JPA - Letter to Parents - 29th April

Update for Parents and Carers

29th April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you and your families are all keeping well.  I thought it would be useful to give you all an update summarising some recent developments.

As I write, it looks like there will be little real change to the lockdown in the near future and, when schools do eventually reopen, it seems likely that it may only be a partial reopening in order to facilitate social distancing.  We will, of course, keep you informed about any developments but at present we can only speculate about any future government guidelines.  

Home Learning

We all recognise that Home Learning is a challenging prospect and we applaud and thank everyone for their efforts so far. The EEF have pulled together some helpful Home Learning guidance and support which might help everyone. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/support-resources-to-share-with-parents/

If you didn’t see the text we sent out last week, new student work is now located on the 'Home Learning' section of our website; independent ideas and websites are also shared here. Work for each subject is split into lesson sized chunks so it should be easier to plan your days. Try and get your sons and daughters to build up a good routine and keep the work varied but don't worry if everything isn't finished. Students should also check their VLE page daily for any resources and tasks.

There are some really nice online resources, to supplement but not replace, work set by school. Two of the best we have seen are at https://www.thenational.academy/ and https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons. Please check them out at your leisure. Incorporate them into your Home Learning routine if you feel it would help.

We would like all of our students try to collect their work into a folder, which we will ask them to bring into school to show to their teachers once we return.

Vulnerable Students, EHCP Students and School Attendance

Any child who has a social worker or is considered to be vulnerable is entitled to attend school and is encouraged to do so.  EHCP students are also entitled to attend school where it is considered safe for them to do so. Nationally there has been very low take up of school places by vulnerable students and EHCP students and we have seen this replicated in our own attendance patterns. You will know if your child fits into one of these categories, as we will have been in regular contact with you over the phone.  If you feel your child would benefit from now attending school, please discuss this during your next call and we can make arrangements.

ICT Access for Disadvantaged

Please see the school website for a survey if you feel that your child would benefit from the Government scheme to provide laptops and routers for EHCP children, those in care and disadvantaged students in year 10.  If you complete the survey, this will help the Multi Academy Trust to determine levels of need and then allocate equipment once the Government scheme comes into operation.

Free School Meal Vouchers

Those of you entitled to Free School Meals will no doubt have shared our frustrations with the supplier website, Edenred, which manages the process.  We have updated parents on the system through our website but it has to be said that the process has not been a smooth one, either for schools or parents.  I was hopeful, now that everything has been set up, that it would run much more smoothly in future and that the Edenred website will have increased capacity to cope with the volume of traffic.  However, we have been encountering more problems with the website when we have tried to order the vouchers for next month.  Please be patient and rest assured, we are doing everything we can to persevere with the site.   If you are expecting vouchers or codes via email, please check your junk folders as well as your inbox.

Anyone who becomes entitled to Free School Meals during the lockdown will be added to the system.  You don’t need to contact the school to initiate this, as we receive an update weekly from the Local Authority.

Year 11 and 13 Exam Grades & Progression

The process of awarding grades is nearing completion, as far as what the school has to do is concerned. Please note that we are not allowed to enter into discussions with parents or students about the assessments we have made.  These are subject to moderation by the exam boards and Ofqual and will be reported to students in August. 

Sixth Form tutors have been in touch with Year 13 and will continue to be available for any support they may need regarding progression and next steps.  We can only speculate about results day at this point, in terms of whether students will be allowed into school or not to collect their grades, but come what may, our Sixth Form team will be on hand to offer support, even if this has to be over the phone.  We’ll issue further details in due course.

Year 11 students will receive a letter next week from the Sixth Form team.  Any Year 11 student can access support regarding their next steps, whether or not they are staying on in our Sixth Form or intending to go elsewhere. We do have Sixth Form tutors in school a couple of days a week, so if you need help with any aspect of progression, then please contact us.

With best wishes

Karen Blackburn

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Contact Details

Jesmond Park Academy
Jesmond Park West
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE7 7DP

Tel: +44(0)191 2818486
Fax: +44(0)191 2810381

SatNav:
Use postcode NE7 7HN, the main entrance is on Newton Road

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