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Updates, Information and Questions and Answers

We are sharing updates, information and a number of common questions and our response.  We will keep this updated on a regular basis, as this is a fast moving situation and some answers change in light of the situation and new Government guidance.   We will continue to issue regular updates to our parents and students and post information on the school website.

Conyers School & Sixth Form – Message from Mrs Spellman

Many thanks for your continuing support for the virtual school. Engagement levels remain high and your feedback has been very helpful. We have issued monitoring reports to parents of students in Years 10 and 12 and the reports for those students in Years 7-9 will be issued by the end of the month. We will follow the same process with these reports, parents will be given the opportunity to comment upon the report and form tutors will follow up the report with a phone call.

We will begin to provide opportunities for face to face contact for some students in Years 10 and 12 from 15 June in line with government guidelines. The guidance only allows for 25% of these year groups to be in school on any day. Therefore, our approach will take the form of booster classes, master classes and pastoral meetings. The programme will be personalised and this week we have considered what each student would benefit from to support their continuing work in the virtual school.

Next week all of the students in Years 10 and 12 will receive their personalised programme along with all of the arrangements for their attendance in school. This will cover all the key elements of safety to ensure that we operate as safely as possible within the agreed guidelines. Attendance at the sessions is not mandatory and families must make decisions in the best interests of everyone concerned. The programme will be stringently risk assessed and we will use our extensive expertise gained from reopening the Trust primary schools to more students to ensure we are all as safe as possible.

Once again thank you.

Stay safe and have a lovely weekend.

Louise Spellman
Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

 

Years 7, 8 & 9 – Student Assessments – 2 June 2020

Parents / guardians of Year 7, 8 & 9 students.

Given the most recent Government guidance we will not be holding the planned exam week this half term for Key Stage 3 students.

Teachers will continue to assess student work and this will be reported via email towards the end of June. There will also be a grade 1-4 to indicate your child’s engagement in the virtual school. These descriptors will be published with the monitoring report. This grade will help to inform intervention plans as it will indicate where learning gaps have formed. There will be a link on the report for you to comment on the monitoring data and where necessary allow us to follow up on issues or concerns.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the support you have given to our virtual school and helping us minimise the disruption to your child’s education.

Regards,

Angela O’Boyle, Director of Standards & Progress

 

Message for Parents – 22 May 2020

Good afternoon,

As the bank holiday approaches, I will keep this message brief as the regular half termly newsletter has been sent to you containing lots of information about what we have been up to.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all of your support during this half term. We know it is not easy to keep young people motivated and engaged with the virtual school and your positive responses to our messages and calls have been really appreciated. 

As explained in the newsletter, we will be learning in the virtual school for the remainder of the academic year. We are beginning to plan for face to face support for Year 10 and 12 but are awaiting further guidance from the government before finalising our plans. We will be in touch as soon as we know more.

One item of good news which arrived too late for the newsletter was the appointment of our Headboy, Headgirl and their Deputies. The process was completed online with video presentations rather than the usual hustings, an online student vote and a zoom interview.

Congratulations to

Headboy  – Matthew Gordon

Headgirl – Daisy Mellis

Deputies – Amelie Harrison and Harrison George

Here is the photograph of the zoom meeting in which the good news was received by the delighted candidates.

Have a lovely holiday and stay safe,

Louise Spellman

Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

 

Year 11 Maths

Please see below for a message that has been sent out to all Year 11 students, if you think your child would benefit from this please encourage them to check their emails and reply.

After half term we will be offering maths support to help any student who wants to keep their maths sharp, including those who have any concerns they may want to resit next year, if they don’t achieve the grade they want.

If you would be interested in this opportunity please reply to this email to let me know.

Take care,

Mrs Blakemoore

cblakemoore@conyers.org.uk

 

Message from Mrs Spellman – 15 May 2020

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all well and continuing to stay safe during this time. I would like to thank you all for your support with the virtual school, almost all of our students are engaging well and hopefully this will mean that the transition back into school is easier for them. Teachers continue to work hard to plan lessons to ensure our children make progress and suffer no significant gaps in their learning.

It is very important that if your child experiences difficulties or is struggling with their lessons you let us know so that we can help and support in any way we can. Exercise books are available in school reception should current books be filling up – squared and lined books are available.

On Sunday the Prime Minister announced plans for the further opening of schools which has provided some clarity for secondary schools. We will not be open other than for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children this academic year. However, we have been asked to begin ‘some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils, who have key exams next year, in support of their continued, remote home learning’.

Therefore, the virtual school will continue for all students. We will be issuing monitoring reports as usual giving parents an indication of their child’s progress and their engagement with the virtual school. These reports will be issued during the next half term and will offer parents the opportunity to respond and raise questions as we will not be able to offer the usual consultation evening appointments with teachers.

As remote learning will continue for the remainder of the academic year we need to adapt our approach to the shape of the working week particularly for Year 10 and 12. Therefore, your child may receive  ‘homework’ or independent learning type tasks and may now be set work for weekends and holidays. This will ensure that those in Year 10 and 12 do not fall behind and are properly prepared for their exams next year. As we have no information about what these exams will look like, we are assuming no change and preparing accordingly until advised otherwise.

The face to face contact for Year 10 and 12 gives us a great opportunity to give those students a real boost and push them on with their learning. Subject leaders are looking at their plans for next term and looking at how these can be enhanced by opportunities in school whether a practical lesson or a seminar or the opportunity to deliver content that would prove challenging remotely. The Sixth Form and Year 10 teams will also be looking closely at the monitoring data and identifying those students who might benefit from a face to face meeting to help engage, motivate or alleviate anxiety depending on individual circumstances. 

This is a real chance to ‘supplement’ the work taking place in the virtual school but no student will be disadvantaged if they cannot or do not wish to access face to face contact. We need to plan this very carefully to ensure all protective measures are in place and safety will be checked and double checked before we proceed. Therefore, we will not be ready to start our programme until 8 June following a trial with a small Y12 group on 4 or 5 June. Further information will follow when plans are ready but students need to understand that these opportunities are a ‘boost’ and the virtual school is how they will be learning until the end of term.

As we now have clarity about the remainder of this term it is vital that children access the well being elements of the virtual school and manage to take regular exercise to maintain well being. Life at Conyers is active and busy and a great deal of time is spent outdoors moving around and we are encouraging students to maintain that level of activity safely at home.

Finally, I am aware that many more of you are being called back into work, not least primary school colleagues. The guidelines for accessing critical worker provision have not changed and we will welcome your children into school. However, to ensure safety we need to plan this provision carefully. Therefore, please let us know if you will need to make use of this facility by emailing conyers@conyers.org.uk or telephoning school reception.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe,

Louise Spellman

Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

Conyers School – School Trips – 12 May 2020

Dear Parents

For those of you with children who were going on a school trip, you should have received an email from Mrs Pattison with regards to the cancellation details.

If you haven’t received any communications, can you please email her at gpattison@conyers.org.uk as soon as possible.

May Half Term Holidays – Key Workers Parents of Years 7 & 8 Students

Dear Parent, 

We are currently in the process of making arrangements for child care over the May Half-Term holidays.  Conyers is providing this service to key workers of children in Year 7 and Year 8. Should you be a key worker and require access to this service, we would ask you indicate your intentions by completing the form at the link below.

To maintain the safety of all concerned,  it is essential that we have a clear idea of who needs to take up this offer, so we can arrange the correct staffing.  A prompt response would be greatly appreciated by, 4.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 13 May.

Link for parents to the booking form:

https://forms.gle/Qch7WfswotZkwtnf8

regards

John Downs
Deputy Headteacher

Third Week Message – 24 April 2020

As we end our third week of virtual schooling I would like to thank you for your continued support. Your children continue to be focused and engaged with their lessons and teachers are delighted with the progress that is being made. You can follow much of what we are doing on our social media pages.

We know that it can be a struggle to keep teenagers focused particularly when the weather is so lovely but there are opportunities for breaks and the day finishes earlier at 3.15pm. This provides ample opportunity for students to leave their books and screens and enjoy the glorious weather knowing they have achieved their objectives for the day. We continue to make a wide range of activities available for extra curricular enrichment and hope families are finding these useful.

One issue that has started to emerge this week is that students are filling their school books and don’t have new ones. If this is a problem please contact school (telephone or school email) as we are looking at ways of making books available for students.

The numbers of students accessing school remain low but have increased slightly. We continue to follow social distancing instructions and the site and catering teams are doing an excellent job in keeping us safe and well fed. Lunch is a particular highlight of our day!

We have been very successful in ordering free school meal vouchers for eligible families and so far more than £18,000 worth of vouchers have been ordered and issued. Special thanks to Mrs Swansbury who is spending huge amounts of time queuing on the website to ensure that orders are placed. Again if there are any issues with the vouchers please contact school. We will do our very best to support you but remember the system is very new and there have been glitches. Hopefully this will improve as time progresses.

Particular thanks this week to the technology and textiles staff who have made PPE for staff at North Tees Hospital in school during the holidays – a real example of the Conyers community making a real difference.

Have a lovely weekend. Please stay at home, stay safe and enjoy the sunshine.

Best wishes

Louise Spellman
Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

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Ofqual full guidance to parents and students

Ofqual letter to students

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guide to how the national scheme to provide food vouchers for those entitled to free school meals will work

Emergency Food Aid Directory – directory gives details of organisations that can provide emergency food assistance to people in Stockton Borough

Stockton Contact Numbers COVID-19 – to arrange collection/delivery of free school meals and general support

BEIS / domestic energy supply companies: agreement

Daisy Chain Family Support Service

The family support service offer support to young people aged 0-18 years and families of those affected by a neurodevelopmental condition including, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing differences. The service is open to those pre, during and post diagnosis. Although our Daisy Chain site is closed all members of the family support team are still working hard from home to offer support to families and professionals during this challenging time.

The link below will take families to our online enquiry form. If a family is unable to complete this form they can directly email family.support@daisychainproject.co.uk to ask for support.

https://www.daisychainproject.co.uk/telephone-support-service-covid-19

Daisy Chain Services Brochure

Daisy chain Neurodevelopmental Child and Family Support Service Brochure

Easter Holidays Arrangements – Years 7 & 8 – Key Workers – 31 March

Dear Parent,

We are currently in the process of making arrangements for child care over the Easter holidays. Conyers is providing this service to key workers of children in Year 7 and Year 8. Should you be a key worker and require access to this service, we would ask you indicate your intentions by completing the form at the link below.

To maintain the safety of all concerned, it is essential that we have a clear idea of who needs to take up this offer, so we can arrange the correct staffing. A prompt response would be greatly appreciated by tomorrow, 4.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 1st April.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSchIoA1bflH4eRgdpfi98wn8sDRO_HER0v6eeemHIhqQIQg8g/viewform

Some information from Stockton Council’s website below – 30 March

Free school meals vouchers

The council is awaiting details of the national approach to providing support through supermarket and shop vouchers.

The four Family Hubs – Billingham, Redhill, Stockton and Thornaby – are continuing to distribute packed lunches to families with children who would normally receive a free school meal.

This offer from our Family Hubs will continue through the Easter holidays, when a ‘holiday hunger’ scheme runs, and will run alongside the national voucher scheme if it has come into place by then.

Details of the free school meals offer from Family Hubs are below and anyone who cannot collect a meal from a Family Hub can call Help Point for assistance on 01642 527225.

***FREE SCHOOL MEALS TO CONTINUE***

Families with children and young people who would normally have a free school meal and will not be able to get one by attending their usual school/setting can visit their nearest Family Hub to receive food for their child.

It’ll be a nutritious packed lunch that’s ready to take away.

The hubs will be serving between 11:30am and 2pm.

If you’re unable to get to a hub, a number of voluntary organisations are on hand to help. For more information contact Help Point on 01642 527225 or your local Family Hub:

• Billingham Family Hub, Ochil Terrace: 01642 524731
• Redhill Family Hub, Redhill Road: 01642 527224
• Stockton Family Hub, Yarm Road: 01642 528977
• Thornaby Family Hub, Tedder Avenue: 01642 528947

Please note that packed lunches continue to be available from Conyers School.

End of Week 1 message – 27 March

Dear Parents,

As Week 1 at the Conyers Virtual School ends I would like to thank you all for your magnificent support. Attendance in the virtual school is running at 97% and staff have been delighted with how well your children are engaging. We have been so grateful for your speedy responses to our calls and emails if your child has not logged in or completed tasks and impressed with your patience if you have struggled to access resources. Technology can frustrate us all at the best of times, as can our children!

We would also like to say thank you for sticking to the Government guidelines for accessing provision in school. The school building is only being accessed by those families who absolutely need it and this helps keep us all safe. The students in school are sticking well to the hygiene and social distancing guidelines and have proved a joy to work with. Given many of these children have parents in the front line it is a pleasure to provide a safe space for them during the day and they are responding brilliantly and demonstrating very positive attitudes.

Should you need Easter provision please sign up as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

I would also like to thank you for being so positive about the work the staff have put in to keep your children learning on social media and thank you also for the emails and calls we have received. Some very kind parents have sent in treats for the staff which has meant a great deal. We love working with your children and it has been wonderful to hear your kind words.

Have a lovely weekend we will be back bright and early Monday morning.

Stay safe, stay at home and look after yourselves.

Louise Spellman
Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

Family Hubs

Free School Meals Children: Family Hubs across Stockton will be open between the hours of 10-2pm each day to receive food provision and serve this to our communities to children qualifying for free school meals.

Billingham Address: Ochil Terrace, Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, TS23 2QL. Telephone: 01642 528912

Redhill Address: Redhill Road, Roseworth, Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 9BX Telephone: 01642 524314

Stockton Address: Yarm Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 3PJ
Telephone: 01642 528848

Thornaby Address: Tedder Avenue, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 9JP
Telephone: 01642 528947

First Day Update Monday 23 March

Dear Parent / Guardian

On behalf of all our school, I would like to thank you for the tremendous support you have been providing to our students and the school community in this very difficult time. Our first thoughts are with those who are unwell, their families and the NHS staff looking after them.

As you will know, the school is officially closed but remains open as a childcare provider of last resort, for the children of key workers and vulnerable students. It is clear people have been following the advice. This allows the school to support those people who are working hard to keep the rest of us safe.

Government advice on Coronavirus remains

  • minimise contact with others such as working at home if possible, avoiding unnecessary travel
  • regular hand washing
  • self isolate if you or anyone in your household display any of the symptoms (a high temperature and/or new continuous cough) for a minimum of 14 days
  • self isolate if you are over 70 year old or have an underlying health condition as set out by the Government eg diabetes

Conyers Virtual School has got off to a flying start with almost all students accessing their learning from home. Teachers have been very impressed with the engagement students have shown in their learning and hope this continues tomorrow and until the Easter break.

I would like to particularly thank those staff who have been working to keep the school going, in the kitchens, cleaning and site teams and looking after those students who are in. The IT team has been pulling out all the stops to keep our virtual community working and engaged. This has been a fantastic team effort.

We are taking this a day at a time, as it remains a very fluid and fast moving picture however I am confident that our school and community will rise to this challenge.

Louise Spellman
Chief Executive ‘The 1590 Trust’

Questions & Answers No.1 20th March 2020: 

Am I a Key worker? 

A list of who are designated key workers is on the Government website

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

I am a key worker, but I am really unclear as to whether I should be sending my child to school?

The official Government advice is as follows:

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying health conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

 

Does my child who is going to be at School, have to wear uniform from 23rd March, during the present crisis?

No uniform is required but please wear suitable and sensible clothes for a school environment. It would be useful to bring sport clothes so as to be able to do PE if necessary.

 

My child does not attend Conyers School, can they attend from 23rd March during the crisis while their present school is closed or they are not able to get transport to attend?

Yes, if they are of secondary age they can come to Conyers and if they are of primary age then they can attend our nearest Trust primary school i.e. Bader, Bewley, Kirklevington, Layfield or Levendale.  Please let us know their names in advance so we are aware and can prepare accordingly via conyers@conyers.org.uk

 

How does my child obtain a free school meal if they qualify for a Free School Meal? 

Stockton Council is organising four Hubs through-out the borough to distribute packed lunches for those entitled to receive a free school meal. Further details on this will be put on our website and will be on the Council website and social media today.

 

I am classed a Key Worker by the government, do you require proof? 

No we are not requesting proof, we will trust your integrity.

 

Is school transport provided? 

Conyers usual school transport is being provided. Buses may take a little longer than usual given the situation but the service is planned to run.

 

My child cannot get transport to Conyers as the public service bus timetables have been reduced, so can they attend another Stockton school? 

Yes, Stockton Council is requesting that they attend a secondary school local to your address. Further details will be shared by Stockton Council.

 

What hours is Conyers and the other Trust schools open?

All our schools are maintaining their usual opening and closing hours.

 

Will the school canteen be open? 

Yes. There will be a limited food service provided. Those entitled to free school meals will be provided with a meal and those who purchase a meal can continue to do so as usual.  

 

Will the Conyers’ school library open after 3.40 p.m. for students to use? 

Yes, we are operating as usual, the library hours remain unchanged.

Note the site will be closed by 6.00 p.m.

 

Where can I find out how the Conyers Virtual School will be working please?

The Conyers school website has the document explaining how this will work https://www.conyers.org.uk/conyers-virtual-school-information/

 

Is the school opening during the Easter Holidays?

We are in discussion with Stockton Council as regards to what services will be operated over the Easter school holidays. We will update when these plans have been firmed up and we know more.