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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.

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.