Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Suspension of normal lessons (Year 8 and 9)

Dear Parents/Carers,

To ensure the safety of all students, it is with deep regret that we will have to suspend normal lessons for Years 8 and 9.  From tomorrow morning, students in Years 8 and 9 will not have to attend, should parents prefer them to learn from home.  We have to do this due to the high level of staff unable to be at work.  Our aim is to ensure that:

  • we are able to continue to safely provide childcare for all students from Year
  • 7 – 11, that require it;
  • we can adequately support Years 10 and 11 for their upcoming exams;
  • there is capacity to provide Free School Meals to all eligible children.

We believe it is essential to provide support for hardworking families, including those providing invaluable services at this current time.  Therefore, if you would like your child/ren to attend, they still can.  They will be supported in completing the same work as those children working from home, alongside other appropriate activities.  The usual behaviour and rewards policy would still apply and they would need to attend School in full uniform, with all their equipment, including PE kit.

There is no need to pre-book.  Your child/ren will be able to arrive on the day. However, please can you email the School so that we can ensure that they have arrived safely: TAL@stjamesexeter.co.uk 

Free School Meals

For those students in receipt of free school meals, who are not planning to attend, the canteen will be open between 1.00 and 2.00 each day, for as long as the school remains open. They will need to sign in at Main Reception.  If you would rather collect a packed lunch on their behalf, please let us know: TAL@stjamesexeter.co.uk.  Uniform is not required for this, but students accessing this provision will not be allowed outside of the canteen area and will need to sign out by 2.00.

As well as the provision stated above, we are able to provide food bank vouchers for families who are in need of this support. Please contact DAC@stjamesexeter.co.uk  

Home Learning

We want to reassure you that we have plans already in place, outlined below, to support you and your child/ren with their learning during this period.  We understand that this will be a challenging time for families.  We want to reassure you that the School will do everything it can to minimise the impact on your child/ren’s learning. 

Whilst we want students to carry on with as much work as possible during this time off site, we will take all necessary steps on their return to ensure they continue to be successful. Given the situation, we really want the work to be constructive and supportive for the students and for it not to be seen as punitive. Therefore, they should try their best to complete all set work and contact their teacher via email should they need any support.

During their absence, Years 8 and 9 should follow their usual school timetable,

completing the lessons which will be on their ClassCharts account from tomorrow. All lessons will include an input, such as a video to watch or a text to read, followed by a task to complete. All submission of work will be through an online quiz or via email. Teachers will endeavour to provide feedback via email, where possible and will continue to award merits for positive engagement.  Staff will access emails during this period.

Trips and Visits

We can confirm that all activities, including trips and visits, will not go ahead during this period.  Details regarding cancellation or postponement for all trips will be provided when School reopens.  Please do not make any further payments at this time related to these or Enrichment Week.

Safeguarding

If you have any safeguarding concerns, you can email safeguarding@stjamesexeter.co.uk Students, parents and staff can also report concerns via text, by texting SAFESJ and their message to 07398 978050.

If you have any urgent safeguarding or child protection concerns, you can contact the Devon MASH directly on 0345 1551071.  If you have an immediate concern for the safety or welfare of a child, please call 999 or report any non-emergency concerns to the police via 101.

For any information about additional support regarding health and wellbeing, please see the safeguarding tab on our school website.

Ongoing Communications

We will continue to be in contact via email with frequent updates during this period. If you have any questions regarding the above please contact JIH@stjamesexeter.co.uk (for year 8 students) or DXT@stjamesexeter.co.uk (for year 9 students) who will be available to answer your concerns.  In line with our School Policy, you should receive a response to your email within 48 hours. If you do not receive a response within this timeframe, please contact headteacher@stjamesexeter.co.uk

Thank you so much for your support. If you have any feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us via headteacher@stjamesexeter.co.uk

Take care,

Lindsay Skinner

Headteacher