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Letter from the Principal, staggered return in January,18.12.2020

18th December 2020

Dear Parent and Carers,

As you may be aware, the Government announced late yesterday that secondary schools in England will have a staggered return to school after Christmas, to help roll out mass testing for secondary-school children. I am writing to you now to confirm the arrangements at Cottenham Village College, so that you can enjoy the holiday in the knowledge that we have plans in place to help ensure that there will be minimal disruption to pupils’ learning.

Students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 

Students in Years 7 to 10 will be working remotely at home for the first week of term, following their usual timetable, and returning to school on Monday 11th January 2021. Please use the Astrea Parent App to see your child’s timetable – please note that 5-8 January 2021 is ‘Week B’ on the timetable.

We will be providing a blended learning approach which is made up of live lessons and work set on MS Teams.

Students will follow their usual timetable and will receive information via Teams ‘posts’ for an invitation to join the lesson live (if that lesson is going to be run as a live lesson): they simply need to ‘join’ the lesson when they are invited. Students will also find the work and resources for remote learning on Teams. Where live lessons are delivered these will be recorded so students can go back and access the information if they need to. It is, therefore, important that students are on Teams each day ready for remote learning at the same times they would have lessons during a normal school day; these times are listed below. This is the easiest way for them to stay on track and not miss out on learning.

Lesson 1: 09.05-10.05

Lesson 2: 10.05-11.05

Lesson 3: 11.25-12.25

Lesson 4 (Years 7 & 9): 12.25-13.25

Lesson 4 (Year 10 only): 13.05-14.05

Lesson 5: 14.05-15.05

Year 10 students will have live lessons for their examination subjects supported by some work set via Teams assignments.

For Year 7-9, students will receive some live lessons in English, maths, science, history, geography, French, Spanish, RE and computer science.  The following subjects will set remote work for pupils to do, via Teams, rather than teach ‘live’ lessons: design technology, physical education, music, dance, art and drama.  Staff will be available to support all remote learning via Teams using the ‘posts’ and chat functions.

Students in Years 11 and Y7-10 children of Critical Workers and vulnerable students including those who do not have any IT access

As exam-year students, Year 11 are to return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2021, as planned.

The children of critical workers and vulnerable students will also be back in school from 5th January 2021.  Please complete the short survey below if you are a critical key worker so that we can make sure we can accommodate your child on site.

Access to equipment and technology

Astrea is committed to ensuring every student has access to a laptop or other device so that they can continue to receive a high quality of education.

To ensure our records are up to date, please complete this survey so we are able to provide a laptop/digital device for those who do not have any at home.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=gGfPFvBL70-q-gtugufqCjeuh5mXvYpBmo9FrHwhpTlUNkdQTDdLWDJaWkw0NTJYQjg4RktZRkRERC4u

If you are eligible, Student Services will contact you about when you can collect the electronic device from reception on Monday 4th January 2021, so you can borrow a device for this period.

Today, students have been informed of the plans for the staggered start to the term and have been instructed to take their books home with them as they will need to use these for remote learning.

As before, we ask that you only send your child into school if they are well. If they have any of the COVID symptoms (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; loss of taste or smell) they should not come into school and you should arrange for them to be tested.  Please email studentservices@astreacottenham.org to notify us. Please note that the Department of Education is requiring us to monitor and keep records of students attending remote lessons so please ensure your child is following their usual timetable.  If there is any issue with access, please contact student services so we are able to support where needed.  Tracking of remote learning attendance will begin from Tuesday 5th January 2021.

I appreciate this news has come very late and at CVC we have acted, as quickly as possible, to put the provision in place.  I want to assure you that we will do everything possible to continue to deliver a high standard of education to your child, and to keep disruption to a minimum. Our overriding priority is to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

We will be in touch again at the start of the new term with details on how we will roll out COVID-19 testing for our students.

Thank you again for your ongoing support to the college, and we wish you a peaceful break over the holidays.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Cassady

Principal