Dear Parents and Carers,
Full school closure – Tuesday 5th January 2021
Like many of you, we watched the Prime Minister’s announcement last night which told us that schools would be closed to most pupils from Tuesday 5th January 2021 until further notice. The Prime Minister, and the following Government guidance, suggested that this will remain in effect until the February half-term, although we are aware that this is a developing situation, and those plans may change in the future.
Critical workers and vulnerable children
We want to reassure our pupils, parents, carers, families, staff and wider community, that the school remains open to those children whose responsible adults are critical workers (please see the definition from the Government by clicking here) and those children who are considered vulnerable. This list has been updated by the Government with additional key workers from other occupations, particularly in response to the Brexit transition.
Should you wish for your child to continue to attend school, please e-mail the school using the enquiry e-mail address:
We ask that you that you provide evidence confirming your role as a critical worker in your e-mail. This can be in the form of a lanyard, a letter from your employer, or similar documentation.
Those children attending school will continue following the remote learning timetable using our facilities in school.
Public tests and examinations
Public vocational exams and assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned.
Summer Exams will not go ahead as planned. The Secretary of State will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements and more details will be published in due course.
BTEC/vocational Examinations taking place over the forthcoming weeks
All external assessments for BTEC and vocational qualifications will continue to take place over the next few weeks. If your child is scheduled to attend an external examination for their BTEC or vocational qualification, they must attend school in time for their exam to take place, adhering to social distancing at all times. After the assessment, your child will be sent back home.
All children across the Trust will be able to access remote learning.
Remote learning will commence for all pupils from Wednesday 6th January 2021.
We remain committed to providing your child with access to remote learning and we are following the Government guidance on what this should look like including:
- Set assignments so that pupils have meaningful and ambitious work each day in a number of different subjects
- Set work that is of equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school, and as a minimum: primary: 3 hours a day, on average, across the school cohort; secondary: 4 hours a day, with more for pupils working towards formal qualifications this year
- Provide frequent, clear explanations of new content, delivered by a teacher or through high-quality curriculum resources or videos
- Have systems for checking, at least weekly, whether pupils are engaging with their work, and inform parents immediately where engagement is a concern
- Gauge how well pupils are progressing through the curriculum using questions and other suitable tasks, and provide feedback, at least weekly, using digitally facilitated or whole-class feedback where appropriate
- Enable teachers to adjust the pace or difficulty of what is being taught in response to questions or assessments, including, where necessary, revising material or simplifying explanations to ensure pupils’ understanding
We will continue to monitor your child’s progress as they learn from home, and we are working on new methods of communicating to you about your child’s performance.
We have provided additional information on how your child can access remote learning via our website. Click here to read more.
Free school meal vouchers
We have not yet received information from Birmingham City Council or the Government concerning the ongoing provision of free school meal vouchers. Once we have received this information, we will share this with you.
Please note that if your family is eligible to receive free school meals, you can request that we provide a daily packed lunch by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org before 11AM each day. Your packed lunch will then be available for collection from Waverley School Main Reception.
Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from the schools through a range of different methods:
- News posts on our websites
- Announcements made via social media (primarily Twitter)
- E-mails sent via ParentMail
- Text messages sent via ParentMail (urgent matters only)
- Telephone calls from teachers, tutors, and pastoral members of staff.
We ask that you remain vigilant to communications from our schools, and continue to check our websites regularly for updates.
As more information is provided from the Department for Education, we will share this with you as soon as practically possible.
Our pupils’ welfare is of the utmost importance to us, and whilst our children are working from home, we would never wish for them to feel any less involved with our school community.
We have published guides and information for families for whom this lockdown will be a difficult. These early help measures are designed to support you, and your community, during this testing time. You can view more details of this support by clicking here.
For our pupils, we have our Wellbeing Hub which is published to them via our Student Portal. They can sign in to this site for guides on health, wellbeing, safety, and security. They also have access to our staff with whom they can contact through the communication channels set up by the individual schools. We are confident that in need any child can make contact with a responsible adult within their school. Our pastoral team, teachers, and senior leaders will continue to work throughout the lockdown to secure our children’s safety and wellbeing.
Lateral flow testing/Covid-19 testing in schools
We will provide updates for testing for Covid-19 amongst our staff and pupils who are attending school during this lockdown period in due course.
We know that this news of a further lockdown will be troubling to many of you. We remain open to those that need it the most within our community, and our teachers will continue to provide your child with high quality learning from home.
Thank you, in advance, for your efforts to support our work and to aid your child in their learning. We look forward to the day when we can open our doors again and welcome our entire school community back.
Mr J. Anderson
Waverley Studio College