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 [email protected] and let us have a ‘conversation’.
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.
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 [email protected] 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.
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.
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.
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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.
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 [email protected] 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.
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.
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.
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 [email protected], we will post these on our website, Twitter and Facebook for the Anglo Family to share. Be creative and make us smile!
We now move in to what would have been our final week of the Spring term before the Easter holiday.
It is important to announce that our on-site school for vulnerable children and the children of key workers is now closed pending further demand. For three days in succession we have had no attendees. We are grateful for the support of parents and carers in minimising demand and appreciate the sacrifices many of you will have made to achieve this. Not only does it minimise movement and risk to your children but it also helps us minimise risk to our staff. Thank you.
We appreciate that there may be demand in the future. It is therefore vital that we are notified by email by 5pm the day before so we can make arrangements for the following day.
A big thank you for all the positive feedback received on the work our amazing staff are doing to keep our brains active and challenged. We appreciate you taking the time to feedback comments and good ideas particularly when families are also under pressure. Keep safe and well. We attach a sample and will share others in the coming days. Thank youCOVID-19 Update 15
Despite the enormous challenges facing us all and the sacrifices so many are having to make, we hope this update finds you safe and well.
It is important that we reiterate our message from Tuesday’s update about communication with the school. This should be by email to [email protected]. The reason is so that we can redirect your query to the relevant member of staff who will be working from home. This is all the more important in that we may not be able to guarantee having staff in the school office. Today, we had no attendees at our on-site school and all allocated staff were sent home. Emails should not be sent directly to individual teachers.
Some really good news. Our wonderful School Association, with your support, has raised £10,000 this year. When the school reconvenes we would urge you to support the Association.COVID Update No 14
As we move in to Day 2 of ‘the Anglo at home’ we also move in to a very different phase of the national response. We hope this update finds you safe and well.
This update will not be a daily communication but at the moment there are things that we need to share with you.
Most importantly, communication with the school. As we have stated previously we expect all communication to be by email to [email protected]. This means we can re-direct any query you may have to the most appropriate person who will be working from home. We will not respond to comments on Facebook or Twitter or the direct messaging functions associated with each of them. We would be grateful if parents would not communicate in this way. They are public forums and not appropriate for communication with school.
Where we think you have raised matters of general interest or concern we will respond in these regular AES COVID 19 updates.
We do appreciate that some parents do not have access to emails and therefore the telephone is the next best means of communication – 01277 354018. If anyone reading this knows of someone in this position please print this email off and get it to them but only if it is safe to do so. The updates are also available on our website. Do not write to the school unless absolutely necessary.
Some other points:
1. ShowMyHomework. We are aware that the mass use of this portal is causing some technical issues which we are dealing with. For instance, some colleagues inadvertently set homework which was due the day it was set. Please appreciate that all parties are working in a very different way at the moment and there will be teething problems. If you have specific queries that are urgent please email [email protected] and it will be forwarded on to the relevant colleague.
2. On-site facility – despite the Prime Minister’s instruction last night, this is still available for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Although the numbers we are supervising are in single figures as families make sacrifices to heed the government advice, we will continue to make thus service available alongside our ‘virtual programme’ for children at home.
3. Sixth Form – sixth formers will be receiving an email shortly advising them to continue with coursework wherever possible as this is likely to be factored in when deciding on final calculated grades.
4. The BBC are working with government to produce new educational content on their pages (Bitesize, i-player, CBBC, News etc) and have committed to updating this on a daily basis. www.bbc.co.uk
In general, do try and maintain a routine at home if at all possible and balance studying with ensuring good emotional and mental health.
Jules White, a widely respected headteacher at Tanbridge House school, Horsham said this;
“Great learning only happens when children feel happy, safe and secure. Provide your children with reassurance and love.”
Today is the first day of a very new way of operating for us as a school and we recognise it may well be the first day of you operating differently as a family. We hope our well-being guidance proves helpful – it contains advice on where to find accurate information on COVID-19, helpful sources of information on maintaining good mental health and some ideas about enjoying time at home with family, to balance the “studying from home” guidance! https://www.aesessex.co.uk/emergency-closure-work/
We appreciate that parents have only used the on-site facility where absolutely necessary today, for which we are grateful. We also appreciate that numbers may vary from day to day but it is VITAL that two things happen before your daughter/son attends our on-site school;
1. We MUST be notified the day before if they are to attend.
2. You MUST complete the Registration Form (see attached).
This facility is ONLY for the children of key workers and we will NOT accept children who do not have at least one key worker parent. If in doubt, the matter will be referred to the Local Authority. We must all respect government advice and reduce, to an absolute minimum, the number of people leaving their homes.
You will see from the attached protocol that very strict standards of hygiene and behaviour will be imposed in order to protect our staff and students attending. They will be supervised but they will not be taught a formal programme of study. They will use ShowMyHomework, alongside other students at home.
Other important points;
1. With regret, the Year 7 Ebblinghem visit has been cancelled, in-line with government advice. All parents of Year 7 children will receive an intouch about this. A part-refund will be available. Further details to follow.
2. International Baccalaureate examinations have been cancelled. Our IB Curriculum Manager, Mrs Porsz, has emailed all examinees, including those doing single subjects as part of the AIB Route.
3. The theatre visit to see “Matilda” has been cancelled and all monies paid will be refunded via a BACS payment. Please email [email protected] with the bank account, bank account number and sort code that you would like the monies to be refunded to.
4. We cannot manage the issue of lockers at present. No access to the school site is allowed, other than for approved staff and students (see above). It is therefore not possible to empty lockers and return keys. Refunds will be dealt with as soon as the school reconvenes.
5. Communication in these difficult times is key. We will send you important information via our intouch email system. In addition we will use our social media platforms to share any information that may be of interest to you and your children. Please follow our Facebook and Twitter pages and share and retweet as much as possible.
6. We would recommend that you speak to Greater Anglia to ask for a refund for part of the season ticket not used due to school closure.Well-being Guidance
Schools provide a safe place for students who can seek support on well-being matters from our trained staff and trusted adults. We are mindful that should school close, that vital link between students and our staff may be temporarily lost. With that in mind, we have shared links below for you to share with your child, particularly, if you or your child has any well-being concerns.
We know that some students’ concerns have been heightened by ‘fake news’ published on social media. Each day our staff are trying to reassure young people about the current health scare. Please can you support us and your child by pointing them to reliable news sources.
These links provide good advice and help for young people who have mental health concerns;
https://www.kooth.com/ – free online support and counseling
https://youngminds.org.uk/ – free 24/7 support across the UK for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/ – free advice and guidance for children and adults experiencing mental health illness
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51873799– this provides you with some ideas of how to manage your mental health especially in the coming weeks
These links provide accurate and professional advice on the corona virus;
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ – NHS advice on coping with the coronavirus
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public – coronavirus information
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses – coronavirus information
These links provide ideas on how you can look out for each other;
Research suggests that being kind to others is an important means of developing and maintaining positive mental health
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51933618 – ideas about keeping in touch with elderly relatives
This link provides advice on how families can cope with self-isolation;
Remember, Shakespeare wrote King Lear whilst quarantined during the bubonic plague.COVID-19 Update
We have now received the latest guidance from the Department for Education regarding the cancellation of GCSE and A level examinations – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced
|Further details on exams and grades announced – GOV.UK The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been canceled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.www.gov.uk|
The key points are as follows;
1. A process for calculating grades will be produced by OfSTED.
2. These grades will be available by July 2020.
3. It will involve consultation with schools who will assemble a range of evidence for each candidate including performance in ‘mock exams’ (PPEs) and non-exam assessment. Prior attainment will also be taken in to account.
4. There will be an option to sit an exam as early as possible in the next academic year.
5. Students will also be able to sit exams in the 2021 Summer exam session.
6. There will be an appeal process if a student feels their calculated grade does not reflect their performance.
The IB will announce their response to the COVID 19 pandemic on Friday 27th March 2020.
The school will work alongside each individual to make sure they get the recognition they deserve for their hard work. We would be grateful if students or parents did not contact the school to discuss individual cases at this stage. No mention has been made of predicted grades.
Year 11 and Upper Sixth have had a final day to remember despite it being somewhat premature. Shirts/blouses have been signed by Year 11 and fancy dress worn by Upper Sixth – all at less than 24 hours’ notice. Assemblies were fun but dignified.
A brave new world post-COVID awaits and they will be well placed to grasp their futures with both hands.