Alsager School

Parent / Carer Update 22/5/20

Dear Parent / Carer

                I hope you and your families remain safe and well during these uncertain times. I would like to thank parents and carers for the many messages of support and appreciation that we have received over recent weeks. School staff have been working hard during this period to try and provide work, pastoral support and daily care for the children of key workers and those deemed to be vulnerable. School has certainly remained very much open but in a very different guise. However, we also appreciate that you would like some clarity and certainty about what school is going to look like for your son / daughter going forward, as we all know that the current situation is not ideal. There has been a huge amount speculation about the ‘re-opening’ of schools in the media in recent weeks and at times I think the core purpose of schools, namely to care for and educate young people, has become lost in this whole political debate.

                Schools will follow guidance from government, who are in turn working on the advice from science. This week guidance for secondary schools should have been published, at the time of writing this, it has not. However, we are working on the government’s generic guidance for all schools which has been circulated and we are planning for the following changes to our current offer.

As of the week beginning 1st June, all students in years 7 – 9 will experience ‘live lessons’ with their class teacher, through the use of Skype or Microsoft Teams. A student guide as to how set this up will be sent out very shortly. These lessons will follow their current timetable and 1 out of every 4 lessons in each subject will be ‘live’, in which new learning will be delivered. These ‘live’ lessons might not be for the full hour, it depends upon the class size, as the member of staff might  break a large class up into smaller groups and deliver a ‘live’ lesson to one group before doing the same with a different one. The work for the remaining lessons in that subject will delivered as now, ie. e mailed to each student at the start of each day. Class teachers will be in contact with their classes via e mail to inform them when the ‘live’ lessons will be taking place. If your child is unable to access these lessons due to IT issues, they can come into school and participate in the lessons that way. Please inform care@alsagerschool.org if your son / daughter will need to take advantage of this service.

As of the week beginning 1st June, year 12 will also experience a far greater number of ‘live’ lessons. This will be a minimum of 1 out of every 4 lessons, as with key stage 3, but it may be more. Again, class teachers will be in direct contact with students via e mail to explain when these ‘live’ lessons will take place. Remember, if this presents a problem, students can come into school and use the IT facilities here. Please inform care@alsagerschool.org if your son/daughter will need to take advantage of this service.

For year 10 students only we are currently planning for a phased re-opening of school from the week beginning 15th June. Please remember that these are provisional plans and further details will follow, once the government guidance for secondary schools has been released. I can assure all parents / carers and students that this partial opening will follow all the social distancing regulations and meet all concerns when it comes to health and safety. The health and safety of our students and staff are our number one priority. Year 10 students will be invited into school for a specific time slot of couple of hours in small groups and they will stay in that group, in one room for the time they are in school.  Current guidance states that attendance to these sessions is not compulsory and parents / carers will not face repercussions for non-attendance. However, we all very aware of how much school students have missed to date and the impact this is having on our young people. Please remember, this is all dependent on government and scientific advice, if this advice changes over the coming weeks and it is deemed to be unsafe to re-open schools, we will obviously follow that guidance. Further details for the arrangements for year 10 will be sent in due course.  

For current year 11 and 13 students – please continue to access the various activities and transition tasks which are contained in the fortnightly 6th Form newsletter and which are available in Sharepoint under 6th Form Learning

I am very aware that the current situation and our planned changes outlined above will never be of the same standard as ‘normal school’. However, these are not ‘normal’ times and as a school we are doing all we can to make our provision the best we can. All the staff here at Alsager have done and will do, everything we can to support your child. I am very aware that everyone has strong views about the role of schools at the moment and in the future. I am also very conscious that everyone has passionate views and real concerns about the planned re-opening of schools. However, please consider that the current situation might well run for a considerable period of time (it is currently looking highly unlikely that schools will return to ‘normal’ in September) and the longer schools remain closed, it is our young people who are suffering in a whole host of different ways. 

Next week is half term and I hope you and your families are able to enjoy some May sunshine. School remains open over half term as a care provider, please contact care@alsagerschool.org if you need to use this provision. In addition we are here to help you if you need it over half term, please contact your child’s Head of College, 6th form contact or the care e mail and we will do whatever we can to help you.

With best wishes and please take care

Richard Middlebrook

Executive Headteacher