Lockdown 3 – Update for Parents and Carers

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you and your loved ones are all keeping well and staying safe. Please take a few moments to read this weekly update Thank you.

1 – Remote learning

  • Senior staff and our subject leaders are keeping a close eye on student engagement. Despite the difficulties and challenges of home learning, when discussing this with colleagues and parents, we do feel that we are getting the balance right: around one million children in the country can only access the internet via their phones, which will often have limited data and may also be of poor quality. Therefore, we cannot assume that remote learning is always going to be the best option for our children. We have made hard copies of work to be available for collection by prior arrangement, and continue to hand out laptops and provide 4G connectivity for our students.
  • So far, we have distributed 167 laptops or Surface Pros.
  • As stated in last week’s update, when you get a moment, please do check your child is completing their work properly and to the best of their ability. We know how much of an additional strain this will be putting on you all and we appreciate your support.

Please do remember:

  • Our website, which is designed to be accessible via mobile devices as well as laptops and PCs, has a plethora of guidance material to support your children in accessing remote learning, and if they have subject-specific enquiries, we urge them to contact their teachers, whose email addresses are available on our website. The students ought to be checking their emails during the course of a school day.
  • If you are still experiencing technical issues, or do not feel you have suitable devices or connectivity, please email us at: ICTSupport@hartonacademy.co.uk, stating Technical Support in the email subject box.
  • We are keen to ensure that everyone is in a position to access remote learning opportunities. All parents have been issued with a log-in to our parental VLE account. This is useful for you, as we have added a Help and Support tab to the home page, which contains guidance on home learning at Harton, including some video tutorials. Please use the same email address (ICTSupport@hartonacademy.co.uk), stating Log-in details in the email subject box, if you have not received your log-in details.

2 – COVID-19 Mass testing

  • So far, we have carried out 105 first tests on our students and 102 second tests.
  • We have now carried out 320 tests on the staff. Those who are onsite for more than two consecutive days are now being tested twice a week.
  • In line with recently-changed Government guidelines, if we were to have a positive case of COVID-19, the class would be required to self-isolate for ten days and we would seek Public Health advice. In this event, students will no longer be tested every day for seven consecutive days; instead, they would be sent home to self-isolate for ten days. Therefore, in order to ensure we keep class bubbles apart, students only have lunch inside with their classmates.

3 – Ofqual consultation

The DfE’s and Ofqual’s joint consultation on the forthcoming summer’s examinations ends today, and we will update you, once the final plans are published.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-launched-on-2021-exam-replacement?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=b66528d1-f965-4056-9166-e96c679a202b&utm_content=daily

4 – Attendance this week

Day This week Week beginning 18 January Week beginning 11 January
Monday: 86 72 81
Tuesday: 85 74 79
Wednesday: 85 79 76
Thursday: 80 74 71
Friday: 80 74 67


  • We have continued to divide year groups in order to avoid too many students in one classroom.
  • The school remains open to Key Worker and Vulnerable Children, but we urge you to only send your child into school if you are unable to keep them at home. We are constantly advised by the scientists and medical experts that everyone is a lot safer in their own homes. Therefore, regretfully, please do understand that the fewer students and staff we have in school, the better.

Many thanks for taking the time once again to read this update, and for your continued support. We do look forward to welcoming your child back to school, and you will be aware of recent announcements: possible returns after the 8 March, but dependent upon scientific advice. We will, of course, keep you updated.

In closing, please accept our very best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Please do stay safe!

Sir Ken Gibson, Executive Headteacher
David Amos, Head of School