I write at the mid-point of the Easter holiday to remind you of the support we will be offering students and our community when term starts next week; Tuesday 14th April. As you will be aware, following the announcement by our government to close schools and colleges, we will not be starting what is our final session of the year in the normal manner. Sadly, we will only be open to students who have an Education, Health and Care plan, social workers and those whose parents are defined as key workers. Teachers next week will restart the setting of work on Class Charts to guide students in their learning. We appreciate that as time goes on there will be increasing challenges with home learning so please be assured that the college is working hard to identify new and novel ways to keep students motivated and inspired. We will be trying our best to keep some systems running as normal. Staff will be able to award House Points and we will celebrate the highest achievers each week, we will appoint our new House Captains and Student Leadership Teams and of course we will award the House Cup at the end of term. We are also aware that it has now been some time since we have heard from many of our students in person. Therefore, I have asked tutors to make contact with their tutees via email next week. Please encourage students to check their email and reply to their tutor so we are updated on how they are and make us aware of any issues they are facing.
If you are intending to send your child to college, as they fall into at least one of the categories listed above, please can I remind you of the need to contact Mrs Jewell via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by tomorrow, Wednesday 8th April. Please let us know what days between Tuesday 14th April and Friday 24th April you will require access to this provision. This information is critical so we have adequate supervision and facilities in place to ensure the safety of all staff and students. Please also remember to complete the transport request form distributed on the 27th March if school transport is needed. It can also be found on a link on our website (https://bidefordcollege.org/letter-to-parents/). Unfortunately, any students who arrive at college who do not fall into these categories will needed to be collected immediately. I will write at the end of the week to update parents whose children will be accessing the on-site provision in the coming weeks with any additional information.
As before, we aim to keep as many lines of communications open between parents, students and the college as is possible in the current climate. The switchboard will be operating a greatly reduced service but we can be contacted on 01237 477611 between 8.45am and 3.15pm. All staff will be working from home so please contact tutors, teaching staff, learning support assistants and Heads of House via email if you have any issues or concerns. A full list of email addresses can be found on our website ( https://bidefordcollege.org/teaching-faculty-contact-details/). However please do not, under any circumstances, come onto the college site.
Please be reassured that all the staff at Bideford College are committed to supporting our whole community at this very difficult time. Keep in touch with us throughout the coming weeks and let us know if we can support you in any way.
Dr Claire Ankers