May 29, 2020

COVID-19 Academy Update

Dear OIEA Parents and Carers,

Here is your update whilst we continue to keep on top of the changing government guidance.

Currently, the children of key workers and those who may be vulnerable to missing school, will continue to be welcomed and taught in A block as per the previous arrangements, next week. We intend to continue teaching these students within the A block and to not have any other children working in there, to ensure that the transmission rate remains low. This block has toilet facilities, the dining hall and the sports hall and is cleaned continually throughout the day, especially in high contact areas.This will continue until the end of this term.

If you are a key worker and your child/children have not been in school, but this is something that you are thinking about, please contact Ms Stubbs at the academy to check that this is an arrangement that we can provide for you. We have to ensure that we are prepared for all students who might come into the academy as part of our risk assessments so cannot accept children who turn up at school that we do not know about.

Remember, that Government guidance says that children in years 7,8 and 9 are safer being taught remotely and at home until the end of this term. We will provide further updates when we have them, and are all working on more face to face contact using apps like Microsoft Teams. Staff are being trained in delivering lessons over Teams in a safe and useful way for the children and this should inspire them even more to keep you with their studies, with a teacher there to ask questions for some of their lessons.

Parents of year 10 will have seen that, following our planning and our letters being sent out, the Government changed the date that your children are now expected in school. The date that year 10 start to return on is now from the 15th of June. This does not mean that all year 10 will return on this date. We are preparing the letters with the plans on for you to read. The plans will remain similar to those from before in that;

– it will be a phased return
– it will be a slow return
– we will focus on supporting remote learning with some face to face contact

Any parent is welcome to view our risk assessments on our website, in the COVID19 area. The new plan for year 10 will be put into there once complete, with a full explanation should you wish to refer back to this in the future. Alternatively, you can email or phone the academy during working hours and a member of the leadership team will get back to you if you have any other questions or concerns.

We have already spoken to or heard from parents and carers of year 10, who have children with medical conditions or have vulnerable family members in the house and for them, coming back to school at this time is not a safe option. We have ensured that this information is logged and their Head of Year is aware. If you feel that this applies to you and have not let us know, please email the academy to bring us up to date.

Thank you to those parents and carers of year 10 who also replied to our survey and asked us questions through this format. We have incorporated the answers to your questions in our plans and the risk assessments to make sure that every aspect is covered and is as safe as we can make it. If you said on the survey, that did not want your child to come to school but change your mind, this is absolutely fine, just let us know. It is your choice, at this stage, whether to send the children in to school. If you chose not to send your children we will respect that choice but will expect the children to complete their work on line or in the work packs provided.

Please be reminded to continue to talk to your children about the social distancing guidelines out in our community. We certainly have a lot of vulnerable older residents who live near to the academy who will need to continue to shield themselves and we have written to them to warn them about more children starting to come back to school in case they start to worry about this at this time.

We all want to make sure that going back to school is as safe as possible and not seen as a relaxing of the rules for the rest of the community. Unfortunately, we are still at risk of a second wave of Coronavirus even if we don’t know anyone who has caught it. Many people (and often children) can have the virus and show no symptoms, so we cannot afford to forget the rules of hand washing and social distancing as well as ensuring that we are not meeting in the community in ways that put others at risk.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who has been homeschooling and doing the best they can at home. You have done a great job and the children should be proud of what they have achieved under very different conditions. We will continue to keep in touch and be around by phone and email and on Show My Homework, when you need us.

Take good care of yourselves and keep in touch.

Miss Nia Salt

Category: Announcements, News