Category: Weekly Newsletter

Information to Parents For September

Dear Parents/Carers

RE: Plan for September 1st 2020, Local Authority Letter to Parents, Aspens Catering Letter
As promised, I am able to update you today further to the Government’s announcement about partial reopening of secondary schools.
The Prime Minister has now confirmed that we are able to invite Year 10 students into school from the 15th June. On any day, only 25% of the year group are permitted to attend (along with key worker children). On the days when your child is invited to come into school we will arrange a mix of academic and pastoral activities to support their progress, but the main thrust of our teaching will continue to be online as it is for students in other year groups. To encourage some feeling of normality, we request that all students be in academy uniform on the days when they are in school. Given the current warm weather, jumpers are not essential.
The Academy remains open for vulnerable children, and children of key workers.
We have been working hard for several weeks to make sure that the school premises are safe for children and staff to return. By the 8th June at the latest, I will be in touch with full details of the education plans and the health and safety measures in place for your child.
Staff will also continue to post work for all students on Microsoft Teams and we urge you to encourage your child to keep up the good work in accessing and completing this. Students will continue to be rewarded via Class Charts.
Can I take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given your child to keep on top of their home learning – it is very much appreciated. I hope that you have all enjoyed a proper break from schoolwork during the half term period.
Yours sincerely

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Year 7 to 9 Closure Update

Dear Parents/Carers

RE: Year 7 to 9 Closure Update June 1st 2020

As promised, I am able to update you today further to the Government’s announcement about partial reopening of secondary schools.

 

The Prime Minister confirmed that schools are able to invite Year 10 and 12 students back into school from the 15th June. I hope that you will not be too disappointed that there are no immediate plans for us to be able to offer some face-to-face teaching for your child at the present time. However, please be assured that we will continue to work hard to provide high quality remote learning opportunities.

 

The Academy remains open for vulnerable children, and children of key workers.

 

We have been working hard for several weeks to make sure that the school premises are safe for children and staff to return. By the 8th June at the latest, I will be in touch with full details of the education plans and the health and safety measures in place for your child.

 

Staff will also continue to post work for all students on Microsoft Teams and we urge you to encourage your child to keep up the good work in accessing and completing this. Students will continue to be rewarded via Class Charts.

 

Can I take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given your child to keep on top of their home learning – it is very much appreciated.  I hope that you have all enjoyed a proper break from schoolwork during the half term period.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Distance Learning Newsletter

Dear Parent/Guardian

Distance Learning Newsletter

We hope you are keeping safe and well in these challenging times.

We are writing to explain our refined approach to Distance Learning for the remainder of the summer term.

At Thistley Hough Academy, we are committed to ensuring that every student makes excellent progress, develops outstanding character and is successful in life, education and employment. Whilst our school building is closed, our commitment to achieving this mission is as strong as ever. We would like to thank you for your hard work so far in encouraging students to engage with schoolwork at home.

It is crucial that students continue to study at home in a structured and rigorous way so that they do not fall behind in their learning, and are ready to hit the ground running when they return to school. We have decided to refine our approach to Distance Learning to make it simpler for students and parents/carers to understand the school’s expectations and easier for students to access work.

Students have been provided with the following:

  • Distance Learning virtual classrooms – these classrooms, set up for each subject, outline what students are expected to complete in each subject each week.
  • Subject resources – these resources will support students to complete the tasks in the Distance Learning Booklets if they do not have access to the internet.

 

What are our expectations of students?

 

Learn:

For every subject, teachers will direct students to do one (or more) of the following activities:

  • Watch a YouTube lesson uploaded by their teacher, taking notes and completing any short tasks set on paper
  • Engage with an online platform, completing the activities they’re instructed to (e.g. Oak National Academy, BBC Bitesize, Educake)
  • Read through a specific knowledge organizer, or other work packs that have been sent home and repeatedly self-quiz until they get no questions wrong.

 

To support students with this work, you will find a simple guide to accessing the virtual classrooms, and a suggested timetable enclosed.

 

Submit:

  • It is essential for students to submit their work each week so that their teacher can see how much they have engaged with the activities and how much they have learnt. Students should submit in the one of the following ways:
    • Completing work online where requested through the virtual classroom
    • Taking a photo of any work completed in a book and uploading this to your virtual classroom
    • Dropping completed work into the Thistley Hough post-box in reception

 

Heads of Year, classroom teachers and Form Tutors will all be monitoring the level of student engagement with the Distance Learning work to ensure that all work is being accessed and completed.

 

We will also be uploading the timetable onto the school website for you to access. However, if you need any additional support interpreting the work or have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s classroom teacher, Form Tutor or Head of Year.

 

We would like to re-iterate our appreciation for your hard work in supporting your child’s learning at home so far. Please continue to hold them to account for completing their work at home and do let the school know if we can be of any assistance in supporting you to do so.

 

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Laney

Vice Principal

 

 Accessing the virtual classroom

 

The virtual classrooms that have been set up for each student has been set up using the Microsoft Teams platform. Students already have access to Microsoft Teams via their school Microsoft email account.

 

Students can access their school email, alongside a number of other Microsoft tools, such as Microsoft Teams via the link below:

 

https://cet.magellanportal.co.uk

 

From 8th June 2020, classroom teachers will be using Microsoft Teams to outline the work expected to be completed by students each week. The virtual classrooms can be used exactly like an ordinary classroom. Students can ask questions of their teacher, hand in work and receive feedback on their work through the Teams platform. The link below gives guidance on how to use teams:

 

https://help.cetcloud.org.uk/help-centre/microsoft-teams-students-quick-start-guide/

 

Distance Learning timetable

The timetables below should be followed by students to ensure they maintain a structured approach to their study.

 

Year 7

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
English Mathematics Science Science Geography
D&T PE ICT MFL History
CPA Art RE English Mathematics

 

 

Year 8

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Geography Science Science English Mathematics
MFL ICT History D&T PE
English RE Mathematics CPA Art

 

 

Year 9*

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Science Geography English Mathematics Science
History MFL D&T PE ICT
Mathematics English CPA Art RE

 

*If you do not study History, Geography or MFL please take this time to complete your Travel & Tourism work.  Travel and Tourism work will be set for all Year 9 students to complete alongside the timetable outlined above.

Closure Update and Letter Home

The Department for Education has confirmed the phased re-opening of schools in England, starting on 1 June 2020 at the earliest. The actual re-opening date is yet to be confirmed.

 

We expect to be able to clarify by Friday 29 May which year groups are expected to return to school in the first wave. Secondary school remains open for vulnerable children and children and wards of key workers. All other pupils will continue remote learning from home until the next phase in the lifting of restrictions.

 

We will notify parents and carers as soon as the DfE instructions become clear. In the meantime we are keen to reassure families of the diligence with which Thistley Hough Academy is implementing the detailed guidance provided by the Department on social distancing, safeguarding and the continuance of educational provision under these challenging conditions.

 

When school does re-open, please anticipate that arrangements will be different from those that the children experienced prior to the current closure period.

 

Closure Update Letter

Academy Closure Update

Dear Parents/Carers and Students

 

Academy Closure Update

Monday 27th April 2020

 

I hope this letter finds you, your families and friends safe and well, and that the Easter period provided some enjoyment where possible. It certainly was not the Easter break and celebration that we would have hoped for.

 

It did not come as a shock to learn last week that the lockdown period was to be extended for a further 3 weeks, which means that the learning for the majority of our students will continue to take place at home until further guidance and notice is given. The Academy will continue to open to provide provision to students of listed Key Workers. If your circumstances regarding this have changed, I would encourage you to email the Academy at enquires@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk. A member of staff will then be in touch and further arrangements will be made.

 

Home Learning

We wish to advise you that all learning platforms will continue to be updated and monitored, and students work will marked and feedback will be given. Contact will continue to take place via phone calls or emails to parents/carers, and students are able to contact teaching staff via their CET Portal Login and Outlook email.

 

Paper copies of classwork will continue to be provided to those students without internet access, and we strongly encourage reading every day for all students from any home resources available.

 

As in my last letter, I wish to express my thanks for the commitment to home learning by the vast majority of students, parents and carers. We know that this is not an easy task, and that motivation can be challenging for us all during this time. My message to all students is to stay strong, stay committed and do your best! You can do this!

 

Free School Meal provision

In line with government systems, the distribution of Free School Meal Vouchers is now underway. All families who are entitled to free school meals should now be in receipt of regular and ongoing updated vouchers. We would like to thank you for

your patience with this process, as delays with the Academy receiving the vouchers, unfortunately caused an impact on families. We are hopeful for no further delays.

 

 

 

 

Year 11 Qualifications

As you are already are the Department for Education took the decision to close schools on 20th March 2020 and cancel GCSE examinations, to provide yourselves, your children and us with certainty.  The latest guidance from the Department for Education states “Students who were due to sit A-level, AS level or GCSE exams this summer will receive a calculated grade. The calculated grade process will take into account a range of evidence including, for example, non-exam assessment and mock results, and the approach will be standardised between schools and colleges by Ofqual, on behalf of the Department for Education”.  The issuing of GCSE calculated grades will be on 20th August 2020, the same date as planned for release of results and we will provide further information about the process of informing students of their results when we have clarity.  I recognise how frustrating this must be and I am sorry that I cannot provide any further information.  I will of course keep you updated as any new advice or guidance is issued.  Year 11, I cannot stress how important it is for you to continue to engage with the online learning that we have provided and over the coming days and weeks, we will endeavour to support you further in your transition to the next phase of your learning journey.  Also, remember that Team Thistley Hough are always here for you, all you need to do is get in touch.

 

As a school community, we are embracing virtual learning and are grappling with everything this throws at us in our endeavour to ensure that our students still receive not only learning opportunities but also the support, care and guidance that they deserve.  I wish to thank you all for your ongoing support with the new way of working; we sincerely appreciate your commitment with this.

 

I am hopeful that if we continue to work together we will all emerge from this time, with an improved understanding of what is important, not just in the educational context but also in life in general.  March 2020 should mark a time in history when many aspects of life changed for the better.  School certainly is not closed at Thistley Hough Academy, it is just operating under a different guise.

 

Please stay safe and take good care of yourselves and each other.

 

With very best wishes

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Academy Closure Update

Dear Parents/Carers

 

Academy Closure Update

 

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.

 

 

Home Learning

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.

 

 

Easter Provision

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.

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

GCSE’s 2020 Information

GCSE Examinations Summer 2020

 

The Department for Education have released some information regarding how they intend to award GCSE grades this summer.

 

To summarise the key points:

Exams have been cancelled for this summer. No GCSE exam papers will be completed.

The awarding bodies will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead

 

To produce the above, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment

 

The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in

 

Calculated grades will aim to be provided to students before the end of July

 

If students do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis

 

We are yet to receive specific details of what information the awarding bodies will accept as evidence for grading. We are also still awaiting how awarding bodies will ensure that the grades achieved are accurate. As soon as we receive more information, we will ensure that this is shared with you.

 

In the meantime, Year 11 students should continue to work in order to ensure that they are prepared for their next steps. This could include completing any work set by their teachers, reading the specification for their post 16 course, or completing wider reading on areas of interest.

 

For full details of the cancellation of GCSEs, please see the guidance from the Department for Education:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020#contents

INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THISTLEY HOUGH ACADEMY

Dear Parent/Carer

INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THISTLEY HOUGH ACADEMY

As you are aware, the Academy will be closed for an indefinite period to most students as instructed by the Department for Education. We are however open to the children of those identified by the government as ‘KEY WORKERS’.

Please note that the very strong advice from the government is that as many students as possible should be cared for at home throughout the period of closure.

The full definition of a key worker is available on the Cabinet Office website. In summary it is defined as those who work in:

Health and social care
Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare
Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.

Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.

Transport
Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, communication and financial service
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

If you fall into any of the categories identified above, provision will be available for your child during the school hours listed below, from Monday 23rd March until Friday 3rd April.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 8:15am to 3:15pm
  • Wednesday – 8:15am to 2:00pm

In order to support the smooth running of any provision, and to ensure safeguarding procedures are followed, all parents/carers who fall under any of the key worker categories above, must complete the registration form on the website at www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk/medical-conditions by 5:00pm on Sunday 22nd March.  

All staff at Thistley Hough Academy are keen to ensure that the education and needs for all students are met, as best as possible, during this difficult time. Staff have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to ensure that all students have access to work, with supporting resources, for the weeks leading up to and including the Easter break.  Arrangements for remote learning at home has been provided to all students and we would urge you to encourage that home learning takes place.

As you can imagine the closure of schools is the first of a range of steps being taken by the government to try to address the challenges that COVID-19 poses and I ask for your patience and ongoing support as we navigate our way through this unprecedented time.

I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your families well, and to thank you for your cooperation during these difficult times for us all.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jayne Schofield
Principal

School Closure

From Monday 23 March Thistley Hough Academy will be closed to most pupils until further notice.

 

Clarification is expected this afternoon regarding the children for whom the school will remain open.
We will update all stakeholders with this information immediately it becomes available
We aim to confirm which pupils should come to school on Monday in the next 24 hours.

 

Arrangements are being made for the continuity of education for all pupils in and out of school. You will receive notice of these in advance of Monday.

Newsletter – Uniform and Expectations

Dear Parent/Carer

UUniform and Expectations

 As we have reached the halfway point in the academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to share some important information and reminders to ensure that the Academy expectations continue to be met by students, and that pride, respect and commitment are demonstrated at all times.

Uniform

Correct full academy uniform is compulsory for all students. Please be advised that sanctions are in place for students who are not in full uniform.

Please note that both a plain grey jumper and the Academy blazer, is compulsory for all students in all year groups. Should you need any support with regard to uniform, please contact your child’s Head of Year at the Academy.

Full information regarding uniform expectations can be found overleaf, or on the Academy website at www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk.

Attendance

Attendance and Punctuality to school is vitally important. All students should be in school by 8:40am and in classrooms, ready to learn, by 8:45am (Period 1). Any student arriving late to school will be missing valuable learning time and will be issued with a detention. The student entrance (Newcastle Lane entrance) is open from 8:00am. Please note; students will not be allowed to enter the building prior to this time due to supervision restrictions.

 

All students should have departed the Academy site by 4:30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00pm on Wednesdays and 4:00pm each Friday. Please note that students should only remain on site after the normal end time of 3:15pm, or 2pm on Wednesdays, if they are taking part in any afterschool clubs or activities.

Basic Equipment

All students should arrive to school with the basic equipment to assist their learning. Please see the list of the basic equipment requirements overleaf.

 

Mobile Phones

The use of mobile phones or headphones is not permitted on the Academy site. Use of such items will lead to confiscation.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support for Thistley Hough Academy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

 

 

 

Academy uniform

  • Purple blazer with school badge
  • Plain white shirt with stiff collar and a top button
  • Plain grey jumper
  • School tie – this must be clean and free of graffiti
  • Grey school trousers (not leggings, tight fitted trousers or jeans)
  • Grey ‘A’ line school skirt – knee length (tight fitted skirts are not acceptable). Skirts must not be rolled up at the waist.
  • A plain grey or purple Dupatta may be worn (tassels and embroidery are not acceptable). Headscarves must be plain grey.
  • Plain black tights or black or white ankle socks.
  • Plain black leather/leather looking shoes (not platforms, boots, trainers or any sports/fashion branded footwear. Canvas shoes or pumps are not allowed). Ankle boots may be worn under trousers, but are not allowed with a skirt.

 

 

In addition we would like to draw your attention to the following:

 

  • Students are required to attend school with a hairstyle appropriate to the uniform policy. Hair colour should look a natural colour, so there should be no noticeably dyed hair or extreme styles.
  • Facial piercings and tattoos are not allowed.
  • Shirts must be tucked in at all times.
  • Hooded tops and fashion jumpers are not permitted.
  • Blazers must be worn at all times unless permission is given in lesson by the class teacher.
  • Coats are not to be worn inside the main building.

 

 

Basic Equipment:

Students need to be prepared for learning by attending the Academy with the correct basic equipment. This ensures that lessons can begin swiftly and without delay. As such, students are required to bring the following equipment:

 

  1. School Bag
  2. Black or blue ballpoint pen
  3. Pencil
  4. Ruler
  5. Rubber
  6. Pencil sharpener

Reading book