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Southfields Academy

Southfields Academy

Update for Parents / Carers

22nd January 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

As we reach the end of week three of home learning, I once again would like to commend all of our students for the effort they are making and the resilience they are displaying as they complete their work.  I am also most grateful to parents and carers for the support they are giving to students.  Without this, our remote provision could not have been as successful as it has been so far.

We are mindful that it is not always easy to give this support and that the virtual school itself is not without flaws.  As we progress through the weeks and receive feedback from you about how it is working for your children, we are learning much about where improvements could be made.

We monitor student engagement with their lessons closely and the feedback on this is available to parents via the My Child at School app.  In some cases you may see that your child has received a negative log for non-attendance to a lesson but you know the reason they haven’t been able to log on to the lesson is because of issues with a device, the internet at home or some other difficulty.  If this is the case, please get in touch with your child’s Head of Year so that we can work together to enable your child to participate fully in the remote provision.

Remote Education Provision

This week we have published our Remote Education Provision document.  This is a guide to what you and your child can expect from the Virtual School.  To access it, please use this link or you can find it on the website.

Southfields Spirit

While most students may be away from the Academy, they are still producing excellent work.  Please take a moment to read Southfields Spirit, our newsletter to parents, where we celebrate this.  In it you will also find useful information and activities for your child.

Free School Meals

The Free School Meal voucher scheme has been activated this week.  Parents whose child is in receipt of Free School Meals will be receiving £15.00 per week per student in vouchers.  These will be issued fortnightly, to cover a week in arrears and a week in advance, i.e. parents will be receiving £30.00 every two weeks. 

Please see attached link below with instructions on how to redeem your voucher.

https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/Select/Edenred-Select-Grocery-eCode-Redemption-Userguide.pdf

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that the Academy has your current email address as this is where the eCode will be sent for you to redeem your voucher.  Your email address is also critical to our virtual Parents’ Evening events as well as those much needed regular communications, particularly in this lockdown period.  If you wish to update the email address we hold for you, please email sara.crampsie@southfieldsacademy.com

INSET Day

On Monday 1st February we will have an INSET day for staff.  Students will not be set any new work for the day; instead they should aim to complete any catch-up work and try to stay away from their screen.  There will also be no provision for students currently attending on-site on this day.

With best wishes to you and your family a restful and safe weekend.

Yours sincerely

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 


 

15th January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that you and your family have managed to keep well under these latest restrictions and in these most testing of recent weeks.

As we reach the end of the second week of the spring term, students and staff have now been working in our Virtual school for eight days. Student engagement has improved exponentially compared with the March lockdown. This is great news and I thank the children and their parents for launching themselves into this alternative form of education.

We do not underestimate the challenges that parents/carers and our students are currently facing at home and hope that you continue to communicate with us regarding any support that we may be able to source. You will find much information about possible support links in our re-launched Southfields Spirit newsletter which you can access 

Southfields Spirit ii Parents' Newsletter - Click here.

Virtual School – Remote teaching and learning

In this first fortnight of the spring term we have received much spontaneous, positive feedback from parents and students, but we recognise that there are numerous tweaks we still need to make to ensure an optimal provision. We will be surveying both students and parents in the coming weeks once the provision settles as these last eight days are not yet typical. The intention was always to kick off with as many live lessons as possible in order to secure engagement. At the same time we recognise that constant live lessons are not sustainable from the point of view of teaching and student learning on the receiving end. Following the research available, we will be aiming to achieve best practice of a mix of experiences, approximately 50% live lessons and 50% live registration to lesson, followed by set work with the teacher being available in the virtual classroom to help students.

We are mindful of ‘screen fatigue’ and would like to ensure that students and teachers have appropriate breaks from the screen regularly throughout the day. Students must look away from screens at least once every 20 minutes. We will be posting the next steps in guidance to students and parents once we complete our surveys.

Calendar events

  • Year 11 Parents’ evening was scheduled for Thursday 21st January. This event is cancelled. Instead parents/carers will receive a report reflecting student mock grades, recent efforts, forecast grades and a reflection activity for Year 11 students.
    We will be holding a virtual parents’ evening for parents of Year 11 students, likely to be in the second half of this term. We will then cover any guidance on GCSE grading, which we are still awaiting, and will enable progression discussions for your child.
  • Year 13 Parents’ evening is scheduled for Thursday 28th January. We intend to offer a virtual parents’ evening on that day. Details will be communicated nearer the time.
  • INSET Day Monday 1st February – We will have training for staff on this day and hence virtual school lessons will be suspended for the day.
  • Year 9 Options Process & Parents’ Evening – We have delayed the planned options activities for Year 9 students and parents. These were due to take place in January and February. Instead, they will take place between the February half-term and the Easter break. Again, details will be communicated nearer the time.

We will keep parents informed about events planned to take place after the half-term break.

Examination classes

We have students across Years 11, 12, 13 and those in our International Group who were due to take examinations this summer. Following the announcement of the cancellation of these examinations last week we are still awaiting further guidance related to the system that will replace the examinations. We know that teachers will be asked to award grades based on our assessment of student knowledge and skills. It is vitally important that students engage and make every effort to learn throughout the period of remote teaching. All work accomplished in virtual school will contribute to teacher assessment.

As soon as we have further information from the DfE we will pass this on to students and parents. 

Free School Meals

We have been waiting for details of the Free School Meals voucher scheme from the Department for Education and have now been told that these will be distributed starting next week.  Parents of children who qualify for these will be notified and vouchers will be sent out fortnightly, as they were during the lockdown in March last year.  You will receive a separate voucher for each of your children.  Please ensure that we have your up to date email address as incorrect information will mean there will be a delay in vouchers being distributed.

Please be sure to pass on our praise to your child at the end of an on-line week of engagement in lessons; not forgetting the support that you provide to help with home schooling.
Have a restful and safe weekend.

Yours sincerely

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 


8th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

Virtual School

As we end what has been an even more challenging week than usual for everyone, I wanted to write to express my gratitude to you and your children for your patience and forbearance during the many changes that have taken place during recent days.

The effort and engagement that we have seen from students since we relaunched the virtual school has been truly impressive.  We have been delighted with the supportive behaviour displayed by students and also their mature and responsible approach to their work.  You should be very proud of your children for this.

We aim to continue to improve the virtual school so please do send any feedback to Google@southfieldsacademy.com 

Monitoring Your Child’s Progress

Parents are encouraged to regularly check the My Child at School app.  On this you can access information about your child’s engagement, attendance to lessons and effort in those lessons.  If you need any assistance with the app, please refer to the My Child At School page of this website by clicking here.

Local Authority Winter Grant

Wandsworth has grants available to Wandsworth residents to assist those experiencing difficulties with some bills and other financial commitments.  Please visit https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/housing/benefits-and-support/discretionary-support-grants/ for further information.

While on-line learning has been very fruitful, we recognise that this has been because of the amount of effort put in by students and staff.  We wish you and your family a restful and safe weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Wanda Golinksa, Headteacher

 

 


5th January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

Arrangements and requirements for Academy provisions January 2021

There will be many new items of information due to the new national lockdown restrictions announced last night by the Prime Minister.

Although our plans and arrangements have changed we will keep you updated as provision develops and information becomes available.

From Wednesday 6th January 2021 the academy will only be open for a reduced provision to vulnerable children and children of critical workers. All other students across all Year groups will commence virtual school at home by accessing our on-line learning. Please go to the appropriate links in the table below to access the detail about each provision.

Remote teaching and home learning

Arrangements from Wednesday 6th January 2021 Download Remote Learning Plan for all years

Covid Testing:

Information Letter Download NHS LFD Testing letter
Testing leaflet Download NHS "How to.." leaflet
Consent form Access the student test consent form

On-site provision for vulnerable students and children of critical workers:

Provision letter Download the letter about on-site provision
Critical worker registration form Access the critical worker registration form

IT equipment needs

IT equipment needs at home Access the IT equipment needs form

Summer examinations

It was announced last night by the Prime Minister that GCSE and A level exams will not take place this summer in the normal way. We will, in due course, be receiving further details about what will replace these examinations, but it seems reasonable to expect students to receive grades based on a similar system to 2020. This involved teachers assessing student performance using class and homework, coursework, mock exam results and other evidence.

In light of this information please convey this message to your children if they were due to finish their courses at the end of this year:

  1. Your hard work will still be recognised. None of the effort you have shown so far, and will continue to show in the coming months, will be wasted. On the contrary, the new system will make sure this is fully reflected in your final grade.
  2. Your eventual results will be indistinguishable from real exams. In the long run it will not matter that your grades came via this system. You will still be able to progress to the Sixth Form and University in the normal way. The value of your GCSE and A level qualifications is not being altered, only the way they are being administered. None of your ambitions for the future will be affected by this decision.
  3. The new system will be fair and balanced. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence. Any grades that your teachers assign will be moderated carefully, to ensure they are consistent within and between schools.

Students in Year 11, 12 and 13 must take these points on board. Once you have recovered from the initial shock and disappointment it will be more important than ever to get on board with remote learning as your level of engagement will directly influence the grade you will be assigned in the summer. From now on, every piece of work you do can make a difference to your final grade.

External Examinations in January/February 2021

The OCR examinations in IT and i-media due to take place next week are yet to be decided. Students must continue with their preparations. As soon as any information is available the Head of Department will communicate with the students registered on these courses directly.

Any BTEC and other vocational examinations scheduled for January/February 2021 for Year 10, Year 11, Year 12, or, Year 13 students are not being taken as planned. Each of these exams have alternative sittings later in the year and our students will have an opportunity to take these examinations then.

We will remain in contact with parents regularly. Please use the contacts listed in the various communications in the table above to access support with any of the activities.

We won’t get it completely right from the start but we should work together to try and make the best of the resources we have prepared. Please do not hesitate to contact your Head of Year for any further queries.

Stay safe and keep well.

Many thanks

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 

 


31st December 2020

Dear Parent, Carer

Return to school - Spring term 2021

You would have heard the government announcement on 30th December 2020 about their plans for the return of schools in January 2021. We will follow the DfE guidance that is being set out in the wake of these announcements.

Currently the guidance states that schools should extend a phased return to face-to-face education for secondary-age pupils. The major changes are that:

  • schools should take time in the week commencing 4 January to prepare to deliver testing of staff and pupils
  • in the week commencing 4 January, secondary schools should only provide on-site education to vulnerable children and children of critical workers, and prioritise remote education to those in exam years
  • in the week commencing 11 January, secondary schools should provide on-site education to vulnerable children, children of critical workers and those in exam years, and provide remote education to all other pupils
  • from 18 January, all pupils should return to on-site education
  • additionally, all secondary schools that are in the listed contingency areas will receive an update before 18th January 2021 regarding a possible further extension to remote learning

All schools in Wandsworth are in the current listed contingency area and we will await further guidance towards the end of the first fortnight.

As mentioned in my letter at the end of the autumn term, given that arrangements for the Spring term now need to change we will revert to using Monday 4th January and Tuesday 5th January 2021 as INSET days. We will not be able to have any students on site on these days. Our aim is to have remote education ready for all students from Wednesday 6th January (the DfE expectation is to provide remote education only for exam years). Staff will be adapting their lessons so that virtual school can commence for all and we will plan the new mass testing programme to be rolled out in early January.

Start of Term arrangements

Please bear in mind that all arrangements are subject to change with short notice. We have yet to receive testing resources and training. Our intention is to secure testing arrangements and remote teaching as soon as possible.

Vulnerable students and children of critical workers

Heads of Year have collated this information and communications with parents/carers will commence on Monday 4th January. Some of the definitions regarding critical workers have changed since the March lockdown and parents/carers may want to check if they meet the current criteria. The latest critical care worker guidance can be viewed here.

Year 13 mock examinations

These had been planned to commence the week of 4th January. The exams are postponed and we aim to commence them on Monday 11th January according to the same timetable that was published at the end of term. Further guidance will be communicated by the Head of Year next week.

I hope you have had a safe and peaceful Christmas and that we continue to work together to secure the best provision for your children under these challenging circumstances in the New Year. Please be prepared for further communications from 4th January 2021.

Wishing you a more prosperous New Year.

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 

 


17th December 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

You may be aware that there have been announcements this week regarding the testing of secondary school students for Covid.  These are an important development at a time when there is rising concern about the rapid increase in the rates of COVID-19 infections across Wandsworth and the whole of London.

Significantly, the Government has announced that families with secondary school children can now access testing even if none of you have any symptoms. This offer is now open and you can book a test for all adults and children in your family through the national website at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test 

Or if you prefer you can book a test by phone by ringing 119.

I would especially like to request that you get all of your children tested before they return to secondary school next term and ideally during the week beginning 27th December.  If we all do this then this will help detect positive cases - including asymptomatic cases - isolating them at home to recover while keeping the whole school community safe.

When asked to specify a reason for requesting a test please select the following option from the menu:
‘My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms’

These tests are not mandatory and form part of a national programme to reduce the potential of the virus spreading.  Anyone who does not have symptoms of COVID-19 but has previously tested positive for coronavirus will not need to be retested for 90 days.

It is important to remember that the test result tells you whether you have Covid-19 at the moment you take it. It does not tell you whether you’ve previously had Covid-19. If you get a negative result, it does not mean you will remain Covid-negative for any specified length of time. This means that it is vitally important that we all continue our individual efforts in following the current rules.

So the simple messaging around HANDS, FACE and SPACE remain crucial and if any of your family develop symptoms please do isolate at HOME and book yourself a COVID test as quickly as you can (see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for all the latest guidance).

Testing at Schools

The Government has also announced that it will be rolling out rapid testing at all secondary schools from January.  The aim is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to continue to receive high quality face to face education while stopping transmission of the virus.

Under this programme, all staff will be able to be take a lateral flow test weekly which will help identify those who may be carrying the virus without displaying symptoms, reducing the risk of transmission. Students and staff identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive will also be able to be tested daily, with the results given within 30 minutes. Anyone who agrees to be tested in this way will then not need to self-isolate, unless they themselves test positive. In doing so, it is hoped that students can continue to receive as much face to face learning and teaching as possible.

Testing will be voluntary but those who are eligible for tests are strongly encouraged to participate to reduce the risk of transmission within the Academy. In line with routine infection control practice, close contacts who decide not to be tested daily will need to self-isolate in line with Government guidance. The Government has produced information for parents which can be accessed here https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/15/mass-testing-in-schools-your-questions-answered/

I am confident that the measures we have put in place have contributed to the low incidence of confirmed Covid cases and I thank you all again for doing your part by adhering to the rules and following the guidance. I shall be in touch in the New Year when I will hopefully know more detail about how the testing will work. In the meantime, I wish you and your families a peaceful Christmas.

Yours sincerely

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 

 

 


 

15th December 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Since my last letter to parents on December 9th there has been much activity surrounding the growth of infections in the south of the country. London has been placed into tier 3 restrictions, although, at the moment, schools are being told to remain open. Our end of term arrangements do not change (see letter dated 4th December 2020).

Throughout the autumn term we have had two confirmed covid cases amongst the staff and three confirmed student cases. On each occasion we have contacted PHE and acted on their advice. Fortunately, on each occasion, the infection was contained and we have not had to send home any student ‘bubbles’. I thank the students, parents and staff for their complete co-operation and on-going support. Our students have been able to make the best use of a full school term unlike many other less fortunate schools.

It is impossible to predict how restrictions will develop in the new year. Previously I have shared contingency plans with you - these are the Educational Tiers (not to be confused with regional tiers of restriction) and can be viewed here. If we are instructed to move to Educational Tier 2, 3, or, 4 then I will notify you as soon as that instruction is passed onto me. Please be vigilant and check the Academy website on Sunday 3rd January 2021 for any updates. Please be aware if there are unplanned changes and students are asked to learn from home then we may revert to using the 4th January 2021 as an INSET day.  

Track and Trace during the holiday period

The DFE has contacted all schools requesting that for up to six days after the end of term, all schools have a system in place for notifying parents of positive cases where their child has been identified as being a close contact.

The guidance states “For the first six days after teaching ends, if a student or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.”

This means that between Thursday 17th December and Tuesday 22nd December you may be contacted by school and your child may be told to isolate for 10 days due to being an identified close contact of a positive COVID case.  Please  click here  to see the NHS guidance for what to do if you are advised to isolate after being in contact with a positive case.

If between Thursday 17th December and Tuesday 22nd December your child tests positive for COVID having developed symptoms on either Thursday 17th or Friday 18th December, please contact the school via our welfare lines on 07437 794201 or 07379 862150.  Messages will be checked each day until Tuesday 22nd December.

Please be ready to tell us:

● Your child's name and tutor group

● The date of their first symptoms and the symptoms they are experiencing

● The last date they were in school

● The date of the positive test (including a screenshot of the email or text notification)

We will then contact all parents of close contacts of that child via text message, notifying them of a positive case and advising their child to isolate for 10 days. 

Guidance on isolation periods dependent on last day of contact with a student who tests positive can be seen below:

Many of you may be planning on travelling over Christmas to visit relatives.  It is essential that if you are notified of a positive case that you follow the NHS guidance on isolating.

If your child develops symptoms in the days before the new term commences, please keep them at home to self-isolate, arrange a test as soon as possible and inform us if it is positive. 

Finally, we hope you have a safe and peaceful time over the festive fortnight.

Yours sincerely,

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 

 


14th December 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

Please see below for an important letter from the Local Authority regarding the food voucher scheme for the following families: all children entitled to Free School Meals, all those with a social worker and in need of help or protection, all those extremely clinically vulnerable, all those with disabilities with our special 0-25 service, all those registered as young carers, all foster families.  The letter also gives information regarding support for access to technology for remote learning and other initiatives to support families.

If you need help with accessing any of these, please contact Pedro Peixoto on pedro.peixoto@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk  or phone 020 8871 6622, selecting Option 1.

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 


9th December 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

I am writing to inform you that we have a single confirmed case of Covid in Year 13.  I would like to reassure you that we are following current guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education.

May I remind you that if your child is displaying any of the symptoms listed below that you should keep them at home and arrange a test for them at the earliest opportunity:

  1. A high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  2. A new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  3. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You can find further information about symptoms here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 

It is also important that you alert our attendance officer if your child has symptoms so that e can trace their contacts at the Academy.  Please call 020 8875 2634 to relay this information.

We have been most fortunate to date to have been able to keep the Academy open and operating as close to normal as possible.  We could not have done this without the on-going support of parents and our students however, as infection rates remain high in London, we ask everyone in our community to remain vigilant and to follow all of the protocols that have been put in place.  You can find details of these in the most recent letter parents, see below.

Thank you for your support and cooperation which has ensured that we are able to keep our students and staff as safe as possible.

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher


4th December 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

End of Term

This autumn term has passed in a flash.  We have been busy with ensuring safe student movement around the site, teaching and cleaning.  Students and teachers alike have spent much time outdoors and much time maintaining healthy practices.

Your children are a credit to you all.  They have been fantastic throughout this term, walking the one way systems, cleaning their desks, wearing their face covering, sanitising and responding so positively to numerous requests, even if they don’t understand them.  Most importantly, attendance levels have been very high, students are attending school all the time and, subsequently, learning and catching up on missed work due to the first lockdown.

In order to meet the safety requirements through this Covid period, we put in place arrangements so that students do not all start or finish at the same time, student bubbles do not use the dining hall at the same time, student bubbles do not mix, we have shorter breaks, students socialise in outdoor zones and, in places, we have a condensed curriculum.

Under these conditions our attendance rates for both students and staff surpass national and Wandsworth levels.  Consequently, we will not be changing our arrangements until external conditions demonstrate a significant decrease in levels of risk.

We have been able to review the progress of most year groups this term and have identified a growing need for more support and intervention.  Leaders and teachers are already putting in place interventions, either before or after school, but these continue to be restricted due to safety considerations.

Normally we would be having a number of festive events and performances at this time of year but this time these are very restricted and mostly virtual.

Most students will have their final day of term on Wednesday 16th December when school will finish at the usual time for Years 7, 8, 9, and 12 L2 students.  Upper school Years 10, 11, 12, 13 and IG will have a staggered finish between 2.15pm and 3pm.  There will be small numbers of selected students who will attend on Thursday 17th December in order to catch up.  Parents of these students will be notified separately.

Spring Term 2021

We are continuously reviewing the calendar events this year and have decided to postpone the planned INSET day at the start of term.

The new term wil start for all students on Monday 4th January 2021.  Students should arrive at their usual differentiated time, in full school uniform, with face coverings, warm undergarments and winter hats and coats.

Spring Term Dates  - Provisional

All calendar arrangements involving parents will be virtual for the time being.  INSET days are subject to change and depend on Government education announcements.

I hope that you all enjoy a well-deserved break and, where possible, spend some quality family time in a safe way.

Festive wishes.

Yours sincerely                                                                                                                           

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 


8th December 2020

 


7th December 2020

 


11th November 2020

Year 11 Mock Examinations and end of term arrangements, click the button below to read this letter.

5th November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you and your family had a restful break over the half-term holiday period.

As you will be aware, the Government is clear in its intention to put in place a second national lockdown from Thursday 5th November. This time there are some differences in the restrictions that will be put in place; most significantly, schools are to remain open and students are expected to attend school.

Safety measures
Naturally we will follow the Government guidance with the aim of keeping our students and teachers as safe as possible. We have been most fortunate that we have not had to send home any students/groups for Covid-related reasons. Students have been kept in bubbles and zones.  Any time not spent in lessons, students htterave been outside. 

Face coverings
Shortly before half term we changed our rules on face coverings on site:

  • Face coverings are compulsory in communal indoor spaces, such as corridors.  Your child may also wear one in lessons but this is optional.
  • Your child should have at least two separate sets of face coverings – one for travel to school i.e. the bus and one for school.
  • Face coverings are going to be a feature of school life for the foreseeable future, so please make provision for your child to have a sufficient supply of clean face coverings each day.  
  • Please remind your child they must not share their mask and that face coverings must be washed regularly.  It is recommended that face coverings are changed every three hours.
  • Face coverings must be plain, without obvious logos or decoration.
  • Although we have reusable face coverings for sale, sending a child to purchase one is disruptive for the student and the member of staff who has to accompany them so we would ask that your child arrives each morning with an appropriate face covering.  
  • If there is a medical reason why your child cannot wear a face covering, please inform your child’s Head of Year.  Your child will be given an exemption lanyard or pass attached to their diary to denote this.  Some students find a plastic visor a suitable alternative.  If a student can’t wear a face covering, they must maintain social distancing indoors at all times.
  • A reminder that face coverings are compulsory on all public transport.

Please help us keep all members of the community safe by ensuring your child can comply with face covering and distancing regulations.

Other hygiene measures
We know that good hygiene is effective in reducing the spread of the virus.  Please remind your child to continue to:

  • Wash their hands with soap regularly
  • Use a tissue if they sneeze and dispose of it carefully i.e. “Catch it, bin it”
  • Use the provided sanitisers on arrival at school, when entering dining zones, every classroom and upon exit

Before and after each lesson, surfaces used by students are cleaned with anti-bacterial cleaner, and each dining table in the dining hall is cleaned in between year group bubbles’ use.  Toilets are also staffed by cleaners during break times and are cleaned frequently.

Attendance
During this next lockdown, the Government has made it clear that schools are to remain open and students are to attend unless:

  • They are ill
  • They are displaying Covid symptoms
  • They are self-isolating having been traced as a contact/living with someone who has tested positive or awaiting test results

We cannot begin to provide a full remote learning experience (Virtual school) for students until the Government asks us to move from Educational Tier 2 to 4.  Tiers are explained in the table below:

Those students who are forced to self-isolate for Covid-related reasons will be able to access some of the learning materials from the lessons they have missed. If your child is self-isolating for Covid-related reasons please make contact with your Head of Year and they will provide you with access to these materials. 

Wet and cold weather
Temperatures are now dropping as we head into winter. At the same time ‘lockdown’ restrictions mean we will not be able to bring students indoors unless it is for lessons or the short period they have in their dining zone. We are also required to keep windows and doors open in classrooms to help with fresh air circulation. Similarly, all doors to the outside are being kept open. It is important for students to stay warm in order to keep all infections at bay.

Please make sure your child has warm layers under their uniform and that they arrive to school with a warm, waterproof black jacket/coat and, where appropriate, an umbrella. In order to avoid losing heat through the head, we will allow your child to wear a woolly hat outdoors. 

Temporary additions to the uniform:

  • Face coverings, plain and without logos
  • Woolly hat, plain, preferably black but dark blue or dark grey will be permitted (no logos, no caps)
  • Gloves, plain 
  • Umbrella

As the Government updates guidance for schools, I will communicate any changes that will impact our community. Thank you again for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely

Wanda Golinska, Headteacher

 


23rd October 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

As the first half term of this academic year draws to a close, I want to begin by thanking you for your support during what has continued to be a very challenging time for us all.  Without your support we would not have been able to offer the quality and quantity of education that we have been able to since September.

Your child has shown great resilience and fortitude in working with us to keep everyone in our community safe.  They have adapted to the various safety protocols, such as wearing face coverings in corridors and communal areas, even when these changes have been imposed at short notice.

Despite the challenges we have faced as a community, we are proud that we have remained fully open throughout this half term and sincerely hope we are able to continue to do so in the coming months.  I acknowledge that in our efforts to do this, the regulations that have enabled it have taken a toll on our students and staff who are now all very tired as we start the half term break.

So that we can continue to operate as successfully as we have been, may I remind you of some important points ahead of the start of the new half term:

  • There are rising numbers of cases of the virus in London and we cannot let our guard down at all.  During break times, students will continue to be outside, unless they are eating in the dining zone.  The weather is getting colder so please ensure your child is wearing their full school uniform as well as adequate layers and a suitable coat to keep them warm and dry.
  • Face coverings are compulsory in communal indoor spaces, such as corridors.  Your child may also wear one in lessons but this is optional.
  • Your child should have two face coverings – one for travel to school i.e. the bus and one for school.  We have reusable face coverings for sale for £1 if you require them.  Please remind your child they must not share their mask and that, if reusable, it must be washed regularly.  If they chose to use a disposable mask, please ensure they dispose of it safely.
  • Face coverings must be plain, without obvious logos or decoration.
  • If there is a medical reason why your child cannot wear a face covering, please inform your child’s Head of Year.  Your child will be given an exemption lanyard or pass attached to their diary to denote this.
  • A reminder that face coverings are compulsory on all public transport.
  • Students should attend the Academy each day in full school uniform.  Students not doing so may be sent home to change into the correct uniform.
  • From the start of the new half term, students must not use their mobile phone within the Academy, unless this has been authorised by a teacher as part of a lesson.  Students must ensure phones are switched off and put away before entering the Academy.  Mobile phones may be confiscated from students who do not adhere to this rule.  Sixth Form students may use their phones during study periods but only when they are seated in designated study areas such as the dining area or study space.
  • A reminder that students must travel directly to and from the Academy.  They shoulds not go to Southside shopping centre, unless accompanied by a parent.  Whilst wearing our uniform, students are ambassadors for the Academy and, as such, should behave appropriately while travelling to and from school.
  • As we approach firework season, parents/carers should remind all students that the possession of fireworks, or other explosive items, is prohibited and could result in a permanent exclusion if brought to the Academy.  In order to ensure the safety of all students and staff, senior leaders will be conducting searches for banned items in the coming weeks.  Please discuss this with your child.
  • Remote learning via Google Classrooms – by now every student has been required to submit homework regularly via Google Classroom for each subject, in addition to class resources being uploaded here when appropriate, so they understand how to interact with online learning and expectations. Please see the attached Educational Tiers information to understand the actual and remote learning expectations for each tier. Should we enter an Educational Tier or be required to send home a year group, or part of one, you will be signposted to the necessary information through our wesite on the remote learning guidance, expectations and protocols.
  • Please note, when your child is using Google Classrooms, please tell them NOT to click on the option “Join and use a phone for audio”or the phone icon as this can result in very large phone charges.

Thank you again for your continuing support and I wish you and your family a safe and refreshing half term break.

Yours sincerely                                       

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


17th October 2020

Face coverings at Southfields Academy

Active from Monday 19th October 2020

London has moved to tier 2 restrictions and is on ‘High alert’ from Saturday 17th October 2020. This means that the guidance on wearing face coverings in schools has now changed and is as follows:

Consistent with WHO’s new advice, schools and colleges should take additional precautionary measures in areas where the transmission of the virus is defined as either high or very high under the local COVID alert level framework. Information on the local COVID alert level can be found in the full list of local COVID alert levels by area guidance.

When an area moves to the local COVID alert level ‘high’ or ‘very high’, in education settings where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. As in the general approach, it will not usually be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and they may inhibit teaching and learning.

Students and staff at the Academy will be expected to follow this new guidance from Monday 19th October 2020.

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher

12th October 2020

Year 11 Parents' Evening - Thursday 22nd October

Dear parent/carer,

Please note that this calendared event for year 11, will no longer be a face-to-face event on the Academy site.  This is due to COVID restrictions and our duty to ensure everyone’s safety.  Instead, you can expect to receive a full report on your child’s progress, before we break for half term.  The report will contain:

-attainment and effort data based on recent in-class assessments

-attendance and punctuality statistics since the start of term

-a predicted grade (end of course prediction by teacher, should your child continue to work in a similar way throughout this academic year)

-behaviour data (positives and negatives) since the start of term

-homework data, since the start of term, detailing the number of logs for missed homework

-a written comment from each of your child’s subject teachers

-a written comment from your child’s tutor

To supplement this report, there will be videos posted on this dedicated Year 11 Parents' Evening page from each subject, providing you with advice and guidance about supporting your child at home.  In addition, there will also be a video around generic study skills, well-being and exam preparation.  Click here to visit the page, or click on Year 11 Parents' Evening 22/10/20 in the menu to the right.

Whilst this change doesn’t enable you to have face-to-face conversations with your child’s teachers, we are striving to ensure that you are still able to access personalised, relevant information about your child’s progress and ways to improve.

If, having received your child’s report, you wish to discuss any of the details, please do contact your child’s tutor, their relevant subject teacher or me.  Since the report will be emailed to you, please ensure that we have your up-to-date email address.

Yours sincerely

Ms K Marshall

Head of Year 11

25th September 2020

The headteacher has written to you all with an update about Attendance and Work Expectations.  Click here to download and read her letter.

18th September 2020

Dear parent/carer

We have now had all students return and following new timetables and new protocols.

Firstly, it has been a great pleasure to see all our students back and even though some may not admit it, you can tell from their interactions, that students are also pleased to be back. Much time was invested in gaining an understanding of student experiences throughout lockdown and assessing any support needs. We now have a task to ensure we can put in place that support in our new school day.

We ask that parents support their child in continuing with those good habits of engaging with Google Classrooms. Each subject teacher is setting weekly homework on Google Classrooms and familiarity with this medium will ensure students are prepared for the eventuality of having to work from home should a partial isolation period occur.

To date we have had no confirmed cases of COVID in our Academy, but we know that nationally infections are on the rise. Please take note of the information below.

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19 

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared.

All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. 

The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home. 

Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period, or make some changes to adopt effective distancing at home

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from your GP or NHS 111 at:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ or by phoning 111.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19.

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available (please supply an alternative sanitiser for your child if they are allergic to the alcohol based sanitisers, otherwise hand washing is the alternative)
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

Further Information

Further Information Further information is available at:

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

School arrangements updates

Equipment

We cannot provide, or, share equipment in the usual way due to safety reasons and therefore rely on students to bring their own consistently. You should equip your child with ample supply of the equipment listed below so that each day they can come to school fully prepared. Your child should carry the equipment in a clear plastic wallet:

Pencils

Pens/biros – black, green

Eraser

Sharpener

Ruler

Protractor

Calculator

Post-it notes

Glue stick

(A maths set will often incorporate a number of these items)

 Additionally the school will soon supply each student with an A4 sized mini whiteboard, a whiteboard marker and rubber. Students will need to carry these to and from school daily alongside the equipment listed in the box above. Should a student mislay their board, they will need to purchase a new one from the school.

 

Bubbles, lunches and water

We are keeping students in their year group bubbles throughout the day, in lessons, in the canteen and in their outdoor zones. 6th Form students and International Group students must wear their ID badges and lanyards as soon as they become available. Year 7 to Year 9 students must wear their coloured badges. During break, the time spent in the canteen is short as two year groups need to be accommodated on a rota every break time. Free School Meals continue to be available, but where possible, we encourage a packed lunch for students.

We are increasing the number of water stations at school but again suggest that students arrive to school with a full water bottle.

6th Form changes to staggered starts

The 6th Form contains three bubbles but currently only one shared study space. In order to prevent cross contamination some students, across Year 12 Level 3, or, Year 13, will be permitted to start later, at 11.00am, or, go home earlier (either at 2.05pm or 3.00pm) if they do not have lessons period 2, or, period 5 or 6. For clarity it is important for parents to engage with the timetable for their child so that you know when these exceptions may arise. If in doubt please do not hesitate to contact the tutor or Head of Year for confirmation.

To date, 6th Form students have responded very responsibly about making the most of their face to face time with teachers and if they continue in this way they will make a strong start with return to on-site education.

Wet weather

As the weather begins to change you will need to ensure that your child has a suitable outdoor overcoat. Morning arrival and break times will continue to be outdoors. Please be vigilant when wet weather is imminent so that your child is prepared for those outdoor periods. Where normally your child may not use an umbrella it may be sensible to start using one.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility with respect to alterations in arrangements. Working together we will ensure your child has the best educational opportunities in these challenging times. I would like to take this opportunity to wish our Year 13 students the best of luck in their progression examinations next week.

Kind regards

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher

 

 


4th September 2020

Letter from PHE and NHS Test and Trace to school and college leaders.

Dear parents and carers,

the DfE have asked us to share the PHE and NHS Test and Trace letter with you all.

To all school and college leaders,

As schools and colleges return for the autumn term and you welcome back pupils and students, we understand that this may raise some concern about the risks of transmission of coronavirus. Along with all schools and colleges across the country, we know you are putting in every effort to follow the guidance and ensure that children and students can return safely as the new term starts. To aid this work we wanted to write with further advice with regards testing and shielding.

Testing

The Department for Education has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace to ensure that we are doing all we can to minimise the potential risks of spread. A key part of this is the appropriate use of testing to help identify people who are positive and subsequently their contacts. We have made testing available throughout the country and anyone with symptoms can book a test online or over the telephone through 119 to get the certainty they need to protect themselves and those around them.

Crucial to our overall support for schools and colleges is ensuring that everyone with coronavirus symptoms has access to a test as soon as they develop those symptoms. It is vital that we learn from the recent Scottish experience, where the return of schools saw a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms. We want to avoid a similar surge in test demand as England’s schools and colleges return to ensure that we continue to prioritise our testing capacity for those with symptoms and to avoid children, students and their families self-isolating unnecessarily.

To ensure we identify those with coronavirus while avoiding a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms, we ask that you recommend to your pupils, students and staff who feel unwell, that they get tested if:

  • they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms:
    • a high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough
    • the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell, or
  • they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse)

If a pupil, student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms described above, only they should be tested. There is no need for their households to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic. Unless a pupil, student or staff member has one of the three main coronavirus symptoms, they should only be tested if instructed otherwise by the local authority, health protection team or their GP. As schools and colleges across England return, pupils and students may feel unwell for example with a sore throat, stomach upset or a headache. These pupils and students don’t need to book a test but may need to stay off school or college and seek medical advice through their GP or pharmacist as usual.

Please do communicate this to the parents of the children at your school and the students at your college; we know that they listen to you and trust your advice. Can you please also share this letter with your school nurse or relevant trained first aiders. Directors of Public Health and local PHE Health Protection teams are on hand to support you on this most vital mission to get our children and students back to school and college, learning happily and safely.

Shielding pupils

We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19). Except in areas with local lockdown restrictions shielding advice was paused on 1 August 2020 which means that even the small number of pupils and students who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school or college, as can those who have family members who were shielding.

Specialists in paediatric medicine have reviewed the latest evidence on the level of risk posed to children and young people from coronavirus (COVID-19). The latest evidence indicates that the risk of serious illness for most children and young people is low. In the future, we expect fewer children and young people will be included on the shielded patient list and far fewer children and young people will be advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high.

However children and young people will only be removed from the shielding patient list by their GP or specialist, following consultation with the child or young person and their family, and other clinicians where appropriate. So children or young people who received a shielding advisory letter early in the epidemic will be encouraged to talk this through with their GP or specialist at their next appointment. For those few children or young people who do need to remain on the shielding list for the longer term, details will be retained so that they and their families can be assured they will be contacted again should community transmission rates rise in the future.

Therefore, schools and colleges should welcome back children and young people who have previously been shielding unless they are:

  • in a local lockdown area with specific shielding restrictions, or
  • have been advised to self-isolate because they, their family or a close contact have COVID-19 infection, or
  • they have recently been specifically advised to remain off school or college – for example with a new serious diagnosis such as active cancer

Yours,

Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection, Public Health England

Susan Hopkins, Interim Chief Medical Adviser of NHS Test and Trace

27th August 2020

Control Measures at School updated guidance for parents

24th August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Start of the school year in September 2020

Following the most unusual summer term I hope you and your families have been able to get some rest, enjoy the sunshine and stay safe.

In the last two weeks our outgoing Year 13 and Year 11 students have had mixed experiences in receiving their examination results due to changes announced on results days. Fortunately, by far the majority of students have achieved the grades they required to progress to the university of their choice, or, 6th Form course. Congratulations to all our exam takers.

We now look forward to a full, phased return to school in September. I appreciate that some parents or students may be a little anxious for a number of reasons so our plans are for a measured and safe return in September. Firstly, staff will need training around new protocols and control measures, and then we will hold individual reintegration interviews with every student and parent to ensure a safe return.

Please read the detail for our new safe arrangements and bring any questions to your reintegration interview.

Arrangements for staggered reintegration interviews and start dates

Year group

Reintegration interview days

Induction and start of adjusted full timetable

7

Year 7 will start with induction on Friday 4th September, will follow a reduced timetable on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th September, then commence their full timetable on Wednesday 9th September.

8

Monday 7th September & Tuesday 8th September

Monday 14th September

9

Wednesday 9th September & Thursday 10th September

Monday 14th September

10

Wednesday 9th September & Thursday 10th September

Friday 11th September

11

Monday 7th September & Tuesday 8th September

Friday 11th September

12 Level 2

Monday 7th September & Tuesday 8th September

Friday 11th September

(External students will have induction on Friday 4th September)

12 Level 3

Wednesday 9th September & Thursday 10th September

Friday 11th September

(External students will have induction on Friday 4th September)

13

Monday 7th September & Tuesday 8th September

Friday 11th September

International Group

Wednesday 9th September & Thursday 10th September

Induction on Friday 4th September

Full timetable start on Monday 14th September

 

Parents will receive a letter with the specified reintegration appointment time. Students should attend with parent/carer in full school uniform and with updated contact details.

  • Students who have symptoms of covid, or, who have tested positive with covid must not attend school until they have recovered fully.
  • If the household in which a student is living are isolating, the student must not attend school until the isolation period has elapsed.
  • Students are expected to attend school in full school uniform. They must bring only essential equipment for lessons. This means they should have their own pencil case with pens, pencils, erasers, ruler and a calculator. Part of our safety protocols means we are unable to lend equipment to students. Students should bring their own water bottle and can bring a packed lunch if they want to. The school canteen is open for hot meals.

Arrival to school

  • Travel to school – where possible we advise all students either walk or cycle. If your child has to use public transport then please ensure they are equipped to wear a face mask in line with the regulations. These masks will need to be stored away safely by the student (in a plastic, zip locked bag), or, disposed of safely on entry to the academy. If a student wishes to wear a mask on site, it needs to be a clean mask and not the mask used on public transport.
  • Students will enter the school site arriving via the King Georges’ Park back gate entrance. These gates will be open for different year groups at the specified times listed in the table below.
  • Any student showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be sent home and their parents notified. Parents should confirm any changes to contact details so that the school has up to date information. The School will notify Public Health England if a student tests positive for Covid-19 and will follow their advice on how to proceed.
  • Any student who is feeling unwell with symptoms other than those of Covid-19 will also be sent home and parents notified as we will not have the capacity to support students who are unwell on site.
  • Students will not be able to go to the medical room for minor issues. They will need to remain in class or ask to be sent home if they are unwell. Staff will not allow students to go to the medical room during lessons. If any student is feeling unwell, they should speak to their teacher who will send them to Reception. Students will then wait on the benches in the foyer before being seen by a member of SLT who will decide whether the student is to remain in school or be sent home. If a student is to be sent home parents will be notified immediately.
  • On entry students will register and sanitise their hands before making their way to their year group zone outside.

The School Day

  • Students will be issued with a coloured badge which will indicate which year group they are in. This will help us to ensure that the year group ‘bubbles’ are kept apart through the school day.
  • At 10 minutes before lesson 1 starts, the whistle will be blown and students will line up in their zones in tutor groups. Students will then be dismissed to lessons in a staggered manner.
  • Students will receive their timetable during their reintegration interview. This timetable will include all planned lessons with movement time in between and one break time only. Students will follow a full curriculum taught by their specialist subject teacher.
  • Each student will only have one break time to minimise opportunity for cross-contamination. Students will be able to buy a hot meal in the canteen (or Free School Meals will be provided as appropriate) and then will be expected to spend the rest of the break time outside in their specified zone. There will be no indoor break facilities. Students should be prepared with waterproof overcoats for those occasions when it is raining.
  • Afternoon registration will take place in tutor groups every day. After this, tutors will escort students off site in a staggered manner for year groups 7, 8, 9 and year 12 Level 2. Exit will be via King George’s Park gate. Students must not gather in the park but must make their way home on dismissal.
  • For years 10, 11, 12 Level 3, 13 and IG, students will proceed to lesson 5 after tutor period.
  • There will be no large group gatherings during the school day, instead assemblies will take place virtually in tutor groups once a week.
  • Throughout the school day students will follow a timetable in their year group bubbles and will have break in their year group bubble.
  • Whilst moving around the site in between lessons students must observe the one-way systems in corridors and on stairwells where this has been marked out. Students will move around the site in single file to minimise cross contamination between different year groups. Following reintegration interviews students’ first day back will include induction and familiarisation with new systems.
  • Our behaviour policy will be in place and the highest standards of behaviour will be expected at all times. Any covid adjusted practices will be outlined in the protocols document on our website and will be explained during the IEAP interview.

Classroom practices

  • Students will line up outside their classroom and will be seated in a controlled manner by their teacher. Every classroom will be set up with hand sanitising stations. Students must sanitise their hands at the start and end of every lesson.
  • All desks are arranged so that student are facing the front. Students will be shown their seat by the teacher and must remain in their allocated seat throughout the lesson.
  • There will be a 2 metre line at the front of the classroom. Students must not cross this line and teachers will not cross this line. Teachers will not be able to move amongst students to provide the usual one-to-one support.
  • Any support from teaching assistants will be managed on an individual basis following an additional risk assessment.
  • Before students enter classrooms, desks will have disinfectant sprayed on them. On entry students will be handed paper towels to wipe down those surfaces and then throw the towel in the bin.
  • Doors and windows will remain open throughout lesson time.
  • At the end of lessons, students will be dismissed in an orderly manner when they must observe the one-way system to travel to their next lesson in single file.

Break times

  • There will only be one break time for each year group.
  • Each year group will be directed either to use the canteen at the start of break or to go to their designated outdoor zone.
  • Before entering the canteen students will line up, queue to buy their food and then be shown to a table where they can eat their food. As soon as they have finished students will take their plates to designated stations and then proceed outside to their year group zone.
  • Only one year group at a time will be using designated canteen zones. All tables will be cleaned between usage.
  • Outside students will have year group designated zones and designated toilets.
  • At the end of break the whistle will be blown and students will line up in their tutor groups.
  • Students will then be dismissed to lessons.

Departure

  • At the end of the school day students will be escorted off site in their class group via King George’s Park gate. Students must not gather in the park but must make their way home directly on dismissal.
  • Students will depart at staggered times.

Year Group

‘bubble’

Arrival

Break

canteen

Break

outside

Tutor time

Departure

7

8.00-8.20am

10.35am

10.50am

1.15pm

By 2.00pm

8

8.00-8.20am

10.25am

10.40am

1.15pm

By 2.00pm

9

8.00-8.20am

10.15am

10.30am

1.15pm

By 2.00pm

10

9.30-9.50am

1.00pm

1.15pm

1.40pm

3.40pm

11

9.30-9.50am

1.00pm

1.15pm

1.40pm

3.40pm

12 Level 2

8.00-8.20am

10.35am

Or off site

10.50am

1.15pm

By 2.00pm

12 Level 3

9.30-9.50am

1.15pm

1.30pm

1.50pm

2.50pm

Except Wednesdays at 3.45pm

13

9.30-9.50am

1.15pm

1.30pm

1.50pm

3.45pm

International Group

9.30-9.50am

1.15pm

In assembly hall

1.30pm

1.50pm

2.50pm

NB: These timings are subject to minor change. Movement will be closely monitored and managed to ensure safety. Timings may have to vary at any time.

All students who are in the 6th Form (Year 12 Level 2, Year 12 Level 3, Year 13) may go off-site during their break time following protocols issued by the 6th Form team.

Extra-curricular activities

  • There will be no morning or after school provision for the first half term. This will be reviewed at the end of the first half term.
  • School trips will not take place in the first instance and external visitors will not be attending school until the end of the first half term. This will be reviewed at the end of the first half term.
  • Specialist visitors and support workers will be able to provide support for our students but this will be managed with new protocols and control measures overseen by our SENCo.

Finally, please rest assured that we are making every effort to minimise risk to students and staff and at the same time endeavour to provide a full curriculum for your child to facilitate speedy recovery where necessary and continued progression in their learning. We ask for your co-operation in these endeavours and that you prepare your child in the best possible way to succeed under these control measures.

We aim for a positive start to the new academic year and hope that you and your family stay well throughout.

Yours faithfully

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher

 

 


17th July 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We have reached the end of an academic year where half the year we were able to enjoy normal schooling and the other half relied heavily on home learning. Thank you for working with us to provide an education for your child.

Reports for students

Academic reports, albeit of a different nature this year, will be available for parents of Year 7 to 10 and Year 12 students on ‘My Child at School’.

Year 11 and Year 13 reports will be issued once the GCSE and A level results have been published.

Year 11 and Year 13 summer results

Heads of Year will be communicating the details of arrangements for students to collect their results.

A level Results collection: Thursday 13th August between 9.00am and 12.00pm

GCSE Results collection: Thursday 20th August between 10.00am and 1.00pm

Summer home learning arrangements for students currently in years 7-10

Accompanying the detail set out in my letter to parents last week, in order to support your child’s well-being over the summer break, we have devised a number of independent learning activities for them to complete. Task sheets will be made available at different intervals on the Academy website click here to view the page and you will receive an email directing you to it.  The first sheet was launched on Thursday, 16th July 2020.

For current Year 10 students, this supplements fortnightly core and foundation revision tasks that subject teachers have set via Google classrooms, which will be also released fortnightly.

Upon their return to school in September, all students should be prepared to discuss and share evidence of the tasks they have completed.

Please remember we cannot neglect virtual school as we must ensure we are prepared for further possible lockdown enforcements.

Arrangements for September return to school

As with all schools we are planning for the return of all students, full time in September. We have keenly observed possible models of schooling that incorporate guidance that was most recently published on 3rd July, presented by other schools and Multi Academy Trusts.

We are carefully considering all options.

Parents and students have worked hard to adjust to remote learning conditions and many students have been successful in gaining new knowledge and new skills, in particular, with respect to the efficient use of IT and time management. With both the reducing of risk and enabling good quality teaching by subject specialists in mind, we are ambitiously working on a more complex model. Our model will still require student self-discipline, hygiene regimes, staggered start and finish times, staggered breaks and lunchtimes as well as careful movement around the site in one way systems. Students will need to wear school uniform. Most importantly, we wish to provide specialist teaching alongside safety measures.

The recent return of Year 10 and Year 12 students has taught us that once in school, students need their specialist teacher in front of them.

Given there are two months between the latest guidance and the start of school in September, we anticipate further changes to the guidance responding to changes in national or local conditions due to Covid.  We have a number of variations to our model. Principally we aim to bring back all students in September, starting with the new Year 7 on Friday 4th September. Thereafter other Year groups will return in a staggered way to ensure thorough induction to new regimes and timetables. We will publish exact details in the last week of August to ensure the very latest guidance has been taken into consideration.

We plan for each parent to have an opportunity for a face to face exchange for a return to school meeting alongside their child with the tutor before we reopen fully.

Thank you to all of you for the support for home learning. We were recently able to test a number of our KS3 students who have continued to engage remotely with the Accelerated Reader Programme. For almost all of these students we were delighted to see that their reading ages had progressed at the expected standard. Please continue to promote the importance of reading with your children over the next six weeks.

Meanwhile, please prepare your child to return to school, in full school uniform, in the autumn term so that classroom learning can be re-established and your child can restart their studies in that familiar and much missed setting.

Parent voice

Whilst finalising the arrangements for the safe return of your child to school we would like to hear from you. We have set up an email address so you can email us your suggestions surrounding the return of your child to school. We will not respond to each email but will do our best to incorporate your suggestions into our planning. Please click here to e-mail only for September opening suggestions or concerns. It would be helpful if you stated the year group of your child.

Otherwise, please use the usual communication channels bearing in mind that staff will also be taking a break during the summer holidays.

Education Wellbeing Practitioners – summer programme

The past few months have felt really challenging for many students. Although our teachers will be on a break over the summer holidays, our team of Education Wellbeing Practitioners (EWPs) will be offering support all summer long.

It is very common for students to be experiencing some of the following challenges:

• Worry/anxiety

• Low mood and a lack of motivation

• Sleep difficulties.

If this applies to your child, the EWP service may be able to help with virtual 1:1 support sessions. Click here to download the EWP flyer for more information, and submit the referral form available by clicking here directly to: WandsworthWP@swlstg.nhs.uk.

If at any time you experience an urgent issue regarding child safeguarding, we have set up a welfare line for you to be able to contact a member of staff.  Please phone 07437 794201 (Larry Davis, Deputy Headteacher) or 07379 862150 (Sara Sharpe, Designated Safeguarding Lead).

All parents of students with Free School Meals have now been sent a voucher to cover the summer holiday period.

If you require the services of the uniform shop please check here, the details are outlined on our website.

Please take the opportunity to have a break from home learning. Rest assured, working together, parents and the school, we will rebuild your children’s knowledge and skills. We have been so pleased to see the return of so many students these last few weeks. We will do our best for your child.

Have a safe and healthy summer.

Yours faithfully,

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


7th July 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

End of Year arrangements:

We are approaching the end of term and below are the arrangements for closing down before the summer holidays.

Virtual school provision for Years 7-10, 12 and IG

This will continue until Wednesday 15th July when teachers will begin to mute any interactive communications with students in preparation for the summer break.

On-site Years 7-9 provision for key worker and vulnerable children

This will continue until Thursday 16th July and then close down over the summer break.

On-site provision for Year 10 and Year 12 and IG students

This will end on Friday 10th July, students will not attend next week. Final teaching will take place on Google Classrooms until Wednesday 15th July. All summer homework activity will be posted on Google Classrooms in preparation for the next Academic Year. Students can submit work but will not be able to engage in virtual conversation with their teachers during the summer break.

Summer Holiday activity:

Year 7,

Year 8,

Year 9

Work will be published on the website every two weeks and will relate to a fortnightly theme. The work will include wellbeing activities and an i-study style personal development project (with a cross curricular focus).

Year 10

This will be subject based to support revision of prior learning and preparation for the final GCSE year ahead. Each subject will post their activities on their Google Classroom, students will be able to submit work but will not be able to engage in virtual conversation with their teachers during the Summer break.

Year 11: for those hoping to start in our 6th Form

Introductory classes for 6th Form courses have now closed. All those hoping to commence 6th Form courses with us would have been interviewed by now. Students should complete their ‘Starter for 12’ activities related to their course choices. These are posted on the Academy website from 10th July and will be collected at the start of term.

Year 12

The pastoral team have set work related to the writing of personal statements associated with University applications.

Subjects will be posting revision materials and preparatory work for Year 13. These activities will be posted on Google Classrooms throughout the holiday and collected at the start of term.

International Group students

Summer holiday homework is being set via Google Classrooms. Students can submit work but will not be able to engage in virtual conversation with their teachers during the summer break.

It continues to be a real pleasure to have so many Year 10 and 12 students attending school at present.  Our overall goal is to see all students return to school as quickly and safely as possible. Whilst we will be guided by Government advice, planning decisions will always be taken with an understanding of relevant local issues and we will always seek to maximise the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. As always, our governing body will continue to independently scrutinise all of our work and plans moving forwards.

Although there are, of course, a number of uncertainties remaining, at present we are confident that we can establish a ‘new normal’ in September which will enable all students to attend school on a full timetable.

A very brief overview of today’s guidance is available in the following link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53253722.  Although this is, of course, only a news article, it provides a summary which you may find helpful.

Virtual Timetable

The Virtual timetable was issued this week in response to feedback. The lessons for each day are available in the student’s Google Classroom as usual from 8.30 that morning.  This offers a structure for learning across the week, with the timetable suggesting a structure for the day.  Any queries please get in touch with Sarah Gray, Deputy Headteacher, Teaching and Learning via sarah.gray@southfieldsacademy.com

Year 7 Parent focus group feedback

Our Parent Focus Group met with the Principal this week and during the meeting it was very useful to hear their experience of the Virtual School.  They were unanimous in their praise of the smooth running of the online school but did have some questions, which we believe others may have too, so we will answer these below. 

  • Recorded lessons can be watched as many times as you like, so your child can go over any area again where they may not have understood a concept or point.
  • In some cases, parents can check that work set on Google Classroom has been completed.  We are planning to roll out this facility more widely for the new academic year.
  • We do data collections at regular intervals to identify students who are not engaging with the Virtual School and this is passed on to our pastoral team to make one call to a parent rather than them being bombarded with calls from a number of teachers.  As a result, there can be a delay between the student not engaging and the next data collection which will trigger the call home.
  • We are constantly looking to improve our systems for marking of work and feedback.  Please be assured that our aim is to ensure that this is carried out regularly.  Where it has been happening less frequently, improvements have been made and further steps have been taken to ensure your child’s work is evaluated regularly.

We thank those parents in the focus group for their time and support of the Academy.  Please remember, if you have any queries, your child’s Head of Year will be happy to address these.

Although I will write next week as the school term comes to an end, please be prepared to read communications towards the end of the summer break in order to gain the latest information.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely                                                                                                 

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


1st July 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We have now had more students attend since 15th June following Government guidance. This extended on-site provision has been well received by students who have had well-being sessions followed by lessons that supplement their home learning. This limited provision has enabled us to better support our students, particularly with respect to their welfare, and has improved engagement with the continued predominant form of education on-line. We will not be making any changes to on-site conditions or our safety measures prior to the end of term even if the Government announces changes.

As we maintain the required maximum of 25% of Year 10 or Year 12 students on site at any time, we are inviting Year 7 in small groups on the days when others are not on site, Fridays, in order to provide similar well-being sessions and to support students with on-line learning engagement.

We are waiting for more specific Government guidance around re-opening in September 2020 before we publish our plans for the start of the autumn term. If a full return is expected with reduced distancing protocols alongside other mitigations, it is likely that we will need to phase a return in order to ensure that large groups understand any new regimes that might be required. The safety of our students and staff, alongside their welfare, remain our highest priority not forgetting the educational needs. For educational purposes we continue to grow our virtual school provision in case we will need to revert to on-line learning.

New virtual school timetable

Following feedback from students, staff and parents, we are launching a virtual school timetable to run from 6th-15th July for each year group. Teachers will set their lessons on the morning that the lesson is timetabled, at the same set times each week. This means that students will have structure for the learning that should be achieved that day. The timetables also work alongside the site provision that some students are attending. The year timetables will be shared with parents and students at the end of this week.

Please examine the link below which contains useful advice and resources on learning at home.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources

Arrangements for Year 11 students

Many Year 11 students are currently completing their interviews for next year so that they secure a place for the next phase in their education. Those hoping to join our 6th Form would have engaged with our Introductory Classrooms (Pre-Post-16 rooms) in virtual school.

Important Year 11 dates:

3rd July – Introductory Google classrooms close

10th JulyStarter for 12 activities on Southfields Academy website for students preparing to start Post-16 courses in September.

10th July – Students hoping to study A levels in maths or sciences will need to prepare for a test in the first week of September. Revision materials will be released on 10th July and available on the Academy website.

20th AugustGCSE results day: we are hoping to release results on site and expect students to be available to attend a ‘Results and Progression’ session.

Week commencing 31st August – A level maths and science tests.

Week commencing 7th September – Induction to Year 12. Details to be shared in August. Students must be available to commence 6th Form study.

Summer results:

Thursday 13th August – A level results day. Detail for Year 13 students will be published nearer the time by 6th Form leaders.

Thursday 20th August – GCSE and Level 2 results day. This is for Year 11 and Year 12 Level 2 students. Detail will be published nearer the time.

As the school year begins to draw to a close we recognise that much of this academic year has been spent in lockdown, with students using the internet to access home learning. Any parent still struggling with securing engagement with home learning for their child, please make contact with the relevant Head of Year so that we can support you with this before the term ends.

In the final week of term I will write to parents outlining summer holiday activity and hope to provide some detail about the start of the new academic year in September 2020.

Thank you for your support.

Yours faithfully

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


17th June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

This week we have seen the first of our increased numbers in attendance. All Year 10 and Year 12 Level 3 students have been invited to attend once a week this fortnight and so far we have

had a very positive response. More than 70% have attended to date and it was a joy to greet

more of our students once again. Once we are confident with our initial activities centred around student well-being and engagement with virtual school, we will plan different lessons to help students to catch-up. There will be no major changes to the shape of our provision this term other than some small changes to timings to incorporate all subjects.

Remote education will remain the predominant mode of education for the rest of this term for all students with some on site provision supplementing this work.

From 22nd June until the end of summer term

  1. On-site provision for vulnerable students in Year 7-9
  2. On-site provision for Year 10 students in small groups.
  3. On-site provision for Year 12 Level 3 students in small groups.
  4. Virtual school continues for Years 7-10, Pre-post-16 (year 11), Year 12 and IG

Parent survey

Thank you for so many positive comments around our provision for your child. Many of you have indicated a high level of satisfaction in relation to the home-learning activities despite the challenges you face at home and those that teachers face with their own new skill sets.

We have put together a FAQs document that incorporates responses to further questions from parents. Please click here to view this document.

Additionally, we have already asked parents of Year 10 and Year 12 students to review our ‘Safety Measures at School’ document which captures changes to protocols and on-site physical changes to ensure social distancing and strict hygiene regimes. Please take the opportunity to review this document here.

As soon as we receive government direction about re-opening of schools in September we shall write to inform you of our plans. Meanwhile, please enjoy our weekly newsletter Southfields Spirit.

Thank you for your continued support, in particular, with home-learning.

Yours faithfully

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


5th June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family were able to take a break from virtual school over the half term and enjoy some of the better weather that we were blessed with last week.

Thank you to all parents/carers who responded to our survey. We have had over 400 responses and are preparing a FAQs document to share with you soon.

Since my last letter dated 22nd May we have received two pieces of information from the Government that will enable us to move forward. The first “Guidance for secondary provision from 15 June” was released on Monday 25th May. Secondly it was confirmed on the 28th May that the five tests that were set to enable the continued easing of the lockdown were being met.

The “Guidance for secondary provision from 15 June” now enables us to work with the staff to plan to offer some face to face support which will supplement the remote education for no more than a quarter of Year 10 and Year 12 at any one time.

It is clear that remote education will remain the predominant mode of education for the rest of this term for all students with some on site provision supplementing this work.

Please bear in mind, the on-site provision will not be school as normal.

Next week we shall communicate with parents of Year 10 and Year 12 students to provide you with the detail of arrangements and a survey so that parents can inform us about the attendance of their child. We will also share the changes that have taken place on site alongside staff training to ensure parents/carers have confidence in our safe provision.

Thank you for your continued support and please keep safe.

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher


22nd May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

There has been much speculation on the issue of re-opening schools from the 1st June.

As mentioned in my letter last week, we are taking careful steps to ensure we are ready to re-open partially when it is safe to do so.

We will not re-open in the week commencing 1st June.  We will continue with our reduced provision for children of key workers and those children considered to be vulnerable.

Alongside this we are completing risk assessments and protocols to ensure our site and staff will be ready to receive more students. We plan to receive some Year 10 and Year 12 students from the 8th June. This means we would invite students to attend for specific activities that would be focussed on:

  • Student well-being
  • Support for students to engage with their home-learning
  • Introduce a recovery curriculum
  • And if possible, engage with some on-site lessons

All of this would happen with small numbers of students on-site, for reduced periods of time and with staggered starts. It will not be school as normal and will only happen if our Trustees agree the risk assessment and re-opening.  Additionally, we will continue to check the government updates and hence, provisional plans are subject to change.

Half-term

Meanwhile, lessons in virtual school for all year groups, including all the pre-post-16 new classes, will pause over the half-term starting Monday 25th May.  Students can complete work, or, catch-up, or, make good use of the break.

Virtual school, the reduced on-site provision, Year 7-9 off-line work booklets and Google Meet assemblies will resume on Monday 1st June.

I attach a letter from the Director of Children’s Services and our own newsletter celebrating our work in lockdown and even capturing some pictures of the Academy site being adapted for social distancing.

Please take the opportunity to take a break from home-learning and enjoy the week safely and socially distancing.

Best wishes

Wanda Golinska

Headteacher

The Local Authority, Wandsworth Borough Council, have also written to all parents in the borough with details on how they are supporting the reopening of schools.

We have also written to Parents and Carers about Home Language examinations that students were due to sit this summer.


12th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
I hope that you are all able to enjoy some of the recent sunshine that we have had and are looking forward to more next week.

I am sure that many of you will have heard the Government’s announcement regarding schools.  Those of you with primary school aged children may, very understandably, feel anxious regarding a possible return to school in June.  For all of you who are parents/carers of Southfields Academy students, you may also feel anxious that it appears secondary schools may open for Year 10 and Year 12 in June and not fully reopen until September. 

Most importantly, your children may also be feeling anxious and/or upset at what looks likely to be an extended period of school closure.  There have certainly been tears in the households of some staff when their children realised that secondary schools would remain closed for now.  However, it is vital that we, as a school and community, start to look and plan for the future.

What preparations is the school making for the future?

All of us – school staff, parents/carers and students - want schools to reopen as soon as possible but of course; this can only be done when it is judged safe enough to do so.  Whilst we wait for this moment to arrive, we would like to reassure you on three fronts:

Firstly, when the time is right for secondary schools to reopen, we will be doing everything we can to make sure that this happens in as safe and secure a way as possible.  The wellbeing of both our students and staff will remain paramount when further steps to reopening are taken. 

Secondly, we do not intend to rush things.  We are already considering options regarding how school might reopen on a partial basis with students on reduced timetables, or certain year groups in on certain days, for example, to allow as much social distancing as possible, if this remains necessary.  Before we reopen, we will communicate a clear plan to parents/carers and students.  This will include planning for additional pastoral support and curriculum changes if/where we feel appropriate to support our students with both their emotional and academic development. 

It is crucial that all Year groups, particularly Years 7-9, engage with the work being set so that they do not get behind in their studies.  Heads of Year are there to support you if you are having difficulties engaging your child in this work.

Thirdly, if we are to remain closed until the summer (for all but children of key workers and vulnerable students), we will review our current working practices and work-setting guidance.  I am extremely proud of how hard our staff have worked to provide our students with the best possible learning opportunities during this time and the exceptional professional standards that they have maintained during such challenging times.  I – and our staff - are also very proud of the great efforts parents and carers have made to help their children keep learning.  Well done to you all!

However, if we are to continue with school closures for some weeks to come, we will look at what more we can do to help you, and your children, balance learning with long-term wellbeing.  This is now very much a marathon, not a sprint.  We will communicate any changes to our home-learning model with you as soon as possible.  In the meantime, please remember to do what you can and keep communicating with us re any difficulties you, or your child, may be experiencing.  All staff are aware of the challenges you may face and we will continue, as always, to help your children in any way that we can.

During this time, it is inevitable that young people may be spending more time online.  It is worth parents/ carers monitoring this online activity closely, since this can lead to increased online gambling risks - sometimes through gaming and in-app purchases.  Please see the parent section of the Academy website for more information and a useful video.  We will also be posting guidance for students through the Home Learning booklet and Google Classrooms.

As we have stated in all of our correspondence with you, we know that everybody’s circumstances are different, and some will be very challenging at this time. 

As such, a reminder from me that we continue to run emotional support services for students remotely and are working with a number of other agencies who are helping young people with the current situation.  Please contact your child’s Head of Year if you feel your child may benefit from support or contact the welfare phone on 0743 779 4201.

Thank you to those of you who contacted us following our recent letter.

Ramadan

Staff are aware that some students will be fasting at present, which may be affecting their energy and concentration.  Please let us know if this may be impacting on your child’s ability to complete their schoolwork and we will, of course, ensure that our communication with you is sensitive to this.  To those families/households taking part in Ramadan, we wish you a peaceful and reflective close to the month and hope that Eid celebrations can still be enjoyed despite current circumstances.

Again, I thank you for your continued patience and perseverance and our thoughts are with those of you who have experienced difficulties and loss through these trying times.

Regards,

Jacqueline Valin

CEO Southfields Multi-Academy Trust