We wanted to give you extra guidance on home learning and on education-related news as we move forward.

Naturally, some of these commitments may alter should the situation worsen substantially.

Home Learning Advice:

We are well aware that this is a tough challenge, but we know it is one you can cope with. Even so, if you want some general pointers then more advice can be seen here.

Student Emails & Online Communication:

Your child can access their school email account in many different ways. The simplest way is to:
§ Go to www.friaryschool.com
§ Click on the ‘Students’ Tab
§ Click on Student Email
§ Type in your child’s email address – this is their in-school username – followed by @friaryschool.co.uk
§ Type in their school computer password

Your child should check this account regularly as they may well get contact from teachers.

You child can also contact their teacher via messaging on Show My Homework.

Student / Teacher Communication:

Year 7-10:
Your child’s tutor will look to call home each fortnight. This conversation will be predominantly with your child.

Year 10:
Your child’s class teacher will email your child at least once per fortnight to check on their work.

Year 11:
Students who have applied to the school Sixth Form will be notified about their place over the next week or so.
They will have a discussion about the courses they will be taking.
Following this, subject teachers will be in touch via email and Show My Homework to set advance work for these courses.
Those students who are not continuing with us should follow the previous guidance.
Those students who we have yet to have final confirmation of their post-16 destination will be contacted by our Careers / Aspirations team.
Any students unclear on their future plans should email office@friaryschool.co.uk to ask for support.

Year 12:
Your child’s class teachers will email your child at least once per fortnight to check on their work.

Student Exercise Books:

Today is the last day that all of our staff will be on site together. Consequently, we have worked to prioritise that all Year 10 students who are mid-way through their GCSEs can get hold of their books for continuity of study and revision.

Between Tuesday 24 to Friday 27 March Year 10 students (or a parent / carer) can collect their books between 9.00am and 2.45pm only. This is to minimise contact with those already on site.

To do this in as safe a way as possible, we ask that all students strictly observe the following:

§ Students must approach the school singly – not in pairs or groups
§ Students must not enter school – they are to approach the doors to School Reception one at a time, observing required social distancing of 2 metres.
§ A member of staff will bring their pile of books / folders out to them.

With Year 7-9 constituting over 7,000 exercise books, this is unlikely to be logistically possible for other Year groups. Our advice would be to store work in folders – whether they be online or ‘real’ versions.

Student Well-Being:

All children formally recognised by the government as being classed as ‘vulnerable’ have already been contacted.

Any children who wish to access helpful well-being resources should look to the following websites for information:
§ www.youngminds.co.uk
§ www.childline.co.uk
§ www.mind.co.uk
§ www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/

In the event of a safeguarding emergency, please contact Staffordshire First Response on 0800 13 13 126 or ‘Out-of-Hours’ on: 0345 604 2886.

Y11 & Y13 Predicted Grades:

The government has announced that schools will need to predict grades for all students due to sit exams this summer. See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51980831

The criteria for doing this has not been confirmed and things will not be resolved for a good while yet.

Please do not contact us asking for details now as we simply cannot tell you. Equally, as we will be follow the government criteria, there is no point in contacting to us to ask for grade X or Y.

All grades will be released as soon as they have been scrutinised and signed off by senior staff and the government set a release date.

Key Worker Guidance:

All Key Workers should refer to the guidance on the school website and get in touch via office@friaryschool.co.uk if they have any issues.

We are continuing to support key workers who have no alternative but to send their children into school. Even so, with our own children we are following the over-riding advice that children should be kept at home wherever possible.

Following Coronavirus Guidance:

Having reviewed the serious situation in Italy and Spain, we have been concerned when seeing the numbers of people mixing and going out-and-about in the national media.

Unfortunately, we are aware that a minority of our children have been allowed by their parents to go to meet up with friends in the local parks and town centre.

Even more disappointingly, we have had some of our children and parents think it is acceptable for their older teenagers to come onto the school site, when staff are looking after key workers’ younger children, to play football or meet up. This has resulted in serious school sanctions for all of these children and an additional worry for those staff who understand the advice to avoid large groups. Sadly, we cannot legislate for the irresponsibility of some people.

We would reiterate the government guidance that this is madness and is putting the lives of local people and hard-pressed key workers, especially in the NHS, at risk.

There is a general misconception that children are not affected by the coronavirus, but though they may not show symptoms and avoid getting ill, they can spread the virus to others either directly (through personal contact), or indirectly (because the virus can remain on soft surfaces for 24hrs and hard surfaces for 48hrs).

The #hashtag of #StayHomeSaveLives is being publicised by all government agencies for a reason – even if some people do not understand this.

General Communication:

The best point of contact with us is always office@friaryschool.co.uk and the office will be staffed through the week and during school holidays.

And Finally…

Take care out there, keep yourselves and everyone else safe, and we look forward to the day your children are back in school. All of us appreciate more than ever that a normal school day is a truly wonderful day.