Letter to Parents from Mr Evans regarding potential opening of school - HERE
Free School Meals Voucher Update - Knowsley have informed schools that they will not be purchasing vouchers for the week of Half Term. The school has no control over this. That means the next voucher will arrive late next week for the following 2 weeks. More details here - https://www.knowsleynews.co.uk/half-term-free-school-meals…/
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements on Sunday 10th May, we will continue with our planning for the potential partial reopening of our schools for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 during June, ensuring any actions we take keep staff and children safe. We will provide you with regular updates on our planning alongside the latest Government guidance for the reopening of schools as we receive it.
The Prime Minister suggested that Year 10 pupils may come into school before we finish for the Summer in July. Again, we will provide further updates on our planning as proposals are confirmed by the Government.
Can I take this opportunity to personally thank our Parents, Carers and Staff for their hard work and support in ensuring pupils learning continues during this time. In difficult circumstances, our school communities have responded brilliantly!
Gary Kelly CEO Wade Deacon Trust
Coronavirus Guidance - 9th April 2020
Update - Student Well-Being
We would like to make all our students aware of Kooth's On Line Service where young people can go in Knowsley to gain support with their emotional wellbeing either by having a 1-1 Counselling session or they can message the team if they are unsure. Please watch the video!
Students can register at www.kooth.com and they can access support from 12-10pm Monday to Friday and Saturday-Sunday 6-10pm every day of the year.
Update - FSM Voucher - 8th April 2020
FREE SCHOOL MEALS VOUCHER UPDATE - We have placed an order for your next voucher. These vouchers are for the period of Monday 13th April to Friday 24th April. To try to avoid delays over the bank holiday weekend, you should receive a link to your voucher in the next 24-48 hours. Your voucher will be for the same supermarket you chose last time. We were led to believe this could be changed but are now told that it is not possible. This is out of our control. The value of the voucher is now slightly different. Knowsley have matched the funding allocation directed by the Government which equates to £3 per day, therefore £30 for a two week period. The voucher can be used over multiple shops until the total amount has been used. If you think your child is eligible for a free school meal and isn’t receiving it you should apply to your Council by completing a Free School Meal form which is available on the Council’s website. There are still 45 vouchers that have not been claimed from the last set - if you are one of these parents please reply to the text or mail you received asking for a choice of supermarket. These vouchers will be returned to the council in the coming weeks but you are entitled to them now so please claim them. If you have not received such a message it is because you have not given us an up to date mobile number or email address. You can do this by sending them with your child's details to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
Update - Free School Meals Voucher Delivery 31/3/20
All vouchers (where the supermarket was chosen before Midday yesterday) have been dispatched!To have received your voucher last night or this morning, you had to have chosen your supermarket by Midday yesterday – several of you chose after midday so you will get your voucher later today. If you have chosen your supermarket before midday yesterday and have not received a text or email please message us or email email@example.com – I will do my best to make sure you get the voucher as soon as possible.Thanks to everyone for their patience as the vouchers finally arrive. Vouchers can be used in store.These vouchers will be sent once a fortnight via text or email. For Secondary School Pupils the voucher will have a value of £32.90. That is the equivalent of £3.29 for ten school days or £2.35 over 14 days. The school will place another order for vouchers for you in about 10-12 days. In just under 2 weeks we presume it will work the same way – you will be asked for your preferred supermarket and then a day or so later you will get the voucher. This will continue until further notice. If you have not received a voucher it is probably because you have either A) not received or b) not replied to a text or email asking you to choose a supermarket. If you are certain your child receives Free School Meals and you have not received any communication please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s details and your mobile number. If you have chosen your supermarket before midday yesterday and have not received a text or email please message us or email email@example.com Thanks again for your patience – The local authority and school had just 3 days to get this rolled out so the fact that vouchers have been sent out is pretty impressive! Mr Evans
Update - Free School Meals Voucher Scheme 27/3/20Here is a letter for parents / carers of students in receipt of Free School Meals. LETTER
General Updates 23/3/20
Good evening. Firstly, thank you for your lovely, supportive messages. Thanks. Today, we welcomed 8 students into school. It was a strange day in school. We remain open for students whose parents are Key Workers. Tonight's message from the Prime Minister reaffirms what we, and the government, has been saying. If Key Worker families can arrange any child care then you must not send your child to school. School is only open to those for whom we are the only means of childcare. We have had several messages from parents asking to bring their child to school even though there is someone at home to look after them. In those cases, we reserve the right to say no. It is not acceptable and goes against the government advice. There is a skeleton staff rota in place - there will be no support staff in school. The way we are operating has changed in just two days. I must pay tribute to the students who were in school today. You may have seen BBC Breakfast were in school. Lewis and his mum, Sharon, were brave enough to be interviewed. (A link is below) A few minutes later we received a phone call from a lady in Essex who had seen Lewis on TV and asked if she could send him a giant Easter Egg! It is moments like that that make you remember that people are inherently good. Then . later on, Sharon returned from a day of work at Asda Hunts Cross with a car full of flowers that they wanted us to give out to staff (as well as a lovely bottle of red for me!). I have tried to ring Asda to say thanks but the lines are not being answered as they are so busy in store so Asda - THANK YOU! There will be a few more updates this evening - communication is important now more than ever. Please respect the guidelines announced tonight and enforce them with your children. Keep safe. Mr Evans https://drive.google.com/open…
School Trips to Austria and Poland
AUSTRIA & POLAND TRIPS - As expected, given the Foreign Office travel advice as well as the current global situation, we can confirm that both trips are cancelled. We can only confirm this now because the travel companies were working with schools that had trips before we did. We are expecting to receive full refunds for all parents/carers. Please be aware that this takes time at the best of times. We have no idea how long this process will take as many staff from various companies involved may be absent or working from home. This is out of our control and we urge you to remain patient. We will not be able to provide any update on this until we get confirmation of any refund. Thank you for your understanding.
Free School Meals
Free School Meals Update - the packed lunches available from the New Hutte Centre will be available from the slightly later time of Midday from tomorrow.
Online Work for students - Thank you for the positive feedback we have had on this. We were not able to produce work packs on paper in time for over a thousand children and chose to go online. By far the easiest way to access this is through RM Unify. Students log into this most days in school. They use their usual school email address and password. When they log on there is a page of 'tiles' - see picture. The one to click one is PUPIL SHAREPOINT. Click on that and you go straight to the folder. You can also open Educake and Seneca this way. Note that students can do their work on paper - so printers are not necessary. We are getting several messages about forgotten passwords for Seneca etc There is some help on the website in the Coronavirus Guidance section as well as in the Science folder (Educake) via the link below. Students can email their teacher using RM Unify (they know what that is!) for guidance too. Hegarty Maths has had issues nationwide today due to the huge number of students logging on.
Updated Advice 22/3/20Key messages for Monday 23rd March
1)You should only send your child to school from Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to the COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should.
2)If you are a Key Worker and are sending you child to school, we will be asking you to provide confirmation from your employer.
3)Without such evidence, we will no longer be able to welcome your child into school. The deadline to provide such evidence is 3pm on Tuesday 24th March.
4)You can a) bring the evidence to school if you are dropping off your child of a morning b) send the evidence in with your child or c) email the evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your child's name, Year Group, the name of your employer and a phone number of the company you work for.
5)School will begin at 8.45am and end at 2.45pm – If this changes we will do our best to notify you in advance.
6)Students who attend school DO NOT need to wear school uniform.
7)Students who attend will get food at breakfast, break and lunch.
8)The nearest pick up point to school for Free School Meals (A packed lunch will be provided), for students who are not in school, is the New Hutte Hub on Lichfield Road. Our current understanding that is also the case for those students who do not live in Knowsley. The council is working on a voucher scheme and we will let you know about that when we have the information.Note that school is not a distribution point
9)Students who are not allowed to attend school can continue to work from home using the link on the school website (Go to the Coronavirus Guidance section) as well as a large number of websites.
Message for parents who are classed as 'Key Workers'.
The official guidance from the British Government is "You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should."
The Government has asked that if workers think they fall within critical employment categories they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of an ‘essential public service’. We will be asking parents/carers to provide that confirmation from their employer. Most companies and organisations in those sectors are providing a letter to employees. If you believe that you work in one of the critical sectors listed in the document (link below) we ask you to provide us with evidence. We understand you may not yet have this evidence. However, we will insist upon it at some stage this week. We will provide a deadline in the coming days. Without such evidence, we will no longer be able to welcome your child into school. You can a) bring the evidence to school if you are dropping off your child of a morning b) send the evidence in with your child or c) email the evidence to email@example.com stating your child's name, Year Group, the name of your employer and a phone number of the company you work for. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
If your child is entitled to a Free School Meal please refer to this guidance from Knowsley. Students who are children of Key Workers or in a vulnerable group who attend school will get a meal as usual. The nearest pick up point to school for those students who are not in school is the New Hutte Children and Families Hub on Lichfield Road. Our current understanding that is also the case for those students who do not live in Knowsley.
Students in Years 7, 10 & 11 were given this letter this afternoon. Parents of ALL students are urged to read it carefully. Thank you to those of you who have completed today's updated survey about Key Workers. This has been very helpful. School reserves the right to decide if someone is classed as a Key Worker or not. We ask you to carefully follow the guidance that is in the letter. School will be staffed over the coming days and weeks. We are putting together a programme of study for children who are allowed to come to school. We will do our best to ensure a variety of subjects. Students who attend DO NOT need to wear school uniform. If they need a PE kit we will let you know on advance. We are operating normal school hours. We are still waiting for information on 1) Free School Meals 2) Cancellation of the trips to Austria and Poland so please understand that we cannot comment on these yet. When we can, we will. This week has been unique. Your children and our staff have been superb. Thank you.
Students who are not in school can find work by using these details.
By far the easiest way to access this is through RM Unify. Students log into this most days in school. They use their usual school email address and password. When they log on there is a page of 'tiles' - see picture. The one to click one is PUPIL SHAREPOINT. Click on that and you go straight to the folder. You can also open Educake and Seneca this way. Work will be provided in all subjects over time. More work will be added in the coming days. We ask all parents in these cases to urge your child to engage, if possible, with the following online platforms – Hegarty Maths, Seneca Learning, Educake and BBC Bitesize. These are accessible on any device connected to the internet.
Work will be provided in all subjects over time. More work will be added in the coming days. We ask all parents in these cases to urge your child to engage, if possible, with the following online platforms – Hegarty Maths, Seneca Learning, Educake and BBC Bitesize. These are accessible on any device connected to the internet.
Thanks to all parents who have been in touch with school over the last few days.We are dealing with a large number of queries at this time so please be patient if you have to wait to speak to someone.
The government is still asking all schools to remain open.We have not been given any indication that this will change.However, the situation remains fluid.It seems inevitable that staff absence levels will increase in the days or weeks ahead as colleagues are instructed to self-isolate, either because they are ill themselves or because someone in their household has become poorly. While we have processes in place to cover such scenarios, it is possible that our resources in this respect will be stretched.If, at any point, a decision is made to close the school, either in full or partially, we will do our best to communicate any news to parents and students as quickly as possible.For this reason, it is important that we have the correct phone numbers on our system – if you have changed your number and think we may not have it please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name and address.
The Government has introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
If you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
The symptoms are:
A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
A new, continuous cough
The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:
IMPORTANT - If you have informed school that your child is off school because they are being ‘self isolated’ you MUST keep them off school for 14 days.Please do not send your child back into school – if you do, we will contact you to pick them up.
Several parents have contacted the school to ask for work while their child is off in ‘self-isolation’.Due to the high number of students who are currently off school it is not possible to provide individual packs of work – this also minimises infection as we do not want to send staff out to the homes of those in self-isolation.We ask all parents in these cases to urge your child to engage, if possible, with the following online platforms – Hegarty Maths, Seneca Learning, Educake and BBC Bitesize.These are accessible on any device connected to the internet.
Educational Trips – given the Government’s travel advice today restricting all non-essential travel for 30 days, it is safe to assume the ski trip will not take place.Equity, the travel company, are not discussing any trips with schools until they are 14 days or less from departure - so we presume they will make contact on Friday 20th March.Also, Interski will be offering refunds to parents who have hired clothing from them as well as refunds to anyone who has purchased clothing or equipment from them so long as they still have the original packaging, tags and items are in a resalable condition.
The trip to Poland comes after the 30 day period but we are anticipating that this trip will also be cancelled.As soon as we have any news to communicate, we will do so.
For both trips, we do not have any formal update on insurance, refunds or rebooking yet but will seek all information on this when we are contacted by the travel companies.We are unable to comment further on this until they make contact.
In light of recent events we want to assure you that we take the health and safety of our students and staff very seriously. We cannot give advice to parents other than that which is produced by the government through Public Health England. Please continue to use this as your source of reliable information. We will use both our website and our social media accounts to pass on the messages from central government and any other important updates.
School trips to Austria & Poland
We are aware of the Government's advice regarding school trips abroad. As soon as we have information from the travel companies we will communicate it to all parents through the usual channels.
Should the situation change and a school closure is enforced, we will communicate with all parents. We will do our best to ensure that we can provide work for all students that they can access from home. If and when this is necessary, we will provide further details.