Safeguarding update – May 2020

Dear parents and carers

Thank you for your ongoing support during school closure. Our staff have been working very hard to ensure that all students are safe, have access to learning resources and feel supported. If you or your child feel further support is needed, please contact us in the usual ways.

The key areas for support and safeguarding have shifted somewhat during school closure. As such, we would like to pose the following questions and offer our support or signpost you to suitable sources of help with the following issues:

Bereavement

Many of us have been affected by loss during school closure. This may not be directly linked to Covid 19. Many of the usual healthy distractions and healing factors for grief are not available while interaction is so limited. Please advise us if support is needed for your child or family.  This can be via email and there is no pressure to engage,, but please keep in mind that we are here to support you.

Online Safety

Students are likely to have increased the time they spend online during school closure.  While this can be a good way of maintaining social contact,  they may not yet be emotionally mature enough to recognise the consequences of their actions, nor be able to detach themselves from the words or actions of others.  Please make us aware of any negative issues your child has experienced online. This will help us to support your child. We can also advise upon or signpost resources for safer internet use. Even adults cannot unsee something which has disturbed them, so it is useful to have regular conversations around not clicking on links you do not recognise and explaining why parental controls are important.

Please see the NSPCC website for further resources: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

Easing of lockdown

As young people begin to tentatively venture outside of the home, please take the opportunity to reestablish your boundaries. Curfews and behaviour expectations may have shifted within your household and it may be wise to check that your child’s interpretation of social distancing is the same as your own.

With beaches beginning to reopen, please keep in mind that lifeguard and coastguard services are run by key workers and volunteers. Please discuss sea and beach safety with your child, referring to advice from RNLI:

https://rnli.org/news-and-media/2020/may/21/rnli-and-hm-coastguard-launch-beach-safety-campaign

Finally, please have a lovely, restful half term and enjoy the additional time together.

Many thanks

Sally Scotting

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Student treats delivered by Lidl, Bideford

Our priority pupils and children of key workers were delighted recently by some kind treats donated by the staff team at Lidl, Bideford.

Students have been busy working on site, both completing their online working and undertaking a range of enrichment activities. They are currently looking forward to finishing their scarecrow heroes, recognising many of the roles being fulfilled by their parents who are key workers.

We thank all of the key workers at this time, and are grateful to the team at Lidl for recognising our students in this way.

Birthday celebrations

Many of us have celebrated birthdays during the lockdown, and have missed seeing friends and wider family members. Last week, one of our students working on site reached a new milestone, so we took the opportunity to celebrate in style!

A giant birthday card was created during art activities, and all students shared the celebration in school, and by taking some amazing cakes home to their own families.

These enrichment activities form part of our daily programme for students of key workers and priority pupils.

Biology or catering? Can’t choose you options, why not combine both?!

When set the task to make a model showing the process of cell division, we were amazed to see this creation submitted by one of our students working at home. Each step of the process of mitosis has been carefully created on the cookies, which have been first home baked in the correct shapes.

We hope the creation was a delicious as it looked, and that this learning in actions has support Year 9 to understand this biological process. Thank you to parents also, who are supporting our students with creative home learning opportunities.

Update on phased re-opening of schools. 15/5/20.

Dear parents and carers

I want to take the opportunity of updating you on our plans following the Government’s announcements about the re-opening of schools this week.  The guidance that has been published gives an indication of what we will be able to offer and the ways this can be implemented following the latest safety guidance.  Schools are asked to start planning on how they will be able to offer some face to face contact for Year 10, in advance of the summer holidays.  The Department for Education guidance for parents can be found here.  We will be in touch with our plans, once they are finalised.
We will be sending to parents, and publishing on our website, the procedures, policies and risk assessments which have been put in place to protect both staff and students. This will allow parents to make informed decisions about the provision we are offering.
Sadly, it currently looks unlikely that we will see the majority of Year 7, 8 and 9 students before September, although we continue to operate for children of key workers and priority children.  If you are returning to work and fall into the key worker category, please let us know by completing the weekly google form to request places.  For those parents who are new to key worker roles, or have not previously shared this information with us, please contact us with confirmation of your role, for example a lanyard or letter from an employer.  All requests for in school provision must be completed by the deadline on the google form, as we need to ensure adequate staffing cover and suitable transport where needed.
In order to support students studying from home, we will continue to provide both online resources, or paper copies where this has been requested.  We are exploring new ways of supporting students working from home after half term, and will be in touch with more details.
I am acutely aware of the pressures of home learning, and want to extend our gratitude to all parents who have stepped up to the role of home-educator over the last few months.  Please continue to do your best to complete the work set, and do not be afraid to set time limits on the tasks that you are completing.  All of the staff are happy to answer questions, and can be contacted by email or google classroom when they are not on site.  We are working on a recovery curriculum to support students when we can return to school fully, and will ensure we continue to draw together to ensure that all students are able to progress and move forward.  Please celebrate the steps students are taking to being independent learners, no matter how small, as these skills are essential to life long learning, not just the completion of school work.
Until we are able to meet as a school community again, stay safe and please do not hesitate to contact us for any support.
Kind regards
Lynsey Slater
Principal
Atlantic Academy

Scientists in training

Students who have been attending Atlantic Academy have undertaken a number of enrichment activities, alongside completing their online learning.  Science experiments have been very popular, particularly where they have involved eggs!

The eggs have survived the dizzying heights of the spaghetti towers, and have been launched from the first floor with home made parachutes to slow their fall!  Students also enjoyed an experiment to produce the blue copper suphate crystals from sulphuric acid and the black copper oxide powder.

Phased reopening of schools

Thank you for your ongoing support with remote learning during this current period of school closure.  I am sure you are keen to know what the arrangements for pupils returning to school will be, and we are awaiting the guidance from the DfE on phased reopening of schools.  The announcement on the 11th May focuses on primary children returning, only if it is safe to do so. Once we have any information about secondary students, particularly Year 10, we will share this with you.
We are currently open for children of key workers and priority children; if you feel you fall into the key worker categories and are returning to work, please contact us to discuss provision in school.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

Cells galore

Students have been creating models to help them learn about cells. Models include plant, animal and virus cells, and we include a selection of the most creative here!

These are part of the project work being set for students to complete at home, where students can chose how to apply their learning. Thank you to all the parents who have got involved with the creativity too.

Earth Day 2020

Out environmental ambassadors are always looking at ways to raise awareness, and to make positive impact on our environment.  April 22nd is Earth Day across the world; this week many of our students will access remote lessons relating to sustainability and human impact.

Here is some additional information, as well as steps which can be take to make a positive impact on our world._Earth Day

Virtual gallery of student work at the Burton.

Visitors to the Burton art gallery in Bideford would normally be treated to an exhibition of student art work from schools in the North Devon area. This year, the exhibition has gone online, and can be viewed alongside other exhibitions the Burton is currently hosting.

Atlantic Academy students in Years 7 to 9 have been selected to display their work this year. The pictures below are examples of the excellent art work being created by so many students. Many thanks to Mrs Mudge for coordinating the event.