Newsletters and Communication 

Communications

COVID 19 Update - 1 April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope that this message finds you and all of your families well.

 

I am writing to you to let you know of our Trust’s intention to continue to offer provision for the children of ‘key workers’ and those that are vulnerable, through the Easter holidays of 6 to 17 April, inclusive. The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy will also be open and offering provision on both Good Friday, 10 April, and Easter Monday, 13 April. We have taken this decision so that we can continue to help 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 at this most stressful of times.

 

If you are a key worker and require a place for your child, please do let us know. Likewise, if we have written to you separately because we believe your child, through our own definitions, 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 

 

As regards our most vulnerable young people, we remain acutely aware that despite the government’s definition, vulnerability, for both young and old, is often not visible or ‘labelled,’ especially at times of such anxiety. If you believe your child to be vulnerable and have not already been contacted by us, please let us know and we will do all we can to support.

 

I am, however, obliged to remind you again that The Department for Education remain very clear in their guidance to schools;

 

Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

 

The DfE continue to ask that parents abide by one overarching principle in the face of the ongoing battle against COVID-19;

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

 

So, with all of that in mind, if you have not already done so and wish for us to make provision for your child through the Easter holidays, including the Bank Holidays, please can you let us know by contacting:

 

 

To give you a flavour of what the young people that continue to access our provision have been doing, they have been taking part in the Joe Wicks PE lesson, designing murals AND designing houses; even building a wall! They have been dancing, directing and acting in short films, writing, baking and even doing some maths. If you would like to see some of the things that our students have been up to across our Trust and some of the wonderful stuff that has been keeping our Trust community together, it would be great if you could join our social media platforms:

 

 

Although we have been delighted with the uptake across our Trust through all of our on-line and distance learning mechanisms, please also remember what I said on Friday about our children studying at home. They and, indeed, all of us, may be experiencing fears and anxieties that we have not felt before. Consequently, we do not want our children feeling pressured to study, or for it to cause tension and upset for families. We certainly do not wish for them to be on-line learning all day, every day. After all, that would not be reflective of the time they would spend at school with structured breaks, doing some of the physical, practical, creative and vocational activities that we mentioned earlier. Three separate study sessions at home, Monday to Friday, focusing on different areas of their curriculum, punctuated with regular breaks would be great. No more than an hour per session, as I’m not sure any of us can concentrate much longer than that!

 

If you are able to build family time in around these sessions it would be fantastic. Possibly playing games, board games, reading books, maybe some household chores, a bit of gardening or gong for a walk – applying all social distancing guidance, of course. You can also now, as a whole family, get involved in our ‘We’re Still Standing’  video campaign, as detailed yesterday. Thank you so much to all those families who have already thrown themselves into this and returned their clips.

 

Remember too, the simple idea of keeping a journal, scrapbook or a diary recording these unprecedented events is genius, and maybe something that we could all share when we get back to school. I’m convinced that through all of this, the feelings and emotions we experience and share with our friends and families, how we care for each other and how our communities pull together, will be remembered much more than any academic work or study completed.

 

Please do continue to stay in touch, talk to us and each other.

 

Stay well, stay safe and stay home.

 

My best to you all,

Faithfully yours,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

COVID-19 Update - 27 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As our first week of lockdown draws to a close, The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy continue to offer a provision for the children of key workers and those that are vulnerable. It has been so fantastic to see how our Trust community has pulled together and continues to support each other through this most worrying time, so it is my intention to drop you all a quick line on a Friday to summarise the week and the wonderful things our community has been doing.

If I may remind you again, first of all, that if you are a key worker and require a place for your child, please do let us know. Likewise, if we have written to you separately because we believe your child, through our own definitions, 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

Can I remind you also, please, that if you have not already received a direct message from us regarding your child’s vulnerability, forgive me, but we have not currently termed them in this category. However, we remain very aware that despite the government’s definition, vulnerability, for both young and old, is often not visible or ‘labelled,’ especially at times of such anxiety and stress.

If you have not already done so and you wish for us to make provision for your child, please can you let us know by contacting:

As you will all now be aware, there will be no public examinations taken by students this academic year. This will be causing, quite rightly, high levels of upset and worry for those young people who will receive exam grades in the summer, how they will receive them and what they may mean for their futures. Although there remains no clear, definitive guidance on how these grades will be determined, or how onward destinations like sixth forms, colleges and universities will be assured; for those this is affecting I can tell you that all relevant authorities are working to provide you with the answers. It will be ok. It must be ok. I will write directly to all those who may be affected, with what we know so far, at the beginning of next week.

In the meantime, it remains the case that on-line and distance learning mechanisms are in place for all students across the Trust, and have been communicated with you on a bespoke basis through your child’s individual school. I have been delighted with the feedback through Dojo at our primary school and it has been brilliant to see that nearly 1,000 students accessed their on-line learning at the secondary school in the first two days of this week alone! It was only ten days ago that school closures were announced, so to see how positively our students, parents and staff have adjusted to these new ways of learning and working has been quite phenomenal. I know that many staff have been in contact with their students too, via the Show My Homework platform and/or email, answering questions and challenging learning.

This has been, and will remain, a significant challenge for all of us, as we continue to re-align and discover new ways of learning. The immediate focus for teaching staff was to provide some consistency of learning, whilst also being cognisant with the fact that some of us may not have access to internet and on-line learning platforms at home. I wish to assure that we are continually reviewing our offer for the longer term and, after Easter, will be in a better position to refine it and improve, where appropriate, our levels of sophistication. As always, we should be very grateful to receive any parental feedback, so we can continue to make our students’ learning purposeful.

During this interim period and as we settle into our adjusted routines we, as a Trust, feel that the best thing we can all do is look after each other. We do not wish for our young people to feel pressured into studying. We certainly do not wish for them to be on-line learning all day, every day. After all, that would not be reflective of the time they would spend at school, with structured breaks, physical, practical, creative and vocational activities built in alongside their ‘pillars’ and core lessons, based on their own individual gifts, skills, aptitudes, abilities and talents. Maybe three separate study sessions at home, Monday to Friday, focusing on different areas of their curriculum, punctuated with regular breaks would suffice. We all know that to concentrate for much beyond an hour in one chunk can be a challenge; it certainly is for me! Maybe around these study periods time could be built in for other activities, possibly as a family and together. There are lots of ideas out there at the moment, some of which could be playing games, board games, reading books, possibly some household chores, a bit of gardening or gong for a walk – applying all social distancing guidance, of course. Somebody even suggested to me, which I think is a fantastic idea, about keeping a journal, a scrapbook or a diary, recording these unprecedented events as they unfold. As we have previously said, with this being the biggest challenge our nation has faced since World War II, it will be talked about for generations to come. Recording and gathering photos, newspaper headlines and articles, key events and even, may I suggest, our own feelings. This is something that we will talk about with our children, our grandchildren, and even our great grandchildren; many of whom will struggle to comprehend what happened. A diary, journal or scrapbook, would be a great way of showing them.

During these such stressful times please do not worry too much about your child’s learning. I know that is easy to say, and although every family and every child is different, we are all currently in the same position; up and down the country and all around the world. We absolutely do not wish for parents to feel that they must be teachers and for learning at home to become pressured, tense and upsetting for families. We will continue to do all we can to keep our on-line and distance learning packages moving forward, and I assure you that once we are all back together in our classrooms and in our schools we will pick things back up and move forward again, as classes, as year groups, as friends, as schools and as a community.

So, with that in mind and in an attempt to keep us all together, please do join our social media platforms, where we will be sharing as much good news as possible, things that families can do together, tips on keeping fit, recipes, cooking, arts, crafts and much more. It would be great to hear about what you and your families have been doing too;

One thing, I believe, is for sure; the feelings and emotions that we will experience and share with friends and families, how we care for each other and how our communities pull together, will be remembered much more than any academic work or study that is done.

I am very conscious that all of my communication to you has been about our children and that is, of course, entirely as it should be. But this is tough for all of us. It will likely get worse before it gets better and I hope that you, all parents and carers, are looking after yourselves as well. Everyone needs a break sometimes and I do hope that you are able to get one during this difficult period. I want you to know I am thinking of you all, and the incredible jobs you are doing for your families and loved ones.

I’ll leave you this week with a beautiful mural that our students produced. I hope it will speak for itself;

Our Trust and our staff are here for you. Stay in touch, be safe and take care.

My thoughts and all very best wishes remain with you and your families.

Faithfully yours,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

COVID-19 Update - 23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this evening as we closed our doors across our Trust to most of our students on Friday evening, in the face of the world’s ongoing fight against COVID-19. We have been delighted to see some of our students back today but, needless to say, it has been quite a strange feeling across our Trust’s community. As you know, I wrote to you all on Friday afternoon regarding the provision that our Trust’s schools and divisions are able to make from today, Monday, 23 March, for those young people that are either the children of ‘key workers,’ or children that are deemed ‘vulnerable.’

This evening, I write to remind you of the list of ‘key workers’ that our government has published enclosed below, taken directly from The Department for Education;

Health and social care

Includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors

Please remember that if you believe you fall into one of these categories, as of today, Monday, 23 March, there will be a provision made for your child/children across the schools of The Canterbury Academy Trust, including The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy, should you wish to accept it.

However, I am obliged to remind you that The Department for Education are also very clear in their guidance to schools, in saying that;

Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

The DfE go onto ask that parents abide by one overarching principle in the face of the ongoing battle against COVID-19;

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

 

If you have not already done so, please can you let us know if your child will be attending school this week by contacting:

Can I remind you also, please, that if you have not already received a direct message from us regarding your child’s vulnerability, forgive me, but we have not currently termed them in this category. However, I remain very aware that despite the government’s definition, vulnerability, for both young and old, is often not visible or ‘labelled,’ especially at times of such anxiety. So, please, if you have not been contacted already and, having read this message again, believe your child to be vulnerable, you must be sure to contact any of the Heads of School listed above. Your child will, without doubt, be more than welcome to join our provision from today, Monday, 23rd March.

On-line and distance learning mechanisms remain in place for all students across the Trust, and have been communicated with you on a bespoke basis through your child’s individual school.

As for those students who were due to sit public examinations this summer, and further to my messages of last week, it is now the case that there will be no public examinations taken by students this academic year. As I write to you there remains no confirmed further information on how entry will be assured to sixth forms, colleges of further education and universities. I have been told that these answers will come in time and for those young people that this will affect, they must be assured that things will be ok. We do not yet know how and we must not be drawn into speculation, but I am hopeful that this will be resolved positively and sensibly in the coming days. As soon as we know more we will be sure to pass it on.

As regards transport to and from our Canterbury Campus from Monday, 23rd March, it remains the case that Stagecoach will be running no dedicated school buses until further notice.  However, ordinary bus services are still running.  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. I can only 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 in the midst of this unpredictable situation.

As regards those students who are continuing to attend school:

  • 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 across our schools should arrive in normal school uniform.
  • A school meal and refreshments will be available as normal.
  • Please do not bring any PE kit unless you are specifically asked to do so, as our new timetables begin to take shape.
  • Our school days, as normal, will finish at 3pm.
  • With regret, there will be no after school clubs available at either school, at this time.

In the meantime, it is our intention to share as much good news as possible through our social media platforms, keeping our Trust community in touch;

We will be sharing student successes from this term and beyond, things that families can do together at this most difficult time, tips on keeping fit, recipes, cooking, arts, crafts and much more.

So, as we continue to face this most incredible of situations together, our nation’s biggest challenge since World War II, we must take every opportunity to remind ourselves and our young people that we will get through this. And, when we do, and when they return to our campus, hopefully in the not too distant future, we shall be waiting for them with huge smiles and open arms, welcoming them back.

It is no longer my intention to write to you quite as much as has been necessary so far, but we will continue to update you as and when needed. With that said, and through beautiful coincidence, the day that we were forced to close our doors to many of our young people happened to coincide with Dame Vera Lynn’s  103rd birthday, the 20 of March. It was Dame Lynn’s voice and lyrics, of course, that sang many of our grandparents and great grandparents through some deeply troubling times over 75 years ago. I’ll leave you with some words from probably her most famous song, the lyrics of which seem as relevant today as they did all those years ago;

 But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

On behalf of all of the staff across our Trust we remain incredibly grateful for all of your ongoing support.

My thoughts and very best wishes remain with you and your families.

Faithfully yours,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

COVID-19 Update - 20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I wrote to you all yesterday regarding the provision that our Trust’s schools and divisions are able to make from Monday, 23 March, for those young people that are either the children of ‘key workers,’ or children that are deemed ‘vulnerable.’

In my letter I attempted to offer some help in terms of who may be classed as a key worker at this difficult time. However, we have now, this morning, been given guidance from the Department for Education as to what and who a ‘key worker’ is. I enclose it below, taken directly from the DfE;

Health and social care

Includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment

 

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach

 

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors

 

I am very aware, as many have already pointed out nationally, this list is not particularly clear and may not be, in some cases, very useful in determining if one feels they are a key worker or not. But, we are where we are and if you believe you fall into one of these categories, as of Monday, 23 March, there will be a provision made for your child across the schools of The Canterbury Academy Trust, including The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy, should you wish to accept it.

However, the Department for Education are also very clear in their guidance to schools today that;

 

Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

The DfE go onto ask that parents abide by one overarching principle in the face of the ongoing battle against COVID-19;

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

 

To this end, please can you let us know if your child will be attending school next week by contacting:

In order to allow us to plan for Monday, we had asked that parents and carers respond to this message by 3pm today. However, in light of the new guidance, we would now ask that you just let us know as soon as you can.

I am sorry to say that I still have no clear guidance from our government as to what may constitute a ‘vulnerable’ child. And, in light of that, you are aware that we have written to the parents and carers of children across our Trust who we have, using our own mechanisms, termed as ‘vulnerable.’

Can I remind you, please, that if you have not already received a direct message regarding your child’s vulnerability, forgive me, but we have not currently termed them in this category. However, I remain very aware that vulnerability is often not visible or ‘labelled,’ especially at times such as this. So, please, if you have not been contacted already and, having read this message again, believe your child to be vulnerable, you must be sure to contact any of the Heads of School listed above. Your child will, without doubt, be more than welcome to join our provision from Monday, 23 March.

On-line and distance learning mechanisms are now in place for all students across the Trust and have been communicated with you on a bespoke basis through your child’s individual school.

As for those students who were due to sit public examinations this summer and further to my message of yesterday, it now appears that there will be no public examinations taken by students this academic year. As I write to you there remains no further information on how entry will be assured to sixth forms, colleges of further education and universities. I have been told that these answers will come in time and for those young people that this will affect, they must be assured that things will be ok. We still do not yet know how, but I am positive that they will. As soon as I know more I will be sure to pass it on.

As regards transport to and from our Canterbury Campus from Monday, 23 March, we have been told by Stagecoach that there will be no dedicated school buses provided by them until further notice.  However, ordinary bus services are still running.  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. I can only 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 in the midst of this unpredictable situation.

 

Finally, as regards what students should do on Monday, 23 March, if they are attending school:

  • 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 across our schools should arrive in normal school uniform.
  • A school meal and refreshments will be available as normal.
  • Please do not bring any PE kit on Monday, but you may be asked to at a later date and as our new timetables take shape.
  • Our school days, as normal, will finish at 3pm.
  • With regret, there will be no after school clubs available at either school, at this time.

One day, hopefully not too far away, we will be able to look back and reflect on how we were part of a very difficult period in our world’s history. We shall look forward to seeing some of our young people on Monday and await, eagerly, for us all to be reunited once again as schools and a Trust community.

On behalf of all of the staff across our Trust we remain incredibly grateful for all of your ongoing support. I will continue to provide further updates as and when I have them.

All very best wishes to you and your families.

Faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

COVID-19 Update - 19 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As promised, I write to you all this afternoon to provide, as best I can, a definitive position for the schools and divisions across The Canterbury Academy Trust, following the announced closure of all schools and educational settings in England, to all students, except those that are ‘vulnerable’ or the child of a ‘key worker.’

Today, again, staffing has remained relatively stable across the Trust, with colleagues resolute in their desire to continue to provide, as best they can, for those young people who are still able to attend our schools. However, pupil attendance, quite understandably, continues to decline as parents self-isolate with their children in light of the ongoing pressure the COVID-19 outbreak places on our students, their families, our staff and our communities.

As you are aware, our schools will remain open for the children of ‘key workers.’ At the time of writing to you, and despite having just listened to our Prime Minister’s press conference, I still have no definition from our government as to what or whom a ‘key worker’ is.  To be honest, to define this term saddens me and our staff immensely. It goes against all that we believe in as a Trust which wishes to recognise the different gifts, talents, abilities, aptitudes and skills in our society equally. To say that any one ‘worker’ is more important than another is not something I feel at all comfortable doing. However, I am afraid we are where we are, and in an attempt to be helpful to parents, at this time, I can provide an idea of what I believe a ‘key worker’ to be, in the current climate, below:

  • National Health Service
  • Armed Forces
  • Teachers and childcare staff
  • Care home workers
  • Social workers
  • Police officers, community support and civilian staff
  • Prison officer or other probation staff
  • Firefighters
  • Local authority planners
  • Environmental health officers
  • Highway Agency traffic officers
  • Delivery staff

In the face of the ongoing lack of clarity from our government this is, of course, by no means a definitive list, and serves only as an attempt to provide guidance. If you believe that you fall into one of these categories, as of Monday, 23rd March, there will be a provision made for your child across the schools of The Canterbury Academy Trust, including The Canterbury Primary School and The Canterbury Academy, should you wish to accept it. It is with regret that, at this time, I am not able to tell you exactly what this provision will look like. Suffice to say we will not be able to offer what students are used to, but I can assure you that your child will be safeguarded, looked after, fed and engaged. It is, of course, your choice should you not want to accept this offer and wish to make alternative child care arrangements.

To this end, please can you let us know if your child will be attending school next week by contacting:

In order to allow us to plan for Monday, we would very much appreciate a response to this message by 3pm tomorrow, 20 March.

As I write to you, neither have I been provided with any clear guidance from our government as to what may constitute a ‘vulnerable’ child. To me, and all of the staff across our Trust, every young person and, indeed, many adults, are vulnerable. But, in light of, again, the lack of clarity from our government, we have written to all those parents of children across our Trust who we have, using our own mechanisms, termed as ‘vulnerable.’

If you have not already received a message under a separate heading regarding your child’s vulnerability, please forgive me, but we have not currently termed them in this category. However, I am very aware that vulnerability can often not be recognised or ‘labelled.’ So, please, if you have not been contacted already and, having read this message, believe your child to be vulnerable, you must be sure to contact any of the Heads of School listed above. Your child will, without doubt, be more than welcome to join our provision from Monday, 23 March.

On-line and distance learning mechanisms are now in place for all students across the Trust and will be communicated with you on a bespoke basis through your child’s individual school.

As for those students who were due to sit public examinations this summer, there remains no guidance from our government on how long these may be delayed for, if indeed they will be sat at all. At the time of writing to you there is no further information, either, on how entry will be assured to sixth forms, colleges of further education and universities. I am sure these answers will come in time and for those young people that this will affect, they must be assured that things will be ok. We do not yet know how, but I am positive that they will be. I will be sure to update you as soon as I have further news.

As regards transport to and from our Canterbury Campus from Monday, 23 March, we have been told by Stagecoach, today, that there will be no dedicated school buses provided by them until further notice.  However, ordinary bus services are still running.  The number 22, for example, stops almost directly outside the campus. Students can catch this service to and from the main bus station in Canterbury. I can only 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 in the midst of this unpredictable situation.

I remain incredibly grateful for all of your support and will provide further updates as and when I have them.

All my thoughts and best wishes remain with you and your families.

Faithfully yours,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Important Information for Parents and Carers - 18 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are living through unprecedented times. One day, hopefully not too far away, we will be able to look back and reflect on how we were part of a very difficult period in our world’s history. Doubtless you will all now be aware that our Prime Minister has just announced the closure of all schools and educational settings in England, to all students, except those that are ‘vulnerable’ or the child of a ‘key worker.’ At this time both those categories remain undefined by our government. The closure of schools will start from Monday, 23 March.

Until this point, today, staffing has remained relatively stable across the Trust, and the commitment from colleagues has shone through as characteristically stoic and pupil centred. It was my intention to write to you all this evening to inform you of our two phase plan to cope with the ongoing pressure the COVID-19 outbreak has placed on our students, their families, staff and our communities. Obviously, given this most recent announcement, we will need to reflect and revisit these plans in the next 24 hours, but they were to be as follows:

Phase 1:

We were to continue to cover classes for absent colleagues in the way that we would normally. This has been happening on an ongoing basis across all schools and divisions of the Trust. As we remain in phase 1, for the next two days at least, some parents, however, have either taken the decision, or been advised to, self-isolate for a period of between 7 and 14 days with their children. On-line and distance learning mechanisms are in place for those young people and will be communicated with you all, on a more bespoke and contextual basis, through your child’s individual school.

As a Trust, all schools and divisions were to remain in phase 1 until further notice, or until such time that it became untenable so to do.

Phase 2:

It was to be our absolute desire to keep our schools and divisions open, unless instructed to close by Public Health England or the government. We are public servants and I believe that we should continue to offer a service to our communities at this most difficult time. At this moment, as I write to you, I am genuinely unsure how I will be able to tell some families that their children can continue to come to school because they are the children of ‘key’ or ‘important’ workers as defined by our government, whilst others are deemed not. Also, I am not sure how I can accurately label a child ‘vulnerable’ and in need of our support, yet another not. I cannot see, at this moment, how this will not contradict everything that we stand for and believe in as a Trust.

Our phase 2 plan was to move to a ‘diluted’ offer for some students across our Trust. For example, classes could have been combined at The Canterbury Primary School and at The Canterbury Academy in our Middle School/KS3 (years 7,8 and 9). Groups could have been combined and subject/faculty areas asked to cope with larger groups of students by working collaboratively and collegiately. For some parents you may be familiar with these practises as we have often used them on ‘snow days’ whilst remaining open. This would have meant that students in years 7, 8 and 9, for example, may not have been taught in ‘normal’ lessons, but they would be safeguarded, looked after, fed and engaged. By doing this, it would have meant that parents, undefined in terms of their ‘importance,’ could still get to work and go about their daily lives as best they can.

We would have attempted to first prioritise teaching for students, for example at The Canterbury Academy, in years 11 and 13, who may still face examinations, albeit we do not now know when or how these will take place. The Canterbury Academy would then have attempted to second prioritise the teaching of years 10 and 12 students, some of whom, also, may still face examinations at a point yet to be defined. For the next two days, at least, the Trust will remain in phase 1 of our plan.

As I say, in light of the government’s most recent announcement and the uncertainty it will have caused for families, I will be in touch with you again in the next 24 hours with our Trust’s definitive position for your child’s ongoing education post Monday, 23 March.

In the meantime, on behalf of all our staff across the Trust, I cannot emphasise enough how grateful we are for the ongoing and unwavering support our Trust community has received during this most difficult time.

Again, my very best wishes to you and all of your families.

Faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Health Advice - 13 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

 

As you will all now doubtless be aware, our government has moved to the ‘delay’ phase of their four point plan. The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what they plan to do next. The situation is constantly reviewed and actions are informed through expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

It remains the case that no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case, unless advised to do so by Public Health England. Indeed, advice received today from The Department for Education states that;

“The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce will be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to schools will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.”

Nevertheless, as a result of this move to the ‘delay’ phase, the Trust has considered, and will continue to review, the necessity of events scheduled to take place over the coming weeks. We have arrived at decisions around ‘non-essential’ events based on an attempt to limit, or avoid, large groups of people congregating together.

So, and for your information, the following events have been postponed for the period Monday 16 March until Friday 27 March, inclusive :

 

  • The Canterbury Academy Trust’s annual ‘CHOscars’ on 17 March has been postponed until later in the academic year. Date to be confirmed.
  • Year 11 Parents’ Evening on 24 March has been postponed. Mr Brooke, Head of Senior School, will be in touch with all year 11 parents and carers separately to provide further information.

 

For those parents/carers who have a child due to go on our ski trip to Austria during the Easter holidays, we shall be in touch with you separately next week with further news. You will, of course, be aware of the most recent government advice around school trips abroad. Please be assured we are in close communication with all relevant agencies so we can appraise you of the absolute and most up to date information.

 

The leadership of the Trust will continue to review planned, ‘non-essential’ events, on a regular basis, and update you as far in advance as possible. We understand this may be inconvenient, frustrating and upsetting, but please be assured these decisions have not been taken lightly and, we believe, are in the best interests of all parties.

As a nation we are aware that this is a rapidly changing situation and I wish to assure you, also, that the schools and divisions across The Canterbury Academy Trust are making all necessary plans for any potential school/divisional closure. Albeit, it would appear currently, this remains some way off. The Trust continues to be in close discussion with, and is following advice from, Public Health England. At this time there remains no further action for our schools to take. Should this situation change, Public Health England will be working closely with the Trust and we will inform you of any updates.

This will continue to be a challenging and worrying time for us all. On behalf of all of our staff teams across the Trust, we remain incredibly grateful for the way in which you are working with us, as a community, during these testing times.

 

As always, yours faithfully,

Yours faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Heath Advice - 6 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

After what has been a challenging and worrying week for us all, I write to thank you for the way in which you have worked with us, as a community, through this testing time. The amount of messages of best wishes we have received for our school community have been humbling, as has the level of support we have had from you around our handling of this difficult situation.

As of writing this message to you, the member of our school community, who continues to self-isolate at home as a precaution, remains well and continues to display no symptoms. I can further assure you that the school remains in close discussion with, and is following advice from, Public Health England. It remains the case that, at this time, there is no further action for the school to take and Public Health England have confirmed that there is no need for anybody else to self-isolate unless they have been contacted directly by them. However, if you are concerned or have any questions please contact NHS111 for advice. Should this situation change, Public Health England will be working closely with the school and we will inform you of any updates or required action.

As we have already mentioned, at this time of year there are many respiratory illnesses circulating. You can continue to protect yourself and others by:

·         Catching your cough or sneeze in the crook of your elbow or using a tissue. Then bin the tissue and wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel.

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based gel until you can wash your hands.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

You can continue to help by following the DfE guidelines already passed to you about sharing simple and effective hygiene messages from https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346   or https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources 

I would also like to remind you of the newly formed Department for Education Coronavirus helpline for staff, parents and young people:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Furthermore, you can continue to access all of the latest information by visiting:

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19 

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus 

My very best wishes to you all for the weekend and, again, my sincerest thanks for your ongoing support.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Health Advice - 4 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

As you are already very aware, The Canterbury Academy remains in close discussion with, and is following advice from, Public Health England. A member of our school community continues to self-isolate and, at this time, there is no further news or action for the school to take. Should this situation change, Public Health England will be working closely with the school and, as promised, we will inform you of any updates.

However, I thought you should also be made aware of the most recent guidance issued by The Department for Education, updating you on the government’s response to Coronavirus, COVID-19, below;

 

Government Coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan 

The document includes:

·         what we know about the virus and the disease it causes

·         how we have planned for an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current coronavirus outbreak

·         the actions we have taken so far in response to the current coronavirus outbreak

·         what we are planning to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes

·         the role the public can play in supporting this response, now and in the future

Current advice remains in place: No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1235112744917049346 

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources 

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

On Monday we launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19 

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus 

I hope you will continue to find these updates useful.

My thanks, again, for your ongoing support at this difficult time.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Health Advice - 3 March 2020 update

Dear Parents and Carers,

Further to my previous message to you of this morning, I wish to thank you for the support we have received regarding the way in which we have handled what has been a difficult situation for everyone. To remind and update you, The Canterbury Academy was made aware that a family member associated with our school community is now a confirmed case of Coronavirus, COVID-19. The member of our school community is still well, continues to display no symptoms, and is self-isolating at home as a precautionary measure for 14 days.

The school remains in close discussion with, and is following advice from, Public Health England. At this time there continues to be no further action for the school to take. Should this situation change, Public Health England will be working closely with the school and, as promised, we will inform you of any updates.

You can continue to access the ‘COVID-19: guidance for educational settings’ for your information, should you wish to on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19


You can also continue to track further information regarding Coronavirus on the Public Health England blog https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

As I mentioned earlier, Public Health England have confirmed that there is no need for anybody else to self-isolate, unless they have been contacted directly by them. However, if you are concerned or have any questions please contact NHS111 for advice.

Further to this, the Department for Education have contacted schools nationally today with some additional information for those who are concerned about Coronavirus:

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

The DfE have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email:
DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case, unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

 

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

 

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

I hope you will find this useful.

I remain very grateful for your ongoing support.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Watson
Trust Executive Principal

Health Advice - 3 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

The Canterbury Academy has been made aware that a family member associated with our school community is now a confirmed case of Coronavirus, COVID-19. The member of our school community is well, continues to display no symptoms, and they are self-isolating at home as a precautionary measure for 14 days.

The school has been in close discussion with, and is following advice from, Public Health England. At this time there is no further action for the school to take. Should this situation change, Public Health England will be working closely with the school and we will inform you of any updates.

We have enclosed the link to the ‘COVID-19: guidance for educational settings’ below for your information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Further to my previous message, please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation and we will advise you should anything change.

As you will be aware, at this time of year there are many respiratory illnesses circulating. You can protect yourself and others by:

· Catching your cough or sneeze in the crook of your elbow or using a tissue. Then bin the tissue and wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel.

· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based gel until you can wash your hands.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Further information regarding coronavirus can be found on the Public Health England blog https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Public Health England have confirmed that there is no need for anybody else to self-isolate unless they have been contacted directly by them. However, if you are concerned or have any questions please contact NHS111 for advice.

Jon Watson
Executive Principal
The Canterbury Academy Trust

Health Advice - 28 February 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

Now that the advice on how to deal with any potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) appears to have become more consistent, I felt it pertinent to write to you to offer some assurances around the advice we may need to follow, should there be any issue across the schools and divisions of The Canterbury Academy Trust.

The Department for Education has regularly provided us with updates from Public Health England, which advises schools and parents on what they should do if staff, students or pupils have travelled to an area that is designated as having a risk of contagion from the Coronavirus strain, COVID-19.

As a Trust we fully support these messages, and we also suggest that, because the situation is changing daily, you may wish to check the Public Health England website to ascertain the latest advice on https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

We shall continue to apply all common sense approaches to dealing with any potential virus that schools could face at this time of year through general good hygiene practises, and this will also be happening, of course, in homes and other places of work.

Please be assured that we will continue to regularly monitor the advice that is being given and will contact you further should the need arise.

As always, thank you in anticipation of your ongoing support.

My best regards,

Jon Watson
Executive Principal
The Canterbury Academy Trust

Community Cafe now open

The Canterbury Academy Trust is pleased to announce the opening of the Community Cafe

The cafe opening times are Monday – Friday 8am – 9.15am

Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate, Snacks and Cold Drinks.

Located in The Professional Learning and Community Centre, City View, Franklyn Road, Canterbury, CT2 8TP

Pillars of Excellence Newsletters

2019-2020