The Academy is open to vulnerable students and to the children of Key Workers only, providing that they have completed the declaration sent out, and where they have no other option. Where another option is available then please use this, if children can stay at home then they should do this to avoid the risk of infection.
As you will be aware from the latest news, the Coronavirus situation is ongoing and is being closely monitored. Public Health England has announced that places of education must close to the majority of students, and the Academy is managing this in liaison with the relevant authorities. We will continue to be vigilant and ensure the highest standards of hygiene are adhered to by our staff and students. We are not currently welcoming visitors to the Academy for the safety of the students and staff that we have working on site.
If the situation changes, we will of course inform you as soon as we are able. Please be assured that we are liaising with the relevant authorities, and are putting appropriate measures in place as advised, please check the Academy website daily for updates.
Please do not call the Academy unless absolutely necessary in order to allow our staff to prioritise care and supervision for the students that we have on site.
Exams & Careers
Full details of our reopening plans from September 2020 are available here.
Students working from home continue to have work set by their Learning Consultants through the eLearning Hub available here. Students should check their emails daily and may contact staff if they need support, they can log in to their emails here, their email address is the username that they use to log on to a computer in the Academy followed by @q3academy.me and their password is also the one they would use to log on to a computer in the Academy.
The Education Endowment Foundation has published additional resources that you may find useful, these can be accessed here.
Working from home isn’t quite the same as working from in the Academy, and we appreciate this. We’re expecting students to work for a few hours each day, but they’ll also need further enrichment such as daily exercise and reading for pleasure to keep them motivated, happy, and in good mental and physical health.
A Sandwell child has recently made the news with his inspiring story that we wanted to share with you here. We encourage our students to show this passion and enthusiasm, and to share any exciting stories, news, and achievements with their Personal Tutor by email.
We have been advised by Sandwell Local Authority that there are a variety of email and text message scams which are targeting families since the COVID-19 outbreak. In particular, this week there have been a number of messages sent offering payments for Free School Meals (FSM), rent rebates, and tax refunds. In all cases, they ask parents/carers to click a link and enter their bank details to access the repayment. Please do not click these links or give your bank details to any sender of these texts/emails.
The Academy is sending vouchers to ensure that students who are in receipt of Free School Meals still have access to their meal entitlement from home.
It has been announced that this summer’s examinations will not be taking place, but that students will not be disadvantaged by this process.
The government has set out plans on how they will award qualifications here. The Academy will cooperate fully with the relevant awarding bodies and agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.
Students, please see a letter from Ofqual here.
Year 11 and 13 leavers can now access free remote advice from Sandwell’s Employment and Skills Team by email here.
You can see the most up-to-date guidance available from the NHS here.
There is useful guidance available from the NHS on hand hygiene which can be found here.
Relevant information from the Department for Education that we have been asked to share can be found here.
The latest guidance available from the government can be found here.
RCPCH have provided helpful advice for parents/carers to use when assessing if they believe their child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 in this poster here.
Please continue to report any concerns about our students as normal during this time; it is important, now more than ever, to look out for each other.
Students can email BeBrave if they’re feeling anxious or have concerns, or they can access confidential advice and support from a Sandwell Nurse by sending a text message to 07480 635486.
The Home Office have published this essential resource providing guidance on keeping your child safe from a range of online harms here.
Healthy Sandwell have shared their 5 Ways to Wellbeing here.
Sandwell’s young people have put together this video encouraging people to stay home.
Parent Info have published useful digital safety guidance here.
The Parents Guide have published a free guide for parents/carers that you can download here.
Education Otherwise is a charitable organisation that has been supporting home-educated families for over 30 years, they have kindly shared this information that you may find useful here.
Children’s Commissioner have published this presentation explaining Coronavirus is a child-friendly way here.
Kooth is a really helpful organisation that can provide support for young people in their time away from the Academy.
Beam is another helpful organisation who are on hand to provide support for young people through the launch of a new telephone service.
The following document contains contact details for support with domestic abuse.
All educational visits and trips have been cancelled for the remainder of the academic year 2019-2020 owing to the current situation.
We are following the guidance of the relevant authorities and updating parents/carers of students affected by any disruption directly when we are able. If a visit that your child was due to attend has been cancelled then you will have been notified of this by email (this will have EVOLVE listed as the sender). Please note that our insurance provider is currently unable to provide an estimate of when our claim will be processed owing to the volume of claims they are dealing with in relation to COVID-19, this may be after the summer holidays, but our finance team are ready and prepared to process your refund as soon as it is received by the Academy.
We asked our students to submit questions that they’d like answering about the current situation to help reassure them. Whilst we don’t yet have the answers to everything, we’ve done our best to group and gather our thoughts below. Do remember that the situation is ever-changing, so it’s important to always follow the latest government guidelines.
How is the online platform going to work?
How will we get notified of where the work is to complete/what to do?
How will we do subjects like Performing Arts and Wellbeing Active at home?
Is there going to be regular work and Independent Learning?
Will all the work be at once or over a time period?
Are we going to get sent work at home?
Should I still be teaching myself the content of my course?
Work for all subjects is on the eLearning Hub, and this is updated regularly. There is no login required.
Will there be weekly submissions of work?
In general, there is no need to submit work. However, individual Learning Consultants or departments may ask certain classes to email completed assignments or share them on Google Drive. Where this is expected, all information is provided on the eLearning Hub.
Are we going to get additional Independent Learning from what we normally get?
What are we going to do about Independent Learning?
Are students still using ClassCharts?
During this period of working from home, there is no clear distinction between work set in lesson and as Independent Learning. All work is set on the eLearning Hub, so there is no need to check ClassCharts unless a particular subject asks you to look on there for work.
Can we be on call with our peers when we do our work?
Yes, collaboration can sometimes be a good idea. However, just like when students work in class, it’s important that everyone thinks and contributes to a group discussion. There should also be a fair balance with Individual Practice too.
How are Learning Consultants going to teach us what to do?
We all need to adapt to learning from home, which is different from learning in the Academy. This means that instead of direct instruction, most subjects will point you towards videos, slideshows, or articles to read.
How are we supposed to do work if we do not understand what we are supposed to do?
We’re trying to make sure that you have all the resources you need to get un-stuck. For example, when we set a quiz there will usually be a video or article to read first, which has all the answers. Your Learning Consultants will still be working from home, and you can email them if you can’t find the answers online or if your peers are stuck too.
How long do we need to study at home i.e. are we following the same routine as in the Academy?
Will home working be the same as a normal Academy day?
Will we have online lessons?
Will live online classes be available to those students who wish to utilise them?
Some suggested schedules are on the Wellbeing page of the eLearning Hub. Depending on your age, we recommend doing 3-5 hours a day of study, including reading. In general, there will not be online lessons at specific times, because we do not wish to create unnecessary burdens on family schedules.
What happens if I don’t do the work or miss a deadline?
If we do not do our Independent Learning, what sanctions will be in place?
What reprimands will be in place for not completing the work from home?
What happens if we don’t complete the eLearning tasks?
Do we need to do the eLearning hub work set by Learning Consultants?
We expect all students to study from home, and parents/carers to hold them to account. For example, parents/carers might tell their children to do a certain amount of eLearning before using their games console or watching TV. It is important that students come back ready to continue their education, and have not fallen behind in their subjects. We realise that schedules will be different for each family, and so will not be setting sanctions.
Will we get Easter holidays?
Yes, Easter holidays will be as normal and there is no need to work during this time. As you might not be allowed to leave the house, you may choose to carry on with some work, especially if you still have tasks left over from the previous weeks. We’ll leave these on the eLearning Hub in case you need them.
What happens if my email doesn’t work? I’ve tried it in the Academy, but it won’t work at home.
Students can access email by going to the Academy website, clicking Students, and then Student Email. Your username and password are the same as those that you use to login to a computer at the Academy. Usernames begin with a number, e.g. 19AStudent. If you are still having difficulties then please ask a parent/carer to send an email to our helpdesk.
Will there be normal lessons for Key Worker children?
No, these students will be supervised to do eLearning and some simple recreation activities at the Academy.
How will you monitor who completes the tasks?
Who marks our work that we complete at home?
During this period of closure we do not expect our staff to mark work or provide feedback. Many subjects are using platforms that automatically mark your work, such as Google Forms, Kerboodle, or Kahoot. Parents/carers are best placed to check on the work that their child is completing. It may be helpful to provide them with a blank exercise book or folder to keep their work, and ask them to talk through it every evening.
Can I do coursework at home at bring it in still?
Do I need to finish coursework before I leave?
Do we need to continue doing coursework?
Will coursework still count when it needs improving still?
Do I need to carry on with coursework improvements?
Do I need to finish incomplete coursework?
If we have loads left to do on coursework will we still get our predicted grade?
What about moderation?
Year 11 and Year 13 students do not need to do any further work on coursework. Exam boards do not expect this to be completed. The quality of work done so far (even if it is incomplete) will be taken into consideration alongside other factors when considering predicted grades.
Students in Years 10 and 12 should continue working on coursework only if directed to do so on the eLearning Hub. Rules for unsupervised work on Non-Examination Assessments are different for each subject, and Learning Consultants will be able to advise which units you can continue working on.
Do we still need to revise?
Do we still need to revise just in case?
Will I be able to retake GCSEs?
Year 11 and Year 13 students will not have exams this summer. However, there will be an opportunity for ‘re-sits’ later in the year in case you are not happy with the grades you receive. Therefore, it is a good idea to continue studying. You will also need to keep your subject knowledge fresh in preparation for college, A-Levels, or university next year.
Will we have to repeat Year 11?
Have we really got to do no work for next 3 months?
You are expected to work throughout the period of closure.
Do we still need to activate our Google accounts to do the work?
Google accounts are only required in certain limited situations for Year 10 and Year 12. If you did not set up your account at the end of term, you should have received a Password Reset email to create a password.
If there are no exams is it going to be based on predicted grades?
How will grades be worked out? Learning Consultant prediction, mock grades, target grades, KS2, GCSE, or something else?
Please read the DfE’s guidance at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020
Is it just exam mocks we need to bring in, or is it other work like essays, etc.?
What happens if we have no evidence?
There is no need to bring in any further evidence at this time. It currently looks unlikely that exam boards will require any of this.
What is going to happen on results day?
You will receive your results as usual, and these will be real qualifications – just like if you had sat your exams. Results Day is now likely to be in July, and more information will be confirmed in due course.
Will we get told our predicted grades?
Will we be made aware of our predictions before they are sent off?
As the submission of grades is an official procedure, it would not be appropriate for us to share or discuss our predictions. We will follow a fair and honest process, and there will be opportunities to appeal and re-sit available.
Will we get extenuating circumstances?
All students in the country are in the same situation, so the ‘Extenuating Circumstances’ process doesn’t really apply. Grades will be generated for all students in the fairest possible way, and will be based on multiple factors – not just the Academy’s predictions.
What job roles are classed as being a Key Worker?
Will staff be in the Academy?
My mum is a Key Worker. Is my 19-year-old brother allowed to look after me?
If a child wishes to come in to the Academy for one/two days a week, would that be possible?
If your Key Worker parents/carers finish early at work will they be able to collect you early?
The government has published a list of who counts as a Key Worker, and your parents/carers will no doubt have been told by their employer if they are to continue going to work for this reason. If they are happy for you to remain at home instead of attending the Academy then this is their choice, you might have older siblings in your family home that can supervise you.
Not all of the staff will be in the Academy, just enough of us to keep the place running. The children of Key Workers do not have to attend, but the provision is available where it is genuinely needed; this can be for one or two days a week, if that is all that is required. Where a child is to leave early, then we would need this confirmed in writing from a parent/carer.
Will extra-curricular clubs set any work/activities?
Clubs won’t necessarily set a specific activity, but there is a lot of variety in what is available through the eLearning Hub to keep you busy.
Are we being home isolated?
Are you allowed to come out of the house?
What is going to happen throughout the lockdown?
How long will we be at home for?
If we are to stay at home, will we be allowed in our back garden?
Will shops be open?
Who will go to the shops if we are to stay at home?
If we are to stay at home, will we get shopping delivered to the house?
What happens if we run out of essential supplies?
Will we be allowed takeaways?
Ultimately the government advice is currently to stay at home. You can currently leave your home for one form of exercise a day, but if you can do this in your garden then that’s great. The aim is to minimise as much contact with others and any surfaces that they have been in contact with, so the more you can limit your contact, the better it is for everyone.
Some shops and takeaways are open, so you’ll have access to essentials, but only go when absolutely necessary. Shopping delivery services are available, but are prioritising delivery to elderly and vulnerable people first.
How many people are going to get Coronavirus?
What if staff or students get infected by the virus?
Am I going to die if I contract the virus?
When do you think the virus will end?
We aren’t sure of exactly how many people will get Coronavirus, but the government are putting in lots of measures to ensure that it’s as few as possible, with extra measures to keep people who are vulnerable extra safe. The World Health Organisation suggest that at least 96% of people who do get Coronavirus will make a full, safe recovery. If we continue to be safe and follow all the guidelines put in place by the government then the country will make a much faster recovery.
Will our parents still get paid?
Will parents have to stop their work if they have children?
The government is working hard to protect some, if not all, of the pay for people who aren’t able to work at the moment. Lots of companies are allowing their staff to work from home, which helps reduce the spread of the virus and provides a solution for childcare.
Is it possible to access Free School Meals from school and how would this be distributed?
Students entitled to Free School Meals have been sent vouchers to continue to access this provision.
How long will the Academy be shut for?
Could we be off until September?
When do we come back to the Academy?
The closure is under the direction of the government. We aren’t sure when we’ll be reopening at the moment, but we’ll be in touch with families when we have any more information on this. The government is monitoring the situation very closely and will only allow us to reopen when it’s safe to do so.
When will Sport events be back?
Again, the government is monitoring the situation and will allow gatherings of people again only when it is safe to do so, we’re still not sure on when this will be.
Can we get free toilet roll and soap from the Academy?
Will the Academy be cleaned over the period we are off?
Students who are attending the Academy still will continue to have access to bathroom facilities, we can’t make this available to students who are not attending the Academy. The Academy continues to be cleaned daily and special processes are in place to ensure that surfaces are sanitised.
Will there be another government announcement about what is happening?
The government are making regular announcements to keep us as well-informed as they are able.
Please find our risk assessment here.