01 July 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing in order to provide you with a further update on our re-opening strategy. I previously stated that I would seek to keep you informed with any changes and the plans that are now in progress. The current situation:
All primary academies continue to be open for children of critical (key workers), vulnerable pupils and – where possible – children in the priority year groups that the government identified (Early Years, Y1 and Y6).
Secondary partner academies have re-opened for students in Y10 and Y12.
Wherever we have capacity to accommodate children from other year groups, we are doing so. At this stage, this is only occuring for very small numbers of children.
The government’s guidance concerning re-opening for priority year groups indicated that this would result in teachers having much less time to provide online/remote work for other year groups. Despite this, all SNMAT partner academies have sought to sustain the quality and frequency of online/remote work for all pupils who are not yet back in the academy.
I am sure that you will appreciate that many members of staff are now trying to juggle the dual role of teaching those pupils in the academy and providing online/remote learning.
We are very aware that the online/remote learning has now been in place since 23 March. We all recognise that this presents a range of challenges to children and parents. I would ask that you continue to do all that you can to encourage children to engage with the work that teachers are providing; it is especially important that younger children keep learning and practising key basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Our plans for the future: It is clear that the government are planning for all schools to be fully open in September. The guidance which will determine how we do this has not yet been received. We can be confident that the way that we work will be different to that of the past, and that we cannot simply expect to return to the way things were before the pandemic. Please be assured that I will provide you with more information when we have formulated our plans based on the government’s guidance.
I know that many parents will be concerned about missed learning time. Online/remote learning is clearly not a replacement for lessons in the academy. The government has announced that all schools and academies will close as normal during the summer break. A team of teachers and senior leaders from across SNMAT are currently working to Registered Office: Jubilee House, Westgate, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0JH. Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust is a private company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales. Company No. 8738949 create a primary ‘catch-up’ programme for the summer which will help children to be ‘ready’ for their next year group. This will be an online/remote learning package. More details will follow soon.
In our planning for September, we are keen to ensure that we make the very best use of the time and information that we can. All SNMAT partner academies will use two INSET days at the start of term.
I am very keen that teaching staff have the time to assess children’s learning during the first few weeks of the autumn term. In order to evaluate this information and make plans for addressing the gaps that are identified, the Board of Directors of SNMAT has provided an additional INSET day on 25th September to carry out this work. This is a ‘one-off’ additional INSET day in response to the current exceptional circumstances.
INSET days in September:
1 st September
2 nd September
Can I thank you all for your continued patience and understanding. As ever, we will continue to place the needs and best interests of young people at the very centre of all our decisions as we move forward.
Chief Executive Officer Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham Multi Academy Trust (SNMAT)