As the country begins to cautiously take a step forward, I write to you at the end of a school year which, since March, has been far from ordinary. The challenges we have all had to overcome have forced us all to live and work differently. For those of you who have suffered a loss, please accept my sincere condolences.
As we look forward to the new academic year, I am pleased to update you with our plans particularly, that all students, in all year groups, will be returning to full time education. In September, all students will follow a broad and balanced timetable, heavily supplemented by our recovery curriculum, which we have developed to address the period of time students have been away from the Academy.
The recent guidance released by Government presents every school in the country with a significant challenge: how to balance the need for every student to be in education, with the scientific guidelines on how to manage the risk presented by Coronavirus in a busy, crowded and social space such as a school. In addition, the final guidance from Government will not be released until mid-August. This means that the details now available on our website are subject to change but they do however demonstrate the extent to which we have planned to implement current Government guidance.
If you would like to view our plans, they are available on our website in the Parents section under New Academic Year 2020. Alongside our plans for reopening, you will find an overview of our recovery curriculum. We have set up a dedicated contact form in the Contact area of the website, so we can respond to any questions you may have.
To provide you with a broad overview of our approach to the new academic year, we will be implementing a staggered start to the beginning and end of the day; rolling breaks and lunches to keep year groups apart; and the building will be separated into year group zones. These measures are necessary to create year group ‘bubbles’ and are in addition to increased levels of handwashing and a rigorous cleaning regime, that will take place throughout each day as well as at the end of each day. My message in this difficult time is that we will be making the experience for every child at Amington as safe and happy as possible, whilst still providing high quality education.
Once we have received the final guidance from government in mid-August, I will be in a position to confirm our plans. However, to enable you to look ahead to the new academic year, our provisional start dates are as follows:
|Start Date||Start of Day||End of Day|
|Year 7||Thursday 27th August||08.40||15.10|
|Year 11||Friday 28th August||09.10||16.00|
|Year 10||Tuesday 1st September||08.50||15.20|
|Year 9||Wednesday 2nd September||08.30||15.00|
|Year 8||Thursday 3rd September||09.00||15.30|
To confirm, the timings of our Academy day in the new academic year will be as follows:
|Year||Start of Day||End of Day|
We have made the decision to have a phased beginning to the new academic year to ensure our protocols are robust and to enable our systems and support structures to gradually increase to full capacity by Thursday 3rd September.
Even in this challenging period of time, I write to you with great pride at how the Academy has progressed during my first year as Principal. There have been significant staffing developments and I have been able to recruit effectively for the new academic year. We are fully staffed and in a strong position to move forward with our exciting new curriculum. One aspect in which we have invested heavily, is our ability to deliver effective remote learning, including live lessons. I know this is something that parents and carers will want in the event of future disruption and we are determined to learn from the experience of the past several months. In particular, we are currently developing our resources to better enable our students to continue their learning beyond the end of the Academy day and we will be in a position in September to utilise the Microsoft Teams platform to deliver remote learning in the event of a local lockdown.
I am proud of how our teachers and support staff at Amington have responded to these unusual circumstances. In addition to supporting our community through the work of our pastoral team, we have remained open during this period of lockdown for the children of key workers and vulnerable students. At Amington, we have catered for more students throughout this period than every other secondary school in Tamworth combined. I am proud of the parents and carers who have worked tirelessly to support their children with home learning but most of all, we remain proud of our students and we are really looking forward to welcoming them all back in the new academic year.
Please stay safe through the summer break.
Mr A Deen