Parental Guidance - Covid19

For information regarding students wellbeing, safeguarding and home-learning during lockdown


Student Counsellor 

Please be aware that the School Counsellor Matthew Donoghue will be available to provide counselling support Tuesday to Thursday 8.25am to 3.25am over the next few weeks. He can be contacted on the following:

Email: m.donoghue@vcj.sch.je

Mobile: 07797 739 315

Please be aware that meetings with the School Counsellor will not be held in school until Schools return to normal opening hours on Jersey.

If you have any other pastoral concerns Mr Gosling can also be contacted on:

Email: m.gosling@vcj.sch.je

Work: 638212


Additional Safeguarding Contacts 

Support numbers for young people and families:

  • Youth Enquiry Service - under 25s can call the free – seven days a week – from noon to 8pm Freephone 0800 7350 010
  • Children and Families Hub for support or safeguarding concerns on 519000
  • Parenting Support Helpline available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm on 449481, email parentingadmin@gov.je
  • National Childline has lots of helpful information for children and young people. They are available between 9am midnight. You can call them free on 0800 1111
  • NSPCC (Jersey branch) 0800 090 2270
  • Youthful Minds (part of Mind Jersey) youthfulminds@mindjersey.org

Easter Term Phone Calls Home

Before the Easter holiday, Victoria College contacted every family to do a welfare check and to chat about working from home. 

As the closure continues, we want to make sure that each child/family gets at least one phone call home before half term. We aim to check on wellbeing, and to offer any academic/pastoral support necessary. 

Each tutor group has been allocated a member of staff. Over the next five weeks, members of staff aim to call each student at least once. 


Recent Communications

30 April 2020

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Governors,

Please find below a Press Release from the Education Minister regarding the extension to school closures that she announced today.

I am very aware that both parents and students are now facing further weeks of home learning and I want to reassure you that Victoria College will continue to do everything we can to support you as we move towards half term.

As families, you will continue to receive phone calls from the school to offer the opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns that you or your sons might have and our students will also be in contact with their tutors on a regular basis. Please remember that up-to-date information, including staff contact details and help-line information, is available on our website, www.victoriacollege.je via the red bar on the opening page.

During these unprecedented times, we are always seeking to adjust and improve our home learning provision. In my newsletter tomorrow, I will be asking both parents and students to respond to surveys about your home learning so far. It is very important to us to understand what you are finding interesting and useful in your learning and, equally, where you are encountering difficulties so that we can continue to develop the best possible home learning programme for our students.

I know that these are difficult times for everyone but I continue to be impressed by the resilience and strength of our College community: by the boys and their parents working from home; by the volunteering and fundraising efforts of our students and the support they offer to each other; and by the dedication and perseverance being shown by our staff in delivering and sustaining a very different way of learning.

I hope that you continue to stay safe and well and please take a look through the newsletter tomorrow to see all the things that our College continues to do, even while we are apart.

With my best wishes to you and your families.

Alun D Watkins
Headmaster 

GOVERMENT RELEASE

News Release: Schools to remain closed until after the May half-term break

The Education Minister has signed a further Ministerial Decision, based on the latest advice
from the Medical Officer of Health, to extend the closure of the majority of Government
provided schools and colleges to 22 May, the start of the Summer half-term holiday.

The Ministerial decision further states that Highlands College, which doesn’t have a Summer
half-term break, will be closed until 29 May.

The exceptions to this extension are the two special schools La Sente and Mont à l’Abbé
School.

As previously, non-Government provided schools, early years settings, childminders and
private nurseries are being advised to do the same.

This means that the earliest that schools and colleges could reopen is Monday, 1 June after
the end of the Summer half-term break. This date will be kept under continuous review.
Early years settings, childminders and private nurseries, schools and colleges will continue to
provide places to support critical workers’ children and some vulnerable children throughout
this period.

During this next month of closure, the Children, Young People, Education and Skills
Department will be working with headteachers, trades unions and others to develop plans for the eventual phased safe return to childcare, schools and colleges of all children, pupils and students. This planning will, as with all decisions, be based on advice from health
professionals.

The Education Minister has also requested that, as part of the Government’s Safe Exit
planning, consideration is given as to whether over the coming four weeks the numbers of
children and young people attending early years settings, childminders and private nurseries
might be increased.

In a statement the Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “Firstly, I would like to
thank parents, carers and students for their understanding during this unsettling and difficult
period. I know that, as parent myself, these have been testing times but the feedback I have
received is that parents are doing a wonderful job home-schooling and our students are
working so hard on their learning.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank everyone in our childcare settings, schools and
colleges, and across the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department, for the
huge amount of work that has been undertaken to provide continuity of care and learning. I
am especially pleased with the support provided to pupils and students through online
platforms, email and other resources.

“For those students taking formal qualifications, I remain saddened that they will not be able
to undertake final examinations but am grateful for the commitment shown by teachers who
are undertaking additional assessments to support the revised process of assessment and
grading.”

The Education Minister has also provided an update on the ongoing work of the new project
team that has been set up to review the funding and fee issues related to nurseries, schools
and colleges.

Senator Vallois said: “I would like to thank parents and carers for continuing to pay fees and
for understanding the difficult position our fee-paying schools are facing. Continuing to pay
these fees is crucial to the sustainability of our schools and underpins the alternative on-line
learning and teaching arrangements that the schools and colleges have put in place.

“I recognise that there is a desire for normal service to resume as soon as possible and, for
that reason alone, we share a strong commitment to the ongoing viability of our schools.

“Appreciating the pressures that many family incomes are under, I am pleased to advise the
Boards of Governors of the Government-provided fee-paying schools have recommended
that previously approved fee increases, due to start from the autumn term, should not be
implemented. I have readily accepted this recommendation and, therefore, fees will be frozen
until the end of 2020, providing budgeting certainty and reduced costs for parents.

“The position for 2021 will be reviewed in due course as the longer-term implications of the
pandemic on schools becomes clearer.

The Minister added: “I understand and recognise that for some parents, the impact COVID-
19 will be having on personal finances and that paying fees may be increasingly difficult or
out of reach. Parents whose income is impacted should, in the first instance, contact their
school in the normal way for a confidential discussion. Our fee-paying schools have existing
hardship schemes and can discuss with parents how and when these can be accessed.

“To support these schools and parents, we are developing options that, if implemented, could
supplement the hardship funds already managed by schools should they become insufficient
to cater for demand. I will provide a further update on this work in a future announcement.”

 


20 April 2020

Dear Parents, Students and Staff, 

A very warm welcome back to the Victoria College community and I hope that you enjoyed a good, and more importantly, a safe Easter. It is a very surreal way to begin the Summer Term but I hope that by now our boys will have readjusted to working from home. In truth, Victoria College is absolutely not the same without its staff and pupils all together but I am very proud of the way in which everyone has responded to this difficult and unprecedented situation.

You will probably know by now that the Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, has stated publicly that all schools in Jersey will not return before 5 May and this will be reviewed on health advice.

I recognise that this is also an opportunity to innovate and to develop new skills and to engage in a variety of different learning. I am encouraged by the positive comments we received before Easter from parents and further information about our home learning package is provided below from our Assistant Head (Academic), Mr Crossley.

Over the course of the next week or so, we will be asking our pupils to complete a survey to understand how they have engaged with the home learning process and what we can do to improve this. We will also be asking our teachers to contact families to ensure that all is well, both from a pastoral and academic point of view.

Whilst writing, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome new colleagues to the College. We are delighted that we have now been joined by Mrs Lisa de Gruchy, who will be teaching Business Studies and co-ordinating our Trident programme; Mr Adam Warburton, who will be teaching Theatre Studies; and Mr Lee Evans who is our new Science Technician. They have joined us at an unusual time in the life of the College but they are warmly welcomed to our school community.

I will continue to keep the communication channels as fluid as possible and we will provide further information in our regular Friday newsletter.

With my best wishes to you and your families.

Alun D Watkins 
Headmaster


20 April 2020

Dear Parents, Students and Staff

A very warm welcome back to the Victoria College community and I hope that you enjoyed a good, and more importantly, a safe Easter. It is a very surreal way to begin the Summer Term but I hope that by now our boys will have readjusted to working from home. In truth, Victoria College is absolutely not the same without its staff and pupils all together but I am very proud of the way in which everyone has responded to this difficult and unprecedented situation.

You will probably know by now that the Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, has stated publicly that all schools in Jersey will not return before 5 May and this will be reviewed on health advice.

I recognise that this is also an opportunity to innovate and to develop new skills and to engage in a variety of different learning. I am encouraged by the positive comments we received before Easter from parents and further information about our home learning package is provided below from our Assistant Head (Academic), Mr Crossley.

Over the course of the next week or so, we will be asking our pupils to complete a survey to understand how they have engaged with the home learning process and what we can do to improve this. We will also be asking our teachers to contact families to ensure that all is well, both from a pastoral and academic point of view.

Whilst writing, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome new colleagues to the College. We are delighted that we have now been joined by Mrs Lisa de Gruchy, who will be teaching Business Studies and co-ordinating our Trident programme; Mr Adam Warburton, who will be teaching Theatre Studies; and Mr Lee Evans who is our new Science Technician. They have joined us at an unusual time in the life of the College but they are warmly welcomed to our school community.

I will continue to keep the communication channels as fluid as possible and we will provide further information in our regular Friday newsletter.

With my best wishes to you and your families.

Alun D Watkins 
Headmaster

 

20 March 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

It is with regret that I must inform you that Victoria College is to close to all pupils from Monday 23rd March, 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, here. 

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 3rd April. 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