Wednesday 27 May:
I hope you’re having a great holiday – and enjoying the stunning weather as a family. Although times are hard we’re creating memories with the people we love.
On Monday our Virtual School reopens, again following the normal school timetable. Last term our drama and music department trialled live teaching (where teacher and students interact online with audio-conferencing), and I’m delighted to tell you that more of our lessons will be taught live next half-term.
We’ve also been preparing for wider opening, looking forward to face to face contact with Year 10 and Year 12. We know that students in these yeargroups will be especially concerned about time missed from school, with important exams less than twelve months away now. Face to face contact won’t replace the online teaching, but it will hopefully motivate students to try harder, help them understand the online work better, and provide them with feedback about how they’re doing. It will also just be good to be together again.
As you perhaps know, on Sunday the Prime Minister said that this will have to wait until 15 June – and only then if the science allows it. We’ll share the details of how we will do this safely very soon; in the meantime you can find below key points from the government guidance published earlier this week.
We remain open of course for vulnerable students and children of Key Workers. We’ve eleven students in today, and after the half-term holiday we expect that number to rise. You can use the form at this link to request a place for your child.
If you’re looking for ideas for over the holiday, why not check out our Stay Curious page?
Government Guidance for Secondary Schools: Key Points
• Secondary schools should plan on the basis that from the week commencing 15 June they can invite Year 10 and 12 pupils back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, subject to the government’s 5 tests being met.
• Secondary schools should offer this face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.
• Schools are able to have a quarter of the Year 10 and Year 12 cohorts in school at any one time.
• Secondary schools should aim to practise social distancing in line with the measures the government is asking everyone to adopt in public and in workplaces, including keeping pupils 2 metres apart from each other where possible.
• Ensuring sufficient distance between pupils is likely to mean classes are no more than half their usual size.
• Mixing between different groups of pupils should be kept to a minimum.
• Where rotas are used, secondary schools should avoid split day rotas within the same day and ensure that only a quarter of children are ever in the school on any one day. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in all year groups should still be encouraged to attend full-time.
Thursday 14 May:
You will know from the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday that schools will open more widely from Monday 1 June – if the latest scientific advice at that point supports it.
It will be wonderful to have our Year 10 and 12 students back, and for us as teachers to enjoy time with them face to face. However, I want you to know that our number one priority remains the health and welfare of your sons and daughters.
I will write to all Y10 and 12 families with the details soon; at this point these are the main points for all parents and carers to note:
- Year 10 and 12 students will be invited in on some days but not all, and these will be shorter days than normal
- Students and their teachers will be put into groups known as ‘social bubbles’; each bubble will be isolated from other bubbles
- Whilst on the premises students will observe social distancing, and we will keep the place spotless
- Students with an underlying health condition will remain at home
- Vulnerable students, and those whose parents are key workers, continue to be welcome every day – as they are now; to request a place for your child just fill in the form at this link
- Online lessons will continue for all students, including Years 10 and 12
- There are no plans for other students to return before September, so it’s vitally important for Years 7, 8 and 9, as well as those in Year 11 preparing for Sixth Form, to keep up with online learning; do let your child’s Head of Year know if they are struggling in any way; we’d like to support
I speak for my colleagues as well when I say that we are really missing the company of your children. I will write again soon with more detail as to how we’ll begin to phase the wider opening of Trinity Academy.
In the meantime, you can read the government’s latest guidance here.
Warmly, and with great respect for the demanding job you’re doing in these difficult times
Jonathan P Winch
Monday 4 May:
Morning, all! I hope you’re well, and your families.
We’re delighted today to launch Stay Curious, a brand new resource page crammed with exciting things to do at this time.
Lockdown is the perfect time to learn something new, to take up a new hobby, to explore the world – all from the comfort of our own home. And Stay Curious is where we challenge you to get started on an adventure that could last a lifetime.
Watch as Mr Anderson explains what Stay Curious is all about.
Let us know how you’re getting on by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be giving shout-outs via social media and our newsletter…
J P Winch
Monday 27 April:
National Helpline for Home Learning
I’m delighted to announce the launch of StarLine – a new home learning telephone helpline designed to support parents and carers nationwide.
A group of partners including David Ross Education Trust, Freshworks, Future Academies, Inspiration Trust, Mumsnet, Oak National Academy, PLMR, StarAcademies, Triple P Positive Parenting Program and United Learning have come together to create and deliver StarLine. Each partner has pledged their people, expertise and resources.
StarLine will help parents and carers in the following ways:
- By providing access to a team of qualified teachers, education and parenting experts.
- By focussing on providing practical ideas, support and reassurance.
- By offering tips, techniques and resources to enable parents to give their children the support they need to continue learning while schools are closed.
- By supporting family wellbeing and mental health.
- By covering all phases of education and subjects plus behaviour, pupil wellbeing and SEND.
StarLine is available to parents and carers of pupils from all schools nationwide. Free, confidential advice is available six days a week by phoning the StarLine team on 0330 313 9162. For more information, visit www.starline.org.uk or follow @StarLineSupport on Twitter.
The team behind StarLine will also be broadcasting a weekly programme on YouTube. In each episode of StarLive, a guest presenter will share practical ideas for home learning. Further details can be found on the StarLine website, www.starline.org.uk.
J P Winch, Executive Principal
Principal’s letters to students
On Friday evening a letter from the principal went to students in all year groups, with their families. Each letter is specific to the year group and letters cover a range of topics including centre-assessed grades, Virtual School, reporting and mentoring, key contacts, and next steps – whether Y8 and 9 options, sixth form or university. Please find the letters here:
We’ve been trying to ensure that students working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards are able to access the support they need through the Microsoft Teams software that they’re using for their home schooling. We’ve created groups for each level – Bronze, Silver and Gold – to show students how they can continue to work towards their awards during this lockdown period.
During the last few weeks, we’ve also been able to help several students from previous cohorts to complete their awards by putting them in touch with teaching staff so that they could gather the evidence they need to get different sections of their awards signed off. We have several awards ready to be presented when the lockdown is lifted, which is fantastic news!
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme encourages students to continue developing new skills and, even in this unusual situation that we find ourselves in, helps them to identify opportunities to build resilience and look after their physical and mental well-being.
Visit the official DofE website for guidance on how students can continue working towards their awards during this period, along with advice for parents on how they can support their children.
Friday 24 April:
We understand that the current COVID-19 situation is presenting many challenges to people. Therefore, it is important that we do our best to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe.
Please click here for the latest information and updates from Doncaster Council .
Wednesday 22 April:
Message from the Principal
Many of you will know by now the sad news that Mr Piercy, our guitar teacher and an inspiration to so many of us, has passed away.
Mr Piercy gave so much. He loved the students he taught and played alongside. His warm-hearted generosity made him a big figure in our school and throughout the community. We are the richer for his fellowship with us.
His loved ones have opened up a funding page in his memory, and I share it with you. Lots of Trinity students and staff have already donated.
You can read more about Mr Piercy in this Doncaster Free Press article.
This extraordinary musical tribute has been written in Mr Piercy’s memory by Trinity student Billy Astill; enjoy.
With sincere condolences to Paul’s wife, Denise, and his son, Alex, a former Trinity student, and to the wider family, which includes both staff and students at Trinity.
May God comfort and protect you all.
How to book places at school
Places for children of key workers and also vulnerable children can be booked through the Contact Us page on our website. Please select the Safeguarding Team and an electronic form will be generated. Indicate the name of your child, your contact details and the days provision is required. Advanced notice is appreciated, and the cut-off point will be 12 noon the day before the provision is needed.
Help available to students who need computers and internet access
This week we are distributing desktop computers to 30 families who don’t have a computer or device for their children to complete their schoolwork on. All of these families responded to our offer to loan them a ‘computer in a box’.
However, even more families will now be able to access help through a new Government scheme that’s providing free laptop computers and internet access to students in a number of specific groups. You can click here for more information about who is eligible for the equipment, but we will be contacting families who meet the criteria and making applications on their behalf.
Monday 20 April:
Welcome back to the new term. I hope that the holiday has been refreshing for you and your family.
I will be writing to each year group about the term ahead, but let me take the opportunity here to address Year 11 and 13.
As I said in my Easter vlog, your priority now is to prepare for September, and for most of you that means studying fewer subjects but in greater depth.
In other words, you now have a golden opportunity to use the summer term to prepare for sixth form or for university.
Next week we’re launching bridging courses in a wide range of subjects, and this week we’ll be asking every Year 11 student to sign up for between three and five of these courses. Courses aim to prepare students for a very wide range of A Level and vocational subjects. This week we’ll be talking to those of you who aren’t yet sure about your course of study next year, and we’ll help you decide which bridging courses to take.
This week we are setting a massive online course (MOOC). You’ll learn about this tomorrow. Enjoy!
We will not be setting any more work for our Year 13 students. Two thirds of you have applied to university, and your priority now is to prepare. Mr Flint will contact you about how you do that. I’m proud to say that nearly all of you going on into employment have already made arrangements for relevant work experience, and that is the best way to prepare. We wish you well.
Free School Meals Support Update
E-codes for the weeks commencing 6 and 13 April (£30 in value per child) are now starting to be issued by EdenRed and received by parents. If you have not yet received your code yet please keep checking your inbox and junk mail folders for receipt in case the message has been directed there. We are aware that codes are being issued in waves so you may not receive codes at the same time as other parents or eligible children within your household.
We are sorry for the delays which there have been in issuing these codes to you. These have been outside our control and have been caused by the national system which has been put in place by the Government being overwhelmed as schools and parents across the country have all tried to access it at the same time. We understand that additional capacity has been added to the system this week to reduce delays and clear the backlog which has built up.
After you have received the voucher code e-mail, you will need to visit freeschoolmeals.co.uk and enter your 16 digit code when prompted. Before you can access this website, you might find that you are held in a queue. If so, please do not navigate away from the page as this will mean you lose you place in the queue. You may have to wait 15 minutes or so to get to the front of the queue. Once you have got into the site and entered the code, you will be able to choose which supermarket you want vouchers for and how much of the allowance you want to use where. You are able to split the allowance between more than one supermarket but the full value of the allowance must be redeemed at that visit to the website. Once the full value has been added to your basket, you will be able to check out. When checking out, you will need to provide your name, your e-mail address and a contact phone number. Once the order is concluded you will then receive an e-mail with the vouchers you have selected. Please note that there may be a delay between concluding your order and receiving the email with your vouchers.
If you need further information about how to redeem the e-codes and vouchers please see the Government’s user guide for parents which can be found here.
We will post Tesco vouchers to those who have not provided us with a working e-mail address or who have indicated that they can only receive the vouchers by post as soon as we can. These are also being processed through the national system and so have been subject to the same delays as those sent directly.
If you have any queries please e-mail us at email@example.com. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have implemented this new system on your behalf.
Thursday 16 April:
Free School Meals Support Update
Please be aware that there is a delay in the processing of Free School Meals ecodes (for w/c 6 and 13 April) being sent to parent/carer e-mail addresses by Edenred. This is a problem affecting all schools nationally and is outside of our control. The ecodes will be sent directly to your e-mail address by Edenred. Please keep checking for receipt, including your junk mail folder. We will post vouchers to those who have not provided us with a working e-mail address as soon as have we access to the system to be able to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding
Tuesday 14 April:
Updated information for parents of pupils who are entitled to FSMs – Please read:
Friday 3 April:
Important updates ahead of the Easter break:
So the end of term is finally here! Who would have guessed we’d be where we are? As we sign off for a two-week break, I want to wish all families a well-earned break. We come back together through MS Teams on Monday 20 April.
In the meantime here are some important updates:
1. We now know how Year 11 and 13 grades will be arrived at. The guidance is here, hot off the press. We’ll say more about what this means in practice – and the next steps for students in these year groups – after the break. In the meantime, know that teachers will put their heart and soul into ensuring that everyone receives the grade they deserve, recognising the hard work that’s gone over the last five – or seven – years.
2. Doncaster Council has provided this important Coronavirus update. Find out how you can receive practical support, and how you can help others across our region at this time.
4. If your financial situation has changed, or is about to change, your children may be eligible for free school meals. We can help you apply and, if successful, you will receive a fortnightly £30 shopping voucher for each of your school-age children. Please read this letter.
God bless you all this Easter time
School trip to France
We’re aware that some parents and carers will be worried about the situation with the school trip to France planned for July. We’d like to assure you that we’re in contact with the tour operator and they’re advising that we must keep up to date with payments in order to remain protected under ABTA. Therefore, if the trip is cancelled, you will be entitled to a full refund under the terms and conditions of the tour operator.
If, during this uncertain time, your financial situation is difficult, please contact the school (using the details provided on the Key Contacts page on the website) so that we can discuss the situation with you. As soon as we have more information, we will, of course, update you. Thank you for your understanding.
Friday 27 March:
Free school meals vouchers
Thank you for your patience whilst we’ve sorted out meals vouchers for families of children entitled to free school meals. I’m pleased to confirm that these have been emailed to parents this morning, to the value of £30 which covers 2 weeks. Should you have any queries please contact us by email TAenquiries@trinityacademy.org.uk
Thursday 26 March:
Do you or your child have chronic asthma? Asthma UK say:
If you are, or your child is, taking:
- Any biologic therapy, also called a mAb (Xolair/omalizumab, Nucala/mepolizumab, Cinqaero/reslizumab, Fasenra/benralizumab)
- Steroid tablets or liquid every day
- Antibiotic tablets or liquid for asthma every week (e.g. azithromycin)
- A combination inhaler that also contains a long-acting bronchodilator (e.g. Seretide, Fostair, Symbicort) at a high daily steroid dose
- An inhaler with a high daily steroid dose (see the list….in the article) AND you are taking Montelukast
- You have been admitted to hospital for your asthma in the last 12 months
- You have ever been admitted to an intensive care unit for your asthma
Then you should follow this shielding advice which is set out in very helpful detail, including how to register for extra services from the government.
Whilst the early days of working from home can seem exciting, working from home, with illness, distraction and isolation, can be stressful. It’s important that we look after ourselves and each other.
So here are some quick ‘survival tips’ for working from home:
Quick Tips for Working From Home
- Purposefully identify and set up your designated workspace at home
- Get comfortable in your workspace. If you’re experiencing pain, identify why and change things
- Establish routines for the start of the day, the end of the day and taking breaks
- Avoid work creep
- Build exercise and ‘chill out time’ into your daily routine
- Set alarms to make sure that you are moving and taking breaks
- Don’t sit down during a break and watch TV
- Exercise and stretch regularly
- Stay off social media during work hours
- ‘Walk and talk’ and get double the benefit
- Keep confidential and personal information secure
- Check-in with your friends during break times, just as you would if you were at school
- Use video chat spontaneously rather than the telephone
- Get out of the house and into sunlight and fresh air
- If in doubt, over-communicate rather than under-communicate with your parents, brothers and sisters – and with your teachers online
- When on video communications, turn your camera on and dress appropriately
- Set expectations with other members of your household and be sensitive to their needs and routines.
Wednesday 25 March:
Following the Department for Education’s announcement on Friday 20 March confirming the process for calculating students’ grades, this is what we know of the awarding process for summer 2020:
Step 1 – The awarding bodies will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead
Step 2 – To produce the above, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment
Step 3 – The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in
Step 4 – Calculated grades will aim to be provided to students before the end of July
Step 5 – If students do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis
Step 6 – If students do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021
We recognise that this is a time of real stress for students in Years 11 and 13 – especially where next steps depend on these grades; Mr Winch is writing personally to these students today.
Our teachers will make sure that estimated grades fairly represent the grade each student would have got, taking into account work being submitted now through MS Teams, work already handed in, test results and rehearsal exams.
There is still all to play for. Parents, please encourage your children to pace themselves, take decent breaks, sleep, exercise and spend time with family so that the time they spend working is as productive as possible. Remember that all work submitted should be their own work; teachers will know if that’s not the case and will not be able to use it.
A reminder that our Key Contacts page gives you email access to staff if you have any subject-specific queries, or just need help.
Tuesday 24 March:
Trinity Academy remains open for children of critical workers and for vulnerable students. From tomorrow schooling will be provided in Emmanuel House, the former caretaker’s lodge located within our grounds by the St Nicholas Rd. gate.
In line with government guidance during this period of lock down it is safest for children to be at home in nearly every case. If you believe you need us to care for your child at school – including during the Easter holiday period – please email our Safeguarding team and we will advise.
This link can also be used to let us know of any concerns you have about the emotional welfare of your child during this difficult period. We are here to help.
For any other query our Key Contacts page will give you email access to teachers and support staff.
Stay safe and stay strong.
Monday 23 March:
Friday 20 March:
For students in Year 8 and Year 9, the deadline for the completion of options forms will remain as Friday 27th March. Students who have not yet submitted their forms can do so in one of three ways:
- By putting the form into the options box. This will be at reception today (Friday 20th March) and in the foyer at the entrance of the school from Monday 23rd March
- By taking a photo of the form and sending it to the email address TAenquires@trinityacademy.org.uk
- By sending the form by post
Wednesday 18 March:
If your child is eligible for free school meals and you’re having to self-isolate, we can drop off a grab bag lunch for them. To make use of this service, please contact Mrs Taylor at the main reception on 01405 813000 no later than 10am. We’re here to help.
To all our parents, students and staff at Trinity Academy
In this time of national emergency it is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder as teachers, parents, students. We face this crisis together.
The Prime Minister’s announcement this afternoon have left us with many questions; none of us know all the answers, but some things are clear:
– Our doors will remain wide open for children whose parents provide essential services – NHS staff, police and delivery drivers, for example – and vulnerable children, including those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
– For the majority of students education will move into the home – through the magic of MS Teams. From Monday our students will be taught in a new way, and this brings new opportunities. Students will be able to collaborate online, help each other, interact with their teacher and learn to study independently. Our teachers will set and mark assignments, and they will provide teaching in a range of creative ways. Tomorrow’s training sessions for students will get them started; for already-isolated children we’ll provide training manuals online.
I want to pay tribute to our exceptional staff team who have gone above and beyond this week, making home visits to the needy and covering for absent colleagues. Part-time staff have come into the Academy on their day off to help, our catering team have done wonders with rationed food, and our cleaners and facilities staff have stepped up to keep the building clean and safe. We will continue doing this for the rest of the week.
Increasing numbers of our parents are asking how they can help. Thank you; keep these offers coming. We’re learning the meaning of the word ‘community’, and we pray that this crisis will continue to bring us closer to one another.
Before today we had been agonising about how to provide food for children if the school should close. I’m delighted to say that the government is promising to support us in providing either a meal or a voucher for all students in receipt of free school meals. We’ll let you know more about this as soon as we’ve figured out the details.
Perhaps the most momentous announcement today relates to the cancellation of exams. For Years 11 and 13 what happens now? Here’s all we know: “GCSEs and A-levels will be awarded on the basis of moderated assessment with the exam boards and Ofqual… For those young people who feel that they could have done better than their predicted grade, I believe there will be a mini exam session in the Autumn.” We’ll know more in coming days, and we’ll continue supporting these young people to achieve the highest possible moderated assessment grade over the crucial weeks ahead.
We remain open as usual tomorrow and on Friday. We will continue with Year 8 exams; to do otherwise would not be fair to students who have worked so hard in preparation for them. We will continue to be as purposeful, calm and as productive as we can over the next two days as well as working to understand and plan for the time ahead.
We do this together because we are one. We are a community, and we will be here for each other no matter what the challenges of the next few months.
May God bless you
Trinity Academy will close indefinitely from the end of the school day on Friday (20 March), in keeping with this evening’s announcement by the Government.
In line with the Government’s recommendations, we have made provision for the children of key workers and vulnerable children to be invited into school and taught in special classes. For all other students we will be running a virtual school using Microsoft Teams (a chat-based workspace that connects teachers with learners beyond the classroom) so that they continue working from home.
We understand that some of you may be worried about sending your children to school tomorrow and on Friday, but it’s important that those who are able to attend do so as we’ll be training them in the use of Microsoft Teams as part of our efforts to minimise the disruption to their education during this difficult and uncertain time. You may wish to watch this introduction to Microsoft Teams to get a feel for what’s coming.
We thank you for your co-operation and understanding. Rest assured that we will bring you more information over the coming days as we receive more detailed guidance from the Government.
Wednesday 18 March:
All domestic school trips and visits have been postponed. We are in constant communication with the IBT the tour operator for our France trip in July. Any cancellation of this trip will be communicated once we have the information. We must continue to plan as if it were to still be going ahead unless otherwise directed. We will of course communicate this out as soon as we know.
We have been asked by the local government to report on the number of cases of students and staff self-isolating. We have also been asked to report on the number of households self-isolating. This is to allow the local and national government to track the ‘symptom spread’.
From today, our attendance team will be phoning parents and carers of students who are self-isolating, and who go into self-isolation during the course of the day. We will be asking about the number of individuals in the household, the age range of the household and about any individuals who are in the ‘at risk’ categories. In line with government guidance, that this group includes those who are:
- Aged 70 or over
- Under 70 with an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
This information will be passed on to the local government on a daily basis to help the coordination of the response to COVID-19.
Our regular policy is to make contact with the parents and carers of any student who is absent on the day. However, we will be keeping a record of all households who are self-isolating and will only call on the first day of self-isolation.
All students and staff will receive training on the use of MS Teams. This is remote learning software that all our students are automatically signed up to. Online training information will be provided for those who are already self-isolating.
Students with chronic asthma should self-isolate.
At present, there are no plans to close Trinity Academy and we remain grateful for the continuing support of staff, parents and students.
Tuesday 17 March:
In keeping with the latest advice from the Government, we have made a number of changes to the school day to reduce the number of large gatherings. For the foreseeable future there will be no whole-school or whole-year assemblies, and instead of silent reading at lunch time students will spend time outdoors. Rewards events for Junior Academy, after-school enrichment activities and detentions are postponed for the foreseeable future. We are also postponing the Year 9 Parents Evening until the summer term. From this point, where possible we will hold all other meetings between parents and staff by phone rather than in person.
As many schools are doing, we are making preparations to offer our students remote learning opportunities should the Government advice change in the coming weeks, but for the time being the Government has indicated that all schools should remain open.
Monday 16 March:
We have no confirmed cases of Covid-19 and the Academy is open as normal.
We will keep our website updated on a daily basis. Please refer to it at 4pm each day.
Friday 28 February:
To keep all parents updated, we have asked two students to remain at home on a temporary basis because their parent has recently returned from Italy. We anticipate an all-clear following the parent’s test for the coronavirus, after which these students will return.
Update – Monday 2 March: Good news: Following a medical all clear, these students have been advised to return to school.