Letter from the Headteacher - 22.05.2020

Dear Parent / Carer

I hope you are all well and managing to remain safe? As we approach the May half term week I wanted to get in touch and update you on the current situation at South Craven.

As a school, our staff are continuing to provide support for a small group of students who are classed as vulnerable or have parents who work in critical employment sectors.  This care will continue after half term and I am proud of the role the staff have played in supporting parents of these young people during the last seven weeks. I can confirm that we will be closed to all students during the half term break and that teachers will not be setting work for their classes during the week.

After half term, we will continue to set work remotely for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 as well as continuing to provide revision and bridging work for our Year 11 and 13 students.  Recent parental feedback has told us that you have been very happy with the quality of work set, the levels of communication and the amount of support that we have been providing.  This is great to hear.  We have also listened to feedback about the need for more detailed explanation and teaching in some areas of the curriculum and have put some new ideas in place in the last week.  This will mean that our teachers may well use different methods to produce recorded lessons on google classroom for your child to ensure they have clear explanations of the work set.  We are also looking to introduce live or interactive lessons for some Year 12 students once we know that the right safeguarding protocols are in place. More on this after half term.

In order to give parents further guidance on how to support their child completing work at home, I have provided the link below to a new Government paper advising parents and carers on how to support the home learning of secondary school children (Years 7 – 11):

As parents, I am sure that you have been aware of the continuing debate about the return of young people to school from 1st June.  As I stated last week, the expectation for secondary schools is to begin planning for the possibility of providing some face to face support for Year 10 and 12 students to supplement their remote education. There is no expectation that Year 10 and 12 will return on a full time basis but the focus will be on limiting the attendance of students and keeping them in small groups.

As a school we have started to plan how this support would look for South Craven students. During this planning we have ensured that the health, safety and well-being of students and staff have been our main priority and have already worked through a rigorous risk assessment process. Alongside this, we are also aiming to ensure the support we provide is meaningful and helpful for the students and successfully supplements the work already being done at home. However, the delay in publication of further Government advice and guidance about the reopening of secondary schools has meant that we have been unable to finalise these plans, consult with staff and parents and move the process forward.  Therefore, because of the uncertainty of the situation I can confirm that the face to face support for Year 10 and 12 students will not begin in the first week after half term. Once the Government publishes specific guidance for secondary schools and confirms that it is safe for our students to return I will use the information to complete the planning for the face to face support, share it with you and ask you about your intentions for your child to gauge demand for places. I think it is important to emphasise that things may keep changing as the national debate about safety in schools continues but I want you to know that we will continue planning and preparing for any future changes with the best interests of South Craven students in mind. I will be in touch if there are further updates.

Finally, I want to issue my usual offer of support to you as parents as you continue to deal with this prolonged spell of home-learning and lockdown. Below I have attached a link to a website provided by Compass, which offers advice and support to children of all ages and parents during the crisis. I’d also like to remind you that your child’s Form Tutor and Head of Year are there if you have any questions or worries or you can contact our safeguarding team at any time on safeguarding@southcraven.org.

Thanks again for all your support of the school. Enjoy the half term week and remember to keep up with what is going on at school on our social media feeds.

Kind regards

Martyn Hill

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