26 March 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Correspondence 9
I intend to continue to send you regular updates on College procedures and key issues.
Donation of goggles and disposable gloves to NHS
The College is responding to the national appeal to donate goggles and disposable gloves normally used in science classes to the NHS due to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses dealing with coronavirus. We have approximately 400 pairs of goggles and a similar number of disposable gloves. We are currently organising how these can be safely transported to the nearest NHS facility that needs them. We are pleased that we can make this small gesture to assist these fantastic front-line staff who are doing such great work.
Our own ‘Thank You’ to the NHS
We have created a short photo montage of our Collingwood Community saying thank you to the NHS which we hope to share this evening at 8pm, along with the nation's thank you to these amazing people. Please take a look on our Facebook page later.
Due to the current uncertainty around Covid-19, we have decided to cancel this year’s Tirabad trip. Planning for this kind of event is significant and the next three months are crucial in terms of booking the site, planning the activities and liaising with parents and students. Given the current situation, we feel it is best to make the decision now.
Admissions, options and Year 11 to Sixth Form transition
Despite the College closure I want to reassure you that a significant amount of work is going on behind the scenes regarding general options and admission procedures.
The Curriculum team are processing Year 8 and 9 options and will be confirming details with parents and students shortly.
Year 7 admission procedures are continuing and we will be communicating with parents and students after the Easter break who have a place here in September. (We have 310 firm admissions with approximately 30 students on our waiting list.)
The Sixth Form team are also working hard on communicating with current Year 11s to ensure they are fully aware of transition and induction procedures.
We may be closed but the work goes on!
The only people on the campus at the moment are skeleton admin and site teams and the staff and students involved with the on-site College provision. Can I please ask all parents and carers to follow the government advice and not therefore come in to College. If you have any concerns or problems please use the on-line communication system via the Parent Portal.
DfE warns of free school meals scam
The Department for Education has warned that fraudsters are targeting parents of children eligible for free school meals. Families have received an email requesting their bank details, claiming this will enable their children to continue receiving meals through school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I urge parents to delete the scam email immediately; such details will never be requested from you.
We are working towards introducing a voucher system for those students that are eligible for Free School Meals and will contact families directly when more information is available. In the meantime, our canteen staff are preparing packed lunches each day for Free School Meal students which can be collected from Kingston Reception between 1pm and 2pm. Please can I ask that you abide by the guidelines on social distancing at these times? If you are eligible and wish to order a packed lunch, please call the College on 01276 457 600.
I will not put in to print how I feel about these people who are seeking to scam or steal at a time of a national crisis but I certainly hope that they are caught and feel the full force of the law.
Reminder regarding work provided for students working at home
Students should be reminded to look at their emails regularly and complete the work that their teacher sets for them. If they have been unable to set work, then they can complete the work that Mrs Wright sent out last week. Students are not expected to do both. Students should email their subject teacher directly (and not Mrs Wright!) if they would like any further guidance on this. Our main priority is that students are safe and well – we will support them with their academic progress when we are all back in College so please tell them not worry about this. Students should be encouraged to communicate with their own teachers so that they can monitor how well they are managing to access the work.
Again, my thanks for your support.