25 March 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Correspondence 8
I intend to continue to send you regular updates on College procedures and key issues.
I know we have many parents of Year 6 students who will be coming to Collingwood in the next academic year. We have an outstanding transition and induction process that means new students make a very positive start at the College and very soon settle into life in a new environment. Our normal procedures include contact with and visits to all feeder schools, induction days and a parents’ information evening. We do not know at the moment the duration of the current closure and the implications this will have on many aspects of College life, however I want to give you a firm guarantee now that we will do everything possible to ensure these students are not disadvantaged in the induction process and that we will put in place appropriate arrangements to make the transition as smooth as possible. I will be writing to parents of all the allocated Year 6 students (there are lots - we are full with a large waiting list!) very soon but wanted to give you the message that we are already looking at this issue and preparing contingency plans.
Trips, activities and Enterprise Days
We are currently looking at the feasibility of running any trips or activities during the latter stages of the summer term or in the early part of the Autumn term. We will let you know as soon as possible whether they will be running - as you know many have already been cancelled. I can inform you now that the Enterprise Days in July have been cancelled.
DfE warns of free school meals scam
The Department for Education has warned that fraudsters are targeting parents of children eligible for free school meals. Families have received an email requesting their bank details, claiming this will enable their children to continue receiving meals through school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I urge parents to delete the scam email immediately; such details will never be requested from you.
We are working towards introducing a voucher system for those students that are eligible for Free School Meals and will contact families directly when more information is available. In the meantime, our canteen staff are preparing packed lunches each day for Free School Meal students which can be collected from Kingston Reception between 1pm and 2pm. Please can I ask that you abide by the guidelines on social distancing at these times? If you are eligible and wish to order a packed lunch, please call the College on 01276 457 600.
I will not put in to print how I feel about these people who are seeking to scam or steal at a time of a national crisis, but I certainly hope that they are caught and feel the full force of the law.
Our advice to all our students re staying safe
- The College is closed to all but a small minority of students so please don’t turn up expecting access.
- Follow all government advice on social distancing and staying at home. You should not be gathering in groups, you should avoid unnecessary travel and you should stop all non-essential contact. Stay at home and stop the spread.
- Everyone has a responsibility to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus so please follow the rules.
Reminder regarding work provided for students working at home
Students should be reminded to look at their emails regularly and complete the work that their teacher sets for them. If they have been unable to set work, then they can complete the work that Mrs Wright sent out last week. Students are not expected to do both. Students should email their subject teacher directly (and not Mrs Wright!) if they would like any further guidance on this. Our main priority is that students are safe and well – we will support them with their academic progress when we are all back in College so please tell them not worry about this. Students should be encouraged to communicate with their own teachers so that they can monitor how well they are managing to access the work.
Parent Communication System
During this closure period I think it imperative that the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) are very aware of any issues that you are concerned about and therefore can I ask you that please use our College On-line Communication System available via the Parent Portal rather than emailing individual departments or staff. Your communication will be directed to the appropriate individual but, crucially, a weekly report will be circulated to the SLT so that we can monitor any problems or trends.
Again, my thanks for your support.