Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

3 July

You will be aware that the government have now released further guidance for how schools can return in the new academic year.  We are working tirelessly to consider how this will be implemented in the very best way to support our whole community. We will update you as soon as we have more details.  Thank you for your continued support. We are looking forward to finding our new norm and creative solutions to have our students back in a safe and purposeful way to support their whole curriculum. Always BRIT.

18 June

School Re-opening from Monday 22nd June

We are opening the school to students from the week commencing Monday 22nd June 2020.  We have had to make changes since our last communication based on the bespoke nature of our vocational offer and staffing capacity.  Students will be taught sessions in smaller sub groups devised from their strand. However, to ensure a safe and socially distanced entrance and exit to our site, we have staggered the times and entrances and have created one-way systems around the buildings.  We have also allocated specific areas for toilet facilities for each strand group. Please ensure that you abide by these rules to ensure the safety of all of our BRIT School community. 

To ensure a gentle re-integration, we are starting later and finishing earlier than normal so that our students can return with confidence. Sadly, our original offer to provide lunch has changed. Students should bring any snacks with them on the day, although all students at Key Stage 4 will be off site by lunchtime.  Free School Meal students will continue to be supported as in previous weeks. 

The times allocated will enable our students and families to negotiate the many different travel routes and avoid peak times as we appreciate that the large majority of our students travel quite some distance to get to BRIT. We will continue to review our offer weekly.  If you have any questions please do contact us at covid19@brit.croydon.sch.uk We are always happy to listen to the views of our community but please be mindful that we are in exceptionally challenging times and do believe, we are doing our utmost to get our students and staff safely back to school.

During the first week back, we will be trialling the use of temperature monitors as students enter the site.  If a student shows a temperature of 37.8 degrees or higher, their families will be contacted and will be asked to collect their son/daughter.

AT KEY STAGE 4

Week Commencing Monday 22nd June: Strand Groups (divided into two or three sub groups) will come into school every Monday or Tuesday for four consecutive weeks.

Dance; Film & Media Production; Interactive Digital Design, Music and Musical Theatre will be expected to come in on Monday 22nd June, Monday 29th June, Monday 6th July & Monday 13th July.

Visual Art & Design and Theatre students will be in from Tuesday 23rd June and again on Tuesday 30th June, Tuesday 7th July & Tuesday 14th July.

Students will remain in these sub groups for the four weeks, although the staffing will rotate to ensure that all aspects of our reintegration programme inclusive of pastoral and academic provision can be delivered.  Please be aware that we will not be carrying out practical activities during these sessions and our online provision across all subjects will continue.

AT POST 16

Week Commencing Monday 22nd June: Strand Groups (divided into sub groups) will come into school once a week for four consecutive weeks. Students will remain in these sub groups for the four weeks, although the staffing within strand might rotate to ensure that all aspects of our reintegration programme can be delivered.  Please note that practical activity will NOT be in place for Community Arts, Theatre, Dance or Musical Theatre.  There will be some singing activities where spacing allows. Online provision will also continue throughout the week to support the full delivery.

Students who are shielding or unable to come into school should inform our attendance officer in the normal way lsutton@brit.croydon.sch.uk.

Please note that we will not permit any students to leave the site during the school day to access local shops and we will not be permitting football or basketball in the outdoor spaces during term 5.

All students should bring their own clearly labelled water bottle.

Fire Alarms:

We have amended our Fire Alarm procedure to ensure the safety of our community.  If there is a fire alarm, students will remain in their sub groups as identified in this letter.  The member of staff working with the groups will guide them out to the car park in the usual way, remaining in these groups, maintaining social distancing.

Please can we remind you that you MUST wear your lanyard to school and entry at your times.  The gates will be closed for students until 9:30am.  If you arrive prior to this time (a few students have been asked to do so), you will need to be buzzed in by reception and wait in the forecourt after being buzzed in.  Someone will then come and check your temperature before being allowed to go to your relevant building.  The same procedure will be followed for any students that are late.

We look forward to seeing you all back in school, it will be a little different but hopefully the next few weeks will enable us all to navigate these changes effectively.

Additional information, with links to external websites that may assist your child in their return w/c 22nd June.

Attendance, COVID19 symptoms, shielding, self-isolating families/students

This is an opportunity to attend school for some face to face time with staff and peers, within limited groups, with the bulk of all students' lessons remaining online. If your child is ill for any reason they should not attend school; if they have a temperature of over 37.8 degrees they should remain at home to self isolate. A full guide to the updated COVID-19 symptoms can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Families that are self-isolating due to having COVID19 symptoms or are shielding to protect a family member should continue to remain at home. 

Please inform us and keep us updated if your child is not able to come into school, using the usual attendance channels by contacting our attendance officer, Laurie, either via email lsutton@brit.croydon.sch.uk or by telephone on: 020 8665 8623.

Should anyone in your household develop COVID19 symptoms after your child has been to school it is essential that you/they get a test, that you inform the school ASAP and then self isolate for 14 days.

Travel to and from school

All students using public transport will be required to wear a face mask or face covering. We suggest that students plan their journey in advance and, if possible, carry hand sanitiser, to be used along the way.  All students will be asked to wash their hands soon after arrival to school.

Further guidance from Transport for London may be found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/coronavirus-covid-

For students travelling by car, we ask that parents/carers drop their child off at the relevant entrance and do not enter the site.  Students will be reminded when using the Main Gate and the Dagnall Park entrance to maintain the current distancing rules. 

On arrival, students will have their temperature taken using non-contact infra-red thermometers. Any student that has a temperature of over 37.8 degrees will be held in our Covid space and we will phone and ask you to collect them, to prevent any further journeys on public transport. Please ensure your child is well enough to attend school before sending them in. 

Canteen & FSM provision update

Please note that the Canteen will NOT be open; unfortunately the costs to the school of opening for limited numbers made it prohibitive, plus concerns of student ‘bubbles’ being exposed to cross contamination. We ask that all students bring in their own packed lunch, snacks and drinks. All students should bring their own water bottle, labelled clearly. We will not permit students to leave the site during the school day to access local shops.  

Students in receipt of free school meals will continue to receive funds weekly, and this will now also continue throughout the Summer holiday period.

We strongly encourage any family whose financial circumstances have recently changed to apply for free school meals, with the first step to check for eligibility using the link below:  

https://www.brit.croydon.sch.uk/page/?title=School+Bursaries&pid=1060

If you receive confirmation that you are eligible for free school meals, please forward the downloadable certificate, to Blythe Williams at bwilliam@brit.croydon.sch.uk and we will contact you ASAP to advise you of next steps.

Mental health, wellbeing and those students that have suffered a loss

The impact of an extended lockdown, and recent worldwide events, have created struggles for most of us; please let us know, via your child’s tutor, if they have suffered the loss of a family member, or if you have concerns about their wellbeing being extraordinarily affected by the last 12 weeks. There will be a wellbeing and self care focus for all students incorporated into the next four weeks of contact time.

Students may continue to access the pastoral folder on google drive, which has resources and suggestions for supporting wellbeing.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1FCYX825ZHW66akPl4b62GzqtcuPX5zlH?usp=sharing

We still have free access to the Headspace mindfulness app until November (use code: GSAFW1Y), this is highly recommend to promote positive mental health for all: https://www.headspace.com/

We also recommend these national organisations to use for support if there are

further mental health concerns 

https://www.giveusashout.org/ 

https://www.samaritans.org/

Department for Education guidance

Further detailed guidance for parents and carers regarding the reopening of schools may be be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

7 May 2020

Dear students joining us in Year 10 & Year 12,

My message is to warmly welcome all of you who are joining us in late Summer. I’m writing to say how much we are looking forward to meeting you. This time is like no other time in the history of the world. And in the history of our School. I hope that you are your loved ones have been safe and ok during these challenging days.  We are of course responding to Government guidelines regarding school opening and we are confident that when you do join us, you will swiftly become part of the BRIT family. To give you a flavour, over the past six weeks we have run classes as normal and have provided students with an online timetable, routine, masterclasses, check ins and creative projects with full pastoral support for wellbeing. You can see some of the brilliant work created here on our platform BRIT Now- an exemplar of student’s work proving you cannot stop creativity. Our innovative staff have taught classes online from dance, music, DJ-ing to production, film making, art and all the curriculum subjects maths, science, English and languages.

As a parent said to us:

“In seeing how BRIT teachers and staff are dealing with on-line distance teaching in comparison I have nothing but praise for you all. My daughter has access to amazing facilities that keep her in contact  such as google classroom, and she has done video chats with teachers on google hang out. She has eased into her new routine without feeling isolated or not knowing what to do.”

When you get here in September you will find that this school will embrace and respect you.  We want four qualities for our students to take on when they come to BRIT: originality, responsibility, ambition, and inclusivity.

This means you will find your space here to unlock your creative potential, be your own person, be kind and act responsibly to others and yourself, and you will be accepting of the diverse community of artists you will work with every day.  You will experience powerful assemblies on mental health, Black History and LGBTQ, watch and participate in fantastic productions and exhibitions.

We are working out your induction and will be in touch soon but I wanted to give you a sense of what you might expect.

We have a team of people that you will get to know and will be central to you learning and growing when join us.  The staff at The BRIT school are special. Your tutors, the pastoral team, the front of house, the library, the exams, the student services team,  the canteen, the site and IT teams and our dedicated Additional Educational Needs team, will all be ready to meet you.

The other group of people you will get to know are our sponsors and trustees. The school couldn’t survive without the generosity of the music industry and the BRIT Trust. The equipment in our studios and classrooms and theatres is thanks to them. We have dear friends including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nile Rodgers , the Utley Foundation, YouTube Music, Tim Cook at Apple and the Arts Council, all who have worked to support this school and we have an impressive Board of Trustees led by Chair David Carter. We have an active BRIT Parent community and student committee.

If nothing else, the pandemic has proved that the qualities and values of The BRIT school matter. The world needs creativity and the creative industries more than ever before; digital solutions, imaginative ideas, art, entertainment. It needs polymaths who value science, history, maths and art all at the same time. It needs original, responsible and ambitious young people to make the world work. It needs you. And it needs a more inclusive society where everyone matters. The supermarket van driver delivering what we need to survive, the care worker looking after the fragile, the artist who produces an online game, or a music video or film that can entertain. It needs a community that works for all. It’s why community matters so much to the school and why we know you will make a valuable contribution on your arrival.

 Take care and see you soon,

#AlwaysBRIT

Stuart Worden

Principal

 

3 April 2020

GCSE, AS & A Level update - Friday 3rd April 2020

Today Ofqual have released the details on how GCSEs and A levels will be awarded this year following the cancellation of examinations for the summer 2020.

Centres have been asked that teachers give an assessment grade for every student in each of their subjects: that is, the grade they would be most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams and completed any non-exam assessment. These teachers assessments will be based on judgements on the following:

  • Classwork
  • Bookwork
  • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE
  • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete
  • the results of any assignments or mock exams
  • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications
  • any other records of student performance over the course of study

The school is then asked to place the students in rank order for each subject.  For the full article: Ofqual statement

Teachers will NOT be allowed to share these grades with students and schools across the country will then have their grades standardised.  This could result in the grades changing hence the need for these grades to remain confidential until they are published.  Please do not email your teachers asking for any more detail - they will not be able to comment.  Departments will be working hard to pull all of their data together in order to inform their professional response and the school will ensure scrutiny and analysis so that grades awarded are accurate and fair.  This will of course be challenging but we know our students well.

Ofqual have written directly to students.  Letter to Students

We know that we have asked you to keep working and that contradicts what you are being told in this statement.  Work completed at home will not count - that is true but we DO encourage you to keep learning, to be creative and to remain Original, Responsible and Ambitious.  We value your work and your efforts and this will continue to be important moving on to your next chapter whether that be at BRIT or elsewhere.  It is important to remain focused and consider how you can be prepared for that next step. 

BRITNow will be a place where you all, as artists can showcase your work.  More information on this will be published soon.

#AlwaysBRIT

25 March 2020

Dear Students, Parents/Carers,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well at this unusual and incredibly difficult time? 

Teaching online and student learning

The staff at the BRIT School are working hard to ensure that all students have lessons online, so that they can continue to learn.   We have asked teachers to set the work that students would normally be doing at this time, wherever possible in line with their existing timetable, particularly in years 10 and 11.

This work is being set either on Google Classroom and students are being notified when it has been set, or in a known shared area on Google Drive. If you are experiencing technical challenges please DM us on our BRIT It Instagram or email us at BRIT.IT@brit.croydon.sch.uk and we will do our best to help. 

We would therefore ask that every student at the BRIT School, unless unwell, or looking after family members, continue their school work at the time allocated on their usual timetable if they can.   Some work will be for you to carry out at home, others will be asked to be submitted so that your teachers can mark it. This will vary depending on the subject. If you do not have the means to complete your work, please speak with your teachers either via email or on google hangouts.

Please also be aware that our staff may well too be having to care for their families or might be unwell so please allow there to be a degree of flexibility if you do not hear from a member of staff.   

If students have coursework to complete and have access to do this, they should continue with this where possible, as this could be used as evidence in formulating the final grade as usual. We  believe all the work will be of use to you in building a wide range of skills, expertise and knowledge. We can not see into the future of how this work will be examined, but want you all to know that we are setting work that we believe has value and merit in helping you progress and develop.

There have been some outstanding lessons set and we know we are working through how to make this consistent, regular and helpful to all.  Both teaching staff and tutors will be connecting with their students on a regular basis. If you, as students and parents, have any enquiries please send them directly to the relevant staff member.  Staff emails can be found on our website or via you son/daughter’s google classroom. If you have a more generic query, please direct them to covid19@brit.croydon.sch.uk.  

Exams and exam results this summer

We understand that all students, particularly Year 11, 12 and 13 at the moment, are concerned about what is happening with exams and their results in the summer.   All up to date information from the government is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced.

As the situation we are currently in has not happened before, we are all awaiting further government guidance to outline what will happen in the summer.   There will be a formula that includes internal school data and evidence, but a final decision has not yet been made. In the meantime, could we ask that you do not contact individual teachers asking for their opinion about what is happening, as they cannot advise on this.   As soon as we have more information, we will update you.  

Please try not to worry about this as all students are in the same position nationally and like us, the exam boards want students to get the best results possible.  What is important is to complete work set, send this work in to your teachers and ask questions for further help if needed.  

If you are in Year 11 and have been offered a place at the BRIT School then that place is yours. If you are applying to other colleges then contact them directly or ask our very helpful careers department for advice. 

Year 11 students doing Level 2 BTEC

Pearsons, the examining body for BTEC, have made an encouraging statement in an update to schools on 23rd March 2020, which stated ‘we are confident we can award grades to learners finishing this academic year - supporting learners to progress, recognising their learning and hard work - that is our priority and commitment to learners and teacher’s’.  You may find this link to the OFQUAL document helpful.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-on-vocational-and-technical-qualifications-in-2020

 Year 13 students applying through UCAS

 UCAS are writing directly to all students to say: 

  • The decision deadline has been extended by 2 weeks - don't make any rush decisions about where you want to go

  • UCAS and all providers are waiting for more information on the results algorithm before making any further decisions

  • There will be a clearing service for all students.

 If you have any queries regarding progression into FE, HE or other vocational progression, please contact careers@brit.croydon.sch.uk

  Tutors are contacting their tutees on a weekly basis, but not all students have responded.   Please could students respond if they have not already done so, stay in contact with your teachers, complete the work, ask for help if needed and stay motivated – we can do this!   You all have the ability to do well this year and we are all here to help you. 

On BRIT related Instagrams, twitter feeds and facebook you can find numerous tips for creativity, activities and exercises to add to your school work if you wish to. 

The BRIT School is working tirelessly to try and get this new way of working right whilst also balancing how we can support a range of young adults.  If you have any feedback on what has been working or how they could improve, we would love to hear from you. Again, please direct this to covid19@brit.croydon.sch.uk.

Remember that it is vital though to keep following guidelines about your safety, your health and the health of others.  And you must put your health and the health of your loved ones first. 

Always BRIT

20 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Update Coronavirus (COVID-19) – School Closure

We remain closed until further notice in line with the closure of all schools across the country. 

Be aware that we are still awaiting guidance on the assessment of qualifications this year, in view of the examinations being cancelled. We will update you on this as soon we can.

Students working from home

The government have ‘asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.’

The advice is that ‘if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.’ It reinforces the priority for children to remain at home because ‘the fewer children making the journey to school and the fewer children in educational setting, the lower the risk the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in the wider society’. 

We would ask you to consider the fact that as a 14 -19 provider, our young people are older and more capable of working from home than the majority of children in the school system. 

In supporting learning and well-being at home, we have implemented a comprehensive online curriculum and pastoral support programme for all students. Our already well-established online learning platforms will continue to develop and evolve through this challenging period. Students and staff have already been brilliant in finding the best ways to connect and engage with teaching and learning.

Outside of school, parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way that can continue to spread the virus. 

Provision for students of critical workers

For critical workers, the government guidance states that if ‘you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision’. This would only be the case if all those with parental responsibility in the home are critical workers. Local Education Authorities are also looking to make schools available in place of others that may be closed. BRIT School students often make significant journeys across public transport to get in every day and this should be a consideration at this time of social distancing. Please do contact your Local Education Authority for guidance if appropriate. 
The list of critical workers can be found in this guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

If you think that you work in one of the critical sectors (as advised by the government) and that you are seeking educational provision for your child at The BRIT School during school closure, please let us know by completing this google form as soon as possible: 

https://forms.gle/dvdt7yU3GKupiVzB6

Until we have details of numbers involved we cannot give further information about educational provision available. 

Provision for vulnerable students

We are in contact with our particularly vulnerable students and their families throughout this challenging time to ensure support is in place. For children identified in the government guidance as those ‘who are supported by social care and those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education health and care plans’, we are contacting families as appropriate for each individual and their families.

If your child falls into any of the groups listed above and you would specifically like to discuss provision at The BRIT School, please contact covid19@brit.croydon.sch.uk by 5pm on Monday 23rd March.

Again, until we have details of numbers involved we cannot give further information about educational provision available. 

We look forward to updating you next week on the above and wish you well as always.

The BRIT School

You can find further information and the current Government guidance here:

Government Guidance for Education Settings

Guidance for Self-Isolation

Specified Countries and Areas with Implactions for returning Travellers

If you have underlying Medical Conditions which may be effected by COVID-19 then please seek advice from your medical professional.

Current advice on pre-existing medical conditions

 

If you have any urgent queries relating to COVID-19 please email  Covid19@brit.croydon.sch.uk and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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