20 April 2020

FAQs – School Closure Phase 3  

Summer Term, week beginning 20th April 2020 

 

  1. When will school be reopening fully? 

The government have not announced a timeline or date for the reopening of schools. ‘Lockdown’ was extended for a further 3 week period on Thursday 16th April and as such, we remain closed to all children in all year groups. Media reports over the weekend suggesting that schools may reopen in early May have been refuted by the Department for Education (DfE). Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s speech from Sunday 19th April is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/gavin-williamson-speech-on-covid-19-response  

 

  1. I am a key worker. Can my child attend school and how do I organise this? 

We have been open to the children of key workers since 23rd March 2020. Children who are in our care in school during this time are not being ‘taught’ lessons; the normal curriculum is suspended. Please see our school closure letter dated 20th March here https://longbenton.org.uk/parents/newsletters  

regarding expectations of parents and students using this service. Students do not have to attend every day and we can respond to shift patterns – we do ask that you let the school know in advance as much as possible whether your child will need to come in on a particular day. 

 

  1. My child is a vulnerable student. Can they attend school and how do I organise this? 

The same system applies as above re. key worker children. Please liaise with the pastoral leadership team/your child’s year leader if you feel they are struggling and need support. 

 

  1. How is the school issuing supermarket vouchers for free school meals students? 

We issued Aldi supermarket vouchers to the families of all students who would normally access free school meals in the second week of the Easter ‘holidays’. These were to the value of £75 and cover the period up to what would be the May half term break. If school remains closed beyond this point we will need to look to reissue a new round of vouchers using the government’s e-voucher system (which was launched after we had organised the purchase of supermarket vouchers ourselves for our vulnerable families). If you are struggling as a family with regards to food, please get in touch with us to see if we can provide any further help and support. 

If you think you should be on the list for a school meal voucher, please email student.support@northtyneside.gov.uk and they will be able to advise whether you need to reapply. 

 

  1. My child is in Y7-9. How should they be accessing work while at home? 

The Year 7 home learning page is here https://longbenton.org.uk/students/Year-7-Home-Learning-Resources Year 8 is here https://longbenton.org.uk/students/year-8-home-learning-resources and Year 9 is here: https://longbenton.org.uk/students/Year-9-Resources  

There are subject PDFs at the bottom of each page with main learning tasks for your child to complete. These will be refreshed with a next set of work to cover 2 weeks from May 1st. We ask that students keep a file at home of work they are completing.  

Please do not try to worry too much about how much they are completing at this stage or how much time you have to support them when you may also be working from home and juggling other child care or parental responsibilities.  

The best thing you can be encouraging your child to do at home is to read! 

 

  1. My child is in Y10. How should they be accessing work while at home? 

The Year 10 information is here: https://longbenton.org.uk/students/ks4-home-learning-resources-y10-11 The primary method of supporting home learning is Google Classroom, which is how your child can communicate directly with their teachers and how work can be set/submitted. Some subjects - particularly Science and PE - are setting their home learning through the EverLearner platform (see below). 

 

  1. My child is in Y12. How should they be accessing work while at home? 

Year 12 are being set work by class teachers directly through Google Classrooms. There are additional science links and a guide to using Google here https://longbenton.org.uk/students/ks5-home-learning-resources-y12-13  

 

  1. My child is in Y11 / Y13. What is happening with exams and grades? 

Exam boards will provide detailed instructions to schools and colleges on when and how to submit centre assessment grades after Easter – we don’t have this detail as yet. What we do know is that students will still receive grades for all of their subjects and the results days in August remain the same. Ofqual, the exam board regulator, have told schools that they must NOT share provisional grades, nor rank orders, with students or parents and carers. Once schools submit these they will still be open to moderation and change. 

As with other years, any statistical model will consider prior attainment at school or college level, not at individual student level. Students’ individual performance will not be predetermined by their prior attainment at KS2 or GCSE.  

 

  1. My child is in Year 11 and would like to return to the Sixth Form. What should they be doing to prepare for this? 

We have a set of bridging tasks for all subjects, specifically designed for Year 11 students planning to go into Year 12. You can find them here: https://longbenton.org.uk/students/ks4-home-learning-resources-y10-11/ne12-sixth-form-bridging-activities The link to GSHS bridging work is here: https://www.gshs.org.uk/ne12-sixth-form/tranisition for subjects primarily taught at this site through our shared NE12 Sixth Form, eg Psychology. 

At the moment, results day and enrolment day are planned as normal for the summer. 

If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with Ian Williams, AHT and Head of Sixth Form, at IW@longbenton.org.uk  

 

  1. What is the Oak National Academy and should my child be using this? 

Oak Academy is an online collaboration across several state schools around the country. They have produced video lessons and resources which will be launched online on Monday 20th April at https://www.thenational.academy It is open access, so no accounts or passwords are needed. 

Please note that the lessons that they are providing on their platform may not mirror our own curriculum topics and there is absolutely no expectation that students have to use the work on this website. It is purely an additional resource which students may want to use if and when they have completed all other work which has been set by their teachers. 

 

  1. What about BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons? 

This is another service that has had lots of media coverage in recent days. There is a new daily schedule all the way up to Year 10. Again, there is no expectation that students should use this or have to complete any online content – it is simply there as an additional support/resource for students and parents to reference. You can find daily lessons for each year group here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize  

 

  1. What is The EverLearner and should my child be using this? What about Seneca? 

If your child is in Year 10 they should be familiar with Seneca, which is used by the majority of subjects to set homework and revision. The EverLearner is a similar platform, primarily used by the PE department (and the Science department from Easter onwards). Teachers can set tutorials, assignments, quizzes and online note taking and track their usage and progress on both sites. 

The weblinks for these sites are: 

https://www.senecalearning.com  

https://www.theeverlearner.com  

Students will have passwords and accounts set up by their class teachers. There is an EverLearner parent guide in the PDF section at the bottom of the KS4 student page here: https://longbenton.org.uk/students/ks4-home-learning-resources-y10-11  

 

  1. I have read that the government are providing children with laptops – is this true and how do I apply to receive one? 

The government announced on Sunday 19th March that they are making laptops and tablets available for those children with social workers to help them stay in touch with the services they need. In addition, they have promised that disadvantaged students who are preparing for exams who do not have internet access at home will be provided with 4G routers so they can stay connected while schools are closed – the inference is that this will be Year 10 and Year 12 in the first instance. 

The DfE did not consult with schools prior to this announcement, so at this stage we know no more than the general public! At this stage we have not been provided with any details about how this scheme will work. 

If you are struggling with access to work due to IT in the meantime, please let us know so that we can try to issue work packs in place of online learning. 

 

14. How can I support my child at home during school closure?

There is a guide to supporting your child on our website here: https://longbenton.org.uk/parents (it is the first document under the parent guides heading) There is also a student guide to staying safe here https://longbenton.org.uk/students/useful-links with links to websites and agency support.

If you think your child would benefit from a welfare call from a member of our pastoral team, please let us know.

 

If you have any further questions which have not been answered above, please get in touch with the school at lhs@longbenton.org.uk