Friday 1st May 2020
I am greatly encouraged by the latest briefings from Downing Street which indicate that we have passed the peak of the virus and careful planning can start for the phased unlocking of the country.
I am very clear that any resumption of school will be led by Government advice and that the health and safety of our students, staff and their families will be the top priority in all planning. I do not believe in sharing “ifs, buts and possibles” at this stage, as this can lead to unnecessary anxiety. Therefore, I want to reassure you that I am carefully following all developments from the Department of Education, I am also in contact with the Local Education Authority and my headteacher colleagues to inform decisions and planning. As the situation develops I will start to share the next steps on this journey we are taking together.
I know that you will have conflicting concerns about the education of your children and wanting them to return to school and also their safety with any return to school. I recognise these concerns and think it is important that we are all clear that any resumption of school will look very different to school before the lock down was enacted.
School places remain available each day for students of parents who are key workers under the Government guidance. Students who are considered vulnerable are also able to attend school and I would encourage parents to discuss school attendance with their family support or social worker if they are not currently attending. Please contact school on 07563 588421 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this for your child.
Please check eNews weekly, you should also have had a number of emails from school over the last few weeks regarding a number of topics from Free School Meals vouchers, places available in school for students of key workers and vulnerable students, Google classroom learning and Year 11 support. If you have not been receiving any emails please contact email@example.com to give us your updated email address, be sure to include your child's name and year group too please.
Google Classrooms and Homeschooling
I am delighted that as a community of students, parents and staff we have worked so well together to reach the point where over 80% of students are now accessing Google Classrooms and those without access are being supported via work packs. In the very short time scale we have all worked together to achieve this - thank you to all involved. However, I am very conscious from feedback from all parties that this is not a perfect school replacement and comes with its own stresses and difficulties. It is working best where students follow their timetable and complete the work set by the teacher each day as though they are in school.
Teachers are reporting good uptake and completion of work, however I need to support teachers with trying to work from home, where many are themselves looking after relatives or home schooling their own children. Therefore, I have asked teachers to reply to students queries about work, but please communicate to your child that teachers are not able to respond to every message where students are saying “Hello” just due to the volume of messages they are receiving.
If you are really finding it hard to encourage your child to engage please see support from the students Head of Year - contact details are on the website.
Year Group Classes
Next week, Heads of Year will be inviting students from their year group to join them in their own unique class. Parents: please join your son or daughter in looking for messages and notices that will be released regularly.
Any issues regarding Google Classroom please do not hesitate to call the school IT helpline at: ITHelpline@vyne.hants.sch.uk
Year 11 Update
FREE Online Careers Information Service - Hampshire Futures has developed a webpage dedicated to careers information which can be accessed through: https://www.hants.gov.uk/educationandlearning/hampshirefutures/yourfuture
Hampshire County Council have made this site accessible for all, including young people, and will be updated regularly with useful and up to date information and careers resources. They will be posting bite sized careers related videos very soon.
Year 11 Prom
We are still intent on much needed celebrations for our Year 11 students. Currently, we are still in a holding position but as soon as measures regarding Social Distancing and returning to work are made available we can plan for this occasion.
Free School Meals
We continue to offer a “food box” collection on a Monday or a food voucher which can be posted home or sent electronically to your email. If you have not given school a preference an electronic voucher has been sent to the registered email address for the child since the end of March, please check your emails. If you have any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, please see below some useful information providing support to our families from Hampshire County Council, and two links which have been provided to us by the NHS firstly, giving guidance around what to do if your child shows any symptoms of COVID-19 and secondly, a wellbeing challenge to encourage our young people to think positively about their mental health.
Skoolkit are also offering our Vyne parents and carers free delivery on uniform orders next week.
Keep safe and take care
Mrs N Pearce
Telephone Support Line for families, education settings and professions during covid-19
In line with government policy around social distancing and the impact of setting closures on access to our service, we want to reassure you that Hampshire & Isle of Wight Educational Psychology (HIEP) remains available to contact for all. We are offering a Telephone Support Line during this time which will be:
• A daily telephone support line provided by educational psychologists for families, education staff and other professionals in Hampshire;
• available each day from 9.30am -12.30pm and 1.00pm – 4.00pm;
• for any queries related to the emotional wellbeing of children and young people, their families and staff who know them.
Please phone the number below for your local area:
• North (Basingstoke): 01252 814 835
• South (Havant): 02392 441 497
• East (Rushmoor): 01252 814 729
• West (Winchester): 01962 876 239
• Isle of Wight: 02392 441 497
We recognise that we are living through unprecedented times. Things are changing daily and the impact on day-to-day life is significant. There are many helpful sources of advice and support available; Hampshire & Isle of Wight Educational Psychology (HIEP) have put together a collection of key links which are available:
https://hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk/help/young-people/coronavirus-help-support-and-advice/- Advice for children, young people and families from Hampshire CAMHS, with a wide range of helpful links
https://www.rcslt.org/-/media/docs/Covid/uk-england-advice-for-children-and-young-people.pdf?la=en&hash=B7AEBAAB7914AEF9ED9F3E7F678F3E8EE7C77C0C – provides general advice and many other helpful links for parents, carers and people who work with children
https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/publication/childrens-guide-to- coronavirus/ - The Children’s Commissioner have produced a colourful, downloadable guide which aims to answer children’s questions about coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people, with lots of ideas about how to make the best of their time at home
https://www.healios.org.uk/services/thinkninja1 - an app for 10-18 year olds designed to educate about mental health and wellbeing, also with specific covid-19 updates
On May 4th we are very excited to be launching our new look Skoolkit website. Our new website is very user friendly and with full mobile use capabilities. Get free delivery using the code below:
For orders placed between May 4th – May 7th
This year we would like to ask for your help
As much as possible Skoolkit would like to encourage parents to order uniform from our website for this year’s ‘Back to School’. We appreciate this is not always possible but as I’m sure you will agree we need to try and limit the amount of people in our shops during the busy Summer months, this year the problem we will have is managing social distancing regulations and our priority will be to keep our customers and staff safe.
Skoolkit would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support during this challenging time and we hope you all stay safe.
Spotlight have teamed up with Covid 19 Basingstoke which is run by members of Hampshire Council. They will be providing food parcels for vulnerable adults and families in need and members of the Covid 19 will be coordinating volunteers to be able to distribute the parcels to homes across the area.
Any families or vulnerable adults in need of support can email food requests to email@example.com or call 07804 880072.
They will be open 10-4pm Monday to Saturday running from Hart House, Priestley Road RG24 9UP.
If you wish to donate to the foodbank please email firstname.lastname@example.org.