Dear Parent / Carer,
Community Update 19th June 2020
I hope that you have all been able to make use of the more varied weather and that you all continue to be well and healthy. It is wonderful to see some of the work examples and photos that continue to come in.
This week we have been working on:
Virtual MDT meetings for our students with more complex needs to plan for return to college.
Again a small increase in the number of students we are providing for.
Preparing for Sixth Form students who are leaving have been invited back into college on Monday and Tuesday, 22nd and 23rd June.
Preparing for Year 11 students who are leaving will be invited back into college on Thursday and Friday, 25th and 26th June.
Please remember special school guidance is to increase numbers carefully and is not year specific.
If you feel that your child/ young person needs a place at college please contact us via the college office. All those who have been allocated spaces have been spoken to by my team.
Students in college currently:
If your young person is coming into college please can you ensure they have a rain coat and/or sun cream as appropriate as we now seem to be having a more traditional summer. They will spend a significant proportion of their time out of the classroom outdoors. This is part of the government safety guidance.
It is important they do not turn up early to college and use the social distancing markers outside prior to entry.
Anyone who is coming into college is entitled to a free school meal – the county council has changed its policy back to all in college get a free meal. However if you are entitled to a FSM in college you cannot receive a food voucher for that week as well. I am sorry that the policies keep changing in regards to meals, however I am very grateful for the excellent support from our catering team and the West Sussex Catering team over this time.
Year 11 students in Marvel and Da Vinci officially leave on 30th June. We will therefore not offer any more placements to those students from then (apart from in exceptional safeguarding cases) however those in receipt of FSM will continue to get the vouchers until the end of the academic year. Sixth form students who are leaving this year also officially finish on the 30th June.
Please ensure students wear clean clothes each day to ensure that we are able to be as effective at infection control as possible.
Any student who feels unwell should not attend college that day.
Some of the laptops for those eligible students have been received and as soon as the eligibility has been confirmed we will write to you to arrange the delivery of the laptop. Please remember these laptops revert to the college at the end of this pandemic. We have still no information about those allocated to Year 10 students.
Work at Home:
Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort.
Mental Health and Positive Wellbeing:
It is important at the moment to take time to ensure we are maintaining positive mental health. Taking time to consider our feelings is important and adults and children should be encouraged to do this. This great infogram helps to help you think about how to do that.
Remember that the college website contains information to support positive mental health and wellbeing.
Free School Meals:
The government have now confirmed that they will issue free school meal vouchers at £15 per child per week over the summer holiday. We are assuming it will use the current voucher system but we will confirm this as soon as we know it.
Cooked meals; September 2020:
The price of cooked meals in September 2020 will be £2.35.
Use of Oak Grove College grounds:
This has been a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for all Saturdays in June on firstname.lastname@example.org Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool. However these bookings will not be on offer in July as we will be using the Saturdays for tours of the college for families with children in year 5 who still have to make decisions about their preferred school for year 7 by the end of July. This is the only way to enable people to visit, maintain social distance and clean for opening on Monday.
Families of students in year 10 and above may remember Deirdre who worked in the business team at college for many years. She retired in 2017 and as a community we are sorry to tell you that she has recently died. Staff from college attended the lovely celebration of her life on Monday and our love goes to her husband Nick and the rest of her family. She will be missed.
Annual reports for students who have not already had them this year (some were completed and issued in the Autumn term) will soon be available for you.
I know many people are starting to think how normal college will be in September. The honest answer is I have no idea. There is no government guidance on this yet. If infection rates continue to go down, then it is likely we will be able to operate quite close to normal but with limited movement around the site and very few off site visits. I hope the government will publish their plans and guidance soon (it does not come to schools in advance and we are not consulted on it). As soon as we get the guidance we will work through it and let you know the plan.
The side effects of the lockdown will be serious for the college. Last year we earnt £77,000 from hiring out our college facilities; this financial year, so far, we have earnt nothing.
I do think it will be important for us to stagger the return of the students so that they get used to new routines, we can assess students and implement updated therapy programmes as soon as possible and help to manage the anxiety that many will feel about a return to college.
Thank you for your great support at this time. We are all looking forward to seeing year 11 and Sixth Form leavers next week.
Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to:
I continue to be proud of how all members of our wide community have worked together over these last couple of months.