West Lakes Academy is now closed to the majority of children going forward and our staff and students are transitioning to a new way of teaching and learning in the virtual world. We are committed during this unprecedented time, to continue to deliver the best possible education for our young people through remote learning.
Academy Reopening FAQ
Parent and Carers FAQ
Children of Key Workers
Children of Key Workers Information
The government have published updated guidance in relation to critical workers during the COVID-19 response.
The guidance is very clear that where at all possible, children should stay at home. However, we recognise that for some families this is not possible. We are working with Cumbria County Council to ensure all children of key workers can access childcare should they require it.
The information below is taken directly from the government website. The full guidance can be found at:
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. 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.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care
This 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 arm’s 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.
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.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Health and Wellbeing
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Please visit the NHS website for more information.
Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps. The academy has created an example schedule to follow while we are closed.
Try to Keep Active
Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Most of us don’t have exercise equipment like treadmills where we live, but there are still activities you can do. Exercising at home can be simple.
Follow our PE department on Instagram for ideas on keeping fit and healthy during the lockdown.
Or why not have a go at #PEwithJoe ? The Body Coach, Joe Wickes has been running a very popular PE class for the nation, every morning at 9am via his YouTube Channel. More than 790,000 households have been tuning in to watch it live each morning.
Find Ways to Relax and Be Creative
There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
- arts and crafts such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling. Why not take part in our art department’s doodle challenge? Follow them on Instagram for more information.
- music – playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music. Follow our music department on Instagram for ‘songs of the day’ or contact Miss Chesher for information about online instrument lessons with our tutors.
- reading – why not take part in our English department’s ‘reading challenge’? You could win a reward if you complete the different challenges.
Coronavirus and your Mental Health
You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people.
This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.
Mind.org The information on Mind.org.uk is there to help you cope.
The NHS website also has lots of tips and advice on coping with stress and anxiety related to the Coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation also has helpful guidance on Helping children cope with stress during the Covid-19 Outbreak
Please find below our expectations for students, staff and parents as we deliver our curriculum remotely. Our staff are working incredibly hard to support our young people by setting learning tasks daily and will communicate these tasks via Edulink.
Lots of our learning tasks will be set via Google Classroom. To help support students and parents with this, please watch this link: https://youtu.be/JqxCfihxEVw
We are aware that certain IT systems and platforms may be struggling at the moment due to increased demand. We are monitoring this and would welcome parent and student feedback on how these are going.
Home Learning the WLA Way
Amount of work
Students in Years 7-10 can expect to receive work from up to a maximum of five different subject areas per week, on a rota as shown below. The rota will ensure that all students cover all subjects at least once over the half term.
Time has been allocated to subject areas in proportion to the time allocated on the normal school timetable. This means that the more lessons a student would have in a subject over a normal week, the more remote work they can expect from that subject over the half term.
Subjects will be released one per day (except during weeks containing a bank holiday). This is to help students spread their work over the week.
Subjects will release work in as a learning ‘block’ rather than as individual lessons. For Years 7 & 8, each learning block will be the equivalent of approximately four lessons’ worth of work. For Years 9 & 10, a block will be roughly 6 lessons’ worth of work. There is no expectation that students complete blocks all in one go. Every subject will set a deadline for submission at least a week after the block is issued. This gives students the flexibility to adapt their learning timetable to suit their home situation.
For KS3 and KS4 classes, a weekly well-being task, incorporating aspects of RE, PD and core PE will be set for all students.
Students in Year 12 will continue to follow the full curriculum they would have access to in school. This is important because they need to cover all content in time for the examinations at the end of their courses.
Students in Years 11 and 13 will receive work that will help them to prepare for the next stage of their education.
Access to work
To help students to understand the tasks being set, the following steps will be taken:
- Each block of learning will start with tasks designed to recap prior learning. Students will have encountered this content in lessons before so should be able to access these tasks independently. We know that recapping learning helps students to remember information for longer and to recall it more easily and so these recap tasks will help to strengthen students’ prior learning.
- New knowledge will be ‘taught’ via video clips and scaffolded print resources designed to support students in accessing and understanding new material. Students can, if needed, ask questions of their teachers via Google Classroom.
- All subjects will set regular low-stakes quizzes and feedback tasks. These will enable students to self-assess their learning and make any corrections needed. They will also allow teachers to see how well the material delivered is understood by students, enabling them to give further support as needed. We know that tests of this kind also help students to build stronger memories of the content covered so quizzing students in this way will help to support their learning.
Learning from Home Explained for Students
How to create your own timetable
Expectations for Home Learning Tasks
- Complete all tasks set on Google Classroom/Edulink as set by your teachers.
- Teachers will set you learning tasks to complete in line with the published rota.
- Upload assignments to Google Classroom.
- Respond to feedback from your teacher to improve your learning.
- Make contact with teachers/teaching support assistants if you need clarification or further guidance or support.
- Where possible discuss your work with parents/carers.
- Take responsibility for your own learning and progress.
- If you have any concerns, worries or issues please contact your Head of Year.
- Set learning tasks on Google Classroom/Edulink in line with the published rota. Please make sure that each lesson is set via Edulink.
- Give feedback on students’ learning at the end of each learning block.
- Ensure students have enough learning to complete for the full learning block.
- Ensure work is challenging, relevant and in line with curriculum plans.
- Maintain communication with your Head of Department.
- Heads of Department to maintain communication with ALG links.
- We need to ensure we maintain our duty of care. We ask that tutors make contact with their tutees twice a week. This can be via Edulink, school email or contact with parents. Contact details will be shared so all tutors have tutee information. If you have any concerns please forward to the relevant Head of Year.
- Check Edulink and your child’s Google Classroom regularly.
- Ensure your child completes all learning as set out by their teachers.
- Where possible discuss your child’s learning with them.
- If you have any concerns, please contact the relevant Head of Year.
Home Learning Platforms
To further supplement the delivery of our curriculum remotely, there are a number of learning platforms that can be used by parents and students to further stretch and enrich:
Top tips for supporting reading at home: Top tips
Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org
Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level.
BBC Learning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/coursesearch/
This site is old and no longer updated but there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision.
Future Learn: https://www.futurelearn.com Free to access hundreds of courses
Seneca: https://www.senecalearning.com For those revising and learning at GCSE or A level.
Open learn: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/
Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.
Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.
Scratch: https://scratch.mit.edu/explore/projects/games/ Creative computer programming
Ted Ed: https://ed.ted.com
All sorts of engaging educational videos
National Geographic Kids: https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/ Activities and quizzes for younger student
Duolingo: https://www.duolingo.com Learn languages for free. Web or app.
Mystery Science: https://mysteryscience.com Free science lessons
The Kids Should See This: https://thekidshouldseethis.com Wide range of educational videos
Crash Course Kids: https://m.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids Range of educational You Tube videos
Crest Awards: https://www.crestawards.org Science awards you can complete from home.
iDEA Awards: https://idea.org.uk Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges: https://www.pawprintbadges.co.uk Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors.
Nature Detectives: https://naturedetectives.woodlandtrust.org.uk/naturedetectives/ A lot of these can be done in a garden
British Council: https://www.britishcouncil.org/school-resources/find Resources for English language learning
Big History Project: https://www.bighistoryproject.com/home Multi-disciplinary activities.
Geography Games: https://world-geography-games.com/world.html Geography gaming
Toy Theater: https://toytheater.com/ Educational online games
Twinkl: https://www.twinkl.co.uk Range of resources across subjects
Information for GCSE, AS and A Level Students
Letters for GCSE, AS, and A Level Students
We are awaiting further information in relation to L2 and L3 BTEC awards. The latest information supplied by Pearson BTEC can be found here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/demo/en/about-us/qualification-brands/btec/btec-information-hub.news.html?article=%2Fcontent%2Fdemo%2Fen%2Fnews-policy%2Fqualifications%2Fgeneral-news%2Fbtec-assessment-update
Pastoral Support and Safeguarding
Pastoral Support for Students
These are unprecedented times and we all need to keep each other safe. The next couple of months will be very different, our school community will not be together but we will still be connected. We will continue to provide support and care for our students and our families. Please do not hesitate to make contact with us if we can support in anyway, key contact details are listed below.
Year 7 – Miss Dunne – firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 8 – Miss Kelly – email@example.com
Year 9 – Ms Wightman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 10 – Mrs Williamson – email@example.com
Year 11 – Ms Clements – firstname.lastname@example.org
SENDCO – Mr Woodcock – email@example.com
Inclusion manager – Ms Fell – firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Principal – Miss McCabe –email@example.com
At West Lakes Academy, we take our responsibility to safeguard and support our families very seriously, and we do not want the help and care that we currently offer to you and your child(ren) to stop just because the building has been closed.
To enable us to continue to offer you our support, we will be making regular contact with you throughout the time that the academy remains closed, to speak to you and to speak to your child(ren). The purpose of these phone calls is to ‘check in’ – ask how you all are doing, offer any help or advice, and support where we can with any issues. Please do not be surprised or alarmed if your child(ren)’s tutor or Head of Year makes contact. This will still apply to our students in Year 11 and Year 13.
During special assemblies, all students were reminded of the importance of a regular routine, of continuing with their learning and of appropriate and safe behaviours at all times. We have attached here a proposed timetable.
We will keep you regularly updated on all academy related issues via the academy website, Edulink, email and text messages. We will see that any messages are passed onto the appropriate member of staff.
We hope we will see the students at some time in the summer term. We will miss our students and families tremendously, although the academy will remain open, our spirit, energy and sparkle will be missing.
We ask that you please all take this situation seriously. Please be mindful, act in accordance with guidance and please keep safe.
Staying Safe Online
At this time, your child is likely to be spending a lot of time online at home. Try to set up a space for your child to work downstairs in a location where you are around. Not only will this enable you to work with them and help keep them motivated, it will enable you to see what they are doing on their iPad, phone and games console. You may want to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and implement appropriate filtering settings if they are not applied already. Mobile phone providers can also provide filtering services on the 3/4/5G networks now, so worth contacting them as well. Don’t forget, many mobile devices can be used to ‘hotspot’ a WiFi connection (this allows any WiFi device to use the mobile data on the phone), so just switching off your router or filtering a single PC will not necessarily solve the problem.
If you need further guidance on keeping your child safe online, there is a great resource from the Think You Know Website below.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection
If you are concerned about online abuse or the way that someone has been contacting you online, please make a report to CEOP.
Advice and Support
How should I support my child with maintaining positive wellbeing?
Aside from the importance of routine, it is also important to make time for positive, face-to-face interactions with your child – aim for at least 15 minutes of your undivided attention.
My child is going to really struggle with being isolated from their friends how can I help them with this?
It is likely to be very difficult for them. Try to encourage them to spend some time each day chatting to their friends on the phone or via face time. They could also collaborate on some of the tasks being set for them by their teachers.
If you or your child are struggling and need further pastoral support, please reach out and use the charities and organisations that are set up to help in times of need. Below you can find a comprehensive list together with their contact details.
The NHS Mental Health Helplines page provides an invaluable list of organisations that can offer support and advice if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one.
A few key organisations (some are on the NHS Mental Health Helplines page, some aren’t):
Phone: 0800 1111
Free 1-to-1 chat support and 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.
Phone: 0800 068 4141
A specialist telephone service that gives non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to young people
Counsellors available until 10pm every day. Free, safe and anonymous online counselling for young people. Check whether this is offered in your area.
Phone: 0800 1111
Specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.
On My Mind
Information for young people to make informed choices about their mental health and wellbeing.
Phone: 116 123
Free 24-hour helpline. Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including suicidal feelings.
Phone: 0800 050 2020
Information and support for all young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.
Think You Know
UK organisation which protects children both online and offline.
Child Expliotation and Online Protection (CEOP)
If you have been a victim of sexual online abuse or you’re worried this is happening to someone you know, let us know safely and securely.