JPA - Letter to Parents - 3rd April

Dear Parent Carer

As we head into the Easter holidays, I’d like to remind the parents of key workers and vulnerable pupils that school is open every day except for weekends during the holidays. Please let us know in advance if your child will be attending, by emailing the school admin address.

Free School Meals Voucher Scheme

The government scheme has now been implemented for the parents of children in receipt of free school meals.  We are in the process of contacting all of those parents to check their email address is active.  Those parents without an email address are encouraged to set one up.  If you do this, please ring and let us know what it is. If it is not possible for you to set up an email address, we will be able to post the vouchers to you instead.

For those free school meal parents who do have an email address, please look out for a text message from the school at some point next week about the voucher scheme.  This will then be followed by a test email to you.  If you don’t receive this email please contact the school so that we can help.

This scheme should be operational after Easter and will deliver a £15.00 voucher each week for each eligible child.  Please contact admin@jesmondparkacademy.org.uk  or phone the school if you have any queries or problems receiving your vouchers after Easter, once the scheme is set up.

Keeping Children Safe Online

While the school IT systems and safeguarding procedures are well established to help keep children safe online, your home systems might be less secure. A prolonged period of school closure and more time spent at home online also potentially heightens the risk to your child becoming vulnerable to exploitation.  Parents are advised to monitor the sites their children are accessing on the internet and the contacts they are making. The police have asked us to share a poster about the PREVENT system, which you will find on our website. 

In addition, government advice to parents is as follows:

There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:

If you have any concerns about your child's safety, please remember that we always have a safeguarding member of staff available to speak to, so do call the school if you are worried or need advice.

Work for over Easter

The work for students to complete will be refreshed on the website ready for after the Easter break but students can continue with the tasks already set on the website.

However, we hope that the Easter holidays will be an opportunity to try a range of non curricular activities whether that is trying some science experiments; doing the Great indoors activities from the scouts; exploring the facts on our Cultural Capital website or even joining in with some of the celebrity masterclasses.

We have tried to pull together everything you need on our school website so please explore all the suggested ideas on /news/news/accessing-curriculum-materials-from-home.aspx

Students could also explore a whole range of different websites summarised on the attached document. There are 50 to be going on with, for all age ranges and interests, but we will keep adding to them as we go along. 

We try to post suggestions and ideas on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jesmondparkacademy/) and Twitter account (https://twitter.com/JesmondPark) every couple of days so follow or friend us to receive those updates. We will also post on our Instagram account from time to time.

Year 11 Progression

We have uploaded onto our website specific information relating to on-going work for our Year 11 students and progression beyond Year 11. Please contact any one of the named contacts if you need further information or support.

Goggles for the NHS

We were pleased to donate 400 of our science goggles to the NHS this week.  Due to a shortage of PPE for NHS workers, the NHS has been in touch with schools to see if they had equipment to donate.  A quick trawl round our science labs meant we could gather together 400 pairs of goggles, which have been delivered to the RVI.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Easter break,

Karen Blackburn

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30th March 2020 

Dear Parent/Carer

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update

I hope you and your families are all keeping well during this difficult time.

Last week was a quiet one in school, with only small numbers of pupils attending.  Thank you for all of your support by keeping your children at home unless you are a keyworker and there is no safe alternative.  Your support means that more of our staff can work from home, helping to keep them and their families safer, as well as taking the strain off the NHS and reducing the spread of the virus.

Now that we have established our new routines, please could parents intending to send their children to school, email the school admin address by 8.15am each day, so that we know who to expect?  This will help to keep children safe, as we will then know who to phone if they don’t arrive at school as expected. The email address is admin@jesmondparkacademy.org.uk .

Please remember that vulnerable children (that is those with an EHCP or a social worker) are always welcome in school, unless of course they are showing symptoms of Covid-19.  For vulnerable children, if they don’t attend, we are carrying out regular safe and well checks via the telephone. 

There is always a pastoral or safeguarding member of staff on site each weekday, so if any parents, whether their children are classed as vulnerable or not, have concerns about the wellbeing or safety of their children while they are not at school and would welcome some advice, please call us.

Easter Holiday Provision for the Children of Keyworkers and Vulnerable Children

We do anticipate Jesmond Park Academy being open during the Easter holidays 8.30am-2.40pm, including the bank holidays.  Please could parents intending to send their children in to school at any point in the Easter holidays, email the school admin address by noon on Wednesday 1st April with the dates that they need provision?

Our catering service won’t be available during the Easter holidays, so any children that do come to school will need to bring a packed lunch. 

Free School Meals

Chartwells, our catering service, have been providing a packed lunch for collection from our main entrance each day for any pupils entitled to a free school meal.  Due to very low take up of this, our catering manager now only makes up a small number of lunches.  If anyone now wishes to take up their free school meal provision, please could parents email the school admin email address by 8.30am on the day they want a lunch provided?

We are hopeful that the national voucher scheme for free school meals will be in place very soon, as we appreciate that for some of our pupils, the present arrangements would require travel across the city, which should be avoided.

Year 11 and Year 13 Exams

As you will know, the exam period this summer has been cancelled.  We have received some updates regarding the alternative arrangements, which have been posted on our website.  We are awaiting some more specific details later this week.

Destination Progression Support for our Year 11 Students 

We will publish further information after the Easter break regarding information and support for our Year 11 students.  This will include information about progressing to Jesmond Park Academy Sixth Form or to other institutions such as Newcastle College, Apprenticeships etc. 

Students Working at Home

I hope that your child has been able to access our VLE or website and complete the work set.   Teaching staff are continuing to work on creating activities and resources, so please ensure that your child checks every school day and spends time working at home.   

The work on the website for each department will be refreshed after the Easter break and we continue to add ideas for Independent Learning that students can access and choose what to do.  Periodically we will be sending ideas for competitions that the students can enter. We will be sending little reminders and ideas via Facebook and Twitter @JesmondPark every couple of days. Please ‘friend’ or ‘follow’ us so you get those updates.  

As we settle down for what we believe may be a lengthy period of closure, we are refining and developing the work provided for pupils.  In terms of the work that is being covered, much of it will be revision of existing topics or those not on the syllabus, so as to reduce the chance of students falling behind and being disadvantaged. 

We have posted advice on good working habits and routines previously on our website, so if you haven’t seen this, please take a look. However, this is merely a suggested routine for you to use, if appropriate for your family.  You are in the best situation to decide on a routine that best works for you as a family but students should try, as best as they can, to do a full school day’s work (about 6 hours) and complete as many of the tasks that have been set across all the subjects. We are simply providing as much work as we can for those who want to do more; we will not be judging people on how much has been done. 

Many of you will have enough to worry about without this additional pressure.  We would also encourage your child to do some of the independent activities, shared on the website, as a way to enrich and engage with extra-curricular learning.  Many of these you could do together as a family.  If your child has any issues accessing the online resources, then please email aholburn@jesmondparkacademy.org.uk for advice and support. 

There is also advice on staying safe and maintaining a healthy wellbeing during distance learning on our site, which can be found under the ‘stay at home ideas’ section.  There are also national websites that support students working safely online, such as Childline, UK Safer Internet Centre and ThinkuKnow.  The government has also released some advice on mental wellbeing during the current crisis: COVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing .

Finally, thank you to those of you that have sent in messages of support and thanks to staff.  I have passed these on via our weekly staff bulletin and know that these messages are greatly appreciated.

Keep yourselves safe and well.

Yours faithfully

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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