and wellbeing, to take part you will need to sign up, which you can do on the following link: https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/events/free-webinar-for-parents-managing-you-and-your-childs-wellbeing-being-realistic-and-human-and-not-super-human-1