Academy Closure

A statement from Mr Hall

The Government has announced that as part of the national lockdown measures all schools, colleges and universities must now close until further notice.

As such we will switch to our planned remote learning provision for all Year Groups from Wednesday 6th January. Where possible Form tutors will contact students to invite them to Virtual Tutor Group meetings until they are able to attend again in person.

However the Academy will remain open for the provision of supervised remote learning for the children of Key Workers and vulnerable children from 8:30 am – 2:45 pm each school day from Wednesday 6th January. Unfortunately, there will be no MBA minibuses, chartered coaches or coaches from County on offer and students will need to be dropped off and collected each day.

Families that are interested in applying for a place are asked to complete this online form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEXlRnZ4tKS7i3CkL9CsLQnEzgJqi5nMaQ1ygfKv-MtfqQnQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

N.B. Students should only attend if their place has been confirmed.

We will be offering Lateral Flow Testing to all students whilst they are in our care. It is well known that up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. These tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and keep our Academy open as safely as possible. The test is done by the individual, is quick, returns a result in 30 minutes and whilst voluntary, I would encourage everyone to take it.

Every student who participates will be tested twice a week and tests will be supervised by fully trained staff. Any student testing positive will immediately be isolated from the group and parents informed. Parents will then be advised to undertake a further test and if that also proves positive they must isolate in accordance with Government guidelines. Additionally, we will identify “close contacts” of the affected student and those contacts will take part in a “serial contact testing” programme where they are tested daily for seven days to ensure they can remain in school. Unfortunately, any “close contact” student who does not participate in the programme will need to self-isolate in accordance with the Government guidelines.

More information on the testing process and what happens afterwards is attached and can be found on our website here:

www.mountsbay.org/covid-19-guidance

You will have received a Testing Consent Form  by ParentMail. Please sign the form and return it to us if you are happy this to happen. Test data will be shared with NHS Track and Trace however no personalised data is given. Please note that we cannot test your child without this completed consent form and in the event that someone in a tutor group tests positive, untested “close contacts” will need to self-isolate at home.

Please complete the Testing Consent Form and the online form to enable us to accommodate students with suitable provision.

Parent/carers can be assured that our remote learning provision will be suitable and that we envisage that learning will take place as successfully under these measures as happened in 2020.

The Prime Minister announced last night that GCSE exams will not take place this Summer in the normal way. In the coming days we will receive details of what will replace them. It seems reasonable to expect that students will receive grades based upon a similar system to last year’s cohort in 2020. This involved teachers assessing performance and using class and homework, coursework, mock exam results and other evidence.

I am aware that many of you will be shocked and disappointed in this news. The Government had consistently told students, parents and teachers that exams would happen this year, and we all planned on this basis. Once the initial shock has worn off, I would urge you to consider the following three points, as they should provide you with some reassurance:

1. Your hard work will still be recognised. None of the effort you have shown so far, and will continue to show in the coming months, will be wasted. In fact, the new system will make sure that all these aspects are fully reflected in your final grade.

2. Your eventual results will be indistinguishable from the actual exams. In the long run, it won’t matter that your grades were awarded via this system. You will still be able to progress to Sixth Form College, Apprenticeships and University in the usual way. The value of your qualifications are not being altered, only the way that they are administered. None of your ambitions for the future will be affected by this decision.

3. The new system will be fair and balanced. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence. Any grades that your teachers set will be moderated carefully, to ensure that they are consistent within and between schools. The appeals process will most likely be the same as most years if you are unhappy with the result that you are awarded.

It is asking a lot of you, on top of everything else that you have already been through, but you must keep going. Your teachers will be helping you to do your best over the next weeks, and we are in a great position to continue with the online work that you are used to by now. There will be assessments put in place over the next couple of weeks that will form the “First Mock” results, and assessments will be made wherever necessary to provide evidence of your fantastic work. For now, though, revise for the forthcoming assessments and keep on working. Turn up for the online sessions as they will be a part of your assessment grade now. Work hard at everything that you do – now, more than ever, your level of effort matters.