Coronavirus Update

 

The latest information regarding the Academy and the Coronavirus pandemic can be found below:

Click here to see the Mounts Bay Policy for Safeguarding – Covid19

 

15th May 2020

In these unprecedented times it is often difficult to decipher the truth from the headlines, so I would like to give a little clarity about the latest flurry of announcements and media headlines. This week the government has announced that primary schools may open to some students after Half-Term from Monday 1st June. They have also announced that their aspiration is for secondary schools to have made some “face to face” contact with some students at some time to be determined after that. We are already planning for “face to face” contact via Microsoft Teams for all our students over the forthcoming weeks, in addition to subject surgeries. Currently there is no intention for Years 7,8 or 9 to return to the Academy until September at the earliest.

As I mentioned last week, I know that this uncertainty makes you all uneasy about the next steps. I want to reassure you all that when we do open, in whatever capacity, we will have made sure that each and every member of Mounts Bay Academy will be as safe as possible should they visit the Academy. In the meantime we continue moving forward with our roll-out of the Microsoft Teams app on student iPads. This will allow students and tutors to have some face to face contact individually or in small groups using the app as part of our scheduled subject surgeries.As we prepare for the Subject Surgeries to begin next week please could I ask that students complete the short acceptable use policy prior to attending. This will ensure that they can run as smoothly as possible.

 

Click here to view the Acceptable Use Policy

 

Finally can I also thank you for all your kind words about the provisions we are making at Mounts Bay. We have a wonderful staff, student and parent community that has risen to the challenges set for us at this time.

Les Hall | Principal

 

7th May 2020

This week national media continues to speculate on when schools and colleges will be able to open their doors to students. I know that this uncertainty makes parents, staff and students uneasy about the next steps. I want to reassure you all that our primary focus at Mounts Bay is the wellbeing of our students and staff. Whatever decisions are made in the forthcoming days, we will accept more students and staff onto campus, when it is safe to do so. In the meantime we remain open for the children of key workers and they are also helping us to evaluate our strategies for moving forward.

Friday 8th May sees us commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. In our planned assemblies this week we were to focus on our commemoration of this important event in our history but also how from the adversity of the Second World War many of the positive elements in modern Britain arose – most notably the establishment of the NHS. We too are experiencing challenging times however they will end and I know will bring positive outcomes for the future.

As a community we need to hold onto this optimism, however challenging it may be at the moment. The government will be making an announcement later this week about the national exit strategy from lockdown. We will update our website and communicate by ParentMail how this affects our community as soon as possible.

However, for this special Bank Holiday weekend, I wish you and your families all the very best. Keep safe and well.

Les Hall | Principal

 

1st May 2020

You will have seen a lot in the news this week about how parents, students and teachers across the country have been adapting to the “lockdown” measures currently in place to help in the battle against Covid-19. I am pleased that despite some of the negative comments in the media about students falling behind, we are doing everything possible at Mounts Bay to give our students the learning they deserve and their parents the best support that we can.

You will again see on this weeks “learning pages” that there is a rich and diverse range of learning on offer for every Year Group. All this is supported through our e-learning platforms, with students receiving the appropriate feedback on their work and where necessary additional communication is had to support students and their parents.

As part of this ongoing commitment, we have asked you all to undertake a survey, including questions on the amount, diversity and delivery of the work we are setting and how students are coping at home.

Whilst simple to complete, it is a massive undertaking for us and as the lockdown continues, we will be using this audit to further tailor the learning students receive until we are able to accommodate all of our students onsite once again. Please help us by completing your survey.

We of course still remain open for the children of key workers and they also helping us to evaluate our teaching as they are receiving the same curriculum as students who are off site.

The national media continues to speculate on when schools and colleges will be able to open their doors to students and we will be ready to do whatever is best for our students once more is known of the situation. Until then remember to stay at home, protect our key workers and save lives.

Kind regards and stay safe,

Les Hall | Principal

 

24th April 2020

This week has been our first full week of home learning for the whole school since the Easter break and I have been pleased to see the amount of work that is being set and returned by students.

As part of our High Performance Learning strategy, we encourage students to learn independently. We also use many different sources to allow for differentiation of this learning, which means that students can learn at any level within a topic.

A number of our Year 11 students are, unsurprisingly, feeling a little unsettled at the moment due to their uncertainty over the exam grades. The government has told schools that they can’t share with students, or their parents, what grades they think the students would have achieved in the summer.  We will base grades on their work in lessons and how much we would expect them to improve on the mock grades. Students who want to improve on the grades awarded to them by the school/government in August may have the opportunity to sit exams in the Autumn.

Finally, congratulations to our Music Department who have just received the Bernice McCabe Award 2020 from the Princes Teaching Institute. This award is given to the school whose Music Department has consistently achieved the highest standards in teaching and learning practice. It is well deserved recognition for all the hard work our staff and students put into Music at Mounts Bay all year round.

Well Done!

Kind regards and stay safe,

Les Hall | Principal

 

17th April 2020

Welcome back after the Easter Break. This was probably the most  unusual break we have ever encountered in these unusual times and I hope everyone managed to enjoy their time whilst staying safe.

Before we broke up I was amazed at the amount of learning that was happening despite the fact that the physical campus was closed to the majority of students. This can be seen on the learning pages of this newsletter, and whilst it is not the same as being in the classroom. There is sufficient available to make sure that every year group has enough to ensure that once we are back in school, not too much will need to be caught up.

Remember this work is being assessed and feedback given in the  same way as when we  are in school, so we tutors be following up on progress and contacting parents in the normal way if we have any concerns.

We have now received confirmation from the Department of Education that the GCSE Results Day will remain as published on 20th August 2020. In place of the examinations, the boards are gathering assessments from us about what they expected students to achieve and these predictions will be moderated so the overall national results and shares of grades are in line with previous years. At this time they have also promised that for those pupils who think they would have done better in an exam, another exam can be taken in the autumn.

The school remains open for the children of Key Workers and this week we asked students to “clap for carers” that we will be assembling into a video, so keep sending in those clips and rainbows.

It was  also great to see that Mr Glenville has been busy using our 3D Printer to produce some much needed Personal Protective Equipment for local pharmacies and care organisations. This is precisely the community spirit that we foster at Mounts Bay and why I am proud to be your Academy Principal.

Kind regards and stay safe,

Les Hall | Principal

 

25th March 2020

Dear all,

I hope that you are staying healthy and observing the Social Distancing guidelines in the surreal landscape that we find ourselves. We have had a couple of teething troubles with our online provision over the last couple of days, and hopefully we are now settled into a routine. Just to remind you that students should be doing school based learning for between 3 and 4 hours per day. If they are at a loose end then I can also recommend the Headspace app on their iPad or the following YouTube channels – you may enjoy them yourselves!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ – This has live PE lessons at 09:00 each school day.

https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene – This is a yoga channel.

For those parents who wish to follow your child’s progress on Seesaw I have attached a document below to help you navigate this. Teachers will be sending out the class codes to you so that you can set this up yourselves if you choose to.

I will be sending out a newsletter as usual this Friday with these details and others that may interest you.

Kind regards and stay safe,

Les Hall | Principal

Click here to see how to join your childs Seesaw classes

 

24th March 2020

Dear all,

Thank you for your tolerance and patience as we get systems up and running at this strangely surreal time.

I wanted to provide a little clarity regarding the expectations of students over this period of home-schooling whilst we are closed to almost all students.

Firstly, we have had a number of outages of Firefly. These should be resolved by 1:30 today. This is a national problem with their servers. We have provided a number of ebooks for students if you need to keep them busy during an issue like this, but please do not feel obliged to do so. These should be on the iPad already but if not can be requested from staff via email.

Completed work can be sent via email, and some classes are now using Seesaw -if you want to get up to speed on Seesaw then here is a link:

https://web.seesaw.me/parents

We are hoping that students will complete around 3-4 hours of study a day whether this is reading, online work or exercise during PE time. If it is not possible, please do not worry. These are testing times for all.

Once again, thank you for your patience.

Les Hall | Principal

 

20th March 2020

Thank you for your ongoing support. To follow from my update yesterday, a reminder that we have been instructed to close for nearly all pupils as of today.

We now have guidance from the Government – full information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers#critical-workers

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

So that we can arrange suitable provision for this, please complete this form:

https://forms.gle/NZupm5DbHwSYTZVx6

It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home. If you have a child who is considered vulnerable then you will be contacted directly via the telephone by either ourselves or your Social Worker.

Learning will continue as normal for all students, as per the Remote Learning Strategy yesterday. Students will be asked to work during the normal school day i.e. 70-75 minutes of subject based learning. There will be NO additional homework, and there is no pressure on students to complete the work if they are not able to. We need to be as flexible as possible and I thank you for your help with this.

It is possible that our wonderful Year 11 students have had their learning cut short, however, we are planning to have a celebration of their amazing learning in July and have started the planning process for this already.

There will most likely be new information that is released today by the Government, and if this is the case then I will send out an update.
Thank you once again for the support in these unprecedented times.

Les Hall | Principal

 

19th March 2020

Thank you for your patience regarding sharing of information following the Government’s announcement about school closures yesterday evening.

As you will see, our planning has been timely for this and we are well prepared to continue schooling on a mobile basis via our online channels.

Schools have been instructed to provide, where necessary, supervision for children of key workers from Monday 23rd March, if either both parents at home are key workers, or, if they are within a single parent family, and their sole parent/carer is a key worker. The government’s definition of key workers is people who, in these unprecedented times, are needed on the frontline. This includes those working in the NHS, in care homes, in the police and fire service, and teachers. It also includes people who are involved in essential retail delivery and those suddenly manufacturing equipment such as ventilators. We should receive a more specific definition soon, and if this definition changes, we will inform you.

So that we can arrange suitable provision for this, please complete this form:

https://forms.gle/NZupm5DbHwSYTZVx6

if your child will require such supervision from Monday. It is really important that the information is complete and accurate for our safeguarding procedures. Please also indicate whether or not your child is entitled to free school meals.

If your child is not in school but would you like to pick up a free school meal then please email the following address each morning before 08:30.

mountsbay@aspens-services.co.uk

It will then be available for collection between 12:30 and 1:00.

If you do not qualify for the key worker provision, please ensure that your child completes the tasks set each day as if they were following their normal timetable. Work will be set each day according to the attached graphic. If you are not sure of what subject areas to focus on and when, please use your child’s timetable as a guide. A newsletter will be emailed to you each Friday outlining many of the tasks that have been set for each year group during the week.

It is important that learning continues, as this situation will be resolved and schools will again open as soon as they can. There is a planned Government announcement at the end of Friday, and I will communicate with you about any new information when we receive it.

Once again I thank you for your support during this unprecedented time.

Les Hall | Academy Principal

 

Click here to view our Remote Learning Strategy

 

18th March 2020

Firstly may I thank you for your kindness and support during this difficult time. The Nation often pulls together in times of crisis, but I feel that the parents of students at Mounts Bay Academy support each other and the school in every way possible.

This situation is entirely new to all of us.

We have maintained classes until today, but staffing levels have now become a concern. We have taken the decision, therefore to close for students in years 8 and 9 for the rest of the week.

On Thursday 19th March and Friday 20th March – school will be open for students in years 7, 10 and 11 only so we can prioritise their GCSE studies with directed staffing levels. Further announcements will be made regarding other year groups if necessary.

Lessons will continue be set at the appropriate time for all students whether they are in school or not. That means that students will need a work space at home between 08:40 and 3:15. Lessons will be set through Firefly or via the ebooks they have been sent and collected through a variety of ways that their class teachers will identify.

Thank you once again for your ongoing support at this difficult time.

Les Hall | Academy Principal