Update 22nd May 2020
Next week (Mon 25th-Fri 29th May) is half term week. The Centre will be closed to students during half term week, however, staff will continue to be available by telephone on 01438 369119 between 10am and 12noon should you need to call.
The half termly newsletter and attachments are available to view on our website by clicking here, and copies will be emailed to parents/carers next week.
Update 15th May 2020
Students may find the information available on the Amazing Aprenticeship website useful. They have added a range of online resources that will enable parents/carers and students to continue to access the latest apprenticeship support and guidance from home.
They have also produced a Special Covid-19 Edition of their Parents’ and Carers’ Apprenticeship Information pack, providing further guidance and support.
Update 7th May 2020
Think U Know, the website for internet safety, have produced some Home Activity Packs to support parents during COVID-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, they will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will spending more time online at home. Please click the link to be taken tor their website.
Update 5th May 2020
Families Feeling Safe - Free Online Course for Parents/Carers
Families Feeling Safe work with children, parents/carers and organisations sharing information to allow children, young people and families to feel safer in their communities by improving their resilience and emotional & mental wellbeing. Families Feeling Safe are keen to provide support to parents and carers during this time. This term they will be offering 2 free online courses supporting families with Protective Behaviours. These courses will be provided using Zoom, people accessing the course will need a phone, tablet, laptop or computer.
The funding has been allocated to specific areas of Hertfordshire (East Herts and Broxbourne) however, depending on need and availability of places, they may be able to accept referrals from other areas of Herts. Click below for more information.
NHS Schools and Families Advice Line (SFAL)
The ‘Schools and Families Advice Line’ (SFAL) is a new service established to provide emotional wellbeing advice and early help to children and young people, school staff and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It can be really worrying when you, or someone you know is going through a difficult time. If you feel this service could help, please call our Single Point of Access (SPA) who will take your details before passing them onto our call back service.
Telephone: 0300 777 0707
You will get a call back from a mental health practitioner between 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
Update 4th May 2020
Information regarding Exams - For Year 11 Students and their Parents / Carers
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (ofqual) have released a letter regarding their plans for the issuing of GCSE and A Level grades this summer.
It explains how grades will be calculated and when you will receive them, as detailed below:
"All schools/colleges will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:
- the grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
- within each subject, the order of students at your school or college, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across schools and colleges
Your school or college will consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course. This information will allow us, with exam boards, to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements. That means the final grade you get could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board."
Results will be made available to students no later than the planned GCSE results day which is 20th August 2020.
To read the letter in full please click here.
Action for Happiness
The Action for Happiness website has been created by a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society, who want to see a fundamentally different way of life - where people care less about what they can get just for themselves and more about the happiness of others.
They are producing monthly calendars are packed with actions you can take to help create a happier and kinder world.
Click on the link to view their Action Calendar - Meaningful May
Update 28th April 2020
Herts Mind Network have launched a new early intervention and prevention helpline for children and young people aged 10-17 in Herts. The helpline will provide a safe, non-judgmental space to talk to a Young People Advisor or Mentor who will provide emotional support, advice and information, signposting and discuss coping strategies.
This service is currently open to support you at the following times:
Mon, Wed and Fri - 13:00 – 16:30
Tues & Thurs - 17:00 – 19:30
Saturday - 10:00 – 13:00
To contact the helpline please call 01923 256391
Herts Mind Network are also able to offer support to parents either through this line, or our 18+ 24/7 line – reached through the same number.
Thank you to local charity Feed up Warm up who have just given us food parcels for our families in most need.
We appreciate your help in keeping local families provided for during these difficult times.
Update 24th April 2020
For those Stevenage residents who are self-isolating and who are struggling to get out, North Herts and Stevenage Community Transport Scheme have a team of Volunteer Drivers who can help with collecting and delivering prescriptions and medications, even with food deliveries.
If you need help at all, telephone 01462 689402.
Update 23rd April 2020
Hertfordshire County Council have issued the following document:
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus - Information for Children and Young People which contains information about useful websites, online support, advice and guidance.
If you are having a mental health crisis, please call:
Between 9am-5pm: 0300 777 0707
Between 5pm-9am: 01438 843322 to speak to the local mental health service
If you need medical intervention or in an emergency go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department or call 999
Childline: If you're under 19 you can confidentially call, email or chat online about any problem big or small Freephone 24h helpline: 0800 11 11
Young Minds Crisis Messenger provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
Update 21st April 2020
Thinkuknow is the national online safety education programme from CEOP, the online child protection command of the National Crime Agency. It aims to help parents, carers, teachers and others keep children safe from sexual abuse, offering learning activities, advice and support for children and young people aged 4-18 and their families.
Thinkuknow have provided the following information while school is closed, to keep your child stay safe while they are learning, staying in touch with family and friends, and having fun online.
Update 20th April 2020 - SESC limited opening continues into the Summer Term
Stevenage ESC will be open to EHCP and vulnerable students daily (Mondays - Fridays).
- Food will be provided for students and staff on site
- FSM students not in the Centre will be provided with vouchers
- Staff will make daily calls to all SESC families
- Additional support (food parcels) has and will be provided when necessary
- Staff will continue to provide work for students not in the centre
- Students in the centre will have additional work to take home
- All other students will work from home with ‘additional work’ set by staff
Centre protocols for students entering the centre
- Students reminded to social distance
- Student temperatures to be taken as they enter the centre daily
- Students will be told to change clothes when they go home
- Students sit in the lobby (seats apart) and wait to be taken through to wash hands
- Breakfast and lunch will be provided in the community room
- Timetable of activities will be provided (Sport will involve washing hands and equipment before and after activity. This applies to all activities)
- Students to remain 2 metres apart (reminded when necessary)
- Parents will be informed that students need to isolate out of school hours to keep both staff and students safe
- Any student not isolating out of school hours will have their place reviewed, and will be reported to external agencies
The Government have set up two websites for home schooling children, from Reception to Year 10 which can be accessed and utilised by our students if they wish:
Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, made a statement on Sunday 19th April regarding the Government's online home schooling websites, and their plans to help vulnerable students to access these learning platforms during this time.
To read his speech please click here
Safer Places - Domestic Abuse Support Services - Live Chat launch
Safer Places has launched a new live chat service to support those experiencing, or at risk of abuse. The new service enables anyone experiencing abuse to chat directly with a member of the Safer Places team. The measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID 19) have seen day to day life change dramatically and undoubtedly made it harder for people to access support services as survivors are isolated with abusers with small windows of opportunity to speak. This new service will give survivors the opportunity to access support discreetly.
The service will initially be open between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8pm - 8am Friday to Sunday.
To access the Safer Places website, click here.
Update 7th April 2020
The Hertfordshire Mind Network are offering free webinars regarding mental health and coping during the Corona Virus crisis to families in Hertfordshire. Details are provided in the information to the right.
Today is the last day of the Spring Term. Student reports will be posted out to parents/carers along with the end of term newsletter. We will continue to post updates on our website regularly. The Centre office will be manned between 10am and 12noon during the Easter break (excluding Good Friday and Easter Monday) if you need to contact us. Stay safe.
Please click the link to view an appendix to our current Child Protection Policy during the school closure: Child Protection Appendix
The Government has issued guidance for students in receipt of Free School Meals
You can now sign up to receive updates from GOV.UK regarding the Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted when information is published. Sign Up Here
Year 11 Students: Mrs Hughes will be contacting Year 11 students by telephone for a one to one careers interview and to make applications for apprenticeships, college and employment during this week and the week after Easter.
Can students ensure they have a current and working email address in preparation for the call.
Students may find this link helpful: How to Write a CV
Please click to view document for Supporting Children with LD & ASD with COVID Isolation
Free School Meals Scam Email
We have had information from Hertfordshire County Council that a scam email is being sent to parents, asking them for bank details if they have children who qualify for Free Schools Meals. Please do not respond to this email or give out any private information such as banks details or passwords.
This is also a reminder to not reply to any text messages if you’re unsure of the sender, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re unsure if they are genuine.
Guidance regarding Year 11s due to take exams: Summer Exams 2020 Guidance
Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing - Useful links and information from the NHS:
Resources and ideas about things adults and young people can do to manage any stress and anxiety they may experience in relation to
coronavirus. They also have a mental health advice line available for parents operating between 09:30am-4pm, Monday- Friday: 0808 802 5544
Provides general information about looking after your mental health which would be relevant during this challenging time as much as at any other time and provides top tips to improve emotional wellbeing.
Provides useful information about how to cope if people feel anxious about coronavirus, how to manage staying well at home if being asked to self-isolate and taking
care of your mental health and wellbeing among other tips and advice.
Education Support website is dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff in schools, colleges and universities. It contains free information including a
free 24/7 helpline – 08000 562 561. It also has financial advice information for supply teachers
Provides a crisis helpline for anyone experiencing mental health distress or requiring emotional support and signposting. Professionals, family/ friends can
call on someone’s behalf with the individual’s consent. Crisis Helpline number: 01923 256 391
The Anna Freud Centre 'Schools in Mind' have worked closely with settings to help promote whole-school and college approaches to wellbeing. They are conscious that the Coronavirus
is creating increased pressure and additional workload for school and college staff at an already busy time of the school year. Therefore, they have produced this following
document which they hope will give some guidance about how to maintain children’s wellbeing at a time of uncertainty.
They have also developed three videos which will hopefully be helpful to share as follows:
For schools staff
Weekly update via the Healthy Young Minds in Herts website where the information above will also be shared
There will also be a webpage for young people and families, focussed on how to cope during periods of self-isolation,
appearing very soon on www.justtalkherts.org
As per Government and Public Health England advice for Coronavirus (COVID-19), Safer Places are still operating and will continue to provide services and support to victims of Domestic Abuse who need our services whilst taking the necessary precautions.
Safer Places want to reassure our clients, teams and partners that we are working hard to keep our services open, and make sure that the people who need support will continue to receive it during these challenging and unprecedented times. In order to do this, we are changing how we deliver our services. We are reducing our face to face contact and we have taken the decision not to run Triple R and Made for Money sessions and all training at this time.
We are still accepting new refuge referrals (if we have space) where the victim or children are not showing symptoms or self-isolating.
We are still accepting outreach referrals and will continue through the crisis. Our outreach support will be delivered by video calling or via the telephone.
As the situation with COVID-19 is developing quickly, we are following Government and public health guidance to continue delivering our front-line services whilst minimising the risk to our staff and clients.
Further information and advice will be shared through our website and social media channels as it becomes available.
Our emergency line will remain open 24/7 please call 03301 025 811 for more information about how to access our services.
Please click on the link to view the Latest Government Advice
Letters will be sent out to all parents today with arrangements for Monday onwards.
Mrs Hughes wishes to share this resource for Year 7-11 and will give information and guidance on apprenticeships: Learn at Home - Amazing Apprenticeships
Stevenage Football Club is launching a Coronavirus Community Careline on Monday 23rd March and will look to provide non-medical advice and support, using Club staff.
The number to call is 01438 222222 and lines will be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, starting from Monday 23rd March 2020.
The objective is to provide services in four areas:
• Foodbank Donations & Deliveries: The club will work with local Stevenage Foodbanks to encourage donations and will work with local foodbanks to assist them with their deliveries.
• Senior Kitchen: The Club’s kitchens will also be utilised to provide food for those in need, starting with an initial sandwich service, to provide food for those in most need.
• Community Service: Local residents at risk and those over 70 can call the helpdesk to log everyday requirements, ranging from picking up prescriptions to walking the dog. The helpdesk will then liaise with Stevenage staff and volunteers or local services.
• Friendly Chat: Club staff will be on hand to take calls to provide a friendly ear and provide details of additional support services available.
Based on the ever-changing situation regarding COVID-19, all details are subject to change and will follow official guidance. Visit www.StevenageFC.com for the latest information.
Please find some telephone numbers/links below which may be useful during the event of school closure/community lockdown:
Where you are concerned that a child may be at imminent risk of significant harm, please call 999 for Police or make a Child Protection Referral by either calling the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043
Herts Young Homeless Group: https://www.hyh.org.uk/contact-us
03333 202 384
hyh is a unique charity in Hertfordshire providing services to support vulnerable people. With a focus is on preventing homelessness - from education in schools and family mediation through to supporting 16-24 year olds in their first homes or caring for adults of all ages who have mental health issues and housing needs.
Stevenage Foodshed: Foodbank facility for Stevenage families in crisis (referral only): http://www.stevenage-vineyard.co.uk/
Benefits service (Stevenage): firstname.lastname@example.org 01438 242440
For support with:
Benefits - New Claim
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
Job Seekers Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance
Citizens Advice Bureau Stevenage: http://www.stevenagecab.org.uk/ 0344 411 1444
Self employment hotline for those impacted by Coronavirus: 0300 456 3565
Update on guidance and support in relation to Covid-19 - 16/03/20
You have probably seen the news that the government announced some new measures to deal with COVID-19 and also a change to its overall response, moving from the ‘contain’ to the ‘delay’ phase of its plan. As before, the advice remains that effective hand hygiene and using a tissue when coughing or sneezing are some of the most effective ways in which we can help reduce the spread of the virus. The school is continuing to do all that it can to minimise the spread with good hygiene and is following all the advice from Public Health and Herts County Council and as such we believe there is no additional risk to students and staff.
Self-isolation and staying at home
As you know the government has widened their advice on who should self-isolate to include those that have coronavirus like symptoms - a new or continuous cough or a high temperature, however mild - should stay at home for at least 7 days to protect others and help slow the spread of the disease. All our staff will be expected to follow this advice, and we ask you to ensure that your children do so too. If your children are absent from school because they are ill, please continue to call the school every day on 01438 369119.
In certain circumstances you may be advised by medical professionals to keep your child at home even if they are not unwell. If this is the case please let us know and we will support your decision. I understand that parents are concerned about the risk of their children catching Coronavirus and that some may wish to keep children at home even though they have not had any medical advice to do so. However, we cannot agree to a child’s absence for that reason alone. All children who are well enough to come to school are expected to continue attending as normal unless advised otherwise by Public Health England.
There has been updated guidance on school trips and the government has advised that planned school trips outside the UK should not go ahead. We will of course follow this advice and we will write separately to the families of all children who were due to go on overseas trips in the remainder of the academic year. The government advice is that school trips within the UK can at present go ahead safely. As the COVID-19 situation in the UK is changing rapidly we will review the risk assessment for each trip before it goes ahead and advise of cancellations or changes accordingly.
The possibility of school closure
Some parents have asked whether we could choose to close the school now. If we are ordered to close the school by Public Health England, because there is a risk to children/students and staff we will do. If the government make a decision to close all schools we will do so, otherwise our intention is to stay open and operate as normal. The Government has made it clear it expects schools to remain open unless public health advice has been given to close. This is based on the clear advice from the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Sir Patrick Vallence, on how best to manage this epidemic. We are sure that you will be supportive of this.
We are however preparing in case the school closes and we are looking at ways for managing a remote curriculum and contingency planning is underway regarding public examinations. We recognise that if closure is necessary this will have significant implications for many of our families with issues ranging from the loss of free school means to problems for families finding suitable childcare.
Obviously, we will continue to provide updates as the situation continues to develop and would ask that you inform the school of any contact your family may have had with a person with symptoms or who has tested positive.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dan Nearney, Headteacher