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Easter letter — April 2021

Ref: VJW/AKW

1 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

As you are aware, Mrs. Caroline Yates has recently decided to step down from the role as Principal at Tollbar Academy. I am sure you will join me in thanking her for all her hard work at the Academy. I am delighted to have been appointed as Interim Principal and I want to take this opportunity to assure you that I will continue to work with students, parents, carers and staff to ensure our students are given the opportunities to excel in their education and develop as young people.

Thank you for all your support this term throughout the remote learning period and also as students have returned to the Academy. It has been a pleasure to see them all back and enjoying their studies.

Students have responded extremely well to the Lateral Flow Testing programme and we would like to thank you for your support which is helping us to detect asymptomatic cases of Covid-19.

Testing at Home Throughout the Easter holidays:

Following the success of the asymptomatic testing programme on the return to schools and colleges, it is important to keep testing at home throughout the Easter holidays and into the summer term. If you have given your child consent to take part in the Lateral Flow Testing, they will have been provided with enough home testing kits to use over the Easter holidays. Families and households can also access home test kits for adults by collecting a home test kit from a test site, or by ordering a home test kit online.

Students participating in asymptomatic testing programme should:

  • continue to test twice a week at home over the Easter holidays;
  • In line with the recent guidance from the Department of Education, if your child receives a positive LFD test result, they should then book a PCR test. Whilst waiting for their test result, close contacts and other members of their household, should self- isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges

  • When your child next receives their home testing kit from the Academy, they will be asked for the results of the tests they have completed at home.

Please can we ask that your child has a test before returning for the summer term, either the night before, or morning of the first day back.

Changes to the Test and Trace Support Payment for Parents:

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace, may be able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. This is to ensure that parents/carers receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities. Parents and carers should apply to their local authority to receive a payment. Once an application for a payment has been received, the local authority will contact the Academy.

Free School Meal Provision over the Easter Holidays:

Families of children who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive a voucher for this period. This has been funded by the government through the COVID Winter Grant Scheme. If your circumstances have changed and you would like to apply for Free School Meals, please see the link below which is also on our website: https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/benefits/free-school-meals/

Catering:

Aspens Catering Services, who provide our Academy meals, operate a cashless payment system. Parent Pay is a quick and safe way for students to pay for their food. It also enables parents and carers to monitor their child’s spending and the food they buy. If parents and carers require the log in details then please email: tollbar.academy@aspens-services.com clearly stating your child’s name, year, House Group and date of birth.

We recognise that catering this year has been limited due to Covid-19 restrictions. We are pleased to announce that our Year 7 students have been trialling a new menu this term and will be offered additional menu options after the Easter holidays.

Online Parent/Teacher Consultation Evenings:

Parent/Teacher Consultation Evenings will now take place remotely and parents and carers will be able to book a virtual appointment online to speak to their child’s teachers. Detailed information on how to book your appointments will be sent out prior to your child’s Parent/Teacher Consultation Evening. Please see attached Updated Events Calendar with dates of the Parent/Teacher Consultation Evenings and the dates reports will be issued.

Paperless Communication with Parents and Carers:

We are moving to an online paperless communication system for letters, reports, assessment and events. We will send an email to all parents and carers with Parental Responsibility to log in to our SIMS Connect system. There you will find your child’s reports, attendance and timetable. We will update you as new documents for your child are released. With this in mind, please can you ensure you have updated the Academy with your contact details via: enquiries@tollbaracademy.co.uk. Always include your child’s full name, House Group and date of birth when communicating with the Academy.

Year 9 Options:

Year 9 students will be having an ‘Option Focus Week’ commencing Tuesday 4 May 2021. This will include talks given to students by Curriculum Leaders and subject teacher about subjects on offer. In addition, a detailed Year 9 Option booklet will be available on the Academy website. Details of how to complete the online option form will be sent to parents and carers at the start of the summer term.

Arrangements for Year 11 Students:

The government has confirmed that in summer 2021, students taking GCSEs will be awarded grades based on an assessment by their teachers. We understand that this is a concerning time and we want to reassure you that teachers are working closely with students to ensure that work being produced supports the grade that reflects the work they have been doing during their time at the Academy. Following the Easter holiday, students will be given the opportunity to carry out further assessments in the Academy which will form part of the evidence for their grades.

Year 11 students will be having their traditional Leavers’ Non-Uniform Day. The date is yet to be confirmed as we are awaiting details from the Department of Education regarding Year 11 and the final date of school.

Uniform:

We understand how difficult it has been during the national lockdown period to purchase replacement items of uniform. However, we expect all students to abide by the Dress Policy and be correctly dressed at the start of the summer term. Students have been spoken to this week about our high expectations of behaviour and uniform and we thank you for your support in this. Students not wearing the correct uniform will be given a sanction in line with our Behaviour Policy. https://www.tollbaracademy.co.uk/academy-uniform/

Road Safety:

We are still receiving calls from members of the public about the dangerous behaviour of cyclists on the paths and the roads. Their behaviour is putting the safety of others and themselves at risk and also bringing the Academy in to disrepute. If your child cycles to the Academy, please can you speak to your child about being safe on the roads and respecting others. The local policing team have been informed of our concerns and will be monitoring the behaviour of cyclists. Please can I also take this opportunity to ask you to ensure your child wears a cycle helmet if they are cycling to the Academy. We expect all students to wear a cycle helmet.

Parent Governor:

We would like to welcome the newly appointed Parent Governor to our Academy community — Mrs. J. Marcham.

Social Media:

Please can I take this opportunity to invite you to follow, like and share posts from our Academy on social media to keep up to date with current news and events. Please see our website for the link to the official pages.

We thank you, as always, for your continued support. Wishing you a peaceful Easter break.

Yours faithfully,

Miss V J Watts
Interim Principal

Enc: Updated events calendar 2020–2021


Download the original letter here

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Tollbar Academy Interim Principal

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