January return, Letter from the principal

Dear Parents and Carers,

On Wednesday afternoon, the Secretary of State for Education announced a one week delay to the staggered return we had planned for. I contacted you as we broke for the Christmas holiday to inform you of a staggered return involving Years 11 and 13 returning on Monday, 4 January 2021 and the rest of the academy community returning on 11 January 2021. The minister’s announcement means that Years 11 and 13 will now return to the academy on Monday, 11 January 2021 and Years 7-10 and 12 will return on Monday, 18 January 2021. The academy will be open, from 4 January 2021, to support the children of key workers and those children who are considered the most vulnerable. The parents of these children have already pre-booked their places so that we are able to organise appropriate provision.

Further clarification and information is still being provided to schools, following announcements and we acknowledge that arrangements may be subject to change depending on the situation, nationally.


Start of Term Arrangements

Monday 4 January 2021

  • SCWA is open for pre-arranged children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils.
  • All pupils (Years 7-13) should be prepared to follow their standard timetable via live teaching.
  • Pupils are not expected to attend live tutor sessions and should be ready with their equipment and their books for Period 1 each day as per their timetable.

Monday 11 January 2021

  • SCWA remains open for pre-arranged children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils.
  • Years 11 and 13 return to the academy for face-to-face learning.
  • Some pupils who study BTEC qualifications will return to sit external examinations (further information will follow regarding examination groups).
  • Pupils are not expected to attend live tutor sessions and should be ready with their equipment and their books for Period 1 each day as per their timetable. 
  • All pupils in Years 7-10 and 12 will continue to receive live teaching as per their standard timetable.


Please note that there will be no catering facilities for the first 2 weeks and pupils should bring a drink and packed lunch with them.


Monday 18 January 2021

I am hopeful that SCWA will be open to all pupils so that we may resume face-to-face teaching.


On-line Learning

The staff at SCWA are aware of the challenges faced by you and your children, when attempting to maintain some form of educational normality during the first lockdown. The most effective way for us to provide the best educational provision for you and your child is through ‘live teaching’. Naturally this comes with its own challenges. Over the past term we have managed to iron out most of the gremlins and we are now confident and committed to this method of educational delivery. I must, however, ask you to be patient if things go wrong. The system is still relatively new and there are areas that are out of our control, such as connection outage. We will be sending out detailed information regarding our ‘live learning’ system together with the ‘help desk’ if you require assistance.


Asymptomatic Testing of Pupils and Staff

Mass and routine testing of pupils and staff was announced as we broke for Christmas and we have been making preparations for this, whilst awaiting further guidance. 

During the second week of term (w/b 11 January) schools have been asked to start a programme of testing prioritising staff, pupils in school and exam cohorts. Schools will be able to bring pupils back to face-to face teaching as testing is rolled out. 

It is expected that the arrangements for mass testing will help identify asymptomatic cases and reduce the transmission of the virus. The serial testing of close contacts in the coming weeks and months will help both staff and students continue to attend school as an alternative to self-isolation.

As part of our preparations for the coronavirus (Covid-19) testing programme for schools, we will be seeking consent for your child to participate in mass testing or serial testing and request that this is provided or withheld in a timely way to support our plans and preparation. We will publish more information on lateral flow tests and write to you with further information and a request for consent early next week.

Leaders have had to respond to the ever changing situation presented before us. This has been difficult for all parties concerned, however, I am confident that we will overcome these challenges by supporting one another in the most pragmatic manner. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of SCWA.

My very best wishes

Mr W Barnett