COVID-19 School Update

 Dear Parents/ Carers, 

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objective is to safeguard and provide continuity of instruction for our students and it is our overwhelming intention to do everything within our power to reduce the impact on them. 

May I take this opportunity to reassure you that Walsall Studio School leaders have worked closely with the Local Authority and The Mercian Trust to ensure a proportionate and considered response to national guidance. 

As of 17th March 2020 our school remains open but we will continue to update you via our website and social media platforms as our response to the situation develops. If we have to ‘phase closing’ we will this from the ‘bottom up’. Although we have no guidance from Ofqual / JCQ at this stage we must do all we can to ensure students due to sit exams have all they need from us and are able to continue to work from home from next week if, as we expect, they are required to do so. 

 Continuity of instruction 

Currently, Walsall Studio School staff will provide two weeks of instructional materials for English, maths and science to students via our website https://walsallstudio.school/offsite-curriculum/. Please follow the links for resources and past paper schedules as they have been specifically designed around the topics covered in this half term. It is our expectation that work is completed and emailed/ shared via learning platforms relevant to the subject e.g. Google Classroom, in order for it to be assessed and for constructive feedback to be given. We will continue to update the links so that students have sufficient work to complete at home and this will ensure that there is no loss of learning time. Notably, we have also secured a month’s worth of free KS4 resources for English, maths and science from TWINKL and the code to access these materials are available on our website. 

Y11 Online Tutor 

To support our Year 11 students throughout this period of uncertainty, general subject emails have been set-up for English, maths and science to ensure all students continue to receive support and instruction. The email addresses are as follows: 

english@walsallstudioschool.co.uk 

maths@walsallstudioschool.co.uk 

science@walsallstudioschool.co.uk 

Students must adhere to our school wide acceptable use of IT policy and should ensure that they do the following when communicating with staff: 

1. State Name and Subject Teacher in the Subject of the email 

2. Maintain a one to one dialogue with staff members, meaning no other students should be CC’d into communications as this breaches GDPR 

Students should utilise this service during school hours only and I must remind you that any breach of IT usage will be dealt with in-accordance with our behaviour policy. 

! Year 11 and Year 12 External Examinations 

Despite our current national picture, I must inform you that the external assessments for Y11 and Year 12 are still expected to commence. Please be reminded of the dates in the table below. 

Be rest assured that we will continue to advocate and challenge any decision that it is to the detriment of our students, however as the Awarding Body statements suggest, we must endeavour to fulfil the requirements of the course. 

Statement from Pearson (BTEC) 

Pearson (BTEC) are currently awaiting guidance from the government to determine what will happen this exam series and will be releasing information as soon as they can. Pearson will ensure that the students are supported and at the forefront of any decisions made. 

Statement from RSL 

We recognise that the current situation with coronavirus may cause prolonged centre closures or self-isolation, and this is a difficult time for our centres and your learners. Please be assured that as the situation changes, RSL are working to ensure that any disruption caused by this is mitigated. This situation is rapidly developing, and any changes to RSL’s policy in response to this will be immediately communicated to all of our centres. 

Our current advice is in the first instance, we would advise that every attempt is made to fulfil the hours within the controlled external assessment window. 

Year 10 Residential Trip 

The planned Year 10 Residential Trip to Wales due to take place in April has been postponed. Please allow me to reassure you that full refunds are currently being processed and our finance team will endeavour to complete these refunds as soon as possible. I know it will be met with disappointment, however the well-being of our students is at the heart of this decision. We will look to reschedule the trip for later in the year. 

Safeguarding 

As a duty of care to all our students we understand the need to seek advice or guidance around current and important safeguarding concerns. Pending partial school closure/ school closure please do not hesitate to contact the Walsall Studio School safeguarding team at: safeguarding@walsallstudioschool.co.uk 

Yours Sincerely, 

Darren Perry 

Principal 

Walsall Studio School 

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