Principal's update: Friday 15 May 2020
Published on 15/05/20
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. We continue to hear from you, your children and young people through our virtual school and emails and phone calls. It’s good to know you are keeping going with school work and doing your best to maintain some kind of normality. Thank you for this and please stay in touch.
Government proposals about return to school
You will have seen at the weekend that the government has given notice that schools could reopen to Year 10 students, providing them with some time in school before the end of the academic year, if certain conditions have been met. We are waiting to see the detail of this proposal from the Department for Education; the information so far has not been very clear.
We have been discussing this in both school and Chorus Trust leadership teams and with governors/trustees to assess what is possible. There is a lot to consider but I want to reassure you that both student and staff safety will be our overriding priority in these discussions.
As I am sure you appreciate, this is a complex situation. Please be patient with us whilst we take the time to thoroughly investigate the proposals and their implications. I will of course share information with you once I am able to do so.
Over the coming days we will be sending Year 10 parents and students a survey, so we can assess the demand for this proposal and any concerns they have. We are also talking to our staff. If you are a Year 10 parent, please take time to complete the survey.
In the meantime, I appreciate that the government announcement may cause uncertainty for our students, so we will continue to focus on supporting them with their remote learning and wellbeing.
A new website called Derby & Derbyshire Emotional Health & Wellbeing is now available. Whilst this website is not yet complete, it currently supports the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Derby and Derbyshire people linked to COVID 19. Shortly, the rest of the website will be live with areas for Professionals, Parents & Carers and Children & Young People. Parents/carers can also access these services through the New Mental Health Helpline 0300 790 0596 which is open 9am until midnight.
Year 10 work experience
Sadly, due to current circumstances, we have had to cancel the work experience planned for Year 10 students. However, we are looking at ways this could be incorporated into their time in Year 11.
We have tried to ensure that we get the balance of work right for students – providing them with enough work to do without overwhelming them and causing anxiety. Please be assured that work is set every day on Classcharts for them to get on with. Their teachers are available to contact if they have any questions. And they should make sure they talk to their form tutors about any concerns they have during their weekly catch-up email or phone call.
We are starting to plan more online content using our Microsoft Teams application and will be sending out a short survey to all year groups (the questions are incorporated into the above survey for Year Ten) to ask about your current experiences of the Virtual School and also to ascertain the level of access to IT in all our families.
Our D&T department continue to produce PPE for local health and social care employees and thank you to you anyone who has assisted with this by providing materials or help to distribute equipment. Thank you also to our PTFA – they are just brilliant in supporting these efforts and everything else.
Our Art staff have a new website for HVC – follow this link:
https://padlet.com/missnicklin/5wfi5zqmuql8dflh and join in the art project in lockdown.
As ever, if you or your children and young people have any concerns, please do get in touch. And thank you for your continued support.
With best wishes,
Mrs Gaynor Jones
Principal, Hope Valley College