Coronavirus Information – COVID19
Mental Health and Wellbeing COVID-19 Support
Parents who are key workers
Update – 03/04/2020
I hope you are all staying home and staying safe. This is an unprecedented time and the good health and safety of our families is the priority. Please continue to follow government guidelines to protect yourselves.
I am writing to update you all on our new Virtual Learning programme of study and some of the other important changes in place since we were told to close indefinitely on Friday, 20th April.
Supporting our community
Given the challenging circumstances that all schools and academies face at this time, we have been collaborating with Braintcroft E-ACT Academy by providing a provision for students from both schools based at The Crest Academy site. As has been made clear in the latest government guidance, smaller groups of students in schools and academies are considered to carry a lower risk. As E-ACT academies we follow the same stringent safeguarding and welfare processes and our staff already benefit from having close working relationships with one another.
Our provision over the Easter holidays
We will continue to support the children of key workers and our most vulnerable students over the Easter holidays and as already stated, parents and carers can also collect their free school meals hampers from the academy during this time on Tuesdays.
Please note that we are unfortunately unable to provide any provision on Good Friday and Easter Monday due to the availability of staff during this difficult time. If this poses certain practical issues for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide you with the relevant contact details in Brent for support.
While the school building remains closed to most students, teachers have been working to ensure that work is set and available so that students do not fall behind with their studies. Daily tasks have been uploaded on to Show My Homework which can be accessed through the school website through Quick links here
It is important that students log on before accessing the tasks; students have been sent their login details. If you require support with this there are useful PowerPoints which can talk you through how to access the resources from the website at https://crestacademy.e-act.org.uk/curricular/show-my-homework/.
Students in years 10-13 have been provided with school emails. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will receive their email addresses next week. If your child does not receive their email address please contact us at email@example.com with your child’s name and form group.
After Easter, to further support your child’s learning, we will be launching the Microsoft TEAMs learning classroom. You will be receiving further information about this in due course.
We recommend that students should follow a similar schedule as much as possible to maintain a routine. They should start their online lessons by 9.00am and complete the online learning tasks set by their teachers until 3.30pm. (Please see examples of websites and apps we recommend at the end of this letter). If the 9-3.30pm schedule is not possible to follow please create a plan for the more suitable times that your child will be able to access their online learning at home.
If your child does not have access to the internet or a laptop please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your child’s name, form class and your contact details (email and a phone number) so we can support you.
Home Learning over the Easter Holidays
Although this Easter holiday period is different from what we would normally experience, we suggest that during this time students have their usual break from full days of studying but still maintain daily reading for at least 30 minutes and at least two hours of interactive learning tasks of your choice, to keep them engaged. Where possible we advise that children participate in daily physical activity which could be a walk/run outside or an online fitness class such as those you may find on YouTube.
Free School Meals
If your child is in receipt of Free School Meals we will continue to provide a weekly hamper of food for you to collect on Tuesday 7th and Tuesday 14th April. All year groups have a specific time to collect the food hamper to ensure social distancing:
• Year 7- 10.00- 11.00 am
• Year 8 – 10.00 – 11.00am
• Year 9 11.00 – 12.00am
• Year 10 11.00- 12.00am
• Year 11 12.00 -1.00pm
• KS5 12.00- 1.00pm
The Government launched a Free School Meals voucher scheme on 30th March 2020 and we will move to this from Monday 20th April. This is an e-voucher and we will need an up to date email addresses to ensure the vouchers are delivered. Please contact email@example.com with your email address for prompt delivery of the voucher. If you would like to collect the voucher from the Crest Academy building please put this request in writing to the same email address.
Please be aware of fraudulent free school meal emails
We have been made aware of fraudulent emails claiming to be from the Department for Education being sent to the parents of children in receipt of free school meals. If you have received such an email, which will typically contain a request for bank details, please do not respond and delete it immediately.
Being away from school and possibly in self-isolation is potentially very stressful. It is important that the good mental health of children and families is maintained. If your child is feeling unduly stressed about the current situation free support can be found by contacting online counsellors at Kooth:
If children do not feel safe, or parents are concerned about the wellbeing of a Crest students, they can report their concerns here firstname.lastname@example.org or here under Pupil Concerns
Supporting your child’s mental health during this period of uncertainty
The school website has advice on how to support your child’s mental wellbeing during this time. In addition, please see below four practical things you can do to support your child:
- Look out for any changes in behaviour: young people may respond to stress in different ways – have you noticed any changes in their emotional state or physical behaviours?
- Provide clear information about the situation: talk openly about what is happening and provide honest answers to any questions they have. Also explain what is being done to keep them and their loved ones safe.
- Acknowledge concerns: young people will be hearing things from friends and through social media. Talk to them about what is going on, listen to them and acknowledge their concerns.
- Create a new routine: routine provides reassurance and an increased feeling of safety, especially if they are not in academy. Make a plan for the day or week that includes time for learning, physical activity and relaxing.
For more detailed guidance, visit gov.uk by clicking here.
GCSE and A level examinations will not be taking place this year
I would like to reassure you that we will be doing everything in our power to ensure our students are awarded the qualifications they deserve and have worked so hard for. We are working closely with the Department for Education and Ofqual, and have finally received some information today about the process by which our students will receive their grades. I will write to Year 11 parents and carers and students about this separately.
Keeping your child safe online
We understand that some parents and carers may be feeling anxious about the fact that your child is likely to be spending more time online over the coming weeks. The websites below contain expert support and practical tips on keeping your child safe online:
You can find more information on gov.uk by clicking here.
If you or your child start to feel unwell over the coming weeks
If in the coming weeks someone in your household is advised to self-isolate by the NHS, please let us know as soon as possible using the email address email@example.com. We will need your child’s name, year group and the academy they attend. The latest guidance from the NHS can be found here.
We find ourselves in uncertain times, yet our students and families, our staff and our wider communities have pulled together despite the challenges we face. We are being reminded every day of just how fortunate we are to serve such a special community.
Thank you for your continued support. Again, I would like to reiterate the plea that you follow government guidance as much as you can and stay home, stay safe and stay well.