On Monday 28th September 2020, Ruskin has its first Reading Week of the academic year.
On Monday 28th September 2020, Ruskin has its first Reading Week of the academic year.
For a second challenge during half term, students, staff and families of Ruskin are going to see how far they can travel around the World, using purely human power as a team effort in the space of 9 days.
From 4th - 10th May, many Ruskin students, staff and families will undertake a marathon challenge to raise money for NHS workers.
Further to yesterday’s update, the government have now provided details defining key workers. This group includes:
Health and social care
Education and childcare
Key public services
Local and national government
Public safety and national security
Utilities, communications and financial services
More detailed guidance is available on the link provided below:
If you believe you are a key worker and you are in need of childcare over the next two weeks, please may I ask you to fill in the form below. I would appreciate a prompt return, if possible by 2:00pm Friday 20th March so we can plan staffing levels accordingly.
It is very important to us that we can provide essential support to those who need it in this difficult time. As such, please may I ask that this provision is used only when working shift patterns and no other suitable childcare is available.
I understand this will be very challenging for families and I do thank you for your continued support.
Following the recent communication from the Trust we would like to provide you with more specific information for The Priory Ruskin Academy.
Before starting to explain how we are planning for the coming weeks we would like to thank you for your tremendous support and understanding at this challenging time. We understand that you will have lots of questions and we will try and answer these within this letter and future communications. The situation will change over the next few days and coming weeks and we will try and plan for this as much as possible and ensure you are kept fully updated. If you do have questions please use the Government and School websites as well as the usual communication links you have with staff. Wherever possible we would ask that communication is via email, at email@example.com rather than in person at our receptions.
Information for children who will not be able to attend school
The significant majority of students will not be able to be in the academy either because they have been asked by the Government to stay at home, are unwell, or in isolation. We understand that the closure of the Academy will bring with it some significant challenges for our families and communities, however, it is clear that we are now at a stage where this measure needs to be in place in order to support a wider health and civic duty. To this end, the Academy is closed for all students except those whose parents are key workers (where suitable childcare cannot be provided) and some other students such as those with an EHCP. This is to ensure that front line workers can continue to provide vital services in these challenging times. As yet, key workers have not been defined; as soon as this is available we will be in contact and respectfully ask for a prompt return so we can plan effectively for Monday. However, we do anticipate that key workers will include NHS staff, emergency services, delivery drivers and teachers.
For these students, we will be providing a range of learning resources; these will be updated over the period of time that children are not in school. Students will be able to access lessons through Show my Homework in the usual way. There will also be a range of resources available to students on SharePoint.
Information for children who will continue to attend school
For those children who fall into one of the categories the Government has detailed as being able to continue attending school, and where suitable childcare arrangements are not available, we will operate the school opening hours as per normal school hours of 8:55am to 3:20pm. On Monday morning your child should arrive
through main reception where they will be directed in to the restaurant and main hall area. Whilst the full curriculum will not, as I am sure you can appreciate, be delivered, a timetable will be in place for the children to follow; we would ask that they bring their PE kit with them each day or leave this in school. Children should wear their normal school uniform. School meals will be provided in the normal way.
Information about school meals
If your child is attending school, because you are a key worker, meals will be managed as part of their daily routine, as normal.
If your child is not attending school, is not in self-isolation or poorly and currently receives free school meals they will be able to come to main reception, in person, between 12:30pm and 1pm to collect a meal. We are currently awaiting details regarding voucher schemes and will update you on this. Students do not need to wear school uniform.
If your child is self-isolating or ill and receives free school meals we will contact you to try and make alternative arrangements.
Hopefully we have been able to answer some of your initial questions here and will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis. Things will change and we ask for your flexibility and understanding regarding this.
Thank you again for your continued support.
The government announced on Wednesday evening that all schools in England would close at the end of the day on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.
The government has decided that:
1. Schools will remain open for pupils in the following categories:
a. Pupils with parents/carers who are key workers
b. Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan
c. Pupils with a Social Worker.
2. Pupils who are not in these categories must remain at home with appropriate care.
3. Provision will be made to support pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals. This does not include universal Free School Meals.
4. The Department for Education will not be going ahead with external exams and assessments this academic year.
This is an emerging picture and we will all need to be patient while further details follow from the government in the coming days.
I write to provide assurances that our individual academies are planning for the start of next week. Please understand that:
1. A full and meaningful set of learning resources will be provided for pupils who are remaining at home.
2. Provision will be made for pupils who are in category 1 a, b and c above to attend school for the normal school hours. A school meal will be provided. For those pupils not on Free School Meals, a charge will be made.
3. All pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals are invited into the academies to collect their meal at a time specified by the academies. Parents will need to inform the academies if their child is self-isolating and we will make alternative arrangements.
4. We will talk in detail with pupils in Y11 and Y13 who were expecting to be examined in May/June. They will understandably be concerned about the announcement. We do not have details yet, but we are confident that pupils will be able to progress successfully onto the next stage of their education. We understand the true potential of our pupils and we are well placed to advise them, the university sector, Sixth Form tutors, employers and college staff on where and how they will flourish. We will continue to work with pupils and families to ensure that they are well placed for their future. It is easy to say, but please do not worry about this.
5. We acknowledge also that Y6 pupils will have been preparing for assessments and continue to ensure that they are ready for the next stage of their education.
We will keep you updated throughout the period of closure through our email/parent contact systems. We will use our websites to provide general information. In some cases, as advised by the government, we will make home visits to ensure the wellbeing and safeguarding of all those in our care. Contact details are on our website pages.
This is the biggest test that our country has faced in generations. Our academies have always played an important role as places where pupils are educated, communities are supported, and the best of humanity is reflected. We are determined that this will continue.
At times such as this, we see the importance of our values; as such, we wish you and your families courage in your hearts, generosity in your spirit and wisdom in your judgements.
Please understand that we are immensely proud of our pupils and will do whatever we can to help them at this time and into the future.
From everyone at the Priory, our thoughts are with you.
DfE general guidance for schools:
Preventing the spread of infection
DfE guidance for schools with specific reference to school trips:
School trips abroad:
Domestic (UK and day visits) school trips and events:
DfE guidance for those staying at home:
The Trust will:
Please do not hesitate to speak to academy staff if you have any concerns or observations - these are exceptional times and your views are valued.
We are grateful to parents and pupils for their continued support.
Mr R Reeve
Director of Welfare
Summer exams 2020
We are aware that you may have questions about the possible impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the summer exam series. As a Trust, our academies have been told to continue to prepare for exams and other assessments as normal.
Ofqual, the government’s exams regulator, says: “We continue to work closely with exam boards, other regulators and the Department for Education and we have met to plan for a range of scenarios, as the public would expect. Our overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum. It is still many weeks until exams start and we will issue updated advice if necessary, giving schools and colleges as much notice as possible.”
Please also refer to the information sheet sent last month by the Trust’s Examinations Manager Mrs Ruston. In particular, you are reminded that the GCSE and A-level exam season is scheduled to begin on Monday 11th May and conclude on Tuesday 23rd June. As in previous years, the exam boards have also imposed a contingency day of Wednesday 24th June in case of any local or national disruption during the main period. Any decision to reschedule an exam will be made nationally by the awarding bodies, which do not accept holiday as an acceptable reason for absence.
Scheduled academy events (eg parents’ evenings, school productions) will continue as advertised for the time being. We are sure you will appreciate that this situation could change at very short notice; we will update you as soon as possible if that is the case.
We are continuing to monitor the daily coronavirus guidance being provided to schools by central government and will revise our plans accordingly should any of that advice change over the coming days and weeks. Our information and instructions are taken from Public Health England, the Department for Education, the NHS, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Local Authority’s public health team.
Mr R Reeve Director of Welfare
It is now 14 days since academy students who took part in the Priory Federation’s ski trip at half-term left their resort in Italy on the Friday at the end of the week. As such, and having followed government guidance throughout, we are looking forward to as normal a school service as possible – given the unprecedented national and international circumstances – being resumed from the start of next week.
We would remind you that the Department for Education has set up a coronavirus (COVID-19) advice service for the education sector, including parents, carers and staff. The contact details are as follows:
DfE coronavirus helpline (opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
Phone: 0800 046 8687 Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also set up a page on each academy website to signpost you to the latest information available from Public Health England and the NHS. You can find the page under your academy’s Parents or Information tab, entitled Public Health England Guidance.
By way of reminder, Public Health England says coronavirus presents as: “Flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. If you have returned from [an affected area] and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors and call NHS 111. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.”
From this point, the Trust intends to send you only those updates which follow a significant development at local or national level. Clearly, it is possible that any position could change at relatively short notice. In all eventualities, we will continue to follow the guidance of local and central government through their respective public health arms.
Thank you, once again, for your support and understanding during what has been, and looks likely to remain, an unparalleled period of challenge for all concerned.
Mr R Reeve
Director of Welfare
On 3rd March Ruskin held a ‘no pen day’. Across the curriculum students put down their pens as teachers led activities that relied on verbal communication. From human sentences in French, to debates on ‘is this Art’ in Art, the enthusiasm for creative learning approaches was clearly evident. Beyond the fun, putting pens aside helps raise awareness of communication as a key life skill. Verbal communication skills are essential in developing our writing and comprehension abilities as well as managing emotions, developing friendships and preparing us for employment.
Year 12 Mathematicians have recently benefitted from a session with Dave Tuhey from the Advanced Maths Support Programme The workshop discussed the various entrance tests students might face when applying for maths-related degree courses at university and provided a series of problem solving tasks to give students practical experience of the type of questions that could be included. With Year 12 students currently starting the UCAS process, this session was an exceptionally useful morning and we look forward to hearing about the outcome of their university applications in the next academic year.
The Trust has taken full note of the government’s action plan, published today and designed to help combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. At this stage, there are no new measures necessary in addition to those which are already in place, under the guidance of Public Health England, at the academies within the Trust.
The Department for Education’s advice service for the education sector, including parents, carers and staff, is now live. The contact details follow below.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Public Health England (PHE) says coronavirus presents as: “Flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. If you have returned from [an affected area] and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors and call NHS 111. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.”
Our next PHE update for parents and carers, subject to any significant developments elsewhere, is scheduled for Friday 6th March.
Mr R Reeve
Director of Welfare