The Albion Academy Headteacher Lockdown Newsflash

Friday 8th January 2021

Lockdown, DfE updates, communication

As sad a situation we find ourselves in right now I think if we are honest about it all and looked at how people’s behaviours were prior to Christmas the significant rise in covid cases is not really that much of shock.

The difficulty we have had is dealing with the very late notifications from the Department for Education about what schools were expected to do.  So, in that respect I tried to keep you up to date as I could over the Christmas break but as you have probably seen for yourselves just how quickly information changes.

Therefore, in terms of messages, communication and keeping you informed I am hoping that you will have seen the daily morning video sessions available either via the Twitter link or on the school’s YouTube channel.  Here I try to detail the information and news around schools and education into small 5-minute bite-size chunks.  Please do keep an eye on our social media feed as this is used to get messages out quickly in relation to guidance and information about things that may be of use and interest to you and or your child.

At the very end of this document I have included how you can log into MS Office and then access TEAMS using either Xbox or PlayStation.  It appears that for Xbox’s all you need to have is a cheap USB keyboard and mouse to support, these are readily available via Amazon, eBay or Curry’s / PC World.

In terms of Mass Testing we are still in the planning stages of this, next week we are due to start testing our own members of staff, I took a test myself this week as part of our ‘dry run’ procedures to test how we do it and see how it works.  This was my 4th covid test, I don’t mind sharing it was negative, the process of swabbing the throat and the nose was just a bit weird.  So, for those parents and children who might be anxious about it all, don’t be.  Once we get to the stage where we are in a better position to roll this out to our pupils we will again discuss it all with you, we are not, I repeat WE ARE NOT going to do anything without you or your child’s consent and we would give you advanced notice of our intention to start.

I’ve tried to use this weeks Newsflash to provide a collection of important messages from across the week.

Mr J Roberts – Headteacher

Mental Health and Wellbeing – Mel Haigh, Counsellor

Mel, the counsellor at the Albion is available Monday – Friday between the hours of 8am and 3pm. If a learner requires support, they can self-refer via the following link: http://www.albionacademy.org/academy-life/counselling/  Counselling appointments will then be arranged.

The external services below are also recommended for use outside of the school’s working hours.

The Mix

Offers a mix of support and interventions that support young people under the age of 25. The following services are available

– helplines – via phone or email

– crisis support – via text https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support

42nd Street

Offers a range of services and interventions for those in the Greater Manchester region

– Online support via chat rooms and live text chat

– 1:1 chat support

– Counselling service

– CBT intervention https://www.42ndstreet.org.uk/services.html

Childline

Offers a range of services and interventions

– 1:1 chat support

– Counselling service https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/

SHOUT

Offers a free text service that specialises in the following

– Depression – Anxiety – Abuse – Panic attacks – Suicidal thoughts – Self – Harm – Relationship problems – Bullying

https://giveusashout.org/

Attendance Matters – Every day counts (even more so now)

So we are in this strange world of providing remote learning via TEAMS, whilst simultaneously looking after the most vulnerable pupils in school whilst still trying to maintain the necessary social distancing and covid safety measures but with reduced staff.

Initially we are seeing approximately half to ¾’s of pupils getting up and being ready to learn for the day.  In order to boost this, we are introducing form time in the morning which will be an attendance and pastoral, wellbeing session to ensure that all children are ready to learn.

We would like 100% of our pupils taking part in sessions every single day and we do need your help with this, getting them out of bed, trying to ensure that your child maintains the routine that perhaps they would do usually if they were in school.

Your child will have had an invite Thursday afternoon / Friday morning for their first tutor period which took place this morning. 

We are also launching “In to Win”.  This is simply adding your child’s name to a random name picker for every lesson they attend with a prize draw at the end of the term, so the more lessons attended over the coming weeks the greater the opportunities to win.

Devices and Access

If you or your child is having issues with Chromebooks or other general questions about the remote learning provision please contact us via parenthelp@albionacademy.co.uk

If you are a pupil and you are struggling with any technical issues, please contact us via studenthelp@albionacademy.co.uk

It is our aim and desire that 100% of pupils at The Albion Academy have access to a device that allows them to take part in our remote learning platform, therefore it is vital that if you believe you need a device then contact us using the email address in the first paragraph above.

Albion Academy reads

You may have seen via our YouTube channel or Twitter perhaps, or even maybe your child has had an email direct to their school email account with our Daily Reads currently being read by Ms Bonner, Ms Clark and Miss Walker.

These have been specifically selected to be age appropriate for each key stage they are being read to.  It provides an opportunity to look at our daily read strategy that we use whole school and of course they are 10 to 15 minutes of pure literary escapism.

Safeguarding updates – Lockdown Edition

Last term I talked to you about how to report concerns or worries about a child using our school system.  However, now more than ever during this new Lockdown period we will need your eyes and ears to let us know if there is anything or anyone you are worried about. 

So in terms of Albion Academy pupils we have a contact email address contact@albionacademy.co.uk please title the email SAFEGUARDING CONCERN or alternatively phone the main switchboard 0161 359 6100 and ask to speak to the Safeguarding Team (Mr Feast -Designated Safeguarding Officer, Ms Lawman and Ms Andrews Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officers).

But what if they do not go to the Albion and you don’t know which school they go to?  Well, Salford Council has some excellent advice and guidance on what you should do and how you can go about reporting something that does not look or sound right.

This link will take you directly to the worried about a child site on the council website: https://www.salford.gov.uk/children-and-families/safeguarding-children/worried-about-a-child/

This week being the first week we return to remote learning below I have included for you some parent/carer advice and guidance in relation to learning at home and online.  See the infographic below from National Online Safety group which I gave you in an earlier NewsFlash.

Finally, a message just for our parents and carers…This period of time can be really frustrating for you and we appreciate that you could be experiencing a number of stresses at home; unknowns about work, possible money issues, juggling home education.  If you are struggling in any way and you just want to talk things through let us know, either myself or someone you might already have a familiar relationship with at school will talk with you, if we can help or sign post you to somewhere or someone else that can we will.  You’re not on your own.  We’re right here with you.

Important dates

Year 11 Parents Evening Thursday 14th January – Details to be finalised

Friday 15th January 2021 – INSET no longer taking place – Normal remote learning day

Social media

Remember you can follow us on Twitter @albionacademy or on YouTube ‘TheAlbionAcademySalford

Using Xbox or PlayStation to access Online Learning

How to navigate the pages on PlayStation