31 March 2020
A letter has gone out to Year 11 students and their parents via email. You can read it here
30 March 2020
Dear Parent/Guardian /Students of Hummersknott Academy
I hope you and your families are ok and managing to stay safe and well despite the different circumstances we all find ourselves in.
May I say how fantastic the children have been in adapting to on line working and coping with inevitable teething problems of technology. In addition to academic work set our welfare teams continue their daily support of the students.
I am a parent of a year 10 child and I understand fully the challenges that all parents are facing whilst children are in the home for indefinite periods of time. Advice given to support our children’s mental and physical health and general wellbeing is to try wherever possible to develop routines and enable the children to manage school work, participate in fun non school based activities in the home, take regular exercise and remain socially connected to friends and family albeit remotely.
To all our students, please keep up with the work set. As we said in assemblies 2 weeks ago nothing is stopping, we are just changing how we work for a period of time. When we return to school, all the work you have done will be beneficial and support you in the future.
This Friday marks the beginning of the Easter holidays, we will recognise this and stop setting work for that period. However if you need anything over this period please do not hesitate to contact us on the Bromcom system or enquiries email as these are monitored and responded to each day.
For our year 11 families we will be writing to you tomorrow with the latest information and guidance on how your GCSE grades are to be calculated and then awarded in July this year and what that means for you following the Easter break.
Take care and we will see you all soon.
23 March 2020
Thank you for your patience today, specifically around your child’s access to Bromcom. Our Systems Services Team are actively addressing all individual concerns and Bromcom are investigating their own issues. We hope to have all issues addressed soon. In the meantime, students have remote access to the school ‘O’ Drive, as well as to the website and have been given paper based work packs to ensure that learning continues.
Our position is now clearer in terms of the number of children who are accessing on-site provision, specific logistical information will be sent directly to parents of those students. We thank all parents for being as proactive as possible in following Government recommendations and arranging to keep their children at home, this has enabled us to fully support front line workers and to ensure the safety of both students and staff.
If your key worker status situation changes and you cannot keep your child at home, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that all communication from school/home around Covid-19 is available on our website.
J M Keating
Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians of children within Hummersknott Academy Trust
Firstly, may I thank you all for your fantastic support and cooperation in these testing times. This has been invaluable in enabling our schools to prepare your child’s learning for the coming weeks.
I apologise if, over the last week, you have felt overloaded with information. Unfortunately, time has been against us following the decision to close schools this week and subsequent guidance.
From Monday, the vast majority of children will follow their distance learning plan. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure a smooth transition to this form of learning, inevitably, there will be some problems and further refinement will be required. I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding and assure you that we will address any problems as soon as possible.
In addition to distance learning, both schools will maintain their child welfare service, this is important to us and as such pastoral leaders and family liaison workers will continue to provide care, albeit in a different format.
For our children in receipt of free school meals, and in absence of our on-site meal provision, supermarket vouchers will be posted to the home address on a weekly basis.
Finally, as we have told all the children in our schools, nothing is stopping, we just have to do things differently for a period of time. We will do this to the best of our ability and with whatever resources we have available. I look forward to welcoming all children back to our schools as soon as possible.
We will, of course, keep you updated via email/letter and the websites of both schools as the situation evolves. In the meantime, I would like to wish you and your families all the very best in these difficult times.
Executive Principal Hummersknott Academy Trust
Some parents are currently experiencing difficulties with receiving email communication particularly via email addresses through:
All communications are uploaded onto our website so please keep checking here for updates if you are affected by issues with your email provider. When the website has been updated a link will also be posted on Facebook.
As you will be aware, despite the closure of the Academy from Friday 20 March 2020, we will be maintaining an on-site provision for children whose parents are designated ‘key workers’. Whilst the definitive list of key workers is yet to be published by central government, we believe that as a minimum it is likely to include people who work in the following sectors:
• health workers
• police officers
• supermarket delivery drivers
• those caring for vulnerable and elderly people
• prison officers
• social workers
• highways agency workers
If you feel that you fall within any of these groups or believe yourself to be a key worker and you wish your child/ren to continue to attend school, please respond to:
email@example.com by 12 noon 20 March 2020, advising child’s name, form group, your occupation and employer to enable us to cross reference with central government’s list when it is published.
Once we have responses and the government’s list, we can contact you directly regarding the location and nature of the provision.
As you are probably already aware, following last night’s announcements by central government, we are to close the Academy on Friday 20 March 2020 for all students, except for those whose parents/carers/guardians are deemed to be ‘key workers’ and some of our most vulnerable children. We will be given the criteria for these groups today and this will be communicated to you.
As of Monday, the Academy’s distance learning plan will be implemented for the vast majority of students. Key Stage 3 work will be set on the Monday 23 March to cover a week of lessons for each subject, Key Stage 4 work will be set daily by 9.00 am for all the lessons that day.
All work set will be on the homework section on Bromcom and a user guide for this was distributed last week. Completed work should be returned to teachers via this system. In support of work set, students are receiving paper based work packs in many of their subjects to take home with them. For parents/carers/guardian of students who are currently absent, packs can be collected from reception at the Academy on Friday afternoon between 2.15 and 4.00 pm. All internal exams are postponed until further notice.
In addition to the setting of work, our welfare and guidance systems will still operate. College Managers will contact students daily via Bromcom and our extended welfare team will maintain contact as appropriate. If you have a safeguarding concern whilst students are distance learning, this should be directed to Kay Kelly our Designated Safeguard Lead firstname.lastname@example.org or Darlington’s ‘children’s front door services’ email@example.com (01325) 406222.
It is vital that learning does not stop. For those with young people in Year 11 it is clear that the process of assessment in the summer will take a different form. Arrangements for this are still to be published but rest assured that we and the education community will be doing everything in our power to ensure that our students are not disadvantaged. It remains important that any outstanding assessed work be completed and students will be instructed on arrangements for this from their teachers.
It is also vital that Year 11 and all our students continue learning by logging on to Bromcom and accessing all tasks and materials.
I appreciate that these are challenging times for us all, thank you for your continued support. I will update you whenever the situation develops.
I am writing to update you on the current situation within school regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.
Following changes to guidance issued by central government on Monday, the school has inevitably experienced increases in student and staff absence. We understand the reasons for this and appreciate your contact with the school, as well as the difficult decisions that you are all facing.
Currently the school is able to cover its staff absence internally and, where possible, absent children have received work to complete at home. However, if the number of staff absences increases significantly, the situation may need to change. In these circumstances, we may initially be forced to look at potential closure to certain year groups in order to maintain a viable educational provision. Our distance-learning plan will be implemented for those affected. I hope we do not need to resort to this but, in these uncertain times, we must be prepared for all eventualities. As outlined last week, we have not been instructed to close by central government or by the public health authorities and we have no wish to do so.
All of our students have had their Bromcom accounts checked to ensure access to the system. Students are also receiving work packs to take home today in support of our distance learning plan should we need to implement it.
I will, of course, contact you if our situation changes. In the meantime, can I thank you for your ongoing support, cooperation and communication.
Given the increasingly fast moving events surrounding the COVID 19 outbreak in the UK and Europe, I am writing to update you on the situation within Hummersknott.
We have been, and will continue to be, in regular contact with Public Health England and the Department for Education and we will continue to follow their advice.
We sent out information last week about what to do to if you suspect that you or a family member is exhibiting signs of the virus and how we can all act to seek to prevent greater spread of infection. We are grateful for all the contact you have made us over the last week and the pragmatic manner in which our whole parent and student body have reacted to this unprecedented situation.
Unless directed otherwise or the situation changes, we maintain our school and the education of our young people continues as usual. Our student body is preparing for their upcoming exams and all are working well.
Whilst we hope and expect that schools remain open, we have naturally been planning to maintain the educational provision for your child in the event of a closure.
Our distance learning plan will utilise the existing Bromcom learning platform, specifically the homework section. This allows two-way interface between your child and their teachers. Resources can be uploaded and returned for assessment etc. More specific details will be sent to you in the event of a closure.
In the meantime, please can you check your Bromcom access at home, ensure you have passwords and that you and your child can utilise the homework section. Attached is a simple reminder ‘how to’ guide. If you experience difficulties with this, please contact systems services on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any other concerns around your child’s potential distance learning, please contact their College Manager. Equally, if your email or telephone contacts have altered since September 2019 please contact us as soon as possible to update them.
For those of you with children in Year 11, I understand the concern around ongoing exam preparation. I can assure you that all subjects are on track to complete syllabus and essential revision and children are preparing well. At present, there are no plans centrally to change summer exams and we continue to work towards those timescales, although we are aware that the exam boards are monitoring the situation closely and will take appropriate action if they deem this necessary.
I appreciate that these are very worrying times for everyone and that potential disruption to schools only adds to the concerns that we all have as parents and carers. We are working as normally as we can, but be reassured that in the event of any changes to government guidance around the closure of educational settings we have comprehensive plans which will be initiated quickly to continue the educational provision for all at Hummersknott.
J M Keating