July 2020 Letter


8 July 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

I would like to thank you for your continued support through these very challenging times. As we approach the end of this academic year, we now look forward to the summer holidays and we would like to share with you some important points below.

Summer Holiday Arrangements

The Secretary of State for Education has confirmed that they are not asking schools to open during the summer holidays and there is no expectation that schools should open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers over this period. Students, teachers and all support staff need a break to recharge and rest. Therefore, we have taken the decision that the Academy will follow the publicised term dates and close on Tuesday 21 July 2020 for all students. This closure will include the suspension of the online Virtual Learning Environment, Frog. Staff will not be contactable through Frog but can be contacted throughout the summer as usual through the Academy's main Reception telephone number and the Enquiries email.

Current Year 10 students moving through to Year 11

Our Year 10 Face to Face provision is now fully operational and is allowing students valuable time with specialist subject teachers. The students have adhered to the safety procedures by attending one day a week, in clusters of no more than twelve with a maximum of four clusters on site each day. It has been a pleasure to see so many students back in the Academy and taking part in the sessions offered. Staff and students have enjoyed this very beneficial time together.

DfE Summer Food Fund

Throughout the lockdown period, Aspens, our on-site catering company, have continued to provide excellent food parcels to families. However, as you may be aware, the government has released guidance on the Covid Summer Food Fund where vouchers of £90 per child are available to cover the six-week holiday period for those in receipt of Free School Meals. The pastoral team have contacted the families of Free School Meal children to verify contact details. More information will be sent to them as soon as it is available.

GCSE results day and Sixth Form College Enrolment

Parents of students in Year 11 will shortly receive a letter detailing our current intentions for the GCSE results day. Our hope is to offer a face to face service for students to collect their results and seek any further advice or support. Students wishing to enrol for Tollbar Sixth Form College will be offered a face to face opportunity to enrol on this day or they can enrol online if they would prefer to do so. Letters with specific guidance will be sent to all Year 11 students and their parents.

September 2020 Arrangements

Early advice indicates that all students will be returning to the Academy full time in September. Returning to the Academy is vital for your child's education and wellbeing. This will be an important move back towards normal life for many children and families. We want to reassure parents that we will be following all the updated guidance and making plans for the safe return for students and staff. As soon as arrangements are finalised, they will be published on our website and all parents and carers will be contacted.

Academy Uniform

As per the Government guidance, all students are expected to return in full uniform in September. Please see the Academy website for our uniform requirements. Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries. In September students can now once again bring bags with essential items into the Academy and are encouraged to do so. We advise all students, where possible, to bring their own basic equipment with them including pencil crayons.

Virtual Learning Platform (Frog)

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our parents and carers for all of their support throughout this Academy closure with online learning. The Frog system has allowed students, staff and the pastoral team to communicate with each other during this time. Some exceptional work has been completed by students at home. We look forward to September when all of our students return.

In line with current Government advice, we intend to implement a robust recovery curriculum to ensure our students feel supported and can re-engage fully with Academy life. More information will be sent with detailed plans to parents and carers as soon as it is available. The safety and mental wellbeing of our students has been a priority throughout this period and will continue to be a focus as we plan the way forward. Please note that the Frog portal has House Group sections that contain information, advice and guidance for all students to support them with their wellbeing.

Once again, I would like to wish you all well and I will be in touch very soon with a detailed plan for the full reopening of the Academy in September.

Mrs C L Yates

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Caroline L Yates
BA (Hons).

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson