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Update to all parents/carers 5th June 2020


It’s been a busy week! We continue to review of all updated DfE, and medical guidance. The email below and attached documents give you an overview of our planning and thinking to date about our phased extension of on-site educational provision for Years 10 and 12. We also wish to support collection of ‘hard copy’ home learning materials for Years 7-9.

NB: Government and medical advice is changing constantly. Therefore, it is highly likely that some of the detail below will be under constant review and subject to change

As of Monday 8thth June, we will no longer be using SMHW as our platform for setting work for students. We will move to a more ‘blended approach’ to learning activities. W/c Monday 8th June will be a ‘Consolidation and Catch Up’ week for learning. I have asked all teachers to direct students to complete any unfinished work already set on SMHW and / or to complete tasks set on the year / subject website page on the TDA website. A move to setting on line work via the relevant website pages for subjects on the TDA website will start from Monday with this being fully operational by Monday 15th June or sooner.

From Monday 15th June, we plan to extend school opening to support the Government ambition that students in Years 10 & 12 receive some ‘face to face’ support before the summer break. While the reopening of TDA is a welcome return to some sort of normality for us all, as with the lockdown, this is taking place with regulations and guidelines in place in order to protect the health of everyone in the school and wider community.

Year 10 students

For Year 10 students, from Monday 15th June, they will:

  • be split into smaller ‘bubbles’ of between 6 and 8 students within their tutor group;
  • be allocated one morning a week to attend school;
  • attend from 9am – (TBC);
  • meet their tutor at the front entrance and line up on clearly marked 2m standing points in a ‘mini’ tutor group line;
  • follow the instructions of the tutor and enter the building;
  • use hand sanitiser on immediate entry to the building;
  • be taken to a classroom set out to adhere to social distancing expectations;
  • be allocated a desk;
  • have a tutor session which will cover PSHE material linked to dealing with COVID – 19 and be issued with CGP hard copy course booklets for English, Maths and Science;
  • be dismissed by their tutor, supported by SLT, and instructed to go directly home and not gather in friendship groups.

Year 12 students

For Year 12 our plan is to work with tutors in a similar way as above but to begin from Monday 22nd June. This will ensure we have tested our systems and processes with Year 10. To avoid contact with Year 10 students, Year 12 are likely to start their time at TDA at 9:30am and finish at 11am. (More detailed schedule and plans for Year 12 to follow.) Also, as part of the blended approach, hard copy course booklets will be distributed by the tutor with supporting online material placed on the website.

Years 7-9

For Year 7-9 we will purchase course workbooks for the Maths, English and Science, in the first instance, and put in place a distribution plan. We hope to achieve this during w/c 15th June (again, details TBC). Home learning work for all other subjects will be made available for our Home Learning pages on the TDA website.

From w/c 15th June (or sooner) tutors of Years 7-9 students will be making regular phone contact with all students and their families in Years 7-9 to offer support and guidance as to how to learn at home and use the resources provided.

Next Steps

On Monday I hope to share with you a ‘Returning to Thomas Deacon – a guide for staff, parents and students’ which will give greater detail on our expectations, systems and processes. This will provide all the vital information you need. (N.B: as medical / Government advice changes it will be necessary for us to update sections of this guide)

After the first week with Year 10, we will conduct a full review and start to investigate the possibility of students attending a mini tutor session followed by teacher input from subjects. Again, this is our early thinking on this and will require detailed discussion and planning.

Free School Meals Information

We are acutely aware that some families’ circumstances may have changed during this lockdown period. Should any parent think that their child may be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) please apply using this link https://fiso.norfolk.gov.uk/synergy/ParentHome.aspx. Norfolk County Council are the organisation that checks FSM applications on our behalf. You will need to set-up a “Synergy” account with them, this should only take a few moments, once you have entered your details Norfolk County Council will write to you directly with the result of your application. If your children already receive FSM you do not need to do anything.

Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times.

Mr Carroll