Correspondence, Information & FAQs

Correspondence

Please click on the date in order to view the correspondence that was issued.

23rd October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

23rd October 2020 – letter to parents from Solihull Council

22nd October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

21st October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

20th October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

18th October 2020 – letter to all students from all years from Mr Beveridge

16th October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

2nd October 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

21st September 2020 – letter to parents re: a staff member’s positive COVID test

Three additions to existing policies in light of the current situation :

18th September 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

11th September 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

10th September 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

7th September 2020 – updated re-opening Risk Assessment

4th September 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

4th September 2020 – COVID-19 symptoms and the actions that we will take

3rd September 2020 – masks and public transport

27th August 2020 – masks and corridors

25th August 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge

19th August 2020 –  GCSE results update 

18th August 2020 – ‘A’level results update 

17th August 2020 – GCSE results, a letter to parents, carers and students 

16th August 2020 – ‘A’level results, a letter to parents, carers and students 

17th July 2020 – letter to parents from Mr Beveridge 

17th July 2020 – September re-opening document  

17th July 2020 – FAQs for parents and carers 

16th July 2020 – Supporting education during coronavirus – gov.uk

15th July 2020 – results day information for students in years 10, 11, 12 and 13

3rd July 2020 – email to all parents from Mr Beveridge 

26th June 2020 – email to all parents from Mr Beveridge

19th June 2020 – email to all parents from Mr Beveridge

19th June 2020 – letter from Solihull’s Director of Children’s Services

12th June 2020 – email to all parents from Mr Beveridge

12th June 2020 – letter from Solihull Council Public Health Directorate

11th June 2020 – a zip file containing all 6 of the documents issued today 

  • document 1 – risk assessment for the return of year 10 and year 12 students 
  • document 2 – Solihull Council – supporting children back to school 
  • document 3 – year 10 groups and rooming 
  • document 4 – year 12 groups and rooming 
  • document 5 – re-opening FAQs 
  • document 6 – re-opening information for parents 

8th June 2020 – letter to years 10 and 12 from Mr Beveridge

5th June 2020 – letter to all parents from Mr Beveridge

3rd June 2020 – letter to years 10 and 12 from Mr Beveridge including a link to parent survey

3rd June 2020 – reopening information for parents

2nd June 2020 – remote learning agreement

22nd May 2020 – letter to years 7, 8 and 9 from Mr Beveridge

22nd May 2020 – letter to years 10 and 12 from Mr Beveridge

15th May 2020 – update from Mr Beveridge

14th May 2020 – letter from Mr Beveridge including link to video message

7th May 2020 – letter from Mr Beveridge 

7th May 2020 – how to manage anxiety  

7th May 2020 – parent signposting pack 

7th May 2020 – letter to year 12 – higher education and apprenticeships 

4th May 2020 – email to years 11 to 13 – information about GCSE and A level grading

4th May 2020 – email to parents – school closure on Friday 8th May (VE Day celebration)

1st May 2020 – letter from Mr Beveridge

30th April 2020 – letter to year 12 students and parents with regard to the plans for Work Experience

30th April 2020 – email to year 11 with regard to Parent Pay dinner money refunds

29th April 2020 – ‘Go To’ health and wellbeing advice – links and guidance from Solihull Council

29th April 2020 – online parenting course from Solihull Council in partnership with Barnardo’s

28th April 2020 – email to year 13 with regard to Parent Pay dinner money refunds

27th April 2020 – update on trip cancellation and pursuance of refunds

24th April 2020 – letter from Mr Beveridge

24th April 2020 – email to parents encouraging vigilance with regard to fraudulent emails

23rd April 2020 – email to year 13 students – advice and checklist

22nd April 2020 – reporting student absence and illness

3rd April 2020 – email from Dr Smith

27th March 2020 – letter from Dr Smith

23rd March 2020 – Students Learning from Home

23rd March 2020 – GCSE & A-level letter

23rd March 2020 – letter to AS Biology students

23rd March 2020 – letter to AS Psychology students

19th March 2020 – email to year 12 students

19th March 2020 – email to year 13 students

18th March 2020 – email to year 12 students

18th March 2020 – email to year 13 students

 

Information 

Please click on the title of the document in order to open it.

Iceland – cancellation and refund news 02.04.20

Iceland – cancellation and refund update 27.04.20

Online Safety – resources and guidance

Online Safety – resources and guidance – March 2020

E-safety – online safety parents helpsheet

Sexting – guidance, advice and the law

Unmissable Events – cancellation and alternative rewards

USA – cancellation and refund news

USA – cancellation and refund update 27.04.20

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help parents and students through the implications of school closure and what this means for you and them in the future.  If you still have further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to use the contact page on our website and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Please remember that the situation is very fluid right now and that the answers below may no longer be valid when you look again. We will try and update them and add to them as often as we possibly can.

For ease of navigation, they have been grouped as follows

1. School closure

2. Vulnerable children and key workers

3. Exams, UCAS and Sixth Form

4. Home learning

5. Admissions (Year 7)

6. General other

 

1. School Closure

How long will schools be closed for?

It is very hard to say. Right now, they are closed until further notice to almost all students. We will follow Government advice and close for as long as needed to keep everyone safe. We will keep parents informed via our website.

How will I know when you will open again? Will it impact next year’s dates?

Please check our website regularly for further information and updates. We will try and provide as much information as we possibly can. Depending on how long the closure lasts and the latest public health guidance, changes may be needed for next year. Please check our website for the current term dates for next year – we will let you know if changes are made.

What if I am concerned about a child at the school?

If you have concerns about a child at the school, you should contact us as soon as possible. We will do what we can to follow up. You can email 201office@alderbrook.solihull.sch.uk . If you believe a child is in immediate danger, please contact the emergency services who will assist.

 

2. Vulnerable children and key workers

Who are vulnerable children?

Vulnerable children are those with a social worker or have an EHCP. We have tried to contact all parents of these students to find out what provision needs to be put into place for them. If we haven’t been able to get hold of you, please contact us as soon as possible if you intend to send your child to school from Monday 20th April.

Who are key workers?

Broadly speaking, they are workers who are essential in the national response to this coronavirus. (i.e. NHS staff, the Emergency Services, etc.)

Why are schools being kept open for only vulnerable students or for the children of key workers?

Schools are being kept open for these two groups because either:

· the Government considers it essential that the child is looked after and continues to receive support from their school during this time of closure; or

· it is essential that their parent(s) carry on going to work so that they can support the national response to COVID-19

My child is vulnerable or I am a key worker. Do I have to send my child to school?

NO. You should ONLY send your child to school if there is NO OTHER appropriate care available. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. You MUST let us know if you intend to send your child to school so we can plan for them. ONLY do so if it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for you to go to work and no other arrangements are available. If you intend to send your child, please email 201office@alderbrook.solihull.sch.uk or use the contact page of the website.

My child or someone in my household shows the symptoms of fever or a continuous cough. Can I still send my child?

NO. The guidance from Government about self-isolating MUST be followed by EVERYONE. Currently, it stands as follows but may change. It is important that you follow this advice at all times.

· If your CHILD has symptoms of fever or a continuous dry cough, they MUST NOT attend for a period of 7 DAYS.

· If anyone in your HOUSEHOLD has symptoms of fever or a continuous cough, your child MUST NOT attend for a period of 14 DAYS.

If your child or anyone in your household is experiencing any of the above, they MUST NOT attend the provision in line with the guidance above. If they develop symptoms while attending, parents / carers will be contacted and you will be expected to pick them up.

My child is entitled to Free School Meals (FSM). Will the school be continuing to provide them?

If you are entitled to Free School Meals, we have attempted to contact you to arrange vouchers for you. This system has now been set up such that you will receive a supermarket voucher for a two week period. It should be used to purchase food for each child entitled to FSM for that period. As of 4th May, we are moving to the government’s voucher scheme. We will contact all families in advance with instructions.

If you are entitled to FSM and haven’t heard from us, of if you have any other queries, please contact 201office@alderbrook.solihull.sch.uk and we will try and get back to you as soon as we can.

 

3. Exams, UCAS and Sixth Form

What about GCSEs and A Levels?

The Government has also announced that all GCSE and A Level exams will not take place this year in May and June. This will be devastating news to students, and especially those in Years 11, 12 and 13. The Government have said that students will be awarded qualifications by an alternative mechanism. Teachers will be submitting centre assessment grades and ranking for each student and grades will then be standardised across subjects and centres. The Government believe this is the fairest way to award grades in the given circumstances. You can find further details on the Ofqual website.

How will teacher be awarding grades and what evidence will they be using?

All exam centres have been issued with guidance on the process from Ofqual. We will follow that guidance to ensure that, given the circumstances, students will receive a fair grade that reflects the most likely grade they would have achieved had they sat their exams(s) this summer. We will be using all the evidence outlined by Ofqual up to the day of school closure.

Can I submit more work now to help teachers make their judgement?

No. We will still be sending students work to complete as it is important for them to continue studying so they are prepared for their next stage of education, employment or training but we will not consider this work as a part of the centre assessment grades.

When will results be published?

The Government have confirmed results will be published on the same days they had been scheduled to be published.

· A Level, AS Level and AEA results will be issued to students on Thursday 13th August.

· GCSE results will be issued to students on Thursday 20th August.

We do not know how we will issue them yet as that will depend on the latest public health information. Please check our website closer to the time.

Can I find out my results beforehand from my teacher?

NO. You MUST NOT contact your teacher in advance. They will NOT be able to give you any information on your grades. Attempts to unduly influence grades can be seen as malpractice and will be reported to exam boards.

Is there a chance that the Government may change their mind and run some summer exams?

NO. The exam boards will not be issuing papers this summer. This decision is FINAL and there will be no exams in May and June this year.

Will they have the chance to re-take GCSEs or A Levels next year if they don’t agree with the grade they receive this year?

Yes. Students can always take exams again in summer 2021 but there should be no reason for most of them to do so if they are awarded grades this summer. The school will pass on information to relevant students and parents as soon as we have it. The Government are also proposing to run an exam series in the autumn for those that were entered for summer exams but disagree with their grade. More details have yet to be published but we will let you know as soon as we can.

What if I don’t agree with the calculated grade that is awarded to my child? How do I know this was done fairly?

If a student does not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021. We will issue more guidance on this when we have it from Government.

I already have all my university offers from UCAS. Should I accept them now and confirm now?

We would advise you don’t do anything rash. Only accept as first choice/insurance offer of where you actually want to study next – don’t be lured by more recent unconditional offers. The government did ask universities not to issue any more unconditional offers. The Sixth Form team are available for Year 13s who might want to discuss any UCAS matters further.

My child was in Year 10 and due to sit some GCSEs exams this summer. Will they also get grades or will they have to re-sit next year?

Initially, Ofqual proposed not to award grades to those in Year 10. However, they are now consulting on the awarding of grades to ALL students that were entered for exams this summer. We await the outcome of the consultation for a final decision. If they are awarded, the same process for Year 11 will be used.

How will you know if my child has met the entry requirement for Sixth Form? Which subjects will they take?

All schools and colleges will accept, for Post 16 entry requirements, the Government system for issuing grades in 2020. All subjects will be awarded valid grades, just as normal. If students are not satisfied with their grades on results day, the Government are considering what arrangements might be put in place to allow an effective appeal. As already mentioned this could include taking their exams in in summer 2021. Of course this route is likely to impact upon the smooth transition to Post 16 study. All Post 16 providers have their own baseline entry requirements and students will of course need to have met these to gain entry. Our Sixth Form Team will continue to communicate with all Year 11 students who have an offer for the Sixth Form (internal and external).

 

4. Home Learning

Will my child be behind in their learning? How will the school address this?

Your child’s teachers will set them work on a regular basis to try and sustain their learning and we will assist in any way we can. We ask for all parents to support this child’s learning from home as best possible. Work will be published daily on Classcharts so please check it regularly. On the website, you will also find some tips for home learning and important information about keeping safe online. Information has also been sent via email.

Once we return, we will continue to support your child with their learning and progress.

How will my child continue learning if the school is closed?

As a parent/carer, the easiest way that you can support your child is by making sure that they have access to a computer and a quiet space to learn. This will enable them to access online materials and emails from their teachers so that they can continue their learning as best as possible in the given circumstances. This does not need to be an expensive device; anything with internet access should be sufficient. Students will already have many resources from their teachers which they can start to work through.

If I don’t have a computer at home, how can I help my child continue their learning?

Your child will already have some resources with them which they can use. Many of the online learning resources are accessible via a smartphone or an app that students will be able to download.

What if my child is struggling to complete all the work?

We have communicated with students that they should only do what they can. It is difficult for teachers to know how quickly students are working, so we would ask parents to support us by helping students to find this balance, and avoid over working, or worrying when they can’t complete tasks. If students use the school day as a template for the amount of work to complete this might help, but we do understand that this will be difficult at times.

How will my child receive any teacher feedback?

Teachers are using methods to check learning, particularly for examination classes. Some teachers have been using interactive tools to support learning where possible for them to manage. It is important that students save all work they complete at home, for when we return to school.

Will my child’s curriculum change next year because of the closure?

That depends on how long the Government close all schools for. If the closure is for a very long time, there may be some impact on the curriculum for next year. We will advise you of this when we have more information and further guidance from the Government.

What are the key messages about good hygiene?

Please speak to your child about the coronavirus and reiterate the key messages we covered in form time about staying safe. They are:

· Additional hand washing with soap and water, especially before eating and after using toilets.

· Always coughing / sneezing into a tissue and disposing of it in a bin immediately.

· Avoid touching their face, and especially their eyes, nose and mouth.

· Avoid contact with others by not shaking hands, etc.

· Don’t share drinks, bottles or plates.

How can I keep my child safe?

The single most important thing to do is to keep them at home and self-isolate. The fewer children playing outside or socialising with friends and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

 

5. Admissions (Year 7)

My child is starting at Alderbrook School in September. Is their space confirmed?

Yes, as long as you have confirmed the offer made to you via the Solihull Council admissions website. If you have an offer for Alderbrook School and you haven’t yet accepted it, you must do so ASAP. If you are on a waiting list and a space becomes available, you will receive an offer. Please ensure you check the admissions website on a regular basis.

What about the induction days for Alderbrook? In the past, students in Year 6 have been invited in to the school during the summer term?

This year we had planned two days (1st and 2nd July) for your child to spend at Alderbrook as induction days. It is highly unlikely we will be able to do this. Rest assured that we will be in touch with you via email to let you know everything you need to know in the summer term, including purchasing uniform. You will also receive a Parent Handbook, which will have all the information you will need for when your child starts in September. We will ensure they settle into Year 7 as best as possible when schools reopen.

I didn’t get a place at Alderbrook. Can I appeal?

Appeals will not go ahead in their normal format. The Government has issued new guidance on this and the new format that they will use which you can find here.

 

6. Other

What about trips I have already paid for?

All trips for this academic year have been cancelled. We are working with operators to get refunds. We are aware that many parents would like the refunds as soon as possible. We will update you as soon as we have more information.

What if I need more information?

Please contact us via the contact page on the website and we will try and get back to you as soon as possible. I am sure you will appreciate that we won’t always have the answers right now as we await further guidance and instructions from Government