Coronavirus Update

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Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is with regret that I must inform you that Victoria College is to close to pupils from Monday 23rdMarch, until Monday 20th April. Governmental guidelines, based on the rapidly changing Covid-19 health crisis, have necessitated this decision.

Please be assured that our Home Learning Guidelines are in place for all year groups and, from Monday 23 March, pupils will be receiving regular work from our teachers. Our online learning platform –ShowMyHomework– is the primary method of delivery of work. If you, or your son, have any concerns please could you contact the relevant member of teaching staff via e-mail.

A full staff directory is available on our website, and at the following link.https://www.victoriacollege.je/_site/data/files/secondary/894C1F8F5C0061D561D0DF203616E9A7.pdf

You will receive a phone call contact from a member of the senior team at least once over the next two-week period, leading up to the calendared end of term date of 3rdApril. This will be to check in on how pupils’ work is progressing, and also to help answer any questions you may have.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks for your understanding, support and flexibility at this testing time for both the College, and for the wider Island community. Please do be assured that as soon as I receive any confirmed update I will be sure to be in touch with you.

Kind regards,

Alun D Watkins
Headmaster


Updated Restricted Opening due to Cov-19 - 20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Students, Years 11 and 13, 

Firstly, I would like to say how very impressed I have been by our Year 11 and 13 students with the way in which they have handled the news that their public examinations this summer have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  As I explained to them in our assemblies today, they have been extremely understanding of the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves and have remained largely positive, upbeat, focused and engaged;  I would like to pass on my thanks to you all for your maturity and support for each other and for our staff.

As you will no doubt already know, the UK Government has now published details of the processes they will adopt to determine GCSE and A level grades for this summer’s candidates.  I have attached the information released this afternoon for you to read.

There will obviously be much to consider over the coming days in terms of how schools will work with examination boards to provide grades for our students.  Please can I reassure you that we will be doing all we can to ensure fair representation of the work that our students have done – but I would ask you to bear with us whilst we establish all the necessary details.  I will be in contact with all parents and students in our public examination groups to keep you fully up to date with information as it develops.

In the meantime, I would like to advise that we will be closing the school to all year groups (including Years 11 and 13) from Monday and pending further updates from the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES).  Please could I encourage our students to continue to consolidate their learning at home.  Guidelines have already been issued for home learning and teachers can be contacted via their staff emails should you have any questions regarding areas of study.

Please accept my very best wishes to you all and I will be in touch again soon.

Yours sincerely

Alun D Watkins
Headmaster

 

 


Restricted Opening due to Covid-19 - 18 March 2020 

Dear Parent,

As you will no doubt be aware, the ongoing public health situation is changing daily, and Island schools are receiving regular updates from the Government of Jersey and CYPES.

In addition to previous guidance on self-isolation, many teaching staff with underlying health conditions across Jersey have now been asked to work from home, as a precautionary measure to safeguard their health. The staffing shortages that have resulted means that Victoria College will be unable to remain open for all our year groups from tomorrow (Thursday 19th March). We will be unable to meet our essential staff-student ratio, in place to ensure classes can be supervised and basic health and safety requirements can be met.

We have had to take the difficult, but necessary, decision at this time to require the following year groups to work from home from Thursday 19th March, and for the foreseeable future.

  • Year 9
  • Year 10
  • Year 12

The College will remain open for our two youngest cohorts (Years 7 & 8) and also for our two cohorts about to undergo public examinations (Years 11 & 13). From Monday 23rd March, school will only be open for Years 11 & 13. We will endeavor to keep to their usual timetable as much as we can.

The updated Home Learning Guidelines that were sent to you on Tuesday 17th March will shortly come into effect for the absent year groups, to ensure continuation of academic provision.

Whilst College will remain open for pupils in Years 7, 8, 11 and 13, should parents of boys in those year groups wish to keep their son away from College, we will support that decision. Please follow the usual process of contacting the College Office on 638200 or admin@vcj.sch.je to inform us of any pupil absence.

I understand that parents are concerned and anxious at this difficult and uncertain time. My thanks for your ongoing support and I will, as always, keep you informed of any developments or updates as soon as I have them.

Kind regards, 

Alun D Watkins


Updated Home Learning Guidelines and Calendar Adjustments - Covid-19 Contingency Planning - 17 March 2020

Dear Parents,

Following communications last week about academic contingencies in the event of Victoria College’s school day being suspended, attached are updated Home Learning Guidelines. The intended outcome is that the curriculum is at the forefront of the work and, as far as possible, student progress should not be negatively impacted.

The current COVID-19 situation is changing on a daily basis. In order to comply with current recommendations, and also to take proactive steps to safeguard pupil, parent and staff health and safety, we have made a number of cancellations and postponements to the College calendar. Academic lessons, public examinations, revision sessions, moderations and academic support will be prioritised, and continue as normal, unless we receive further Governmental guidance.

As of Monday 16th March, 2020, through to the start of the Easter Holidays (3.25pm on 3rd April, 2020) the following events in the College Calendar with be cancelled or postponed.

  • Year group and multi-year group assemblies
  • Parents’ Evenings
  • Sports fixtures with other schools (inter-house fixtures will run as normal)
  • Music / drama productions
  • Inter-school academic events
  • External speakers and lectures
  • Parent meetings and interviews
  • Trips and visits (unless exam-based requirements necessitate)
  • CCF training and events after 3.25pm
  • Co-curricular trips and events*

*A separate e-mail will be sent by Mr Akers – Senior Teacher (Co-curricular) with further details on these events. 

Kind regards,

Alun D Watkins
Headmaster


Updated Home Learning Guidelines - 17 March 2020

Student Expectations

  1. Should be online and follow their normal timetable where possible to enable teachers to respond to student needs and keep structure to the day.
  2. Students must complete all set work.
  3. Check ShowMyHomework and @vcj.sch.je emails on a daily basis. @victoriacollege.je email addresses will not be used by staff.
  4. Get in contact with teachers if they are unsure of the requirements of any work, by vcj.sch.je email addresses only, not via @victoriacollege.je or SMHW notifications.

Student Logistics

  1. Ensure they can access ShowMyHomework
    • www.satchelone.com

    • Login via Office 365

    • Username – College e-mail address (@vcj.sch.je)

    • Password – same as College PC

  2. Ensure they can access the Victoria College email – speak to IT if not. @victoriacollege.je email addresses will not be used (to ensure a single system of communication)

https://email.jeron.je/owa/
Username – College e-mail address (@vcj.sch.je)
Password – same as College PCs

Teacher Expectations

  1. Teachers must provide meaningful work in line with what would be set should College be in full operation.
  2. Work to be set via ShowMyHomework only, to ensure parents and pupils can access the material.
  3. Work must be set for the week ahead, ideally in a single post for each class.
  4. Work should be posted as early as possible in the week, at the very latest, by the time of the first lesson in that subject.
  5. Each lesson missed must have clear work set to be completed remotely and work set should reflect the length of the lesson.
  6. Wherever possible, work set should reflect the normal curriculum objectives. It is understood that learning activities may differ from those in a classroom setting.
  7. Teachers must identify clearly on SMHW at the end of their entry the intended outcome of work. “By the end of this lesson students should have completed X”.
  8. Where possible teachers will be available during the normal school day. This enables staff to respond timely to student needs, facilitate conversations amongst colleagues, and keep structure to the day.
  9. Additional homework during remote learning should not exceed the time guidance, be meaningful and should complement the lesson.
  10. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the work.
  11. Teachers should take into account adaptations to home learning for students with Additional Needs, ensure they are able to access the work at home and there are appropriate expectations of the work they will produce.
  12. Any teachers who feel they will struggle to access a computer from home should speak to the IT Department.


Additional Information

  1. The Leadership Team will make direct phone contact with all parents at least once during each ten school day period of Home Learning being implemented, to check on progress.
  2. The Special Educational Needs team will contact parents on the SEN register at least on a weekly basis to check how they are coping with the home learning, and offer any further support.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Education Minister's announcement on school closures

 

Schools and colleges to close to students to reduce the spread of Covid-19

Jersey’s Education Minister has made the decision to close the majority of Government of Jersey schools and colleges to students from Monday 23 March, to support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Students’ last day in their school or college will be Friday, 20 March with two weeks of closure rolling into the two weeks of Easter holidays, meaning the earliest estimated return date for pupils in Jersey is Monday 20 April.

The Children, Young People, Education and Skills department will use this month to determine if further closures are needed, based on health-led advice, and parents, carers and students will be advised in a timely manner should this become necessary.

The Minister’s decision to close schools and colleges has been made in direct consultation with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health and is fully supported by the Emergencies Council.

All students affected by the school closures will be continuing their learning at home with work set by teachers. Schools will be open to staff and for some selected year groups, principally years 11 and 13 who have summer exams. Exam students in other years will also be accommodated. Secondary schools are making arrangements for minimal disruption to these students, but if there is any then parents will be notified directly. In conjunction with this work, we are closely monitoring the situation with the various examination boards.

We are also exploring remaining open for some children attending specialist settings with more details being announced later this week.

The Minister is recommending that private schools and early years and childcare settings should also follow the Government of Jersey health care advice.

Parents and carers will be urged to support their children to practice social distancing to help avoid the spread of Covid-19 which includes restrictions on play dates, parties and all out-of-school activities and gatherings. This advice will be published on gov.je shortly.

We are also working across Government to see if we can organise childcare for some essential workers. Wider work is continuing to ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults.

Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “The decision to close schools has not been taken lightly. This will clearly have consequences for students, their families and the wider community hence our considerations around targeted support and advice.  This is a proactive health protection measure, taken in the best interest of the public and wider island community to assist in the effort to contain the threat of Covid-19.

“I appreciate this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. However, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of reinforcing the messaging around health advice from the Government of Jersey, including regular handwashing, and to read the new advice for parents and carers, when available.

“Abiding by these measures will save lives.”

The Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills will remain fully operational and will continue to provide support at this time, working closely with health officials. The situation is being kept under continuous review.


Find out the latest updates, travel advice and preventative steps here

We advise parents and students to visit the Jersey Government website for all information regarding Coronavirus.