I hope this letter finds you and your families safe and well during this unsettling time, and I hope that you are adjusting to the measures that the government has put into place regarding the closure of schools, and of course, all of the other changes that we are experiencing. It truly is a very surreal time.
When Thistley Hough closed to the vast majority of students on Friday 20th March, all staff at the Academy were keen to ensure that the education for all students would continue as best as possible. Staff are still very much working to ensure that this continues, and will carry on supporting your child online, as well as updating all necessary learning platforms, for as long as is needed. Staff will also be making telephone calls home over the coming weeks, to address any issues your child may be experiencing, to encourage continued engagement in learning, or to simply to catch up.
Daily routine for students is crucial and we are keen to ensure that they do no fall behind their peers during this time. Since the closure we have been incredibly proud of the engagement and outstanding work that is being produced online. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your commitment to this as I realise that this may not be easy whilst working from home, supporting extended family members and adjusting to these unprecedented changes; thank you all!
As you know, there are a number of platforms for students to access provision for home learning, and all login and password details were sent home with your child. If you or your child has any problems accessing these, we have a number of guides to support you with
this on our website at www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk. If your child needs any further support, the Microsoft Teams system allows students to message staff, or alternatively they can email their Head of Year.
If you do not have internet access, we will continue to provide paper copies of classwork throughout the Academy closure. Can I also point out the importance of reading at this time and encourage parents/carers to make sure children are reading every day. If they have finished their reading books please encourage them to read from other sources, including online and other books they may have at home.
Our records show that a small number of students and parents/carers have not logged on to any of the learning platforms yet. We would urge you to ensure that your child is logging on to complete the work set, and encourage that you are checking this regularly. We suggest a routine similar to the school day where possible, spending the approximate time suggested for each subject. We know that our students can be incredibly self-sufficient and will do their utmost to succeed. By working together to support them as best we can, we know they will continue to do well in their education.
It is not our intention to set daily tasks for students over the Easter period; this applies to term time only. However, the Academy will continue to be open, and provision provided, for children of Key Workers from 8:15am – 3:15pm, Monday to Friday throughout the Easter fortnight.
Year 11 Qualifications
We were hoping that the Government and Ofqual (exams regulator) were going to announce some news last week regarding their plans for the grading of GCSEs this summer. We look forward to hearing more information over the coming weeks. I know how frustrating this is and we will keep you informed with developments as they happen.
Free School Meal provision
Staff here at Thistley Hough spent much of last week ensuring that vouchers, equivalent to the Free School Meal entitlement, were emailed or delivered to our parents/carers across the city. The Government has now produced a national voucher for students on Free School Meals. This should be live soon. If your child is entitled to FSM, we will be in touch with further information as soon as we have access to this.
I would just like to close by saying that all staff here at the Academy really do appreciate the support of all parents, carers, students, staff and our community in these difficult and unpredictable times. This is not something that we could have ever prepared for, but together we will do our very best to ensure that your child’s education and well-being remains the priority that it always has been.
Please remind your children that the staff of Thistley Hough are still here, we still care about them and we will get through this together. We very much look forward to welcoming them back into their academy as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please stay safe, and take good care of yourselves and each other.
With very best wishes.