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 firstname.lastname@example.org, we will post these on our website, Twitter and Facebook for the Anglo Family to share. Be creative and make us smile!
- 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 email@example.com for the attention of Mrs Gould, who will help them access SMH.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- If any parent has a concern about their child which they feel the school should be aware of, please email email@example.com and the relevant member of staff will be in touch with you. We are in regular contact with the families who we consider to be vulnerable.
- It is of the utmost importance that students check their school emails on a daily basis. This is good workplace practice and is vital in these unusual times when the normal lines of communication are not available to us.
- We are currently identifying with our Science and Catering Departments and Medical Support Officer what we can spare in terms of aprons, goggles and gloves to help support our colleagues in the NHS.
- No work will be set over the Easter holidays.
- We are aware that extended periods of time at home presents challenges for parents and carers, as well as children, in terms of managing safety online. Children may be more inclined than normal to connect remotely with the outside world. This may present risks and challenges so we are drawing your attention to a few good resources to help you manage their safety.
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 you
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- ShowMyHomework. As explained previously all work is being set via this portal. We have also explained that our staff and, indeed, our students and their parents are coming to terms with this new way of working. Please bear with us. We have received one complaint that too much work is being set. If a parent feels that this is the case they should exercise some judgement about what work is and isn’t done on a particular day. If any clarification is needed please email the teacher concerned using email@example.com and they will advise. Please do so in a courteous manner bearing in mind that our staff are also working under unusual pressure. We are aware that a number of students have not yet accessed SMH. Please ensure this is rectified and if you have any technical problems please email the school.
- Lessons by video. Parents and students will appreciate that this is a very new area for us . We also believe that it raises a number of safeguarding issues. For the time being please don’t expect such provision whilst we look in to the best way, if any, of doing so.
- Refunds for locker keys will be dealt with when the school re-opens.
- Refunds for exam entry fees are currently being made.
- Free School Meals. In the absence of a national scheme we are currently trying to contact families concerned to arrange for a transfer of monies to ensure you have access to funds for your child. If you have not been contacted , please email the school.
- Provision for children of Key Workers and vulnerable children. No children attended today and all allocated staff were sent home. It is vital that parents notify us by 5pm the previous day if they wish their child to attend and by 9am on the day if they cannot or will not be attending. No formal teaching will take place but such children will be supervised by a small team of appropriate staff.
- Leavers’ Form for Yr. 11 and Upper Sixth. This will be sent to you in due course, and should be completed and returned with text books etc when the school re-opens. In the meantime make good use of any text books you have at home.
- Student emails. It is good practice in the workplace to check emails regularly. Students should check their school emails at least once daily
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
Download Covid-19 Form
Thank you for those who have responded with regard to our arrangements for the children of Key Workers. What follows is updated advice which we received at 12:00pm last night. Government is reacting to a crisis and so too must we. Please read this and complete the attached form, even if you have already replied. The definition of key workers now includes Health and Social Care, education and childcare, key public services such as broadcasting and justice, local and national government, food (production, retail, delivery etc), public safety and national security, transport, utilities and financial services.
Please note that the over-riding government advice is to minimise movement and social inter-action and that Key Worker children should remain at home or other arrangements be made if at all possible. We have emphasised to our students that they also have a responsibility to support you. We accept they may not want to come to school! This is a national response to a virus that threatens us all, particularly the most vulnerable.
The Anglo European School recognises its role in helping combat the spread of COVID 19 and we accept the challenge that government has presented us with. The school will operate for Key Worker children from 08:55am until 15:30pm weekdays until further notice. Separate arrangements will apply over the Easter Holidays (Monday 6th to Friday 24th April inclusive). Further information to follow.
This school will be located in A block, making use of the library as a base, closely located next to toilet facilities, dining hall, Medical Room and two playgrounds. The main office will serve as reception and students should access the school via the pedestrian gate adjacent to the vehicle access gate. They should press the green button and come through to reception. All other gates will be locked.
All normal school policies will apply in terms of e-safety, safeguarding and behaviour. It is important that we emphasise that particular attention will be paid to our attendance policy. Any student not attending on time will receive a truancy call. If any child is not in school and we cannot get in touch with an emergency contact, we will immediately report that child as missing to the police (which will put an additional and unnecessary burden on them). It is therefore, essential that you notify the school if you do not want them to attend if you have previously registered them. Please remember that if any child shows Covid-19 symptoms, or has a family member showing symptoms they must self-isolate for the recommended period (currently 14 days). If they show symptoms during the day, they will be isolated and we will call you to make arrangements for them to be collected. We should not allow them to travel on public transport. Please ensure you have a contingency plan in place for this eventuality.
It is also our duty to minimise the movements of staff and therefore we will keep our deployment of staff to a minimum. All staff will contribute to this provision if they are able to. We need to make clear that we will provide this service for as long as we have sufficient staff to do so. Our aim for each day is to have senior staff, a teacher presence, along with IT, First Aid, Catering, Midday Supervision and Designated Safeguarding Lead on call.
Please read and discuss this with your child or children and please complete the attached form and either return it with your child or electronically. It is, however, of the utmost importance that you inform us immediately if you have a child or children who will attend. We accept that this could be at any time but please do not send your child to school without informing us in advance and the attached form. If your circumstances do change, you must advise us the day before your child needs to come to school.
In the meantime we wish you and your families well.
Covid 19 Update No 10- with a note for Year 11 and for Upper Sixth
It has now been decided that schools in England, Scotland and Wales will close, with effect from the end of school on Friday except for certain categories of student. The exception is for students with EHCPs, students who have social workers and students whose parents are ‘key workers” (currently defined below).
· NHS staff, health workers, including doctors and nurses, midwives, paramedics and so on.
· Other health workers employed in a health setting.
· Fire brigade and other community safety workers.
· Supermarket delivery drivers and workers.
· Other delivery drivers.
· Workers looking after the vulnerable and elderly
· School staff
· Anyone working in “critical infrastructure”
A level and GCSE examinations have been cancelled “in this academic year” and we await further clarity on what this means. As a minimum, the Anglo will issue a ‘school leaver’ certificate and our staff will engage fully with Universities and employers on behalf of each and every one of our students. Conditional offer letters for our International Sixth Form have been issued today. Students should not be unduly concerned regarding their place in the Sixth Form and we will issue further clarification upon receipt of further guidance from Government.
IB examinations are currently still scheduled and we are seeking further clarification on this.
Please scroll down for further information specifically for Upper Sixth and Year 11 students.
We have three questions for parents and carers to which we need answers by midday tomorrow (Friday 20 March). Please email email@example.com if you are affected.
1. Please inform us if both parents with parental responsibility are both key workers, with the names and forms of the children you have at the Anglo
2. Will you require your children to be supervised at school and if so, on what days of the week?
3. Will you require your children to be supervised at school during the Easter holidays?
We will continue to offer this service as required by the Government, provided we have sufficient staff to do so. Please note that childcare should not be the responsibility of elderly relatives, particularly those over 70 or with ‘underlying health conditions’. For those students being supervised, normal school policies (for instance, those relating to behaviour, e-safety and uniform) will apply as will the appropriate sanctions.
In response to various emails sent yesterday, as well as other considerations, we would like to make or reiterate the following points;
1. Contrary to some rumours, we have no confirmed case of the virus at the school. If a confirmed case occurred in the school, we would advise you immediately but please
note that very few tests are being taken at the moment. Any absence stating this as a reason will not be authorised.
2. International Day (27th March), Charities Week (27th March – 3rd April) and G Nation (1st April) have all been postponed
3. Sanitary products: One consequence of ‘panic buying’ is that sanitary products are in short supply. We are part of the Sanitary Products in Schools scheme and we will be issuing such products during the course of today.
4. Free School Meals – please ensure you are registered for Free School Meals if you qualify and if you have not already done so. We anticipate Government making provision for such students. Please complete the attached form and return to Mrs V. G. Miller, Business Manager at the school or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. School buses: As you know, these are registered as public service vehicles. Both First Bus and NIBS are awaiting advice from the Traffic Commissioner but we have to assume at the moment that they will not be running.
6. We will provide regular updates throughout the coming weeks via our website www.aesessex.co.uk. We would be grateful if parents could try not to email with too many questions or comments as we have limited capacity to answer them.
7. Social Media – you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (angloeuropean73)
Yesterday we had 25 teachers, 8 professional support staff and almost 500 students absent. We are grateful to our wonderful staff for helping us to keep the school open but we accept that there comes a time when it is not viable to do so whilst offering a meaningful educational programme as well as supervising the school site to the standards that you would expect.
You may be aware that we have updated our studying from home guidance, please follow the attached link https://www.aesessex.co.uk/emergency-closure-work/ We also recognise that it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance whilst at home especially when freedom of movement is so restricted.
1. Follow Government guidance whilst at home.
2. Visit our website regularly for updates as well as updated versions of our “studying from home guidance”
3. Log in to Showmyhomework daily.
4. If students email teachers they MUST do so using their school email and they should not expect immediate replies, for instance if the teacher is ill.
Our senior team and others have been meeting daily to both plan ahead and react to an evolving situation. The positive feedback we have received has been really encouraging and we are most grateful that many of you have taken the time to write to us. The strength of the Anglo community is an important factor in helping us all get through these challenging times;
From our Chair of Governors, Helle Gulowsen;
On behalf of the Governors, I would like to thank all of you at the Anglo for your amazing work during this difficult time. I can only imagine the challenges you face in your efforts to follow Government advice to keep the school open. Please pass on our thanks to all members of staff, putting their own health at risk to support the school.
From a Year 9 parent:
I want to place on record to be shared with the Governors how much I appreciate the manner in which the school has chosen to communicate with the parent body about Covid-19. I think it has been consistent, authentic, transparent and timely. So thank you, I don’t intend emailing to ask about the detail of your plans, not because I don’t care but because I have every confidence in the school’s ability to act in the best interests of the school community and that of course includes the staff. Keep up the good work, you have my full support and confidence.
From a Year 11 parent
As a parent, I just wanted to say thank you to all the dedicated staff that are doing their upmost in these trying times, to keep a balanced school life where possible. It is very commendable. Well done.
From a Year 8 parent
I fully support your school and I know that you are doing your best. I am sad for all those opportunities that the kids will miss out this year. I wish you good luck and to stay strong.
For the attention of our Upper Sixth students;
Sadly, we have to assume that tomorrow, Friday 20 March, will be your last day in school. Enjoy it but try not to distract us from some of the important work we are currently having to do! We will issue you with a school leaver certificate summarising your achievements.
· Please clear your lockers.
· We have been advised to postpone, but not cancel the Prom in July. Watch this space for a new date!
· IB exams are still scheduled but we are seeking further clarification.
· Our staff will engage fully with Universities and employers to ensure they understand your qualities, the nature of your education at the Anglo and your academic achievements. We will do this in writing and in person if necessary.
· We advise you to focus some time on your own educational development with a priority being given to your chosen career, apprenticeship or degree study.
We wish you every success and stay in touch. Register for our alumni network – it is free!
For the attention of Year 11 Students
Sadly, we have to assume that tomorrow, Friday 20 March, will be your last day in school. Enjoy it but try not to distract us from some of the important work we are currently having to do!
· Don’t forget to bring in a spare shirt or blouse for signature.
· Please clear your lockers.
· We have been advised to postpone, but not cancel the Prom in July. Watch this space for a new date.
· You will receive offer letters today and students who are not in school will receive their letter by post. Those not receiving offers and feel that they would have done well in their GCSEs had they been sat, will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Please do not worry.
· We will engage fully with other post 16 providers to ensure they are aware of your abilities in the absence of GCSE exams being sat and grades being awarded.
· We advise you to focus time on your own educational development with a particular emphasis on the subjects you wish to study at IB or A level. We will issue further guidance in due course.
We wish you every success and stay in touch. Register for our alumni network – it is free!