Dear parents and carers,

I write to you today, at what would have been the end of Term 5 to update you, as promised, on our planning for the possible reopening of schools across The Canterbury Academy Trust for more of our students.

Firstly, may I remind you that both The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy shall remain open to the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable through the half-term week, including Spring Bank Holiday Monday on 25 May. We continue to take this stance in order to keep helping key workers get to work, most notably our front line services in the NHS and other emergency workers, and support our most vulnerable young people and their families through this most stressful of times.

If you are a key worker and require a place for your child, please do remember to let us know. Likewise, if we have written to you separately because we believe your child maybe vulnerable, please let us know if you require provision moving forward. You can access the guidance for parents and carers and the list of key workers by following this hyperlink; Key Workers

If you have not already done so and wish for us to make provision for your child through half-term, including the Bank Holiday, please can you let us know by contacting:

To remind you:

  • If you are reporting to The Canterbury Primary School, Breakfast Club will be open from 7.45am and the school day will start at 9am.
  • If you are reporting to The Canterbury Academy, including the sixth form, please report to the main school hall for 8.45am.
  • Students do not have to wear uniform. Normal, casual clothes, will be fine.
  • A school meal and refreshments will be available as normal.
  • Please do not bring any PE kit unless you are specifically asked to in advance.
  • Our school days, as normal, will finish at 3pm.
  • With regret, there will be no after school clubs available at either school.

For those young people who may travel by bus, may I please advise all parents and carers to check the Stagecoach website on https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-service-updates/south-east/canterbury as regularly as possible, just to make sure that the services you may require continue to run. The number 22, for example, stops almost directly outside the campus on Knight Avenue. Students can catch this service to and from the main bus station in Canterbury.

Likewise, if you would like to be kept informed as to what our Trust community is doing to stay together even though we remain apart, please, if you are able, join our social media platforms:

Secondly, I remain very aware that next week would normally be a chance for students to have a break from their learning, and I wish for that to still be the case. Although the uptake across our Trust through all of our on-line and distance learning mechanisms has been brilliant, I do not want our children to feel pressured to keep studying through their half-term. I know that you will continue to find your own way and do what is right for your child, but, please, do not feel that we expect work to be submitted over half-term, or for on-line learning to be accessed as regularly, if at all. We can pick it all up again at the start of next term on 1 June.

As regards our ongoing planning for the re-opening of our schools to more pupils, the government’s briefing of yesterday afternoon gave no further assurances for schools and parents. I suspect we may not hear anything more until a final decision is made on 28 May, leaving only the Friday and weekend for nurseries and primary schools to make final preparations before 1 June. Mrs Farrell will be writing to all parents of children at City View Nursery and The Canterbury Primary School today with the specifics of their re-opening plans. I very much hope you will find the information useful. I thank you, again, for the replies to Mrs Farrell’s questionnaire; your comments and feedback was very much appreciated and hugely informative in shaping our thinking.

For The Canterbury Academy, on Monday, 25 May, all parents will receive an email informing you of our Phase 3 Remote Learning Plan. As has become usual, we have reviewed, acted on parental and student feedback, and tweaked our packages for the final term of this academic year. I hope that this will leave you with plenty of time to read and understand the slight changes to remote learning before they begin on 1 June. But, as always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate Head of School.

In addition to vulnerable children and those of key workers, as you know, it is the government’s ambition that children in Year 10 and 12 may get some “face to face” contact before the summer break. On Tuesday 26 May, the parents of children in Years 10 and 12 will receive a questionnaire that I hope will gauge how you and your child may be feeling around a potential return to school. With a break from remote learning next week, I hope that you will be able to have some engaging discussion as a family, completing and returning the questionnaire as soon as you are able.

The intelligence we gather from the questionnaire will run alongside our ongoing assessment of the staffing capacity across our Trust, and the eventual and “final” decision that the government will make about the possible re-opening of schools on 28 May. Meaning, I hope, that by the end of next week, 29 May, we shall be in a much stronger position to make some informed, balanced and sensible decisions around the provision we can offer at The Canterbury Academy in Term 6; underpinned, always, by all of our very best and safest interests. So, until we are able to effectively assess all up to date DfE guidance, what provision we can facilitate and who may engage in it, our offer from 1 June at The Canterbury Academy will remain only for those students deemed most vulnerable and the children of key workers, until further notice.

I am sorry that I am not able to provide you with more specific dates and plans at this stage, but with so many variable, moving parts, I should certainly not wish to mislead you with any information that we may then need to rapidly U-turn on. I think we may have all seen enough of that lately. I will be sure, however, to keep you up to speed with all of our planning as it continues to evolve next week.

So, finally, it only remains for me, on behalf of all of the staff across The Canterbury Academy Trust, to thank you for your ongoing understanding and support. I do hope you may have had a chance to read our newsletter this week, updating our community on all of the incredible things that have been going on at school, at home, with our families and in our communities. Our students, our families and all of our Trust community continue to inspire us every day, and you remain constantly in all of our thoughts.

With my very best wishes to you all for a relaxing Bank Holiday weekend.

Yours,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal