Dear parents/carers and student,
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all students on their dedication in completing the work packs and online work since the school closures were announced, and a big thank you to parents and carers for their continued support during very difficult times.
Following confirmation from the government that schools are able to invite students in other year groups to a face-to-face meeting before the end of this term, I am pleased to announce that Ipswich Academy will be offering this opportunity to all year 7, 8 and 9 students. Students will have the opportunity to book and speak with their base group tutor virtually over Google hangouts, or face to face in school, between the 6th and 10th July. Students attending school will be expected to abide by the social distancing measures currently in place at Ipswich Academy. Students opting for a virtual face to face meeting will be sent an invite to their school email account once they have signed up. Please click here to book an appointment; you will need to submit student name, date of birth and base group. If you do not have access to the internet or need support with booking, please contact the school reception.
Although we are not able to extend our current in school provision for year 7, 8 and 9 students due to government guidance, we feel that a face to face meeting would be of benefit prior to the expected full-time return to school for all students in September. Students will have the opportunity to speak with their base group tutor around the work they are completing at home and wellbeing. Students will also be made aware of the summer tasks that we are preparing for them.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support throughout these last few months. Hopefully I will see some of you over the coming weeks, but if I don’t, I look forward to seeing you in September.
The Ipswich Star has published a report on the ways in which we are bridging the ‘digital divide’.
You can read the full report here.
The school dates published at the beginning of the year stated that we had one additional INSET day to schedule. Due to the school closure to most students we still have the day outstanding. Therefore the last day of this term will be Tuesday 21st July and we will be closed to students for our INSET day on Wednesday 22nd July.
School will start again on Thursday 3rd September and I will contact you closer to the time with any changes to the school day or your child’s return.
We are excited at the start of this week to welcome Abbie Thorrington into her new role as Principal. The Ipswich Star have published a feature about this which you can read by clicking the link below.
The Ipswich Star has written a feature on the secondary schools in Ipswich that are reopening.
The social distancing measures that have been put in place is largely thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our staff here at Ipswich Academy and other schools in the area.
Read more about this here.
Wednesday 10th June
Following confirmation from the government that schools are to reopen in a safe way for students in year 10, we would like to share with you the details around the arrangements we have put in place in order to reopen which have been approved by the Paradigm Trust Board (please click here for detailed arrangements).
In line with government guidance, there will only be 25% of year 10 students in school at any one time. This means that year 10 students will be invited into school for 1 day per week (Monday to Thursday). Students who wish to attend school for an additional day (Friday) to work independently with some teacher support, will be invited to do so through a simple booking system. There will be limited spaces on Fridays as we will only be permitted to accommodate 25% of year 10 students at a time.
Early this month we contacted all families with students in year 10 to find out if parents/carers would be comfortable for their child to return to school. As was discussed, we are happy to welcome students back to school but are aware that some parents/carers will not want their child to return at this moment in time. There is no pressure for your child to return.
We have booked a place for all year 10 students, regardless of whether you have said that you would like your child to return or not. This is so that students can come back to school when parents/carers are comfortable for their child to do so. By the end of this week, we will inform you of the class (pod) that your child has been allocated to and which day of the week that they will be in school.
The school day will be as follows:
|Period 1||0900 – 1020|
|Break||1020 – 1030|
|Period 2||1030 – 1150|
|Break||1150 – 1200|
|Period 3||1200 – 1320|
|Lunch||1320 – 1400|
|Period 4||1400 – 1520|
It is really important that students socially distance on their way to and from school so that we work together to keep down the risk of infection. In line with the most recent government announcement, when walking to school, students should not be in groups of more than six and should keep 2m apart from each other at all times.
We have organised the building, inside and out, to ensure that social distancing is possible at all times.
Students will be placed within a ‘pod’ for all of their lessons consisting of no more than 12 students. Four different teachers will teach each pod per day; we are trying to keep this consistent week on week. During breaktime, students will be allocated an area outside which is marked out for social distancing. At lunchtime, students will be allocated a seat in a specific canteen area where they will eat their lunch, whether hot lunch or packed lunch. Each canteen area will then be dismissed outside. We will be running a cashless system to pay for school meals – please click here for instructions to set this up.
Each pod has been allocated a classroom. Some furniture has been removed from these rooms to allow for desks to be separated. We encourage students to bring their own equipment, however each student will be issued with their own pencil case and resources if required. Sharing equipment amongst students will not be permitted. Classrooms, and the rest of the school, will be cleaned routinely throughout the day.
We are only allowing one visitor into reception at any one time, if there is someone already in reception please wait outside until they leave. If at all possible, please do not come into school. If you need to speak to a member of staff either phone or email; we must limit the number of people on site at all times, therefore face to face meetings will not happen unless we deem them urgent.
Everyone who enters the school will need to wash/sanitise their hands and repeat throughout the day; sanitiser stations have been placed at entry points to the building. Within the school building we have implemented a one-way system. To help the students to move around the school, 2m markings have been taped out in corridors with arrows indicating which direction they are to walk. Toilets will be monitored to ensure that social distancing can take place and they do not become too crowded.
We are confident that all students will follow the new rules which have been put in place to keep everyone safe. Our behaviour system has been adapted to reflect the changes within school. We will go through the new procedures (click here to view) with students so that everyone is clear about our expectations.
We will be following the normal curriculum as far as possible, with the distance learning on Google Classroom mirroring the lessons delivered in school where appropriate; distance learning will continue for those students who are not returning although we ask that work is completed online. If families are struggling with devices to access Google Classroom please contact the school.
We are aware that these are very challenging times and therefore we are doing everything we can to ensure that your child’s return to school, whenever that may be, is safe and your child is supported. We will speak to all of the students on their first day back to explain the changes and to help them to transition back into school. As we move forward it may become necessary to make some changes to what we are doing and how we are doing them. We ask that you are patient and work with us, as you always do, if we do make any changes.
On Thursday 11th June at 4:30pm we will host a short online presentation when we will outline in more detail how the school day will work. Joining details will be emailed to all year 10 students or students can click here.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support throughout these last few weeks. We look forward to welcoming back year 10 next week.
Helen Winn Abbie Thorrington
Principal Principal from 22nd June 2020