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End of Term Update from Mr Arnull

As we draw the academic year to an end I want to first thank, on behalf of staff and governors, all students and parents/carers for their hard-work and support during these extraordinary times. In many ways the reaction of the whole Academy community has been tremendous. Similarly, we wish those staff that are leaving our best wishes, and we thank them for their work at Q3 Academy Great Barr. Dr Badyal retires this summer. After a lifetime’s service to others, we trust that she will devote time to her family and friends, and we wish her a long and happy retirement. As we look forward to welcoming students back in September, please read the following key messages carefully.

Examination Results

Year 13 students will be able to collect A-Level results on 13th August 2020 between 8.15am and 9.15am. Staff will be on hand to provide support and guidance on the UCAS clearing process. GCSE results will be emailed to students on 20th August 2020 from 9am. Staff will be available to take calls to advise your child regarding A-Level options in our Sixth Form, and to advise on other choices such as college and apprenticeships. Students with a Sixth Form conditional offer can enrol in our Sixth Form here after 9am on 20th August 2020.

Re-Opening

We are following both the Local Authority and Government advice to ensure that we are ready for all students in September. The main changes are that students will be taught in ‘bubbles’ in Years 7-9, with GCSE and A-Level students taught their normal timetabled lessons. To maintain social distancing between Year Groups, we will be staggering the start and end time of the day, and we have changed lunch arrangements. Students will wear full Business Dress as normal. On days when they have Wellbeing Active/PE, students will wear their Sports Kit all day.

We will welcome Year 7 and Year 12 students back to the Academy on Wednesday 2nd September 2020 and all other Year Groups from Thursday 3rd September 2020.

Full details of our re-opening plans including start/end times and entrance/exit points can be found here.

Attendance

In March when the Coronavirus outbreak was increasing, the DfE made clear that no parent/carer would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at the Academy. Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to education in order to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, well-being, and wider development.

Missing out on more time in education risks students falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well academically. Therefore, attendance to the Academy will be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on attendance will apply, including:

  • the parents’/carers’ duty to ensure that their child attends the Academy regularly;
  • the Academy’s responsibility to record attendance and follow up on any absence;
  • the issuing of sanctions, including fixed penalty notices, in line with the local authority’s codes of conduct. 

We will of course continue to work closely with families to support the regular attendance of all students. Please be reassured by the measures that we are putting in place to reduce risks in the Academy.

Business Dress

Towards the end of the summer break I know that many of you will be buying new Business Dress, this can be purchased from Uniforms Plus (Scott Arms in Great Barr). I particularly want to remind you that shoes should be black, preferably leather, and polishable. Trainers, ‘work-trainers’, trainer-style shoes, boots, suede shoes, and Dr Martens style shoes are not allowed. Students wearing nail extensions or coloured nails will be asked to remove them. Similarly, we do not allow hair colourings and weaves or extensions. Extreme haircuts, including ‘tramlines’; and alike are also banned. If you need any further clarification you will find our Business Dress policy is on our website where you will also find clear guidance on acceptable jewellery and hair styles. If in doubt, please check with your child’s Personal Tutor. If your child is incorrectly dressed, they may be kept in isolation until they are wearing the full, correct Academy Business Dress.

The Impact of the Malware Attack on IT Systems

As you know, Q3 Academies Trust was victim to a malware attack that encrypted data, rendering it irrecoverable. We are working with the Local Authority to re-import student files, and we will be in contact to double check the accuracy of our records. Similarly, we are auditing the completeness of students’ work and we will work with students to address any irrecoverable work if necessary.

Staying Safe

During the summer holidays students have more free time and this can present more risks. In the summer people are tempted to swim in open water and sadly young people lose their lives every year by misjudging the effect of cold water. Another risk is social media, and by helping your child understand what the risks are, you can play a big part in preventing them from turning into problems.

Important Dates

Autumn Term 2020

Tuesday 1st September 2020 – Friday 11th December 2020

Tuesday 1st September is an InSET Day; the Academy is closed to students;

Wednesday 2nd September the Academy opens to Years 7 and 12;

Thursday 3rd September the Academy opens to all remaining Year Groups;

Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd October are InSET Days; the Academy is closed to students.

Half Term: Monday 26th October – Friday 30th October 2020

Christmas Holidays: Monday 14th December 2020 – Friday 1st January 2021

Spring Term 2021

Monday 4th January 2021 – Thursday 1st April 2021

Monday 4th January is an InSET Day; the Academy is closed to students.

Half Term: Monday 15th February – Friday 19th February 2021

Easter Holidays: Friday 2nd April – Friday 16th April 2021

Summer Term 2021

Monday 19th April 2021 – Wednesday 28th July 2021

Friday 2nd July is an InSET Day; the Academy is closed to students

May Day Bank Holiday: 3rd May 2021

Half Term: Monday 31st May – Friday 4th June 2021

Summer Holidays: Thursday 29th July – Wednesday 1st September 2021

Please be aware that on occasion we may need to alter dates and will endeavour to inform you in good time where possible.

We regularly add to the information available on our website and post updates to Twitter and Facebook. Please do continue to use our online platforms to provide us with any feedback you may have – your views are very important to us.

I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable summer break.

 

M Arnull

Head of School

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