Letter from the Headteacher - Let's Hope The Sun Keeps Shining
Dear Parents and Carers
It has been a challenging time for many schools across North Devon this week. It does seem that a significant number of Covid 19 infections have been confirmed in recent days and a number of those have been young people. We assume that those infections have been related to the new Delta variant. We asked our Year 12 students to work from home for two days as a precaution in light of the situation in other schools as we were aware that two students in Year 12 were possibly showing symptoms and were awaiting results of a PCR test.
As this was merely a precautionary measure, on this occasion we did not inform all parents and carers. We received information very early this morning that one of the students displaying symptoms has tested negative. However, given the late notice of this information, as well as the fact that we are still awaiting the test result from the other student we decided to keep Y12 off as a precautionary measure. At the time of writing this letter, we anticipate that Y12 students will return to school as normal on Monday 21st June. We will notify you as soon as possible if that is not the case via Weduc and social media. If we do have a positive result, then we will engage with PHE as normal and complete a track and trace process.
The staff have also been finalising the Centre Assessed Grades (CAG) process and all the results were submitted today. This letter will unashamedly be made up of a number of reminders so that we can continue to keep all our students and staff safe whilst also allowing us to deliver high quality lessons.
Once again, I will look to pick out a few highlights from the week and offer some reminders to ensure that everything runs really well next week.
The Academy was delighted to welcome a member of The Ilfracombe Alumni, Hayley Reed, this week. Hayley currently works for Chelsea Football Club and delivered an aspirational presentation to our Y10 PE students. Hayley spoke honestly about her career path - including the bumps along the way - and demonstrated her amazing resilience in attaining her goal. It was fantastic to see what students from our school can achieve and the Y10 students were really inspired by her talk. We look forward to welcoming further ex-students to the Academy to continue to develop the aspirations for our students.
Year 6 Transition
Mr Tilley has been visiting all our feeder primary schools over the last two weeks. The Y6 students have been fantastic and really enthusiastic about coming up in September and asked some sensible questions about the transition process from Primary to Secondary school. Unfortunately, due to a recent rise in CV19 cases across North Devon schools and new guidance that has been released by the Government, the difficult decision has been made to not run an onsite transition day. We will be delivering a virtual transition experience for Y6 students and give parents the opportunity to ask questions relating to transition at a live Q&A broadcast which will be held online in early July. Parents can access all our transition material via our school website (www.ilfracombeacademy.org.uk/transition)
Literacy Planet Challenge
This term, selected students in Years 7 and 8 took part in the online literacy challenge where they practised their skills in spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension in order to complete missions for Literacy Planet. The students successfully managed to complete 88 English missions by playing online games and challenges and will each receive a certificate for their amazing effort. Our top three students will also receive a prize for their excellent contributions in the challenge as well as being entered into a prize draw to win a subscription. Well done to all the participants!
Hope Spellman – 1st Place – 111 points
Yolanda Cousins – 2nd Place – 100 points
Ilana Vernon – 3rd Place – 82 points
Student Progress Information (Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12)
We are sure that parents and carers are keen to understand how their child is progressing as we move towards the end of the academic year. To that end, we will be sending progress point information home to parents and carers before the end of term. The information will be drawn from the work that students have completed across the year. The Year 10 and 12 progress point will also take into account the students’ forthcoming mock exams.
Yr11 – Leavers Event
In line with the recent announcement that the unlocking process and the relaxation of CV19 restrictions has been postponed for four weeks, we are making changes to our Y11 leavers’ event. This is to align our school’s position with Government guidance and something our governing body has insisted we do. Thus making sure we are compliant with national guidelines. The decision has been taken to postpone the event until Tuesday 20th July 5-7pm. The theme and elements to the evening will remain the same as before. It is just a change of date. Letting you know this now should give you plenty of warning to make any necessary arrangements around pickups/drop offs and any working commitments your son/daughter may have. You will receive further communication about this event in the coming days, along with an LFT CV19 testing kit which will need to be done on the morning of the event.
Summer School (Year 6)
We are pleased to announce that we will be offering a summer school to any Year 6 students transitioning to The Ilfracombe Academy in September. This will take place between 9th and 13th August. Parents/carers are invited to sign their child up for the summer school via an MS Forms that will embedded in a letter that they will receive this week. There will be 80 spaces available for each day. The students will receive a mixture of academic catch-up sessions in the morning and fun activities in the afternoon. We feel this will be an excellent opportunity to help students catch up on any learning they may have missed during the various lockdowns or any periods of self-isolation as well as having fun and getting to know other students who will be joining them in Year 7. Please note that at this time we have every intention of running this summer school, as we know it will offer huge benefit to the students. However, we are also mindful that we are living in an ever-changing world and that guidance is changing regularly and swiftly. The worst-case scenario is that we could have to cancel the summer school at short notice, but we are really hopeful that this will not be the case.
As you know, we have asked students to wear their PE kit to school so that they do not need to use the changing rooms in order to promote good social distancing. On the whole this has worked well and students have worn their correct PE kit. However, as the weather has become warmer a number of staff and students have raised concerns about female students wearing Lycra Nike Pro shorts. These shorts are not on the agreed PE kit list and we ask that parents and carers ensure that their child wears the correct PE kit to school.
We strongly encourage students to continue to wear face coverings on the corridors and in places where they cannot easily socially distance. Its important that students remember that the face covering is specifically about protecting other people and its everyone’s responsibility to wear them correctly at the appropriate times.
We strongly encourage all students to continue to use LFT tests twice week. These should be completed on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. This will allow us to work together to keep everyone safe.
Completing The Test
Please see the link below for NHS guidance video on how students can complete the LFT CV19 test at home. Also, the attached guide gives further details and guidance.
Reporting Your Results to the NHS
Report your result so the NHS can monitor the spread of the virus, support communities across the UK, combat the virus and save lives. You can report your results online by visiting www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Alternatively, you can call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines), the lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Reporting Results to School
In addition to reporting all results to the NHS we would also like parents and carers to inform the school of only any positive or void test results that you record at home. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org If your child has a void result then we would be happy to offer them an in school LFD test the next day they are in school.
The school will retain a small test centre for those students who might struggle to complete their tests at home. However, this centre will only have a very small capacity as we need the space to create as many student support rooms for SEND students or those that are engaging with Covid catch up. Therefore, we strongly encourage parents and carers for their children to complete the tests at home. This is to allow the school to focus on teaching and learning and pastoral support.
Parents and Carers please see the latest DfE guidance for schools (updated 18th June)
As ever, the school will continue to monitor and make any adjustments in our way of working in line with any further guidance. This guidance will always be clearly communicated to our students and their parents/carers.
I hope all our students and their families enjoy the weekend.