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26th February 2021

Dear parents and carers,

We hope your families are safe and well.

It has been a busy week of announcements so I thought I would take this opportunity to write to tell you of our plans around the return of students and examinations.

The government announcement on Monday outlined that students will start to return to school from 8th March. We are excited to be welcoming our students back and are eager to continue the good work that has been going on in live lessons during lockdown. This return will be staggered to allow for the testing of students to identify anyone who may be suffering from coronavirus.

As you will have heard in the news, students returning to school will be offered the chance to have a lateral flow test for coronavirus. This nationwide plan is in place to identify any asymptomatic sufferers of COVID-19 and help prevent the spread of the virus in the school community. Students will be offered three tests on site that will be staggered over a period of time. Each year group will be tested just before or on their return to school and will be told when their second and third tests are. After this point, all students will be provided with home testing kits to allow twice weekly testing at home. Students will be supported in this both on site and in preparation for home testing to make sure they are confident in how to carry out these tests. In order for students to be tested, we require the consent of parents. You should have received from us a consent form (https://forms.gle/77G7AqRFVNKfGPJ66) and we ask that you return this to us by Sunday 28th February (completing one entry per student) to let us know if you do or do not consent for your child to participate in the lateral flow testing.  Once we have these completed consent forms, we will be able to write to you next week giving details of the return date and timings of the day for each year group. For further information regarding the arrangement for testing, please see the NHS information letter attached.

To support students and families with their return to school, students will have a virtual year assembly and tutor time next Friday 5th March. This will start at 9am and students will login to their virtual form classes for this. This session should finish at around 10.30am. There will be no live lessons for the remainder of the day and students will have work set to complete in their Google Classrooms. Staff will be on site preparing classrooms and planning for the return to face-to-face learning.

When students return to school, we will be working in year bubbles as we did in the winter term. Students will follow the routines they followed in the first term and tutors will go over all these details next Friday in their virtual tutor time.

All students have now had their blazers updated with the new school name and Year 7s have collected these. All students are expected to wear full, correct uniform from Monday 8th March onwards. If students have not had their badges changed or have not collected their uniform, they can organise this with their tutor/Head of Year on their return. As with the winter term, students will need to wear their PE kits for the whole day on days where they have PE.

Yesterday, the Department for Education announced how they would like schools to work in reaching Teacher Assessed Grades for their students who would have been taking exams in the summer. We have already been working on our approach to assessments that will be happening in the coming weeks and we will be writing next week, in detail, to all families of students who will be having assessments linked to Teacher Assessed Grades this year.

I will be writing to you again early next week with more specific details about the return to school.

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Woods

Headteacher

 

24th February 2021

Dear parents and carers,

I hope that you are all well and again I would like to extend my thanks to all students and parents for their full support and engagement during this term – amidst difficult circumstances, parents, staff and students have shown great compassion and resilience.

Return to school for all students

You will be aware that the government has this week set out its plan for the return of all students to schools and colleges as part of the roadmap for leaving lockdown.

Public Examinations

In addition, we await further information about public examinations. We will share full details with you as they are published, however we already know that there will be some form of assessment contributing to Centre Assessed Grades. For this reason, it is essential that students in Years 11 and 13 keep the momentum with their work in preparation.

We are working on the details of our plans for both of these issues, the return to school and the preparation for the examination series, and I will write to you with full information in the coming days.

Uniform

A high standard of personal appearance is expected of all students and as they return to school it is essential that the full and correct uniform is worn. Full details about the uniform, including details about PE kit, are on our website.

Thank you for your continued support and I will be writing to you again in the coming days.

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Woods

Headteacher

 

10th February 2021

Dear parents and carers,

I hope that this letter finds you all well and that you are looking forward to the half term break. In the next two weeks, we will receive information on the plans for the reopening of schools and detail on how the cancellation of examinations will be managed in England. We have all become more adept at managing to live with uncertainty but the greater clarity will help us all to allay some of the anxieties that students and staff have been experiencing. I will, of course, write to you in due course.

A laptop for each student

Firstly, I would like to share with you some extremely exciting news. We have purchased brand new lightweight and high specification laptops and will be providing every single student with their own device. It is our commitment to ensure that each student attending Stepney All Saints School has a laptop for the duration of their time with us.

These laptops, purchased in partnership with the Portal Trust (formerly the Cass Foundation) are secure and registered to individual students. This will be their laptop to keep and to use for the duration of their time as a student at Stepney All Saints.

My mission, and that of all teachers in our school, is to level an unequal playing field and ensure equality of opportunity for all of our students. Having personal laptops for use in and outside of school will ensure that no student’s achievement is hindered as a result of not having sufficient access to technology.

Students should bring the laptop to school with them daily as part of their school equipment, for use in lessons and to take home with them daily to use for homework and further research. We believe that encouraging the use of laptops and access to educational resources will prepare and inspire students to become more active and independent learners.

We hope to roll out the distribution of the new laptops next term and will share further information with you in due course.

Consultation on a proposed move to a two week half term holiday in the autumn term

We are consulting on the proposed change to increase the autumn half term holiday to two weeks instead of one. The autumn term is disproportionately long when compared to the spring and summer terms. We have confidence that an extended half term in the autumn will positively impact on staff and student morale, the quality of learning and teaching and lead to a reduction in absence during this term. This in turn will have a positive impact on student outcomes. The term dates we propose are in line with the Tower Hamlets suggested dates.

The proposed school term dates as of September 2021 are:

Autumn Term

1st September 2021 – 17th December 2021 (1st – Inset Day, 2nd – Induction Day)

Half Term: 25th October – 5th November 2021 (2 weeks)

Spring Term

4th January 2022 – 5th April 2022

Half Term: 14th – 18th February 2022

Summer Term

18th April -22nd July 2022

Half Term: 30th May – 3rd June 2022

End of academic year 2022: 22nd July 2022

As you can see from the table of dates above, if we proceed with this proposal, we will nonetheless finish the school year in line with the window for term dates published by Tower Hamlets, and thus is line with other schools. This includes the usual holiday dates for both Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr. Governors and I believe that this change will be beneficial to the school community and will have an encouraging effect on your child’s education.

I appreciate these changes may affect you, and welcome your feedback. Should you have any comments, positive or negative on this proposal or require further clarity, please send your response in writing to info@stepneyallsaints.school by Friday 19th February. We will consult with the governing body and will share the outcome of the proposal with you after the February half term.

Free school meals

If your child is eligible for free school meals, you will receive an email voucher from Asda. The amount you receive for half term has been determined by the local authority.

Full details regarding free school meals and eligibility can be found on the local authority website – https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/health__social_care/health_and_medical_advice/Coronavirus/Schools/Free_school_meals.aspx

Key Dates

I would like to remind you that next week is the half term break when the school will be closed to all students. All dates can be found on the school website, however, below are key dates for the coming weeks. Please check our website and social media feeds for regular updates @StepneyAS (Twitter and Facebook).

Spring Term                                     

Spring Half Term Holiday                   Monday 15th February – Friday 19th February 2021

Last day of Spring Term                     Friday 26th March 2021

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Woods

Headteacher

 

2nd February 2021

Dear parents and carers,

I would like to extend my thanks to all students and parents for their full support and engagement during these first few weeks of 2021 – amidst difficult circumstances, parents, staff and students have made huge progress with remote learning. The introduction of live lessons has been met with overwhelming positivity and we are glad that this is enabling our students to maintain structure and continuity in their education, as well as providing valuable interaction with their peers and teachers. I would like to thank all those parents who have written to us with kind messages of support and gratitude – these are always very warmly received by our staff who are working hard to support the children in our care.

Consultation on a proposed move to a two week half term holiday in the autumn term

Firstly, I am writing to consult on the proposed change to increase the autumn half term holiday to two weeks instead of one. The autumn term is disproportionately long when compared to the spring and summer terms. We have confidence that an extended half term in the autumn will positively impact on staff and student morale, the quality of learning and teaching and lead to a reduction in absence during this term. This in turn will have a positive impact on student outcomes. The term dates we propose are in line with the Tower Hamlets suggested dates.

The proposed school term dates as of September 2021 are:

Autumn Term

1st September 2021 – 17th December 2021 (1st – Inset Day, 2nd – Induction Day)

Half Term: 25th October – 5th November 2021 (2 weeks)

Spring Term

4th January 2022 – 5th April 2022

Half Term: 14th – 18th February 2022

Summer Term

18th April -22nd July 2022

Half Term: 30th May – 3rd June 2022

End of academic year 2022: 22nd July 2022

As you can see from the table of dates above, if we proceed with this proposal, we will nonetheless finish the school year in line with the window for term dates published by Tower Hamlets, and thus is line with other schools. This includes the usual holiday dates for both Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr. Governors and I believe that this change will be beneficial to the school community and will have an encouraging effect on your child’s education.

I appreciate these changes may affect you, and welcome your feedback. Should you have any comments, positive or negative on this proposal or require further clarity, please send your response in writing to info@stepneyallsaints.school by Friday 19th February. We will consult with the governing body and will share the outcome of the proposal with you after the February half term.

Re-opening of Schools

In his announcement to Parliament last week, the Prime Minister confirmed that schools would not re-open before Monday 8th March 2021 and that this will be dependent upon a number of different factors, including infection rates and how successfully the Government has delivered its vaccination programme. We will receive two weeks’ notice of reopening and it is quite likely that students will return on a phased basis. In the meantime, we ask that everyone continues to do as they are doing and remain fully engaged with online learning.

SIMS Parent App

A reminder to all parents who have not yet downloaded the SIMS Parent App to do as soon as possible. This is an important communication tool between the school and our parents. Going forward we will be using this app to send out any important messages. You should receive an invitation code from noreply@sims.co.uk . If you have not received this in your inbox, please check your junk mail for the invitation code. For further information about the sims parent app please visit our website – https://stepneyallsaints.school/for-parents/useful-school-links/parent-view-app/

Laptops during lockdown

To date we have distributed a total of 427 laptops, and our staff are still working their way through distributing more to those who have requested one. We appreciate your patience whilst we receive our additional laptops from the DfE, prepare them with the relevant software and distribute them to all students who need one as soon as possible, to support our students during the lockdown. We hope to have all laptops out by the end of next week.

Safer Internet Day – 9TH February 2021

Technology and the ability to use the internet have never been more important in our lives, but awareness of the risks and how to avoid them are essential. Every year we mark Safer Internet Day in our school and students in Years 7-11 have all had a recent PSHE lesson to mark the event on issues ranging from cyberbullying to critical thinking and fact checking. We have also been posting advice for parents on the school website and our social media. Our most recent post can be found here – https://stepneyallsaints.school/online-safety-at-home/ Please do take some time to read through the guidance and to have a conversation with your child.

Key Events for this Academic Year

All dates can be found on the school website, however, below are key dates for the coming weeks. Please check our website and social media feeds for regular updates @StepneyAS (Twitter and Facebook).

Spring Term                                                      

Spring Half Term Holiday               Monday 15th February – Friday 19th February 2021

Year 9 Options Evening                                 Wednesday 10th February 2021

Last day of Spring Term                 Friday 26th March 2021

Stepney Green Coat Primary

We are currently lending one of our school buildings as the premises for Stepney Greencoat Primary School, who would have otherwise had to close their school to vulnerable and key worker children due to an issue with the school heating system. These students are within their own bubble and will be kept separately from our staff and students currently on-site.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods

Headteacher

 

12th January 2021

School counselling drop-in sessions during lockdown

Coronavirus and lockdown have created a new and uncertain time for us all. Many young people – particularly those who had problems before the outbreak – are worried about the effect on their mental health. The most important thing to remember is that if you find yourself worried or anxious, you’re not alone.

If you feel that you would benefit from talking to someone,  then please come in and see us.

We are offering drop-in sessions at school, so if you would like to speak to a school counsellor, please contact us to book an appointment either by email or phone:

counsellor@stepneyallsaints.school

June: 07990 04507         Rubena:07436 132900

We are on site  Monday-Friday      9 am-3pm

Please note that we will need to have parental permission for you to come in to school.

11th January 2021

Reporting Positive Covid-19 Cases

All parents/carers can report if their child has tested positive for Covid-19 via the following link – https://forms.gle/qPjr8gZPHygcxuqLA

7th January 2021

Timings of the school day

After feedback from staff, students and families, we wanted to adjust our timings for each school day during the lockdown so all students are following the same schedule.

From Friday 8th Jan:

Period 1: 9.00 – 10.00

Period 2: 10.00 – 11.00

Break

Period 3: 11.20-12.20

Period 4: 12.20-13.20

Lunch

Period 5: 13.50 – 14.50

Thank you for all your support for our online lessons and please direct any questions to us via info@stepneyallsaints.school

 

5th January 2021

Dear parents and carers,

Re: lockdown and remote learning  

Since I wrote to you yesterday circumstances have changed significantly. As the country has moved into tier 5 and a lockdown, only vulnerable students and the children of critical workers are to attend school in person from Wednesday 6th January. All other students are to remain at home and to engage in their remote learning.

I have attached a reminder of who counts as a vulnerable student or a critical worker to the end of this letter. Should you wish your child to access this provision, please complete this online form.

Our remote learning provision

As you will be aware, schools are required to have a remote learning plan in place so that any child who cannot attend school because of COVID-19 does not miss out on their learning.

Our remote learning provision has been developed with our students and their families in mind taking into account feedback and the experience of students and staff to date. We believe that this strategy works best for the children at our school.

A summary of our remote learning plan is below.

Our approach takes into account the multiple demands placed upon families at this time for example access to devices and demands on parents.

What you need at home

Students will need access to a laptop, computer or a tablet and, where possible, should have a quiet space where they can work without interruption.

We have provided a large number of laptops and SIM cards to families to facilitate remote learning where there has been a need. In addition, we have today sent out a Google Form to all students for them to complete informing us where there is a need for a laptop or internet access.

What we expect from your child

It is important that students engage with home learning. The timetable for your child is in the school planner or via the SIMS parent app.

What you can do to help

We appreciate that our school closure will present some challenges for you. We kindly ask for your support so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for your child during this time.

We do not expect you to watch your child all day, and we would not expect parents/carers to get involved in remote lessons in place of our teachers. However, it is helpful if you can take an active role in your child’s learning by asking them about their day and what work they have done.

Our top tips:

Please keep in touch with us and do let us know if you are having any difficulties with remote learning, or if you have any questions. You can contact us through info@stepneyallsaints.school

Thank you for your continued support and please stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods

Headteacher

A reminder of the definitions of ‘critical workers’ and ‘vulnerable students’

Critical workers are those who work in:

Vulnerable students are those who:

If you are not sure if you or your child fall under these definitions, please contact the school on info@stepneyallsaints.school.

Vulnerable students and the children of critical workers who wish to attend school should arrive in full school uniform at 8.40am on Wednesday 6th January through the main school entrance. They will follow the same curriculum and timetable as usual, as will students learning from home.

 

(All information correct as of 4.1.21 1pm)

4th January 2021

Dear parents and carers,

Re: our approach to the staggered return to school

I hope that this letter finds you and your family well and that despite the restrictions in place and a number of our students, staff and families self-isolating or testing positive for the virus, you were able to enjoy the Christmas break.

The Secretary of State for Education announced to both schools and the general public last week a number of changes for the new term as a result of a high infection rate among secondary age students and in response to increased rates of transmission nationally. Tower Hamlets was announced as one of the Covid-19 contingency areas of the UK and as a consequence the government has implemented a staggered return for students at the start of term (see link).

On the week commencing 4th January:

On the week commencing 11th January:

On the week commencing 18th January:

Please note that the current contingency areas will be reviewed by the government on Monday 18th January and as a result details may change. We will keep you fully informed whenever we have any government updates.

The staggered return to school is to give us time to establish a COVID-19 testing system within the school. Here is what we know so far about the rapid testing programme recently announced by the government:

As soon as the government publishes more information on the testing programme, we will let you know by via the school website.

Thank you so much for your continued support as we respond to this evolving situation and we look forward to welcoming your child back to school in line with the dates above.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods

Headteacher

 

A reminder of the definitions of ‘critical workers’ and ‘vulnerable pupils’

Critical workers are those who work in:

Vulnerable pupils are those who:

If you are not sure if you or your child fall under these definitions, please contact the school on info@stepneyallsaints.school.

Vulnerable pupils and the children of critical workers who wish to attend school should arrive in full school uniform at 8.40am on Wednesday 6th January through the main school entrance. They will follow the same curriculum and timetable as usual, as will students learning from home.