We are delighted to welcome all of our students back to Alcester Academy. Students are now able to move around the school freely participating in all their lessons in specialist classrooms. We continue to encourage regular hand washing, use of the hand sanitisers around the school and maintaining a healthy social distance from each other. We begin the new term with masks being a choice of the individual, however we will act on advice from Public Health England if this needs to be
re-introduced in the future.
We have updated the Google Class codes for the new school year, so please refer to this if your child is struggling to join. Please contact school reception if you have any difficulties.
Students will continue to receive homework on Google Classroom; however, they will also be able to take exercise books home to complete written homework from this point.
In the event of your child missing school due to COVID-19 or having to isolate whilst awaiting a test result or if we encounter any further whole school closures, all of our COVID -19 information and guidance and our expectations are set out below.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, it is critical that you contact the headteacher please in order to update us with the last date that your child was in school firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
For a COVID-19 related query visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Remote Education Provision
Information for parents
The purpose of the information on this page is to provide clarity and transparency for parents in how the Academy provides remote education for all its students. The FAQ format will provide detailed information on how your child’s education will be accessed, delivered, assessed, monitored and communicated back to you.
The Remote Curriculum
What should my child expect from remote education?
During any period of remote learning, you child will be expected to engage in normal timetabled lessons accessing the same curriculum as they would if in school. All lessons will be conducted through Google Classroom, with the vast majority of lessons taught live in real time according to the student’s usual timetable of subjects. This link provides access to all of the long term plans that teaching and lessons will continue to follow:
Remote teaching and study time each day
How many hours per day is my child expected to be learning and when should they take breaks?
There will be no change to the set timetable during remote learning. Your child will log on for English at the same time as they would have done in school etc.
There will be a slight reduction from the usual hour long lesson to 45 minutes to allow for the increased screen time your child has. This will allow students to take a short break, upload work from their lesson, log onto the new classroom and prepare for the next lesson in a calm and organised manner.
Remote learning timetable will therefore run as follows:
Accessing Remote Curriculum
All lessons will be conducted through Google Classroom. This link takes you to the list of all of the subject codes to access all of the classrooms.
In addition we have an inter-house classroom that provides access to House competitions.
In addition to Google Classroom, teachers and students have access to:
- Doddle, Teacher made and Quizziz used by the science department
- Bedrock Reading and Seneca used by the English department
- Oak Academy and BBC Bitesize resources
- Accelerated Reading - https://ukhosted26.renlearn.co.uk/1893467/
- myON - https://www.myon.co.uk/login/index.html are used by the Learning Resource Centre ( LRC) in conjunction with the English department
- Quzlet is used by our MFL department
- Mymaths, sumdog, desmos and drfrostmaths.are used by the maths department
- http://www.code.org/ https://scratch.mit.edu/ https://trinket.io/ https://smartrevise.craigndave.org/ are used by our IT department
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
It is very important that parents and students communicate any access or equipment issues to school. So far we have managed to lend 42 laptops to families. Despite these high numbers, we have capacity to lend out further devices to those in need.
Our team of dedicated LSU staff (Learning Support Unit) make weekly contact with students and parents to support and deal with any problems. In addition, there are two email routes to resolve technical problems:
We have set up a Google training room which contains tutorial videos and other resources to aid you as a parent/carer to help your son/daughter navigate their way through Google Classroom and the apps related to it.
We also provide the contact details for all of our Subject Leaders within school who are happy to respond to any queries within their area.
What format will the lessons be in during Remote Learning?
The vast majority of lessons will be live and in real time. Dependent on the content, teachers will remain online for the entire lesson or remain on for the start of the lesson to set up the tasks and answer any questions, often to meet up with students again at the end of the lesson. Occasionally, with the students’ permission, lessons will be recorded and placed on the lesson stream. This enables those who had connection issues or those who were absent to access the lesson content afterwards.
Subject exercise books and revision guides will be made available to students in KS4 to support with their learning and revision.
Safeguarding and keeping students safe during remote learning
All online lessons should be delivered by school staff in accordance with the school’s safeguarding and child protection, staff behaviour (code of conduct) and acceptable use of ICT policies. The school will take account of guidance from DfE in relation to the planning and delivery of online learning when it is issued; as well as nationally recognised guidance including guidance from the UK Safer Internet Centre on safe remote learning and London Grid for Learning on the use of videos and livestreaming. The school will ensure that online learning tools and systems are used in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.
Staff will always use school owned technology and accounts for the delivery of remote lessons. SLT will randomly sample recorded lessons in order to safeguard pupils/students. The school recognises that school is a protective factor for children and young people and that the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 virus may well affect the mental health of some pupils/students and/or their parents/carers.
All staff will maintain as awareness of those issues in communications with children and their parents/carers including when setting expectations of pupils’ work when they are at home.
If you have any safeguarding concerns please do not hesitate to contact us:
Designated safeguarding lead - Karenbuckthorp@alcesteracademy.org.uk
Deputy safeguarding lead - Juliequirke@alcesteracademy.org.uk
- Useful contact and advice can also be on our main website under support organisations - https://www.alcesteracademy.org.uk/links/support-organisations
- CHILDLINE - https://www.childline.org.uk/
Here is some advice for students when participating in remote learning lessons:
- Children must wear suitable clothing (No PJ’s!)
- Any computers used should ideally be in shared areas and the background should be blurred.
- Students need to use appropriate language when in live lessons and also when using the “stream” function on Google Classroom. Other family members should also be aware of their language when in the background.
- Students should not give out their passwords or Google Classroom codes to any other students.
Here are some reminders to keep students safe as they spend more time online:
- Ensure that all your settings on social media are set to private and regularly check these as updates can change them.
- Only communicate with people online that you know
- Don’t arrange to meet anyone you have met online that do not know.
- Do not give out any personal details including your school, address to anyone you do not know.
- Remember to block or report to CEOP any unwanted communication online
- Remember your digital footprint – when you post something it will always be there.
Engagement and Feedback
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
There is a firm expectation that students will log on to lessons at the correct time, participate and turn in work. Some students will be able to self-regulate these expectations, other will require support and encouragement at home. We appreciate that families have lots of commitments to manage during a period of school closure, often managing other siblings and their own jobs. Therefore, we aim to provide as much guidance and support as we can. We provide a helpsheet for students to use and for parents to discuss with them on their return from work. This will help students to be well prepared and organised and enable parents to chat about what has been covered during each day.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We believe a two-way communication process is essential to every child thriving during a remote learning period. The Academy has established a regular and rigorous monitoring system that keeps all parents and carers up to date with their child’s progress. Within school we have a tracker which teachers update on a weekly basis. From the information on this tracker, we send out weekly Praise/Star emails to inform parents and carers that their child is making a concerted effort to keep up with work and are progressing well as a result. Every two weeks we send out a concern emails- this alerts parents that teachers are not receiving work from students and participation is not where we expect it to be. Parents can then seek additional information from teachers before approaching students to find out what the problem may be.
If a student remains a concern, we have number of strategies to try and help re-engage that student with their education. Our trained LSU staff will make contact from a welfare point of view to offer support and specific strategies to support the family.
Our designated catch up co-ordinators will make contact from a progress point of view with strategies aimed to close the gap that may be increasing due to non-engagement. Other strategies such as regular video chats, SLT door to door welfare checks are also part of our monitoring and support package.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Feedback takes many forms when students are working in school and in a remote learning context. We feedback on work in the following ways:
- Written comments alongside the work
- Automatically generated quiz scores
- The use of verbal recorded comments linked to pieces of work
- Whole class feedback within the body of the lesson
Supporting children not in school
Any child classed as vulnerable children will be invited into school. For those who decide they do not want to take up a place, then they will be regularly contacted by the LSU / safeguarding team. Any meetings with external agencies will continue to take place virtually. The DSL will continue to communicate with other professionals involved with a child/family such as social workers and family support workers.
The school will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan in order to safeguard the child.
The school will continue to share safeguarding messages on its website, social media pages and via newsletters.
Supporting children in school
The school will continue to be a safe space for all children who attend during the COVID-19 virus. Whenever the school is open and to maximise safety, the headteacher will ensure that appropriate numbers of staff are on site and that staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate.
The school will ensure that government guidance for education and childcare settings in respect of social distancing and advice from Public Health England in respect of handwashing and other protective measures to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 is followed regularly and robustly. All children attending school will be provided with appropriate emotional support, bespoke to their needs, assessed vulnerability and circumstances.
Check out these guides and others at National Online Safety www.nationalonlinesafety.co.uk
Additional Support for students with particular needs
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
We recognise that some pupils, for example some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), may not be able to access remote education without support from adults at home. We acknowledge the difficulties this may place on families, and we will work with parents and carers to support those pupils in the following ways:
- All students with Education and Health Care Plans, EHCPs, are invited into school to receive support directly. Regular contact and updates are maintained for those not in school, where their needs can be met at home, and liaison with teachers made requiring differentiated resources or timetables.
- Those children who do not have an EHCP but also require a high level of support and are having difficulties accessing work online are also invited into school following liaison with the SENCO, Mrs Bush and the Senior Leader Team.
- Specialist teachers from SEND Supported are continuing to advise parents / carers and carry out assessments where possible remotely on behalf of Alcester Academy.
- Teaching assistants, TA’s, access online lessons to work alongside teachers to support students with particular needs.
- TAs are carrying out one to one sessions online via Google Meet or Microsoft TEAMs to maintain one to one interventions where possible.
- Review meetings are carried out remotely via Microsoft TEAMs.
- The SENCO continues to be available to contact should any parent/carer have any concerns or queries regarding SEND and their child.
Remote education for self-isolating pupils
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
Our ‘Blended Learning’ offer refers to the provision made for students if we should have to ask a student bubble to isolate and work from home. This will most likely be for a period of 14 days in total.
Our ‘Self Isolation’ classrooms are in place for students who are not attending school whilst waiting for test results, or in isolation as a result of family members isolating. As with our remote learning strategy, the teacher will provide work that falls within the long term plans. If this is not possible, in circumstance where practical lessons are taking place and students cannot be assigned work in their usual subject Google Classrooms, they can find work in these areas:
KS3 Year 7 and 8
KS4 Years 9-11
Maths (Further Maths/Stats Y9)
Letters to Parents
In the event of being concerned that your child is presenting with COVID-19 symptoms out of hours (evening or weekends), please contact email@example.com urgently. Thank you.
Guidance on testing your child at home
Quotes from February 2021
I think the teachers are doing an amazing job of keeping the children interested and engaged. Structure and high expectations are key to success. I am delighted with the approach that AA takes with distance learning.
My child enjoys it and is fully engaged; it allows him more thinking/processing time.
Great job to all staff (teaching and non teaching). The live lessons definitely help bring structure to the day - and submitting work at the end of each lesson ensures everything is finished in a timely manner.
Well done all - and keep going! Alcester Academy continues to provide outstanding distance learning opportunities to both our children. They are fully engaged with the live lessons and get fantastic feedback form teachers.
I think that all of the work and efforts of the Academy staff have been fantastic. I really can’t fault it at all.
The school really is brilliant and I’m so proud that my son is a member of the Academy family. My son is engaged and enjoying his online lessons. He is really motivated by star of the week and feels very supported by his subject teachers. He is excited by the forthcoming options process! He has just received some outstanding pastoral support today.
I couldn’t be happier with the current provision! Where to begin... real time lessons - perfect these were so needed easier for children and also myself as a parent as minimum supervision required just at the end of the day to check everything in order. Subject teachers - excellent, lessons are well prepared in advance, on time - some of the late evenings these teachers are working are very late, but very appreciated that they care so much to do this in order to make the next day move so well, lots of feedback to children.
Working from home has allowed me to see daughters strengths & areas of improvement more clearly myself.
Overall communication - couldn't ask for more.
Just one word for how Alcester Academy are dealing with the current lockdown/home schooling, BRILLIANT!
The staff are going above and beyond and today when my son was at home as I was able to work from home I heard the warmth and kindness in teachers’ voices during live lessons. It was lovely.
The live lessons have really helped. (Year 9 student)
You have handled the learning really well. (Year 7 student)
Thank you for all the support you are giving us during these times. (Year 10 student)
I love the headteacher's challenges; they are really fun to get involved in. (Year 10 student)
I feel ahead with all my subjects. (Year 9 student)
Just a BIG THANK YOU! (Year 10 student)
It is really good a having a timetable & live lessons. (Year 7 student)
I like the assembly meets; they help me to know these little extra things to help me during the week. (Year 9 student)"
You are a brilliant school and are doing your best. Thank you. (Year 8 student)
I think the academy has helped a lot to keep me on track and to keep me as focused as they could. (Year 8 student)
I am very thankful for all the hard work you are putting into us, thank you. (Year 11 student)