What a few weeks it’s been. Who’d have thought that we would have completed half a term out of school, learning from home and isolated from our friends, family and colleagues. The FRA community has dealt with it brilliantly though and we have been really proud to be part of such a great community with lots of displays of kindness and community spirit.

With half-term next week and the government making various announcements about relaxing the rules, we thought we’d do an update on all things Corona and more generally the future for FRA. We may have missed things, so if you still have questions, feel free to make contact. If you have any concerns about a student or family the following email will be monitored over half-term: compass@fracademy.org

Half-Term: We are closed for half-term. Students and staff have worked really hard this half-term and so let’s recharge the batteries ready for more online learning for the foreseeable future.

Free School Meals: The government voucher scheme is starting to bed in, and whilst it’s not perfect, it does provide flexibility to prioritise what you need for your household. For those who have struggled with the vouchers we continue to provide the best food boxes in the area! Now supported by Richards Fruit & Veg they are great value and much better than the original boxes we were providing…so feel free to move on to boxes instead of vouchers and then you get to see us every week too! compass@fracademy.org

Remote Learning Survey Feedback  – 20/05/2020
Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement, we can confirm that there is no change to guidance or provision for secondary school students at this time. 
The message from the government is that it is still safer to stay home and for secondary schools to continue with remote home learning.
We appreciate that this will come as a disappointment to many of our students who miss peer interaction, teacher support and the structure of the school day. However, we want to reassure you that students around the UK, and much of the world, are in the same situation. As a school community of parents and staff we are doing an incredible job keeping our young people safe and learning appropriately.  
Our weekly task submission monitoring system and recent survey results show that 80% of students are engaging with remote learning and submitting work. This is a phenomenal achievement given that the national
average for remote learning engagement for state schools across the UK is 29% and 50% for fee-paying schools. 
It is thanks to your support as parents, along with that of our dedicated staff and also the pre-established digital curriculum that our students are making such good progress at this time – thank you and well done! 
As remote learning is set to continue, we want to make our remote learning provision even better for families, students and teachers. To establish how to improve teaching, learning and assessment we conducted qualitative
research, in the form of student, parent and staff questionnaires – a massive thank you to everyone who completed one of these surveys. We really appreciate your feedback. 
Remote Learning Survey Results & Next Steps – Curriculum Provision 
The majority of students, parents and teachers feel that we have got the remote learning provision right for all Key Stages, work is being pitched at the right level and that teachers are setting challenging/relevant tasks. 

Work-life Balance 
On average, students are spending 3-4 hours on school work a day.

Future opening: As we heard from the Government there are currently no plans for years 7, 8, and 9 to return to school until at least September. Even then we must start to think that we won’t see any kind of what we call “normal schooling” with all year groups in every day and students travelling around to different parts of the school for subject specialist lessons. As time goes on we will hear more about what schooling will look like but we must start to prepare to think that things could well be very different for much of the next academic year.

Staff Changes: This month we welcomed Matt Double to the team, which must have been one of the most surreal starts to any career given that Matt was stuck up country and unable to join us physically! Matt joins us Assistant Head specialising in Maths & Data. Matt is a local lad and really looking forward to getting back to his home county and making a difference at Fowey.

Transition for Year 6: The transition for Year 6 pupils in Primary to FRA is normally done through visits and face to face contact, to help ease worries and make students feel at home. We are acutely aware that with Covid, this is going to be a tough time for these students. We are planning like many schools to have a range of resources available for Year 6. These resources will be made available online from 23rd June. On that day we will host a ‘virtual event’ where students will get to hear from key teachers, have a tour of the school and see interactive maps of the site. There will also be a physical resource sent to all students.

Year 9 Options: Choosing GCSE options is always an exciting time…from 11th June Year 9 will be able to view and choose their options for Year 10 and onwards. The exact process for this is still to be decided but may involve an online survey but also a physical form for those unable to use online forms. We will send out details via ParentMail and social media nearer the time.

Year 10 Opening: We have decided along with the other secondary schools in the MAT not to open fully for year ten students. We will however be offering year ten students individualised support and review sessions in order to prepare them for starting year eleven next year. These sessions may be video calls, phone calls or possibly face to face (following social distancing rules) but this will be decided after discussions with the relevant staff and parents. These will start after half term and completed by the start of the summer holiday.

Year 11 Exam Results & Leaving: GCSE results issued on 20th August 2020. As we previously wrote to you regarding this we are unable to say how this will happen, as we do not know what restrictions will be in place in August. We are going to get more information on how to collect results towards the end of June so please keep an eye on email and also the Academy website.

Colleges have been setting work in preparation for year 12, we encourage all those attending college to look at the resources from the college as you transition from secondary education to college. For further FAQ’s please visit here:

SEND Update: It has been wonderful to hear from some many of our parents and pupils on the way they are rising to the challenge of remote learning and how they are adapting.  We have had details of some further support and guidance for parents of pupils with SEND from the Educational Psychology Service.  This is a document full of suggested support and apps as well as a really helpful powerpoint.  Another useful free resource which is easily accessible is Twinkl.

Pre-School: From after half-term Fowey Pre School is reopening to support local families. Fowey Pre School operates out of the Sports Hub and is a valued and well respected early years education establishment. If you are looking for child care pre Primary, then please contact them here: https://www.facebook.com/FoweyPreSchool/

DfE Refurbishment Project: You may be aware that we announced some time ago that FRA would be undergoing a major refurbishment project, approximately £4.5m, which is being funded by the DfE. Predictably this is taking longer than first thought but is still very much in progress. We have a reputable contractor who is managing the project on our behalf and continue to meet regularly. Whilst Corona has had an impact, the project is still on track to commence this year, albeit later that anticipated. The project comprises a mix of building works related to health & safety, fire risk management and upgrading systems and infrastructure. This will hopefully bring the site in line with modern building regulations and given its age, are much needed. In addition, we are looking at brand new science labs, redesign and modernisation of Year 11 facilities, new toilet facilities, refurbishment and redecoration of the tower block and a new designed entrance and reception area. We are also looking a plans for a redesigned multi-functional theatre space which will allow us to improve our community arts provision. When you add this altogether, £4.5m doesn’t go that far, particularly when you look at the cost of new schools being built! However, it will be a great boost to our site and provide lots of modernised facilities to take us forward. As designs are agreed we will make sure you get to see them. the downside of course is disruption. The project is due to last 2-3 years and will involve large sections of the site being out of action. Luckily we have a very flexible site and plenty of space and so we are confident of managing things safely and efficiently so the school can continue to operate in a normal way.

Other Initiatives:

Round Britain Sailing: After much thought, research, risk assessment and soul searching, we have had to make the decision to postpone this trip for this year. This decision was really tough but hand on heart we cannot let this go ahead with so much uncertainty around us. Even if there was to be a significant relaxation by August, the chances of things changing during the trip, alone make it too risky. As we have said all along, we are hugely committed to this trip happening and we will ensure it is ring-fenced for the current Year 9, whenever it happens. Morvargh Sailing Project are still moving to Cornwall very soon and as soon as we are allowed, we will arrange some day trips for Year 9.

Camps International Borneo Trip: For those students booked to travel to Borneo in July, we have been in touch with Camps International and yourselves to outline the situation. Unfortunately, due to insurance we are in the hands of Camps International and cannot cancel the trip until they have done so. Whilst we all agree the trip should probably not go ahead, we are waiting for Camps International to make that decision so that full refunds can be given to families who have been working very hard to fundraise for this trip. If we were to cancel on your behalf, there is a risk that a full refund would not be possible. So we are keen to protect our students and their families. We are committed to supporting those families and will be working closely with them during this period.