Dear Parents and Carers,

I am sorry to tell you that due to severely reduced staff numbers we are going to have to close Samuel Ward Academy to the majority of students from tomorrow until at least the end of this week. If you can keep your children at home, please do so. We will set work for all students via Go 4 Schools. Students will have an opportunity to collect books and folders from classrooms this afternoon. The art and photography GCSE exams next week and the A-level the week after will be postponed. We will advise you of the new times when we know them.

I realise that this will have serious implications for parents who cannot take time off work to provide childcare, including those of you performing crucial roles in the emergency services or NHS. For that reason, we will stay open for students who need to come here. We will not be able to provide normal lessons, but we will supervise students in completing the tasks that have been set for home learning. We will also offer sports and arts activities as far as we are able. The canteen will be open offering a reduced selection of hot and cold food.

For students who are going to stay away from school, I emphasise the importance of routine. I suggest that they get up in the morning as usual and sit down after breakfast to do the work they have been set. They should observe the advice about avoiding unnecessary social contact.

Students who are entitled to a free school meal and who continue to attend school will be able to get a meal here. There will be vouchers available in reception for students who are not attending school to spend elsewhere. I will share more details of that arrangement as I have them.

Students who continue to attend should come in PE kit or other sportswear. This arrangement will be in place for the remainder of this week and we will review the situation as it develops.

I have been communicating this week with other schools in Haverhill, particularly Castle Manor Academy, to try to coordinate our response to the public health crisis. We agree in what we want to be able to offer, but are at different stages in the effect the virus is having on us.   We have had to put in our contingency measures more quickly, but ultimately we are confident that the experience of a family in Haverhill will be very similar regardless of which school the children attend. I am sorry that we cannot at this time continue to provide the education we would like to for all of your children. I hope you will support us in doing what we think is best for our students, staff and community.

Please follow out twitter feed for updates - @SamWardAcad

Andy Hunter


Samuel Ward Academy

"The best way to predict the future... is to create it"

Currently reading Howards End by E.M.Forster