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School Closures - Academy Update

Following the recent communication from the Trust we would like to provide you with more specific information for Witham Academy.

Before starting to explain how we are planning for the coming weeks we would like to thank you for your tremendous support and understanding at this challenging time.  We understand that you will have lots of questions and we will try and answer these within this letter and future communications.  Things will change over the next few days and coming weeks and we will try and plan for this as much as possible and ensure you are kept fully updated.  If you do have questions please use the Government and School websites as well as the usual communication links you have with staff.  Wherever possible we would ask that communication is via our email generalenquiries@priorywitham.co.uk sooner than in person at our receptions.

Information for children who will not be attending school.

For those who, following recent government guidance, will not be in school, we will be providing a range of learning resources; these will be updated over the period of time that children are not in school.  These will be in different forms and are explained in more detail below.  We understand that all families will have different levels of IT access and facilities for completing this work and therefore we have tried to provide a broad range of resources that are accessible for all.

Primary

  • Home learning packs have been sent home for all children.
  • For those families who already have children off school, and are currently not self-isolating, a home learning pack for your child can be collected from Primary Reception.
  • Nursery, Pre-Reception, Reception and Year 1 will use Tapestry as a method of communicating further learning opportunities.
  • Year 2-6 will use ‘Show My Homework’ as a platform for accessing further learning opportunities. We will send guidance home to families to support with this.
  • Further information for all year groups and any updates will be made available via our website.

Secondary

  • All pupils have access to sharepoint, on which there is the link to ‘Show My Homework’.  Staff have uploaded independent learning resources (dated from 16 March 2020) which pupils can access whilst they are not in school.
  • https://pfoa.sharepoint.com/sites/witham/subjects/SitePages/Home.aspx
  • Pupils in Years 10 and 11 can also access learning resources through GCSE Pod which can also be accessed from sharepoint.
  • Should pupils wish to access their Academy user area they can follow the Citrix Guide which has been uploaded to sharepoint.
  • Further information for all year groups and any updates will be made available via our website.
  • If you are unable to access these materials and would prefer a home learning pack please contact the Academy.

Information for children who will continue to attend school.

For those children who fall into one of the categories the Government has detailed as being able to continue attending school we will try and operate the school opening hours as close to what they are now.  If your child currently attends before or after school provision this facility will continue whilst possible.  On Monday morning your child should arrive through one of the two gates and will be directed to the part of the school where they will be working. A timetable will be in place for the children to follow; we would ask that they bring their PE kit with them each day or leave this in school.  Children should wear their normal school uniform. School meals will be provided in the normal way.

Information about school meals.

If your child is attending school these will be managed as part of their daily routine as normal.

If your child is not attending school and is not in self-isolation or poorly and receive free school meals they will be able to come into school between 12.00pm and 1.30pm to have a meal.  We will contact the parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to advise if your children are entitled to free school meals.  To balance numbers we would ask that families with a surname between A and L attend between 12.00pm and 12.45pm and surnames between M and Z attend between 12.45pm and 1.30pm.  We appreciate this may not be possible in all cases and will be flexible to ensure we try to accommodate everyone’s needs.  Children should go to the Primary hall where they will be met and registered; they do not need to wear school uniform.  Unfortunately due to the guidance around social distancing parents will not be able to stay with them during this time.  If your child is not able to join us to eat in school we will try to provide a meal that can be collected and taken home to eat.

If your child is self-isolating or ill and receive free school meals we will contact you to try and make alternative arrangements.

To allow us to understand what the need for our catering provision is likely to be we will be making further contact tomorrow.

Checking in with families and school.

At this stage we do not know how many children will be in school and we want to try and maintain contact with all our families on a regular basis.  If you need to contact us please do this by using our email generalenquiries@priorywitham.co.uk  We will also make contact with families either via phone or through home visits although we will not be able to come into the family home.  

Hopefully we have been able to answer some of your initial questions here and will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis.  Things will change and we ask for your flexibility and understanding regarding this.

Thank you again for your continued support.