11 February 2021
I would like to thank you all for your continued support during the ongoing challenging times.
Despite the many obstacles that we have faced during the current national lockdown, Tollbar has continued to provide remote education through live lessons and assignments. Students have responded positively to their lessons and have risen to this challenge. I am incredibly proud of student engagement in their remote education this half term. This is a testament to the perseverance of students and the commitment of the teaching staff.
Planned Reopening of Schools:
The government has announced that schools in England will remain closed until at least Monday 8 March 2021 and that we will be given a two week notice period of any changes to the current situation. The Academy will continue to provide remote education to all students and remain open only for children of critical workers and vulnerable students to enable them to access their remote lessons.
Lateral Flow Testing in Schools:
Twice weekly lateral flow testing continues in the Academy for all staff on site. At present, the guidance is that students will receive an initial test when they return to the Academy if you have given consent. Please see our website for the online consent form. The guidance is subject to change given the ever-evolving picture and we will keep parents/carers informed of any updates. If your child receives a positive lateral flow result, we will contact you and your child will need to self-isolate in line with government guidance and contact tracing will need to be undertaken.
A document providing information to parents and carers about the Academy's remote learning provision is on our Academy website. Students are expected to attend the daily virtual tutor session, starting at 9am, plus their usual timetabled lessons five days a week. There is a blended approach of teacher-led activities and independent learning during the lessons.
Safeguarding remains a priority. Please remind your child to keep their camera turned off on their device and to mute their microphone, unless invited to switch them on by the member of staff delivering the lesson. The expectation of student behaviour during an online lesson is the same as in a normal classroom lesson within the Academy. During this lockdown period, the pastoral team remain available by telephone to support students and their families. If there are any safeguarding concerns that you or your child have, please telephone a member of the pastoral team at the Academy or contact us via the enquiries email address.
Screen Free Sessions:
As we all progress into the next half term of remote education, I am conscious of the challenges we all face with this new way of working. I have taken the decision to reduce screen time one afternoon a week. The aim of these sessions is to give students time away from the screen in order to participate in the wider curriculum. During this time, we will be setting students a challenge to undertake away from the computer screen. This week students were set an Inter-house competition to show their appreciation for the NHS. The student contribution has been creative, original and thoughtful. It has been lovely to see all of the different activities students have undertaken during this time.
February Half Term Break:
In line with national guidance, the Academy will close for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children on Friday 12 February 2021 for the half term break. It will then reopen for those students who are already attending on Monday 22 February 2021. Online lessons will not continue during this week. We hope our students take this opportunity to have a break away from the computer screens and take a well-deserved rest.
Once again, thank you all for your continued support and commitment to the education of our young people.
Mrs C L Yates