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Updated 17 07 2020

Dear Parent/Carers

At the end of a very long term, I hope you will excuse a very long letter!  I feel it is important to give you as much information as possible as soon as possible about our likely arrangements for September.  However, as I alluded to in last week's letter, our plans may yet have to change should national or local circumstances change.  If that is the case, I will write to you as soon as possible in August.  In any case, I will write again at the end of August to provide reminders of how the new term will work.  

For now, I would like to draw your attention to the following points:

Year group bubbles and zones

The government guidance states that we should group students together in year group ‘bubbles’. Where possible we need to make sure that we avoid contact between these year group ‘bubbles’ during the school day. For a large academy like TLA this has presented a number of challenges - most notably, how to keep our year groups separate at break time, lunch time and between lessons where our corridors can get rather busy!  Each year group will be allocated a specific zone which they must go to at break times and lunch times.  They will also have a specific zone for eating lunch in the atrium and main hall.  Students must not go to any other zone at these times other than the one to which they have been allocated.  

Orientation Week: week commencing 7 September 2020 

Our first step in this process is to have an ‘orientation week’ where each year group will have two days in the Academy adjusting to our ‘new normal’. During these two days students will be spending their whole time with their tutors following a tutor programme designed to support our young people transition back into full time schooling. For our new Year 7 and Year 12 students, they will follow a transition programme which ordinarily would have taken place in the Summer term. The dates are as follows:

Day

Year group to attend

Timings for the day

Monday 7 September

Year 12

Year 10

8:30-15:00

11:00-12:55

Tuesday 8 September

Years 7, 11 & 13

8:30-15:00

Wednesday 9 September

Years 7, 11 & 13

8:30-15:00

Thursday 10 September

Years 8, 9 & 12

8:30-15:00

Friday 11 September

Years 8, 9 & 10

8:30-14:30

Tutors will have a key role specifically supporting the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement; addressing and equipping students to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19) and supporting students with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing. We acknowledge that the work we do over these first few days is only the start of this process but it is important that we prioritise this work initially as we transition back into school. 

Break and lunch times will be staggered for students to avoid mixing between the year group ‘bubbles’ and students will be walked around the site and shown where their year group zones are located. We are recommending that students bring a snack for break time as the canteen will not be open until lunch time. If students wish to purchase food from the canteen at lunch time, we will initially be offering a packed lunch option only in each zone. Students entitled to free school meals will receive a packed lunch in their zone.  

Full Timetable begins week commencing 14 September: 

Staggered start and finish time

In the week commencing the 14 September, we will start our full teaching timetable. In order to minimise contact between our seven year group ‘bubbles’ we have temporarily had to stagger the start and finish time of the school day. Students should arrive at the academy and enter via the door nearest to their Period 1 lesson. They will not be allowed into the main building before the start of the school day and our breakfast club will initially remain closed. If a student arrives on site before the start of the school day, they need to wait in their zone (see below).  

We will also be modifying the usual timetable to minimise movement around the school.  I will confirm the details of this in August when all testing and modelling has been completed.  

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Year 12

Year 13

Start time

08:30

08:35

08:40

08:45

08:50

08:55

09:00

Finish time

14:30

14:35

14:40

14:45

14:50

14:55

15:00

Break/ lunch Zones

Front of the school

Sports hall grass / front of bike shed

Courtyard

Sixth Form car park / grass area

Y11 Common Room and outside grass area

Sixth Form and area behind science

Cleaning

At the start of each lesson, students will be expected to sanitise their hands using hand sanitiser and wipe down their workspace using an antibacterial wipe. At the end of each day all classrooms and communal areas will be deep cleaned by our cleaning team. We strongly recommend that students thoroughly wash their hands during break and lunch time and make use of the many hand sanitiser stations located around the building.

Staggered break and lunch time

By staggering the start of the school day, we are also then able to stagger when each year group has break and lunch time.

  • At the end of each lesson, students in each ‘bubble’ will have five minutes to leave the building and go to their assigned zone before the next ‘bubble’ starts to move. Year groups will need to remain in their zone during break and lunch time.
  • Each zone will be supervised by duty staff who will be following social distancing guidance remaining 2m away from students where reasonably possible. Some colleagues may choose to wear a visor or face mask while on duty and we encourage students to respect this decision. 
  • There will be no access to the main building, 3G or library at break and lunch time with the exception of the toilets. 
  • We recommend students bring in their own food for break time as the canteen will be closed until lunch time.
  • At lunch time we will be initially offering a packed lunch for students to purchase with a choice of sandwich fillings. We will review this after the first week.

Uniform

In line with official guidance, we expect students to wear full school uniform as detailed here on our website. If your child has PE or Dance on their timetable that day, they need to arrive in full TLA PE kit which they may wear all day. All of our changing rooms will be closed. 

Attendance

School attendance will be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence.  
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.  

 

We are mindful that some students and families may be anxious about the return to the academy in September. We do acknowledge this and ask that you discuss your concerns with your child’s Year Leader in the first instance who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance.

Year 7 - Mrs Bishop cbishop@tla.woodard.co.uk

Year 8 - Mrs Absalom kabsalom@tla.woodard.co.uk 

Year 9 - Mrs Gisbey cgisbey@tla.woodard.co.uk

Year 10 - Ms White cwhite@tla.woodard.co.uk

Year 11 - Mrs Finneran-Arm nfinneran-arm@tla.woodard.co.uk

And finally…

We are looking forward to welcoming all of our students back to the academy in the autumn term; however, it is important that we are still vigilant because the coronavirus has not gone away. As such, if one of our students is unwell and has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or someone in their household has symptoms, they must not attend the Academy. 

If anyone in the Academy becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

Ensuring that students, staff and other adults do not come into the academy if they have symptoms or have tested positive in the last 7 days, and ensuring anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home, are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

End of term virtual celebration assembly 

Our end of term celebration assembly took place earlier today. I apologise for any technical issues you may have had accessing the Youtube link that was emailed to all parents. I hope you enjoyed celebrating our students achievements. The assembly can be found by using the following link:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm3cBVrlWoI

West Sussex Music Service – Holiday activities

Please find attached to this letter the WSCC ‘Music on the Menu’ leaflet. It includes a selection of links for you to explore over the holidays and an eclectic mix of lockdown music to watch, listen to and enjoy.

Focus on safeguarding - Staying safe and being a good friend on apps, sites and games

Children and young people have spent much more time on devices than ever before during lockdown, so as we approach the summer holidays, here is some information about staying safe online and principles you remind your children about.

There is a handy fridge flyer  toptipscorona.lgfl.net which you may want to print out and keep.

Please do not worry too much about screen time - think instead about screen quality, balance and mental health. The Children's Commissioner has provided a framework called the ‘Digital Five a Day’ with five things to think about each day to help put that into practice. 

It is really important children get the opportunity to chat to friends, so it's great to hear that many of them have been chatting online during lockdown. We are sure that this will continue over the summer, so please help us reinforce some key messages about appropriate behaviour to keep everyone safe and happy. 

There have been reports of children being upset by bullying on chat apps, as well as some very distressing images being shared between friendship groups. This can usually be avoided if we remind children and young people to look out for their friends, not say anything that they wouldn't like to hear themselves, and always stop or stand up for others if someone gets upset. 

Please remind your children never to share scary or rude images, even in order to complain about them. If they do see something that worries them or that might be wrong, all they need to do is ask for help from a trusted adult. They could talk to you or to us, or they may feel more comfortable talking anonymously to Childline. If you or they are concerned about an adult's behaviour towards a child online, report them to CEOP. And as a parent, you can also contact the NSPCC - O2 advice line on 0808 800 5002.

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful summer.

Dates for your diary:

Thurs 13 August              A Level Results Day

Thurs 20 August               GCSE Results Day

Thurs 3 September           INSET Day

Friday 4 September          INSET Day

w/c Mon 7 September Orientation Week. Please refer to schedule above for year    group specific days/times

w/c Mon 14 September    Full timetable resumes. Please see schedule above for staggered start and finish times 

 

Updated 10 07 2020

Dear Parent/Carers

Coronavirus update 

Under normal circumstances, this would be my penultimate letter to you before the start of the Autumn term.  However, my intention is to continue writing to you periodically over the summer period to ensure that you are kept fully apprised of the latest developments and updates regarding education at TLA.  This will include arrangements for the summer itself as well as our plans for September.  

Since the release of government guidance last week, we have been writing detailed plans about our opening arrangements for September and these will continue to be revised as more information becomes available to us.  It is clear that things will be very different at TLA for the foreseeable future: we are taking this opportunity to revise and improve our entire approach to education and school leadership.  

During August, I will be finalising plans that relate to pastoral care, student wellbeing, curriculum provision, teaching, learning and assessment.  As a Trust, we are adopting the following approach as we prepare for the new academic year:

  • Relationships:    we will provide time to build new or rebuild existing relationships with students to promote wellbeing and the social and emotional aspects of learning.
  • Routines: we will restore school routines that support student learning and wellbeing. 
  • Refresh: we will take the opportunities from the past months to refresh how we approach teaching and learning and parental engagement. 
  • Recognition and responsibility: we will recognise what pupils have experienced and learnt over the past months; we will be explicit through good assessment about what has not been learnt and the shared responsibility of schools, pupils and parents to enable this learning to happen.  
  • Rights and refinement: we will maintain students’ right to an ambitious broad and balanced curriculum, with refinements where necessary.        

In the meantime, I know that you will need to make your own plans and would appreciate some initial information about the times and dates of the new term, and these are provided below.  

Arrangements for the beginning of the Autumn term

Thursday 3 and Friday 4 September are INSET days and students are not expected to return to the academy until the week commencing Monday 7 September.  However, not all students will be in every day and this is to ensure that we can manage the transition back into the Academy for each year group in a safe and effective manner.  

Please see the schedule below:

Day

Year group to attend

Timings for the day

Monday 7 September

Year 12

Year 10

  8:30-15:00

11:00-12:55

Tuesday 8 September

Years 7, 11 & 13

8:30-15:00

Wednesday 9 September

Years 7, 11 & 13

8:30-15:00

Thursday 10 September

Years 8, 9 & 12

8:30-15:00

Friday 11 September

Years 8, 9 & 10

8:30-14:30

From week commencing Monday 14 September, we will be following the normal school day from 8:30-15:00 (14:30 on a Friday) for all year groups.

In addition to the previously advertised INSET and Closure days, we have added another closure day on Thursday 1 October. This will be an online academic progress day where we will be offering you virtual meetings with staff.  Further information will be sent out nearer the time.

Cessation of TLA Care

I am writing to confirm that, in line with government expectations, TLA Care will cease next Friday 17 July at 1pm.  Ms Greenhalgh, Vice Principal, will be writing to TLA Care parents imminently to confirm these arrangements.  

TLA Care has been open every weekday, including bank holidays, half term and Easter, since schools were closed to the majority of pupils on 20 March.  We began the service with almost no notice and since those early days of around 15 students joining us, numbers have increased to around sixty.  In that time, the operation has changed significantly in terms of staffing and activities and it is fair to say that it has been a journey for all of us!  

I would like to pay tribute to the resilience and positive attitude of the young people who have attended TLA Care during this time - and especially those students who have been here almost every day non-stop!  One of our values at TLA is ‘Persevere’ and our young people have clearly demonstrated their ability to keep going when things get tough.  I am extremely proud of them.  I would also like to thank the parents of these students for your support and kind words.  

I must also say a huge thank you to all of the TLA staff who have come into the academy over the last few months to provide onsite supervision, care and support to our young people.  Without them, we would not have been able to open our doors during this incredibly difficult time.  

End of term virtual celebration assembly 

For the first time ever, our end of year celebration assembly will take place online on Friday 17 July at 11am via our YouTube channel. I will email you a direct link in my letter next Friday but you will be able to find it on our channel here: YouTube Channel

We are hoping as many students and their families as possible will gather round a screen and join us to celebrate our students achievements. There will also be some short videos from staff. We hope you enjoy our first virtual whole academy assembly! 

GCSE Results Day & Sixth Form Enrolment – Thursday 20 August 2020

You will have received a letter explaining how our GCSE results day will work this summer. If your child is expecting GCSE and/or BTEC Level 2 results, they will be able to get them on the 20 August as planned. If a student cannot collect their own results, then a nominated person can collect their results for them, provided they have a signed letter from the student and a form of ID to verify who they are. Unfortunately, parents/carers will not be allowed to accompany their child onto the school site due to the coronavirus restrictions covered in our risk assessment.

The Hill Road entrance to the academy will be open from 9am. The exam results will be distributed in the Sports Hall. Students are invited to come at a time according to the first letter of their surname in order for social distancing to be maintained: 

9.00am             A - F 

9.30am             G - L 

10.00am           M - R 

10.30am           S - Z 

Please could we ask that students take the opportunity to return library books, revision guides and English set texts to the Sports Hall when they collect their results. Once your child has collected their results, they will need to make their way to the Dance Studio where they will be able to complete their enrolment to the Sixth Form. 

Career News

Big Bang Digital 2020 Science, engineering & Covid-19 Tuesday 14 July.

It’s just under a week till the #BigBangDigital website switches on its live stream. All young people (11+) can find something interesting and inspiring in the line-up, looking at all aspects of STEM in a pandemic.

The day starts with a panel of NHS frontline staff and ends with Gastronaut Stefan Gates leading an explosive, rainbow-inspired tribute to key workers with experiments to try at home. In between they have a packed program bursting with inspiring stories, featuring incredible people and celebrating the amazing work of scientists and engineers. Check out the programme

There are no tickets to buy, no places to reserve and it’s completely free. To watch live on Tuesday 14 July, just go to www.digitalbigbang.co.uk from 10am to 4pm.

Watch the Big Bang Digital trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApV7dJzcbOM

Focus on safeguarding

Government guidance for parents - online harms      

The government has produced a useful webpage listing sources of advice and support for keeping their children safe. The guide includes information about: 

  • Protect children from domestic abuse
  • Teenage relationship abuse
  • Child sexual abuse and exploitation
  • Sexual assault referral centres
  • Crime, Criminal Exploitation and County Lines, violence and gangs
  • Protect children from radicalisation
  • Prevent
  • Online child safety
  • Mental health

You can find the information here: Advice to parents and carers on keeping children safe from abuse and harm

Students Mental Health and Wellbeing - What is Kooth?

Kooth is a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accredited digital mental health support service. It gives children and young people easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. Access is free of the typical barriers to support. Kooth can be accessed by young people here: Kooth: Home

 

Updated - 03 07 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Coronavirus update - Full Opening from September

Yesterday, the government published detailed proposals for the full reopening of schools in September 2020.  I am now working with colleagues at the academy and in the wider Trust to ensure that these are translated into workable solutions on the ground so that TLA is ready to receive all students in the new academic year.  

The key points from the government guidance are that all students will be expected to:

  • attend school from the start of term in September
  • follow a broad and balanced curriculum and study the full range of subjects.

These are my expectations, too.  The challenge now is to find a way to deliver these very important objectives whilst also meeting the further expectations to minimising contact between individuals by:

  • Keep groups separate by placing them in whole year group ‘bubbles’.
  • Maintaining appropriate distances between individuals.

As you can imagine, this poses some significant logistical challenges in a large and busy secondary school!  However, my team and I are already rising to these challenges; we are absolutely determined to put measures in place that are safe, workable and allow us to get back to the business of face-to-face teaching - which we are all very keen to do.  I will write to you before the end of term with more details about how we plan to do this.  In the meantime, you can read the full guidance for parents and carers here.  

Live lessons for Y10

As a follow up to last week’s message about live teaching, I would like to inform you that we will deliver lessons to Year 10 students in the final week of term, week commencing 13 July, to support them as they prepare for Year 11. You will be sent detailed information about this next week from Ms Greenhalgh, Vice Principal.    

Internet security          

Further to our email earlier this week, the Smoothwall connect extension will not be added to the TLA Google accounts. We will continue to use Smoothwall to filter and monitor our students whilst in the academy.

Year 10 PASS Survey - please complete online by 10 July

In anticipation of further managed expansion in the near future and as part of the recovery curriculum for all our students, we asked that all our current Year 10 students complete a survey called ‘Pupils; Attitudes to School & Self’ (PASS) as part of their independent online learning provision. This will assist us in further identifying and supporting our students’ pastoral needs ahead of their return to the classroom in the next academic year. 

You will have received a letter detailing further information including instructions on how to complete the PASS survey, and your child’s personalised login details. 

KS3 GL Assessment and PASS Survey

Please remind your child that they have until 10 July to complete their progress tests for English, Maths and Science, in addition to the PASS survey. All students have received their unique access codes by email to their TLA email accounts.

A small number of students have reported problems with accessing the assessments. We recommend switching internet browsers (Chrome and Firefox have been reported to work better than others), check that sound is enabled and that pop-ups are allowed for the GL Assessment website.

Change to the Wisepay payment process       
All payments made via Wisepay are currently securely transferred to Sage Pay as the payment gateway, in order to complete the payment process. From 13 July 2020, Sage Pay will be rebranded to Opayo and the familiar green and white branding will no longer be seen anywhere on the WisePay platform. Please be assured the new Opayo branding will not impact on the function of Wisepay and all payments made will continue to be securely transferred. 

Career News

Year 10 & 12 Virtual Work Experience 6-10 July – Students have been sent a link via their school email to sign up for the virtual work experience next week. This is being offered by the ‘Changing Education Group’ and we are encouraging all students from Year 10 & 12 to take part if they can. Links will be sent to their school email daily next week. 

With the uncertain world we currently live in, this may be the way forward for future work experiences so we really would like students to engage with the process.  This will allow us to gain their feedback and evaluate how to move forward with this scheme. Any queries, please contact Mrs Gresty Careers Leader agresty@tla.woodard.co.uk 

https://mailchi.mp/a9e2d2451e07/virtual-wexlittlehampton?e=f305ddff51

Year 11 - Leaving school, not sure what you want to do? Find out more about developing skills for life that will take you into a career in catering & hospitality. Why not join GB MET at their West Durrington catering & hospitality online event on Wednesday 8 July. Register now for this exciting virtual event where you will meet chef lecturers and students, and find out about the range of courses they offer. 

https://forms.gle/pZXT9ZCVrzP1zXsx5.

From Level 1 to Level 3, they have something for everyone, find out about their courses here: https://www.gbmc.ac.uk/catering-hospitality-16-19-worthing

Worthing College are hosting a Virtual Zoom session for Year 10 students primarily, although it is an open event  on Tuesday 7 July from 5pm.  Full details and the links to book these sessions on their website and the link is here .

Focus on safeguarding:  Five ways to develop resilience

Have you ever wondered how to teach a young person resilience? Or how to stop your child from exclaiming “It’s too hard, I give up!” On the Yes Futures website there are resources which can help explore many life skills, including resilience.      

Someone who is resilient:         

• Faces challenges and uncertainty with positivity and calmness.

• Continues to try after experiencing failure.

• Shows independence and ownership in decisions and actions.

Visit the Yes Futures website here.

 

Updated - 26 06 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Coronavirus update - Managed Expansion

This week, we have continued to meet Year 10 students in the academy and have also started small-group socially-distanced teaching with Year 12 students.   The feedback from students and colleagues so far has been extremely positive and our attendance rates for these events are exceeding the national picture.  This is excellent news and I would like to thank all students and parents for ensuring such strong participation rates.  Our trial of the live teaching software comes to an end this week and I am now collating the feedback from staff and students who have participated.  We are aiming to deliver live lessons from each subject to Year 10 students in the final week of term to support them as they prepare for Year 11; more information will follow soon. 

It is still unclear what the national picture will be for secondary schools in September.  The Prime Minister has stated his desire for all secondary pupils to return to school in September and we fully support this ambition; however, the guidance for how this will be achieved has not yet been issued to schools.  A key determining factor will be whether or not any sort of social distancing will be expected in indoor settings such as classrooms.  My senior team and I are currently planning for at least three different scenarios in September which range from business as usual to full lockdown for a second time.  As soon as our operating parameters become clear, I will update you with our intentions.  Rest assured, we have full and detailed plans ready to be implemented whatever the outcome.  

Geography Competition          
The Geographical Association are running a photography competition which is open to all students from Y7-Y13. The topic is ‘Finding Physical Geography’. There are prizes for the winners and the successful photographs will be featured on a special page of the Geographical Association website and in their spring magazine. For more information please follow the link below.

https://www.geography.org.uk/2020-physical-geography-photo-competitionhttps://www.geography.org.uk/2020-physical-geography-photo-competition

Virtual End of Year Assembly – Friday 17 July

On Friday 17 July, our end of year assembly for all year groups, staff and parents will premiere on our YouTube channel at midday. An email has been sent out to all students explaining how they can get involved. We will also be announcing our REAP awards for students and staff. We hope you can join us for our end of year celebration.

Focus on safeguarding           
We have had many messages recently reported to us about people approaching our students online and asking for personal data. Please make your young people aware of the danger of communicating with people they have met online and also the importance of not sharing any personal information. If they are approached by anyone please make sure they know how to report it on the platform they are using. If you need any further information please see            https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

Short videos for parents and carers: delivering online safety at home

Think U Know have created videos to support parents during Covid-19 and the closure of schools to many children. You can find the videos here: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/presentations-for-parents/

 

Updated - 19 06 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Coronavirus update - Managed Expansion

This week, we have been welcoming back our first Year 10 students for their face-to-face time with their teachers.  It has been fantastic to see them arriving; some very smiley and happy, others looking a little apprehensive!  My colleagues have been very pleased indeed to see our young people coming through the door and we will be continuing with this next week.  My senior colleagues and I met yesterday to conduct a review of our risk assessment and health and safety procedures and I am pleased to say that we are very happy with the way things are progressing.  

As such, Year 12 students will be coming to the academy for small group teaching from Monday.  They will be taught in the science faculty for all subjects, thus allowing us to keep them separate from the Year 10s (in the Sixth Form Centre) and the TLA Care students (in the main building).  

A small number of teachers have been trialling the Teach Stream software with Year 12 students this week - I have been doing the same with my Year 12 geography group!  The difference between this and other industry-standard packages such as Zoom is that the visual broadcast is one way: students can see the teacher but not vice-versa; students cannot see each other.  This allows students to focus on the lesson and the teaching materials, whilst also being able to ask questions and hear explanations.  Initial feedback is promising and trials end next week.  If successful, we will be investigating ways to deploy the software on a wider basis.  I will keep you posted. 

TLA YouTube

You may be aware that TLA now has a YouTube Channel!  In order to keep students up to date, I have recorded a video message that they can see on our channel here.  You can also see other videos related to academy life at this location and we will continue to post here as time goes on.   

Year 11 students can also see a video from Mr Sealby, Director of Key Stage 5, at this location where he explains the next steps for entry into the Sixth Form. 

Year 7, 8 and 9 Assessments

Although TLA remains closed to most students in years 7, 8 and 9, they are certainly not forgotten to us.  It is important that we are able to assess their recent progress to help us plan for the next phase of tier education.  During the week commencing the 6th July, we are asking all students in these year groups to complete three ‘Progress Tests’ in English, maths and science. These tests are taken online and are in a format that your children will be familiar with. We use the GL suite of assessments which they will have completed at the start of Year 7 and at the end of the last academic year. Although we know that our students are familiar with this process, we will be sending individual instructions and login details to parents/carers over the next week and ask that where possible, you make sure that you have Google Chrome installed on your computer/device to complete the tests.

Students don’t need to revise for these progress tests as they are designed to assess knowledge, understanding and application of the core subjects:

  1. English focuses on grammar, punctuation and spelling, and on reading comprehension, using age-appropriate fiction and information texts.
  2. Maths assesses key aspects of maths appropriate to the age of the student including mental maths for those aged 8 and over.
  3. Science measures two dimensions of science learning: understanding of science content in biology, chemistry and physics; and working scientifically (application of skills).

Our aim is to use these assessments alongside teacher judgement to enable a smooth transition back to school, whenever this may be. We also will be able to use the results of these assessments to identify learning gaps following lockdown. This will enable us to identify where specific cohorts are excelling or where there are gaps in learning, helping us to plan future teaching and learning strategies.

If you have any questions regarding the GL assessments please contact Dr Taylor ntaylor@tla.woodard.co.uk  who will be able to help you.

PASS Survey  29th June – 10th July

From the 29th June – 10th July we will be asking all of our students to complete a short online survey called the PASS survey (Pupils’ Attitudes to School and Self). Students are used to completing this survey as it is something that we carry out once a term.  The results from this will assist us in further identifying and supporting our students’ pastoral needs ahead of their return to the classroom in the next academic year. You will shortly be receiving some further information about this process along with a personalised login code and we ask for your support in encouraging your child to complete this survey as part of their independent online learning.

Career News

We are hoping to run a 'virtual' work experience week for Year 10 & 12 on w/c 6th July. News of this will be communicated to parents/carers and students directly, once all details have been finalised. 

Year 10 'What's Next' career interviews will start via telephone next week until the time comes that students can have face to face meetings. Please make your child is aware that they may receive a phone call from Mrs Gresty who will be asking about career plans, aspirations, college and sixth form courses both vocational and academic, apprenticeships and how to research and plan next steps. 

Northbrook MET College have a brand new website. Click here to access the site:

https://sites.google.com/gbmc.ac.uk/gbmetwelcomeday/home

Free Workshop Northbrook MET: ‘How to promote your work using video’ - Mon 22 June 10-12pm.

  • During the Masterclass you will learn how to:
  • Do film cutaways
  • Record audio on your phone
  • Edit your film using free or cheap software
  • Create a running order for your shots
  • Add voiceovers and music

This Masterclass is suitable for all 16 to 19 year olds who would like to learn new skills to create short films, whatever your skill level or experience – everyone is welcome!

To register your interest and find out more, please email: wp@gbmc.ac.uk         

Brinsbury College are running a Horticulture & Arboriculture Virtual event on Tuesday 23 June 11-12pm. The event is open to everyone and is a great opportunity to learn more about the courses they offer and future careers. Register via Zoom here:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_otI-znWTRWCN4MwckjiMug 

 

Safeguarding

West Sussex MIND are offering virtual learning events for parents and carers.

Events include:

ASC and Gaming Addiction                   Tuesday 23 June           10:30-12:30

Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem          Wednesday 24 June      10:00-12:00

5 Ways to Wellbeing                              Wednesday 24 June      13:00-14:00

Wellbeing and Resilience                       Tuesday 30 June           14:00-15:00

For more details and to book a place please use the following link:  http://ow.ly/4oRc50A7Jv3

Updated - 16 06 2020


Message to Students 16 June 2020

 

 


12 June 2020
 
Dear Parents and Carers
 
I am writing to you to keep you informed about our plans for managed expansion.
 
As a reminder, there were four criteria that needed to have been met before we could begin to readmit more students to the site on Monday. They were:
 
  1. The Government confirms that its tests for schools to move to Phase 2 have been met.
  2. A school’s risk assessments shows the control measures have reduced the risk to low to medium.
  3. We have sought the view of the local Director of Public Health and they have not indicated that it is unsafe for schools in their area to move to Phase 2.
  4. The Academy Council Chair and Principal believe the decision to move to Phase 2 is right in the local circumstances.
 
I am pleased to let you know that all four criteria have now been met. Our risk assessment was completed this week and has been shared with all staff, the Academy Council, the Woodard Academies Trust Chair of Trustees and union representatives. It has also been scrutinised by a compliance manager from another Multi-Academies Trust to give us a third party perspective. This means that we are compliant with the requirements set by the Health and Safety Executive for ‘Staying Covid Secure in 2020’; a copy of this confirmation is attached to this letter.
 
As a result of this process, I believe that the decision to readmit more pupils to the site in Years 10 and 12 is now appropriate and Christopher Honeyman Brown, the Chair of the Academy Council, has ratified that decision. As such, we will now activate our plans for Years 10 and 12, starting from the 15 June as previously advised.
 
Our ambition is to ensure that all students in these two year groups get face-to-face time with at least three of their subject teachers. Some small group teaching may take place if staffing levels permit and it is safe to do so. In Year 10, the meetings will be designed to:
 
  • Provide an opportunity to check on wellbeing
  • Assess progress in the taught curriculum
  • Provide guidance for future learning
 
You will be aware from the news that we cannot admit more than 25% of the year group to the academy site at one time; this is to ensure that we comply with the ‘two metre’ social distancing rule. As such, we are operating strictly on an appointment only basis and students must not come to the academy unless they have been specifically asked to do so. Mrs Ridgway, Vice Principal, is communicating with individual students and parents about this.
 
For Year 12, we will be offering small group teaching. Mr Sealby is writing to Year 12 students and parents separately about this.
 
Year 10 and 12 students must arrive at the Hill Road gate, not Fitzalan Road. This is to help us keep our returning students in a separate ‘bubble’ to the students already attending TLA Care.
 
They must not enter the main building for the same reason. Students will have their temperature checked using WHO-standard equipment before being allowed into the buildings. If a student’s temperature is classed as high, they will be asked to return home and parents will be contacted.
 
Students are not required to wear uniform to allow clothing to be washed and changed as soon as they arrive home. Students should not wear the same clothes to school on more than one consecutive day. We regret that we cannot admit any external visitors to the site, including parents.
 
Opening the school to a greater number of students during the pandemic rightly raises many questions and the decision to expand our provision is a complex one. I will not cover any further details in this letter; however, we have placed a full and comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on our website, along with some supporting videos here. I would urge all parents, careers and students to read this information - even if you do not have children in Years 10 or 12. FAQs for Year 12 students will follow from Mr Sealby.
 
I would like to assure all parties that I will keep the decision to open to more students under active review: we will be carrying out dynamic risk assessments every day to monitor safety and provision. Moreover, the senior team will meet at the end of each week specifically to review practice and confirm that we will be continuing as planned.
I would like to be clear that our plans may well change at short notice if public health data or staffing availability changes. This may mean a gradual move towards more small group teaching for Year 10, or a reduction of our provision depending on the circumstances.
 
TLA is now effectively operating as four organisations within an organisation:
  1. On-site child care provision for the children of key workers.
  2. Providing online teaching and learning for years 7-10 and Y12.
  3. Community outreach hub, especially food delivery.
  4. Y10 and Y12 face-to-face provision.
 
This week we are submitting all grades for Year 11 and Year 13 examinations. We are also busy making plans for current Year 6, Year 9 and Year 11 students as they prepare for the next phase of their education. As such, we really do appreciate your support and patience as we work hard to meet the needs of all of our students.
 
I wish you all a safe and happy weekend.
 
Yours sincerely
 
M P Thomas, Principal
 
 

5 June 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
Coronavirus update - Managed Expansion
Last Thursday, the Prime Minister announced the intention for secondary schools to begin offering some degree of face-to-face time with students in Year 10 and Year 12 from 15 June. Our draft plans at TLA had already anticipated 15 June as the earliest possible date for us to bring students back on a restricted basis. As such, we have been planning for that eventuality and I would like to give you an indication of our next steps.
 
I would like to thank the parents and carers who took the time to respond to our survey over half term. The senior team and I have spent time analysing the results and have used the survey to help our planning. Although we will not respond to each individual entry, I can assure you that I have read every single comment. From the responses received a number of points are clear:
 
  • There is a huge amount of parental support for our online curriculum - this is very much appreciated.
  • There are some aspects of our delivery that can be improved further and Ms Greenhalgh, Vice Principal, is leading on this.
  • There is significant demand for Y10 and Y12 pupils to come back to school before the end of term - provided that you are satisfied that it is safe enough to do so.
  • There is considerable anxiety amongst students and parents about both staying at home for too much longer and also about coming back into school. This is completely normal and my colleagues and I completely understand these concerns.
 
In the spirit of openness and transparency I would like to share some key information with you that is guiding our timeline for managed expansion. There is a lot of it, I’m afraid! However, I am keen that you are kept fully informed at every step of the way.
 
There are four conditions that must be met before we expand our on-site provision, as determined by the Woodard Academies Trust Board of Trustees:
 
  1. The UK Government confirms that its five tests for schools to move to Phase 2 (gradual managed expansion) have been met.
  2. A school’s risk assessment shows the control measures have reduced the risk to “low to medium”.
  3. We have sought the view of the local Director of Public Health and they have not indicated that it is unsafe for schools in their area to move to Phase 2.
  4. The Academy Council Chair and Principal believe the decision to move to Phase 2 is right in the local circumstances.
 
Earlier this week, I had a long and detailed conference call with Anna Raleigh, the Director of Public Health for West Sussex. I was joined on the call by two senior scientists from Public Health England. This allowed me to explore the public health data with those professionals in order to inform my own decision-making. In particular, I pressed for clarity on whether or not the five national tests had been met.
 
The Director of Public Health took the time to explain each of the five tests at a regional level, i.e. South East England, and how that applied to West Sussex. She was satisfied that all five five tests have been met and her colleagues concurred.
 
On this basis, she was satisfied that it is not unsafe for West Sussex secondary schools to expand their provision - provided that a school’s risk assessment has been completed and found to be satisfactory.
 
 
This means that our first condition for expanding provision at TLA has now been met. It also means that the third condition has been met.
 
The second condition relates to our risk assessment. We are using the standard template provided by West Sussex County Council for secondary school reopening in the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a comprehensive document but we are also adding more to it to ensure it fully meets our own unique circumstances. This is being led by a Health and Safety specialist, overseen by me and other senior colleagues.
 
The completed risk assessment will also be validated by an external organisation and then seen by the Academy Council and the CEO of Woodard Academies Trust. I will also be sharing it with union representatives and all members of staff. This is to ensure full and detailed scrutiny.
 
I anticipate that the risk assessment will be completed and verified by the end of next week, although any changes in the public health situation may change this date. Once this has been done, I will have a further conversation with Christopher Honeyman Brown, chair of the Academy Council, to confirm the decision to admit more students to the campus. This will then fulfil the fourth and final condition for managed expansion.
 
This means that we are expecting to begin seeing small groups of Year 10 students from 15 June, and Year 12 from the following week. I must be clear that this schedule may change in the event of unforeseen circumstances or our risk assessment identifying risks that have not been reduced to an acceptable level.
 
Mrs Ridgway, Vice Principal, will be writing to you early next week with full details of what this will look like. We will be contacting students on an individual basis to provide appointments - no student should return to the academy under any circumstances unless they have been given an appointment.
 
As you can imagine, this will take a great deal of planning and means that some students will not be seen for several weeks. However, our overriding priority is safety and we are proceeding on a careful and cautious basis. If we rush this, there is a risk that we contribute to a second spike which will set us back even further. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate our way through this.
 
In the meantime, I would ask that you talk to your sons and daughters in Year 10 and Year 12 and begin to prepare them for short visits to the academy in the coming weeks. Mrs Ridgway’s letter to you will be accompanied by a Frequently Asked Questions document, as informed by the survey, as well as our safety protocols.
 
It is important to recognise that our online curriculum will continue at the same time as this process. Please see the next note relating to this; we will also be trialling ways of improving lessons and content using live streaming. I will write to you next week to let you know the outcome of these trials.
 
Summer 2: Remote Learning
Thank you for your continued support in ensuring your children meet online learning deadlines. Your child will receive feedback for their submitted work within two weeks of sharing it with their teachers. You will see that new work has been uploaded over the course of this week and is continuing to be set using Go4Schools. The learning materials are available on individual classes in Google Classroom for all year groups. Any further guidance needed is on the Virtual Classroom page on our website.
 
 

22 May 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
Coronavirus update
I hope that you and your loved ones are all keeping safe and well.
 
As you know, TLA has remained open throughout the entire lockdown period, including the Easter break for a designated groups of students; we will also be open over half term for those young people. I anticipate that this group may increase slightly in size as some key workers return to work. The person who manages access to this service is David Rogers, Assistant Principal. If you feel that you meet the government’s key worker criteria, please contact Mr Rogers who will be able to advise you accordingly. He can be reached on drogers@tla.woodard.co.uk
 
Last week, I set out the steps that we will need to follow as we plan to bring certain groups of students back into the school. The process of completing risk assessments and consulting with staff is under way and I would also like to invite parents to contribute to this discussion. If you have children in Year 10 or Year 12, please complete the survey linked here. If you do not have children in these year groups, but would like to contribute to the conversation, I would encourage you to do so. I would be very grateful if you could complete the survey by noon on Friday 29 May. Your views will help me plan the next steps.
 
I would like to be clear that, whilst we are planning for a range of possible models, no decision has yet been taken on exactly how we will proceed. Next Thursday, the government is due to review its COVD-19 measures as new public health information is received and this will help us all to make the next round of decisions. My colleagues and I are very keen to see all of our young people back as soon as possible, but we will not do that until it is safe enough for our whole community.
 
If and when the academy opens for groups of students, there will be strict measures in place to limit access to the building, to manage queues and to uphold hygiene standards. We will also expect all staff and students to maintain social distancing. However, I need to be honest with you: despite our best efforts, maintaining social distancing with young people in schools is proving to be very difficult indeed and parents need to understand this when they make their own decisions about whether or not to send children back to school. This is why any return to school between now and the end of July will be entirely voluntary; no action will be taken against any parent who refuses to send their children into school under the current lockdown arrangements.
 
From Monday 1 June, teachers will be setting the next round of work for students and will also be providing feedback on the work that has most recently been completed. My colleagues have been sharing examples of excellent work that has been completed by our brilliant students. I have been hugely impressed by the hard work that our young people are putting into their studies and it is fantastic to see the variety of effort and imagination on display. Well done to our students - and indeed to our hard-working home-schoolers! We really appreciate your support in working with us to make sure nobody falls behind.
 
Ski Trip and Holland Tour Refunds
Both insurance claims are currently being processed by the academy insurers and we hope to receive the funds very shortly. On receipt of the funds, we will process refunds to parents/carers through Wise Pay. The insurance companies have been inundated with claims so the process is taking a frustratingly long time! Thank you for your patience.
 
A message from Arun Youth Projects
“Arun Youth Projects is a local youth service historically providing youth clubs, projects, volunteer opportunities and support for young people in the Littlehampton, Rustington and East Preston area for many years.
Our aims are to:
  1. Support young people
  2. Realise their potential
  3. Create positive change
Our service is now completely virtual and easy to access by young people and parents. Our service has changed but our aims remain the same! We have lots going on with daily Instagram posts offering advice and guidance and daily opportunities for young people to speak to qualified youth workers for support. We have games, quizzes, digital drop-ins and lots more! We are having lots of fun so come and check it out and get involved! A programme of events for week commencing 25 May is attached.
 
For more information please visit www.arunchurch.com/ayp/ or email ayp@arunchurch.com and please check out our Instagram page @arunyouthprojects. Emma Biffi - Service Manager”
 
Career news
With the support of their sponsor JP Morgan, Success at School are creating a guide to help parents and carers steer their children through the confusing world of careers choices. From university and apprenticeship to work experience and gap years, their guide has it all.
 
The full guide will be out next academic year - but they wanted to share a preview version to help parents as lockdown continues. https://mc.successatschool.org/parents-ebook
 
Are you a budding doctor?
Applications for BrightMed, are currently open for students that live within Sussex in Years 8-11. Brightmed is a flagship outreach programme which identifies and supports young people, from across Sussex, which have the potential to become tomorrow’s doctors. Applications are welcomed from students who are currently in the following year groups: Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 who meet the criteria specified on their website.
 
You can find out more information about the criteria to be eligible for the programme alongside further information on BrightMed and what the programme entails on their website here. If any applicants, have questions about BrightMed and applying to the programme please do email them on: outreach@bsms.ac.uk
Please contact Mrs Gresty agresty@tla.woodard.co.uk for any advice and guidance on careers or next steps. She is happy to contact you at home.
 
Focus on safeguarding
Coronavirus: Online safety
The NSPCC has updated the online safety content for parents and carers on its website to include new advice on talking to your child about online safety and upsetting coronavirus content online.
 
Visit the NSPCC website: Online safety and coronavirus
 
Staying safe on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok
Please see the safety cards attached to this letter for more information about staying safe on these social media apps.
 
Forthcoming Dates
 
Half Term              Monday 25 – Friday 29 May
 
Yours sincerely
 
M P Thomas, Principal
principal@tla.woodard.co.uk

 


15 May 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
Coronavirus update - planning for a phased return to school some time after 1st June 2020
 
Outline summary:
  • The government has asked us to plan for Year 10 and Year 12 to have some face-to-face contact after half term
  • We are now starting the planning process to try to make this happen.
  • Safety of students, staff and the wider community will be the priority.
  • We will be sending you our plans after the half term break so that you have a chance to let us know what you think.
  • I will also be sending a short survey to parents as well as students in years 10 and 12 to get some early indications about intentions.
Detailed explanation:
Most of you will be aware of the recent government announcement which asked secondary school leaders to start to plan for ‘some face-to-face support’ for Year 10 and 12 students at some time after the 1st June. With this in mind I am writing to you today to give you an insight into the thought and planning processes which we have embarked upon.
At the outset let me make clear that any plans to bring more students back to school will be based on our confidence that we can keep both students and staff safe, and that the benefits to students outweigh any increased risks of infection. As part of our planning we will be consulting with staff, students, governors and parents/carers before putting any phased return into action. This letter is merely the first stage of the consultation process.
In order to ensure that TLA is well protected and well informed, I am in regular contact with other West Sussex headteachers as well as the CEO of the Woodard Academies Trust. I am also receiving regular updates from a range of national sources including the Association of School and College Leaders and the Department for Education.
These are, in no particular order, some of the areas for consideration which we are currently working on as we plan the start of a phased return:
 
Key Questions:
  • Which staff will be available to work with students on site?
  • With more staff in school, how do we maintain high quality remote learning for those students still learning from home?
  • How can we ensure social distancing is in place throughout the school day?
  • When and why might staff need appropriate PPE and how do we acquire this?
  • How will our current cleaning regime need to be adjusted?
  • How can we ensure safe transit to and from school - particularly for students who would normally use school buses or public transport?
  • Will the government’s testing regime support large volumes of students returning to school settings? Will tests be readily available for staff and students if required?
  • What will the procedure be if we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 among the community who are attending school? Will all members of the community then have access to a test?
  • How will we manage break times, starts and ends of the day, movement along corridors and other higher risk activities?
  • How many students can we safely accommodate on the school site whilst maintaining social distancing and minimising the risk of transmitting the virus?
  • How will we group students, since the guidance states that they should be in groups of no more than 15 (and 10-12 in smaller classrooms)?
 
The planning process will include the following steps:
  1. Completion of detailed risk assessments to cover all of the activities involved in a phased return.
  2. Identification of the staff who are available to work on site with students (those staff who are not in the vulnerable group and do not have dependents at home who could not be kept safe if the staff member came to work on site).
  3. Identification of the students who would access the face-to-face sessions, and how they would be grouped.
  4. Constructing a timetable for the sessions based on the answers to 2) and 3).
  5. Agreeing all of the day-to-day procedures which would need to be in place in order to keep people safe.
  6. Sharing of the plan with staff, students, parents/carers the Academy Council and the Trust for their views.
  7. Adjusting the plan based on feedback from all groups.
  8. Communicating the plan to all stakeholders so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
  9. Implementing the first phase of the return.
  10. Review of the plan after the first week and at regular intervals thereafter to ensure effectiveness and safety.
 
With all of this in mind it is difficult to state with any certainty when the first groups of students may be able to come in for face to face sessions. We will have the risk assessments completed as soon as possible and will work on steps 2 and 3 in parallel to this. We will obviously make sure that students and parents have plenty of notice before any return to work in classrooms.
 
The government has issued a lot of guidance for schools and colleges but very little of it is ‘directed’. They are asking schools to consider their local circumstances and plan any return based on these. Our aim therefore is to make sure that we consider all of the issues, and plan carefully, before we bring more students onto the site. The guidance for parents (from the Department for Education) can be found here:
 
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding while this critical planning work is carried out.
 
Sussex University research project on 'Home schooling during the Covid 19-pandemic'.
The University of Sussex are asking teachers and parents/carers of school age children to undertake a survey for them so that they can research the impact around home schooling and education during this difficult time. If you would like to take part, please click on the link below where there will be more details about the research before you take the survey. https://universityofsussex.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ahPAXiHKmoOlgI5
 
Calling all Y7, 8 & 9 students – Can you help the Sports & Technology Faculty?
The Sports & Technology Faculty would love you to answer a quick questionnaire to ensure PE at TLA is as fun, engaging, suitable and educational as possible for you next year! So please take your time and be honest and sensible with your answers. Thank you!
 
Year 7 & 8 PE Questionnaire:
 
Year 9 PE Questionnaire:
 
Essential maintenance works
Please note that essential maintenance will be carried out on Saturday 16 May. This means that there will be no access to TLA emails and Citrix. A message will be posted on our website once the works are completed.
 
Career news
Interested in becoming a Key Worker for the NHS? Explore the wide-ranging roles within the NHS. Real-life stories and films, compare role tools and Find Your Career quiz.
 
iDEA
The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international programme that helps students develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. Through a series of online challenges, students can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and gain industry-recognised awards that will help them stand out from the crowd.
 
Spotlight on: Engineering Careers
Success at School this week is shining the spotlight on Engineering. You may be surprised to hear that there are opportunities for budding engineers whether planning to go to university or straight into the world of work.
 
Focus on safeguarding
Domestic abuse – where to get help during the Covid-19 pandemic
For more information please see the attached campaign leaflet from Sussex police. It provides a list of agencies working with Sussex Police, offering advice and support online and over the telephone.
 
Forthcoming Dates
Half Term          Monday 25 – Friday 29 May
 
Yours sincerely
 
M P Thomas, Principal
principal@tla.woodard.co.uk

 


7 May 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
Coronavirus update
 
I am writing to you today rather than tomorrow to at least give some recognition of the Bank Holiday on Friday! The academy will still be open tomorrow for those students currently attending our scaled-down provision.
 
In my recent phone call with Nick Gibb, MP and Schools Minister, I was able to have a constructive conversation about life under lockdown and the impact it is having on our community. I briefed him on our current provision, raised the issue of future implications of closure for our current Year 10 and Year 12 students and discussed the logistical challenges of reopening the academy when the time comes.
 
Mr Gibb confirmed that there were no immediate plans to reopen schools which I feel is a sensible position for now. You will be aware that the Prime Minister will be addressing the nation on Sunday and we will have to see what news that brings. In the meantime, I anticipate continuing with our current plans until May half term at the very earliest.
 
Remote Learning
 
Thank you for your support in helping your child complete learning that has been provided through Google Classroom. As there are some interim deadlines approaching I thought I would share what has been asked of colleagues.
 
Your child should expect feedback from their teachers; this could be either individual responses to your child or may be a whole class feedback. The feedback will be positive about the submission of work and will identify strengths and areas for improvement to give guidance to students on what they could work on. Students will be awarded positive LEEP points for work completed. You and your child may also see ‘Incomplete Prep for Learning’ on Go4Schools should your child not have submitted work. Please be assured that this is for monitoring purposes only. It is a neutral record and does not give a negative point. This record it is not followed by a sanction; it will, however, give you an understanding of any incomplete work that needs to be prioritised over the coming days and allows us to identify where we may need to provide further support.
 
Please contact your child’s teachers in the first instance if you need support with any work, or their tutor if you find that there are a number of subjects where work has not been submitted. We want to continue working with families to support our students and communication is key to success. Thank you for you continued support.
 
A message from WSCC Library Service
 
Our Library buildings may currently be closed but our online offer is very much thriving. We have dedicated children’s activities, home learning and wellbeing resources available together with eBooks, eAudio and a vast eComic collection for children and young adults. We also have newspapers and magazines to download free of charge - simply sign in with your library card.
 
Students can join the Library Service online if they are not currently members. This will allow you to borrow eBooks, eAudio and eComics, and read magazines and newspapers. We have been adding lots of new titles, so please check out what is available now free from West Sussex Libraries.
 
Year 11 Hoodies and Yearbooks
 
Paul Sanderson and a team of TLA helpers will be delivering the pre-ordered hoodies and yearbooks to your doorstep on Monday and Tuesday next week. They will be observing social distancing measures. You will receive an email beforehand with further information. The delivery route has been planned as follows: Monday - 11T1, 11T2, 11S1, 11S2, 11M2 and on Tuesday - 11R1, 11R2, 11M1, 11T3.
 
Teacher training
 
Are you a graduate thinking of your next move? Teaching is a highly rewarding and exciting profession offering a stable career path with plenty of opportunities for progression and development. If you would like to find out more, the South Down SCITT are hosting a virtual coffee morning on Tuesday 19 May at 10:30am. Further information can be found on the poster attached to this letter.
 
Focus on Safeguarding – COVID-19 - resources for parents and carers (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health)
 
The college have identified a range of useful websites and information to help parents and children at this time. The website can be found here: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-resources-parents-carers
 
 
Stay at home activities for children and young people
 
Forthcoming Dates
 
Bank Holiday – VE Day Friday 8 May
Half Term Monday 25 – Friday 29 May
 
Yours sincerely
 
M P Thomas,
Principal
principal@tla.woodard.co.uk

 


1 May 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
Coronavirus update - Virtual Academy
 
As promised last week, we have now brought all of our online information together under one heading on our webpage. It is called the Virtual Academy and you can see it on our homepage or by clicking here. This includes the latest communication home as well as information about online classrooms, virtual tutor groups, the virtual chapel and safeguarding. I hope this will be helpful for you and we will continue to update these pages. Our Academy Media page will continue to be updated with our social media output, including this latest video from Mr Sealby for Y11 students.
 
Year 11 into 12 Pre-course reading
 
All Year 11 students now have access to some prior reading and resources that will help them in preparation for joining the Sixth Form in September. I would encourage all students to have a look through their subject choices as well as others that they may have an interest in, and engage with the reading that has been placed in each folder.
Please follow the link below to access each subject and enjoy looking through the materials provided. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Sealby msealby@tla.woodard.co.uk
 
Reminder - It is not too late to apply for the Sixth Form, simply go to the school website and follow the application process within the Sixth Form section.
 
Virtual Sussex School Games
 
This week Active Sussex have launched an exciting programme of sports competition running throughout the summer term, giving our students the chance to represent The Littlehampton Academy, alongside their friends and family, to be crowned Sussex champions.
 
Each Monday morning, a new sport will be launched, made up of four physical or technical sporting personal challenges, which can be done from the living room, garden or school.
 
Throughout the week you can practice, train and improve, before submitting your best scores in each challenge on www.sussexschoolgames.co.uk ahead of the Friday deadline (midday). Your score will be added to our school total, meaning that you can be part of our school team and compete against all of the other schools in the county.
 
To sign up please follow the link below:
 
Let the games begin . . .
 
‘Something for the weekend’ - Library Lockdown Quiz
 
TLA Library have made a virtual book quiz for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. There are five rounds and the quiz will last just over 20 minutes so make sure you're sitting comfortably and have your pens and paper at the ready.
 
Please use the following link: https://youtu.be/v3zPHI7sggU alternatively you can find the link on our library Twitter page @TLALibrary. It has also been uploaded to Google Classroom. Your child can contact their teacher or Miss Bayley if they are having problems downloading it.
 
Please also find attached to this letter the library newsletter for this week.
 
TLA Prayer Week
 
For the last 10 years, we have put a week aside for prayer at TLA. For those of all faiths and none we have gathered to pause, reflect, ask for help or say thanks and we were not going to let any virus stop us praying! So this week 25+ key worker children were able to choose to engage in a different space every day and then via TLA Chaplain on Facebook the world joined in! The daily themes were: Forgiveness, Hopes and Dreams, Worries, Help and Thank You. Video explanations can be found at https://www.facebook.com/tla.chaplain
 
NHS- ChatHealth Messaging Service – Text your school nurse
 
During these unsettling times, as a parent/carer of child aged between 5-19 years old you may be worried about your child’s health and wellbeing and be unsure about how to get the help you need. Parents/carers of a child aged 5-19 can text the school nurses for confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues. The contact number for texts is 07480 635424
 
School nurses can help with a variety of health issues including: behaviour, continence, emotional health, self-harm, bullying, minor accidents and illnesses.
The ChatHealth messaging service is run by the Healthy Child Programme 5-19 School Nursing Service and is available from 9:00am to 4:30 pm Monday - Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
 
The service aims to reply to you within one working day and you should get an immediate bounce-back to confirm they have received your text. Texts will not be seen outside of normal working hours. If you need help before you hear back from them, you should contact your GP, NHS 111 or dial 999 if it is an emergency.
Rail Safety
 
Please find attached to this letter a poster from GTR Southern Rail about rail safety.
Focus on Safeguarding – BBC Own It App updated for COVID-19 The BBC's Own It app helps young people new to social media manage their well-being, whilst empowering children to make smart choices, and helping them to lead a positive life online.
 
  • The Own It app and keyboard lets children:
  • get advice whenever they type
  • track their feelings
  • win badges as they reflect
  • find help when they need it
  • taking quizzes to learn more about themselves
 
The app also includes a special keyboard to use which offers helpful tips and friendly advice to children when they need it. The app can be downloaded for free form the App Store or Google Play. Further information can be found here: https://www.bbc.com/ownit/take-control/own-it-app
 
Forthcoming Dates
 
Bank Holiday – VE Day Friday 8 May
Half Term Monday 25 – Friday 29 May
 
Yours sincerely
 
M P Thomas, Principal
principal@tla.woodard.co.uk

 


 

24 April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well as I write to provide an update on our virtual academy.

When will we re-open?

You will be aware that Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education, recently addressed the nation and confirmed that there is no planned date to re-open schools. He also outlined five tests that need to be met before children are allowed to return. The BBC article about this is here.

Although June 1 has been discussed as a possible return date by some headteachers, I need to be clear that this is the earliest possible date and is not something that we are currently expecting to happen. As well as the government’s five tests, there are major planning and safety considerations that have to be met before we can re-open TLA; all of my decisions will be based on official and scientific guidance to ensure that your children and my colleagues are properly protected and are kept safe.

Current provision

In the meantime, we will continue with our plans to deliver online learning and tutoring that will take us to the May half term. As promised, both Vice Principals have now written to you to provide details about teaching and learning this term, as well as how we will run virtual tutor groups and pastoral care online. Their letters that explain these things in detail are available here. We have also released videos about tutoring, future pathways for Year 9 and joining the Sixth Form.

A small number of parents and colleagues have drawn my attention to some negative comments about our provision on social media. We are always happy to receive constructive criticism that helps us to provide a better service. This is more likely to be successful if comments are sent straight to me and my colleagues rather than posted on Facebook or elsewhere, where we may not have the chance to act upon it.

This week, we have moved from the emergency response phase of our online provision to a slightly longer term plan. I do understand that not everything is working perfectly; please remember that this is being set up and run by a large number of teachers and support staff who are, in the main, working from home. This, in itself, is a challenge: I’m sure you will appreciate that my colleagues are trying to plan, set and respond to work in circumstances where they may be sharing devices, working space and WiFi with other members of their households. Many colleagues are also attempting to homeschool their own children and look after vulnerable relatives at the same time. I know from emails and Twitter that many of you are in the same position so will understand how difficult this can be!

That said, my colleagues and I are determined to ensure that we do the very best we can for our children. We are very happy to hear feedback about what works and what does not and I have provided some details about how to do that below. Please be reassured that I am in regular contact with other leaders at the school to monitor our systems and provision, from Free School Meals vouchers, to virtual tutoring, to the setting of lessons and provision of feedback.

I also have Zoom meetings with senior colleagues on a regular basis to review our current provision and ensure that we are in a strong position to re-open the school when the time comes.

We have already improved our guidance on the delivery of lessons due to constructive feedback we have had from some parents: as such, I am sending a revised version of the parent advice (attached to this letter) on using Google Classroom. As a reminder, this is where you can find work for your child:

  • Guidance on the work set is on Go4Schools.
  • The actual work for your child will then be available on their individual classes in Google Classroom.

Incidentally, I have been asked about why we are not live-streaming lessons, for example through Zoom. I have consulted with other secondary headteachers about this as well as colleagues in the police and safeguarding professionals. At the moment, I am not satisfied that live Zoom lessons are an appropriate response for TLA. Aside from the practical and technical constraints, they can be fraught with risk: I am aware of a small number of high-profile incidents where lessons have been interrupted by third parties keen to broadcast inappropriate content to children. For now, we will retain our model of online work through Google Classroom and pre-recorded video content rather than live lesson delivery. I hope you understand that this decision is taken with the best interests of your children at heart.

Providing feedback or asking questions

If you would like to provide direct feedback, the best people to contact are as follows:

  • Your child’s form tutor should be the first port of call. They will be able to help you with most queries or direct them to the relevant person if they cannot do so. Remember that we now have online tutor groups that your child will have been invited to electronically and these are proving to be very useful for welfare and keeping in touch.
  • Technical help with getting online: networkhelpdesk@tla.woodard.co.uk
  • Questions or feedback about the curriculum and teaching resources: please contact the relevant Director of Learning:
  • Questions about virtual tutoring, pastoral care and other welfare matters that can’t be addressed to tutors: please contact the relevant Director of Standards:

If you would like to provide feedback directly to me that does not fall into any of these categories, please email them to jbaker@tla.woodard.co.uk I can then draw these comments together and discuss them with the relevant senior colleagues before responding accordingly.

Next week, we will also be bringing all of the information about our support services and provision under one heading on our webpage to make it easier for you to see and access. It will be called the ‘Virtual Academy’ page and I will provide more information about this as soon as it is online.

Exams and grades - summer 2020

I am pleased to be able to link a letter from Sally Collier, Ofqual’s Chief Regulator. This letter has been written specifically to students in Year 11 and Year 13 and it gives helpful information about how exam grades will be awarded this year; it was updated on 16 April.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020/letter-tostudents-summer-2020-grading

I will continue to provide written updates each Friday as normal, as well as through Twitter and on our Academy Media page on the main website. In the meantime, I wish you good health and happiness.

Yours sincerely

M P Thomas

Principal

 


21 April 2020

Dear Parent/ Carer

The video update of this letter can be found here.

I am writing to you to let you know our plans to provide pastoral care and ‘virtual’ tutoring over the next half term. It is vital to ensure that all of our students continue to feel a part of TLA during this time. We believe that all our students should be ‘known and nurtured’ and in these challenging times, we need to look for ways to do this differently.

From the start of the summer term, all tutors have set up a ‘virtual’ Google classroom for their tutor groups. We have trialled this approach over the last four weeks and tutors and students have given some really positive feedback. Please encourage your child to accept their ‘virtual’ tutor group classroom invitation as these are not only a great way for us to keep in touch with students but for the tutor group to interact with each other. Tutors have been working hard on a variety of activities for their ‘virtual tutor groups; and we expect students to engage with this and take part in what is posted: this could be a weekly quiz or a discussion topic.

We are also asking tutors to email students (via their TLA email address) and in some cases they may even phone your child at home. If colleagues from school do phone, it will show up as an unknown number so please bear this in mind when bouncing calls.

What we hope is that over the next three week ‘lockdown’ period, your child should have contact from their tutor either through Google classroom, e-mail or the telephone. This should allow us to encourage your child in their school work as well as check in on their wellbeing.

Year Leaders will also be making contact with each family over the summer term. This is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you may have and to work out how we can best support your child at this time.

It is important that we all mark the transition now from the Easter holidays to the start of the summer term. However, we are realistic in what we expect this to look like and acknowledge that for many parents, this is a very stressful and uncertain time. We would like you to prioritise ensuring that your child has a routine each day that includes school work, physical exercise and rest. This will ensure that they have time to complete the school work that has been set for them, interact with their tutor via their ‘virtual’ tutor space as well as looking after their physical and mental wellbeing. I have found the following document produced by Unicef really helpful in giving some advice on how teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19). I have placed a copy of the article here for you to read and share with your child over these next few weeks.

If you have any concerns over this time please remember that we are still at work and available to support you. Your first point of contact is your child’s tutor and they will work with other colleagues in the Academy to resolve any concerns that you may have.

Yours sincerely

Mrs K Ridgway

Vice Principal


20 April 2020

Dear Parent/ Carer

Thank you for your patience whilst we work on the best possible learning experience for your child at home. Whilst we do not know how long the current situation will last for, we want to ensure we provide a meaningful curriculum to continue during the coming weeks. We have also taken into consideration the level of support you are able to provide as parents, acknowledging that in your household you may also be balancing work with your own family commitments and responsibilities.

Teachers will have new project work ready for your children from today for years 10 and 12 and no later than Thursday 23 April for key stage 3. In the meantime please continue with any outstanding project work from before Easter and visit BBC bitesize where there will be daily online lessons launched today.

Guidance for Parents: 

  • Work will be set using Go4Schools so that you will be able to see what is being asked of them.
  • Work for your child will then be available on their individual classes in Google Classroom for all year groups. This will allow for monitoring by individual teachers.
  • At key stage 3 the work will be project based and each subject/ faculty will provide enough resources that will allow your child to complete the equivalent of 3 hours a day, for the 5 weeks in Summer 1.
  • Year 10 and 12 work will be provided by individual teachers to support usual timetabled hours.
  • Your child will be expected to submit work at each suggested submission point in the individual projects, this will usually be through Google Classroom.
  • Students can complete work in Google Docs, in exercise books or on paper, but should take clear photos of it and upload them to Google Classroom
  • Teachers will give feedback to your child through Google Classroom and use LEEP points on Go4Schools to reward and praise work as usual.

Should you need any support please contact classroom teachers in the first instance. I have attached instructions for Google Classroom to support if you are unfamiliar with the software. The most important thing is that you and your children keep safe and well.

Best Wishes

Bianca Greenhalgh

Vice Principal


17 April 2020

Dear Parents / Carers,

I am writing to you to let you know our plans for the next half term. I know that we are all living in very difficult circumstances at the moment and I hope that you are all keeping well.

The recent government announcement suggests that we can expect the lockdown to continue well into May. As such, our plans at TLA are now designed to take us up to the May half term. As we approach that point, I will make further plans as the situation changes.

What we do know is that, at some point, the school will reopen in full and we will be back! As such, we are also preparing for that outcome at the same time. When the school reopens, we know that we will have to work very hard to get back into the rhythms and routines that we had spent so long trying to embed in our school culture. As time in lockdown goes on, it is so important to try to keep to a routine at home that includes learning and education every day. I do recognise how difficult that is to achieve under these circumstances and we will do everything we can to make that as easy as possible for students and their families.

Rather than bombard you with too much information in one go, I have asked members of the Senior Leadership Team to communicate with you about specific areas that concern you and your children. Early next week, both of my Vice Principals will be writing to you to provide full details on the following subjects:

  • Teaching and learning for the next half term.
  • How we will continue to look after the pastoral needs of TLA students for the next half term.

These letters will set out the learning expectations of each year group, explain how resources can be accessed and what feedback will look like. They will also provide guidance on our ‘virtual’ tutor system and how you and your children can get help and support.

Other senior colleagues will also be in touch to provide information about future pathways for Year 9 as they prepare for GCSEs; and also for year 11 students who are preparing for the Sixth Form. Dr Taylor and Mr Sealby have already made short videos on these subjects, which can be seen on our Twitter feed. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, the latest updates can be seen on our Academy Media page.

We are still working with professional bodies and with the government to agree the exact mechanism for agreeing examination grades and how these will be reported. The latest guidance can be seen in the links at the bottom of this letter. The government expects that students will receive their results on the same days as they would have done before the cancellation of exams, namely:

  • A Level results: 13 August
  • GCSE results: 20 August

The consultation has now been widened to include the impact on current year 10 and year 12 students and I will be making representations on behalf of all of our young people. Rest assured, my colleagues and I will do everything we can to ensure the best possible outcomes for TLA students.

Once again, I hope that you are all healthy and safe and wish you well in the days and weeks ahead. With teamwork and determination, we will succeed!

Yours sincerely

M.P.Thomas

Principal

List of resources to support education at home:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-educationresources/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-online-education-resources-for-home-education

Information on how exam grades will be awarded this summer:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/awarding-qualifications-in-summer-2020


3 April 2020

Dear Parents / Carers,

I am writing to you at the end of a very strange term to try to give you a brief update on where the academy stands at the moment. The first thing to say is a huge thank you to all parents, carers and students. We have been trying to run the academy in a very different way to normal and my colleagues and I are hugely grateful for the support, encouragement and cooperation that we have been receiving from you.

It is also important to recognise that we are still very much in a dynamic state and so the situation continues to change on a frequent basis. There are still many uncertainties about the national picture and how this will affect everyday life, including schools. This does make planning for the summer term very difficult, but I would like to reassure you that a huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to prepare for how we continue to operate after Easter.

You will undoubtedly have a whole range of questions that need answering about what happens next, especially if you have children in years 11 or 13. The cancellation of exams came without warning and I do understand how stressful and disconcerting this has been for all involved.

As you can imagine, there is a great deal of information coming in at the moment from the UK Government, the Local Authority and Ofqual (the body that regulates exams and assessment in England). The latest guidance on how exams will be awarded was released today and you can read more about that here. There is also a letter to students from the Chief Regulator at Ofqual which you can read here. Rest assured, my colleagues and I are giving this urgent attention and will be writing to you again soon when we have analysed the full guidance.

Our continuity of service plans were designed to get us through to Easter and those come to a close today. Over the next two weeks, TLA remains open for a small number of children of key workers. At the same time, my colleagues and I will be planning the next phase of education for your children. Effectively, we are doing this from scratch so please bear with us! Before the end of the Easter break, I will write to you again to explain our plans for the first half of the summer term, and beyond.

In the meantime, I have not asked colleagues to set additional work for the Easter period. In years 7-9, students are expected to complete the online (or printed) tasks that have already been set. In Years 10 and 12, individual teachers will have already been setting appropriate tasks for their classes which may cover the Easter break. This may include revision of past materials or some preparatory reading and research for the term ahead. All students are encouraged to read widely - not just within their academic subjects but also in order to explore new novels and themes.

As before, work will have been set via Go4Schools and using Google Classroom. If you are having any technical difficulties, please email networkhelpdesk@tla.woodard.co.uk who will be happy to help.

We are also drawing up plans to ensure that we continue to look after the pastoral wellbeing of our young people. This will involve colleagues checking in with you and your children either by phone or using our ‘virtual tutor groups’ which are being developed as I write. I will continue to keep you informed in writing as our plans develop; we also operate a number of Twitter accounts from TLA. You can follow mine at @TLAPrincipal and these tweets are also available on our main website in the Academy Media section.

I would like to close by paying tribute to the many colleagues at TLA who have worked tirelessly, often under difficult circumstances, over the past two weeks to keep things going. This includes teachers setting work online; the estates team who are here every day to keep the building running; our wonderful catering crew who have been providing food for the academy and out in the community; my colleagues in administration who have been managing attendance, finance, staffing and communications; Network Services who have ensured we can all get online and safety online; and of course the pastoral team including our Chaplain, who has provided some words at the end of this letter.

Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy Easter. It is a strange time indeed, but I hope you are able to enjoy this additional time spent with loved ones.

Yours sincerely

M.P.Thomas

Principal

 

Some words from our Chaplain, Paul Sanderson:

Littlehampton Foodbank

As you may be aware we are working with the food bank to support some of our families who have asked for help. The food bank is offering to support anyone who has genuine food need at this time and The Littlehampton Academy is a referring agency.

If you or someone one you know is in real need please contact Paul Sanderson our Chaplain and he will make a referral. They are only doing deliveries and the food bank only goes out on a Friday so the referral needs to be in before then.

As part of data protection you need to be aware that by asking for a referral we will have to pass on your home address and phone number to enable them to deliver to you or the person you are referring. By referring you give us permission to do this.

Thanks and take care,

Paul Sanderson

psanderson@tla.woodard.co.uk


20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Academy Closure

I am writing to you at the end of a week like no other! I am aware that you have received a great deal of information from us this week, sometimes delivering disappointing and difficult news without warning. The first thing I would like to do is to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have navigated the changing picture over the last few days. I would also like to thank you for the personal messages of support that my colleagues and I have been receiving from you - it makes a difference and we appreciate it.

We are operating in an environment where we are having to respond to information from the central government at very short notice. Most of this has reached us in the evening or in the early hours of the morning and we have had to act on it immediately. We have had no prior notification of many of these decisions; we have been working hard to meet government expectations and also to make the delivery of these expectations as easy as possible for our students and parents.

By now, you will be aware that TLA will be a very different place next week. Effectively, the academy has closed and a new, smaller, temporary child care centre has opened in its place. It is due to open on Monday morning and we have had less than 48 hours to plan, resource and staff that facility! It will come as no surprise to you that much of that planning will continue this weekend.

Parents of children who have been offered a place in this centre will already have been contacted by us today. I do understand that there will be disappointment from some parents who have not been offered a place. We are working to tight government guidelines about eligibility; I am also attempting to operate the new service with significantly reduced staffing levels.

It is worth remembering two key points:

Schools are being closed in order to reduce contact and therefore reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The reason that some children are still being allowed to attend is largely due to their parents working in critical infrastructure.

The government’s first operating principle is still: “If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.” Even now, this also applies to children of key workers.

In terms of curriculum provision: we will continue to enact our contingency plans for all year groups for the next two weeks. These can be found on our website. The exception to this is years 11 and 13; all teaching and revision in those year groups has now ceased.

Should a student be experiencing IT related issues such as password problems, please contact us using the following email address. networkhelpdesk@tla.woodard.co.uk

To enable us to be able to authenticate the email, please ensure that it is sent from either the students own account or one of the email accounts that we have recorded for their contacts. Please can you also ensure that you include the student’s full name and registration group in the email. The emails will be responded to as soon as we are able to during normal Academy hours.

I will write to you again next week with further details about the coming weeks, Easter and beyond.

In the meantime, I would like to acknowledge the enormous efforts made by TLA staff to manage this crisis as effectively, calmly and assuredly as possible this week. I have seen some outstanding teamwork, resolve and dedication to your children. I am privileged to work with such tenacious colleagues.

I would also like to commend our students: they have responded to difficult news with character, good humour and huge resilience. They are a credit to you and have been an inspiration to us all here, especially those in years 11 and 13.

Thank you again for your forbearance and patience. I will be in touch again early next week.

Yours sincerely

M P Thomas

Principal

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