Announcement

2021-01-08 Letter to Parents and Important Procedures

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you and your families are well and that your daughter has managed her first week of learning from home successfully.  

Please can I ask that you read the following information and attachments very carefully, as they set out important procedures regarding your daughter’s learning, attendance and safeguarding during the spring term school closure.

Google Meet form time and lesson support

As I mentioned yesterday, Google Meet form time and lesson support started this week with Year 11 and Year 13 students.  Whilst in its early stages, this provision has been well received by students and parents and I am very grateful to colleagues for being so responsive to the need of students to interact with their teachers.

The Google Meet form time and lesson support will be available to all students from Monday 11th January and all students must their form time and lessons on time, as per their usual school timetable. 

To join their form time and lesson support, students need simply to click on the link that they will see in the ‘timetable’ section of the Home Learning Area.  If a teacher is unwell, the school will endeavour for the Google Meet session to be covered by a different member of staff.  If the school is unable to cover the session, then it will be marked as ‘independent learning’, in which case your daughter should work independently through the learning resources provided.

Guides to the Home Learning Area for parents, carers and students were sent earlier in the week, but are attached with this letter once again for your reference.

Laptops and internet access

The school has this week provided over one hundred laptops to families in our community, with the aim of ensuring that all of our students are able to continue to access a high quality education whilst learning from home. 

If your daughter does not have access to her own computer or laptop at home, please contact the school urgently by emailing parents@highburyfields.islington.sch.uk.  The school still has a number of laptops that we can loan to students and by having one to herself rather than sharing, your daughter will be able to access all of her lessons.

Similarly, if you do not have access to the Internet and have not made the school aware, please let us know as soon as possible and we will seek to support you in this regard.

Attendance procedures

Whilst your daughter may not be able to physically be in school at the moment, it is vital for her wellbeing and education that she attends every Google Meet form time and lesson support session.

Her form tutor will take a register at 8.50am each morning.  Should your daughter not be present during form time then, as would happen normally, the school will send you a text message to alert you to her absence.  If you do not respond to the text message to explain her absence, then the school’s Attendance Officer, Ms Hall, or your daughter’s Year Manager will contact you.

In the event of your daughter being unwell and unable to attend her Google Meet sessions, please contact Ms Hall by following the procedure below:

The school’s ‘Home Learning Attendance Procedure’ is attached and sets out your responsibilities in ensuring that your daughter continues to engage positively with her education whilst learning from home.

Safeguarding

If, during the current school closure, a student or parent is concerned about their wellbeing or safety, or that of another person, they should follow the procedure set out below:

  • Email safeguarding@highburyfields.sch.uk
  • Put ‘safeguarding concern’ as the subject of the email
  • Provide their name and the name of the person they are concerned about as the only content of the email
  • Please do not write any details of the concern 
  • The safeguarding email address will be checked daily by the school’s safeguarding team and a member of staff will respond to the email to arrange a telephone conversation

A document that sets out how safeguarding will operate during the spring term school closure is attached and contains important information regarding what you should do if you think a student or young person is in immediate danger or at risk.

I am very aware that students will be spending a considerable amount of time on the Internet in the coming weeks and the school will provide training for parents and carers about keeping children safe online next week.

Free School Meals

If your daughter is eligible for free school meals, then you will be provided with electronic ‘Edenred’ vouchers to value of £15 per week.   The school is seeking to provide these vouchers for a number of weeks at a time, to allow families to plan ahead.

From the week beginning Monday 18th January, the school will also provide food packages to any family for whom this would be helpful.  Further information about the food packages and how to apply for them will follow next week.

Communicating with the school

You will familiar with the school’s dedicated email address for parents and carers, parents@highburyfields.islington.sch.uk. Should you have any questions about your daughter’s home learning, or any other queries, please continue to contact the school using this email address and ensure that you provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your daughter’s name
  • Your daughter’s year and form group

This email address is checked every morning and the school will strive to respond to your query within 48 hours.  Please be aware that there is currently only a small number of staff working in school and it might take slightly longer than usual to respond.  Attached with this letter is additional information about how to communicate a complaint to school during the spring term closure.

And finally…

Thank you for taking the time to read a lot of information at the end of what has been a long and challenging week for everybody in our community, not least your daughter.  Please know that I and every member of staff in the school are fully committed to providing her with the best education possible in the circumstances and that we will support you and your family however we can in the weeks ahead.

When schools first closed on Friday 20th March last year, I wrote about the incredible strength of our very special school community.  We must all now continue to draw upon this collective strength and hold firm to our shared determination that every child can and will succeed.

Thank you for your continued support of your daughter and the school.  I will write again next week.

Yours faithfully

Tim Fox
Headteacher

Communicating with the school during the spring term closure

Safeguarding during the spring term school_closure

Attendance to the Home Learning Area - expectations of parents and students

2021 Student guide to HLA

2021 Parent Guide to HLA

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