School Closure from 20/03/2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

 

Coronavirus COVID-19: update on school closure

 

Following the announcement today from the Education Secretary, we can confirm that from 3pm on Friday 20 March 2020, Downham Market Academy and Athena College will be closed to most students until further notice.

 

From Monday, we will remain open for children of key workers and children who are most vulnerable such as those with Educational, Health and Care Plans or active social worker involvement.  So that we can adequately plan this provision, we need to know which children will be attending according to these criteria.  Please can you email me (m.eastwood@downhammarketacademy.co.uk) as a matter of urgency and by tomorrow at 3pm at the latest if you intend to send your child in to the Academy from Monday.  This applies to students in all year groups from 7 to 13.

 

We understand that this is a worrying time for families and we will support your decision if you wish to keep your child(ren) at home tomorrow and Friday however we do still remain open for students in Years 7, 8, 11 and 13 and children of any adults working in front line services.

 

Work for students

During this time, it is expected that all students will continue to engage with their education every day using the resources that will be provided for them.

 

There will be a new portal available on the Downham Market Academy website tomorrow that provides access to tasks, resources and guidance for all students.  This work is categorised by year group and subject and teachers from the Academy will be emailing students on their Academy email address with details of the specific task to be completed each week.  Some tasks are self-marking using online programmes and some will require students to submit work to a dedicated email address these are also published on the closure portal.

 

Teachers will be working from home if well enough to do so and caring for any dependents so that new resources and tasks are available and feedback is given on work completed.  It is vital that your child engages with these tasks in order to maintain progress for when the Academy reopens.

 

Contact with the Academy

During the period of full closure, we will only monitor calls to a single telephone number at the

Academy.  If you call 01366 389136, you will be able to leave a voicemail message and we will review these at least once a day.  If you wish to report any concerns with the safety or welfare of any child at

Downham Market Academy, a dedicated email account has been created: worried@downhammarketacademy.co.uk.  Similarly, if your child has any special educational needs and requires extra support to complete any of the work, please email senteam@downhammarketacademy.co.uk and a member of the SEN team will be in touch as soon as possible.

 

Support for students in receipt of free school meals

If your child would normally receive a free school meal each day, you will have received a separate letter regarding meal provision during the Academy closure.  Please do respond to this letter so that we can prepare adequate meals.

 

Exams

We do not have any further details regarding the announcement that exams will not take place as published this summer.  We appreciate that this decision will create anxiety amongst students and their families who were expecting to complete examinations this summer and we will provide more information as soon as we get it.  Whilst there are no exams to prepare for, it is vital that students in Year 11 and 13 continue to work in all their subject areas to prepare for the next stage in their education.

 

Thank you for your continued support during this very difficult time.

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Mark Eastwood

Deputy Headteacher

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