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Posted on: 08/01/2021

Principal's Blog week ending 8th January 2021

Wow! Despite the uncertainty and confusion from Government this week, staff and students have returned to the new term with energy, positivity and a determination to continue to strengthen our Hope community in 2021!

Whilst the lockdown is not what we hoped for, it is important to understand that the Academy is not indeed ‘closed.’ We are open but just operating in a different way.  From an Academy perspective, we are in a very different position to the one we were in in March last year during the first lockdown. We have worked incredibly hard to develop remote learning provision and students have all been trained on how to learn in this new way. There are still challenges ahead but we have everything we need in place to deliver a quality remote-learning provision for all of our students.

It is now essential that students, with your support, access all of their lessons daily and complete the work required. We will be monitoring students daily and communicating regularly with home to celebrate achievement and ensure that everyone is giving their ‘personal best.’

January BTEC and Cambridge National Examinations

As an Academy, we want to ensure that all students are fully supported to achieve their full potential. Many students have been working hard in preparing for unit examinations for vocational qualifications which are due to be sat over the next few weeks. However, following the Government announcement regarding BTEC examinations, we as are advising that our students do not sit these examinations and focus their efforts on their remote learning and assignments. It is highly likely that this work will go some way towards contributing towards their final grade. With regards to the Sports Studies and Sports Science exams on Monday, we feel confident that students have been well-prepared for this exam but nevertheless understand that families are currently working within very different circumstances and as such have left the option of taking or not taking the examination with individual students and their families. Good luck to all of those students who have opted to sit the exam on Monday, you’ve got this!

Y11 and Y13 Examinations

The Prime Minister also announced that exams will not go ahead as planned this year. We fully understand how disappointing this is for our students who have been working so hard. However, it is essential that this hard work continues (online and when we re-open) as, again, it is highly likely that this work will go some way towards contributing towards their final grade. Whilst the Secretary of State for Education has today announced that exam grades will be awarded by schools, we have limited information about this. All students must continue to work hard and complete everything that is asked of them online. Mrs Adams delivered a parent session this morning which gave clarification for the months ahead, The recording can be found here.

Remote Learning

Students have been absolutely amazing this week! Staff have been celebrating student work via @Hope_Academy throughout the week. A huge thank you to parents and carers for your support in ensuring students are set-up at home. Feedback from both students and parents has been very positive and on behalf of the Hope team, thank you for your continued support.

Year Group

05.01.2021

06.01.2021

07.01.2021

Year 7

96.0%

98.3%

97.6%

Year 8

90.2%

92.8%

94.8%

Year 9

82.2%

84.5%

83.7%

Year 10

85.8%

87.1%

86.6%

Year 11

87.1%

90.5%

89.3%

Whole School

88.7%

91.1%

91.0%

This represents 1171 students online on day 3!

Students will continue to participate in their daily collective worship and Inspire sessions which includes completing a daily well-being survey

Parents’ Evenings

Y11 are due to have a parent consultation event on Wednesday. This is an important event and provides you with an opportunity to discuss the progress of your child and the results of their recent mock exams with each subject teacher.  The school has introduced a new and easy to use online appointment booking system. This allows you to choose your own appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your appointments. Student Reports with assessment marks from the recent mocks will be uploaded to the Sims parent app on Wednesday morning. This is the first time that we have used the web-based facility and we are looking forward to exploring this new way of engaging with our parent community.

Free School Meals

Currently, we are offering food parcels to students who are eligible for free school meals. We are awaiting further information as to whether the FSM vouchers will be issued at a later date. We will keep you updated. Please let us know via hope.parent@sthelens.org.uk if you require a food parcel.

Foodbank Vouchers

Hope Academy are registered to distribute Foodbank vouchers, if you feel this would help your family please contact kasia.boydell@sthelens.org.uk including the following information:

Parent name

Child's name

Contact telephone number

Devices

We have issued further laptops this week to students in need of one. These devices are given out on a lease agreement and should be returned when students return to school.

The Government has now announced support for students having difficulty accessing WiFi. If you require support, please could you contact us via hope.parent@sthelens.org.uk with the following information:

  • The name of the student
  • The name of the account holder
  • The network of the mobile phone
  • The mobile phone number

Testing

You may have seen it announced last week that students and teachers will have access to mass testing from January. Specifically, that means that staff will be tested weekly (with results taking 30 minutes) and students who are identified as close contacts of someone testing positive, can be tested for 7 consecutive days and remain in school if they test negative.

This testing would be optional, but those not consenting would be subject to the normal 10-day self-isolation. We will start to test all staff and students who are currently onsite wc 11th January. If you have not completed the online consent form, can you please do so by clicking the link here.

Finally, I hope this blog helps to settle any concerns that you have over the announcements made by the government this week. We will ensure to update you with any further information as soon as we can. On behalf of everyone at the Academy, we wish you a Happy New Year!

All staff and students have worked relentlessly hard over the past couple of days and have responded with resilience and a community spirit that makes me burst with pride. Thank you and well done!!

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