20th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Re: Government Announcement on School Closures

As you will be aware, following the government’s announcement on 18th March 2020, Hollingworth Academy closed for the vast majority of pupils from the end of the day on Friday 20th March 2020. At this moment in time, we are unable to confirm what date school will re-open. We will be led by the national guidance.

It is utterly important to us to say that the wellbeing of our staff, pupils, community and families is and always will be our utmost priority.

The school is working closely with Public Health England, NHS colleagues and the Local Authority to monitor the situation and is following guidance from Public Health or NHS about isolation expectations.

If your child becomes unwell during the closure period:

If your child or any member of the household develops any symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been in close contact with someone who has this, the advice from the NHS is;

Once you have taken advice, please can you keep us up to date of the advice you have been given. To report a case of coronavirus during the school closure, please email alerts@hollingworthacademy.co.uk . Please can you also notify us via the alerts email address if they have been advised to self-isolate.

A reminder of the symptoms (This information is taken from the NHS website):

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu

What can be done to prevent infection?

It is often impossible to prevent infection; however, taking good hygiene measures around someone who is infected can decrease your chance of getting infected.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit the Public Health England website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

Communication during the closure period:

We will be updating the school website and social media on a regular basis to keep parents/carers fully informed of the situation.

Full details about contacting the school are on the homepage of the Hollingworth Academy website. The school will have a phone line available during the hours of 8am to 4pm for parents/carers to contact the school. Queries will be passed to relevant members of Hollingworth staff. As always, thank you for your support and understanding.

Access to school work during the closure period

During the closure the school will provide work to be done for all pupils. Hollingworth staff are working hard on developing ways to provide the best possible learning experiences under the current circumstances.

Up to Easter, work will be set each day on the school VLE. Pupils can access this by going on to the school website and clicking on the link for the VLE or by typing in www.hollingworth.firecloud.net and entering their login details.

Pupil work
  • Pupils are to check the VLE each morning.
  • Pupils are expected to complete five lessons of work lasting one hour.
  • Make sure you title and date your work
  • If pupils get stuck they should attempt the question but then move onto the next question or task.
  • Teachers will have set tasks for lessons that they would normally teach on that day. The only exceptions are PSHE, KS3 PE and The Edge.
  • The tasks set will have been named using the following format: Lesson in the week- Subject- Topic for example: L1 Science – Cell Biology.
  • Pupils are to complete the work set and then ‘mark it as done’ by ticking the box that accompanies the work.
  •  Completion of tasks will be monitored by staff.
  • On returning to school work will be reviewed by staff.
  • For help on how to use the VLE and marking work as done see the sheet called ‘Using the VLE Instructions for pupils’ and marking work as done.
Parental Access to the Parent Portal

The parent portal allows you to view your child’s virtual learning environment using your own account. It gives you access to all the resources that are available to the pupils and to work that has been set for your child. You can monitor what work they are completing and what work is still left to be done.

If you have already set up your parent portal you can continue to use it as normal. If you have not yet set up your parent portal you can follow the instructions on the attached sheet called ‘Accessing and Using the Parent Portal.’

The tasks teachers are setting for your children should last approximately 1 hour although they can spend more time if they wish to.

The tasks set will have been named using the following format: Lesson in the week- Subject- Topic for example:

L1 - Science – Cell Biology.

We will not be setting work for PSHE, The Edge or KS3 PE.

In addition, we suggest the following recommendations:

We hope that normal arrangements for your child’s attendance at school will be able to resume as soon as possible. We hope that you and your family are well and will inform you of any updates when we are able to do so.

Yours sincerely

Mr D Randle

Headteacher

Question and Answers

What will happen if the VLE is not working or my child does not know their login details?

If you have any issues accessing the VLE please see the advice and guidance available on the school website https://hollingworthacademy.co.uk/.

In addition, there will be technical support available via itsupport@hollingworthacademy.co.uk during normal school hours and you can also report any problems with the VLE via this contact.

If we experience a temporary issue with the, we would put a notice on our website.

What if we have no access to the internet?

We will provide paper-based tasks from core subjects to pupils for whom it is indicated that this will create a difficulty. We will have packs available to collect from reception.

What if my child does not understand the work?

Staff will take care to ensure that all explanations and tasks are explained as clearly as possible. Pupils will need to show high levels of responsibility and resilience when working independently. We would recommend that pupils contact friends or classmates to support one another and using search engines and online videos for further research. Adults and older siblings at home may also be able to support.

What if my child has worked hard, but has not completed all of the work set for that lesson.

We understand that pupils’ work rates may be different, especially in mixed ability classes. Staff may indicate a minimum expectation for the work that should be completed by all pupils. There is not an expectation that pupils should work beyond an hour per subject per day but should be mindful that they are being focussed and productive during the hour.

What if my child is unwell?

If your child becomes unwell during this period, they would not be expected to complete the work set. You could indicate this with a note in their exercise books.

What about pupils with additional learning needs?

Mrs Eaton has contacted all families with pupils on the SEND register. If you feel that you should have note received this information, please let the school know using the senco@hollingworthacademy.co.uk email address.

How can I support my child?

Talk to your son/daughter about their study pattern

Log on to the VLE using the Parent Portal to view the tasks being set so that you are informed. If possible, look at the tasks set on the VLE together each morning and work out when they will attempt each one.

At the end of the day, ask them to show you what they have done and ask them what they have learned. You might ask them to teach it to you or ask them questions to check their understanding.

If there have been any significant difficulties or misunderstandings, write a note for the class teacher in the exercise book to explain the issue.