20
MAR
2020

Message to Parents and Carers – Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

After what has been a very hectic week it is with sadness that I write this evening to remind you that from today Bideford College will be closed to the majority of our students until further notice. For the foreseeable future students will need to work from home. However, I would like to reassure you that the staff of Bideford College are committed to ensuring all our children and families are supported as best as possible during this uncertain time.

Remote learning

Your child’s learning throughout this period of school closure remains very important to us, so we will continue to make every effort to help your child to continue to learn while the school is closed.

  • All students should ensure that they have their login details for Class Charts and for all learning platforms used by respective faculties. Any issues should be directed to their tutor who will be able to resend you the log-in details.
  • Work will be set for students for each lesson on Class Charts in each of their timetabled subjects. For some subjects, work may be set that covers multiple lessons.
  • Students are advised to keep everything as normal as possible and follow the structure of their timetable. It is also important that they adhere to the lesson timings and break times. Maintaining routines will make their return to school in the future easier for them. Where possible, support your children to follow and adhere to this structure, as some will inevitably find it difficult.
  • We expect students to attempt the learning activities and work set, to the best of their abilities. Where issues arise their class teacher can be emailed for additional support or guidance. The email contact of teaching staff and tutors can be found on our website https://bidefordcollege.org/teaching-faculty-contact-details/. Teaching staff have been asked to check their emails routinely through the working week if their personal circumstances allows them to do so.
  • There are also sections of our website that will help you support your child. The curriculum page outlines the topics covered in each subject https://bidefordcollege.org/curriculum/ and the independent learning section lists useful, subject specific resources. https://bidefordcollege.org/independent-learning/

 

It may be that the normal work your child would be doing at school requires access to resources and technology that your child doesn’t have at home. Please don’t worry, do your best with the resources you have available.  We have sent packs of work home to students who we believe do not have access to ICT at home. If this applies to your child and you have not received this work please contact Mrs Jewell who will arrange for this to be done.

 

Free school meals

The government have confirmed they have developed a national approach to supporting the replacement of free school meals with supermarket vouchers. You should have been contacted by the college today to discuss this. However, if you have not been contacted please email Mrs Jewell on ajewell@bidefordcollege.org

 

Extra-Curricular activities

Unfortunately, all off-site visits, extra-curricular activities, and sporting fixtures will cease with immediate effect.

 

GCSE, A-Level and other examinations

HM Government have confirmed that all assessments and examinations have been cancelled for this academic year. To be clear, this means that any student who was due to sit examinations this summer, will no longer do so.  I will update the parents of affected students later today.

 

Links to current advice

(Do check these pages regularly as they are updated constantly.)

  • NHS Health information and advice

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

  • Guidance for educational settings on COVID-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

  • Ofquals ‘further’ statement on coronavirus re Examinations

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-a-further-statement

  • Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

  • Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable people at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

  • Guidance for students in receipt of free school meals

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-set-out-to-support-pupils-eligible-for-free-school-meals

  • Guidance over the closure of schools and colleges

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

  • Key worker professions

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

I will be writing to key worker parents who have requested support from the college, those with children who have an Education, Health and Care plan and/or a social worker separately to outline the care provision we will be putting in place at the college next week. Unfortunately, any children who arrive at College who do not fall into these categories of exempt children will need to be collected immediately.

I want to reassure that whilst the college is closed from Monday 23rd March, we will endeavour to maintain as many lines of communications open as possible. The switchboard will be operating a greatly reduced service but we can be contacted on 01237 477611. As mentioned earlier our staff are working from home so during the term time please contact tutors, teaching and Heads of House if you have any issues or concerns.

As soon as I have any new information or details of when we may open I will write again. In the meantime, on behalf of all the staff at the college I hope that our families stay healthy and supported in the months ahead.

 

Best wishes

Dr C Ankers
Principal