Updates during COVID-19 Closure
Telephone and Web Support from EA for Young People
Update 20 May 2020
We intend to form a guard of honour along the main A4 road outside the school on Saturday at 11.00a.m. when the funeral cortege will be passing. We invite both current and former staff as well as pupils both past and present to take part in this. I would ask our current pupils to wear their school uniform if they are attending. We will be observing social distancing and ask everyone to stand 2m apart. This will mean so much to Mr Lambert's family especially under the very difficult circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 restrictions. It is our hope that this guard of honour will be a poignant visual mark of respect demonstrating our sincere appreciation of Mr Lambert's years of dedicated service and love of the school.
Mr Lambert always had a smile on his face and a kind word to say, he dearly loved the school and the local community of Fivemiletown. His legacy lives on in Fivemiletown College, a school at the heart of the community which is continuing to go from strength to strength. Our sincere sympathies go out to his wife Jean, son Jonathan, daughters Alison and Sharon, sons-in-law Matt and Adrian and granddaughters Eve and Erin.
"In thy presence is fullness of joy. At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16 v 11
Update 15 May 2020
I hope that all pupils, parents and members of our school family are well at this time. It is giving us all a glimmer of hope to see the number of Covid19 cases in Northern Ireland on a downward trend. I know that everyone is missing their friends and extended family members as the lockdown is extended but in order to ensure this downward trend continues to happen we must all keep abiding by the NI Executive advice to stay at home and save lives.
We are still uncertain as to whether or not schools will re-open before the Summer holidays, but it is looking increasingly unlikely. If that is the case, then our online teaching programme will continue until the end of this academic year. It is vital therefore that all our pupils are engaging with their teachers. We are currently considering how we will be reporting progress this term and will update parents on this in the near future. In the meantime, can I encourage parents to check in and ensure there is engagement between your child and their teachers and that they are submitting work as and when required.
Our teaching staff have also been busy working on the awarding of grades to senior pupils (GCSE, A Level and BTEC Level 2 and 3 qualifications.) Some pupils in Years 11 and 13 may still be required to complete work for BTEC qualifications and should be corresponding with their teachers regarding this.
No-one is denying that these are difficult times. We are all too aware that families are facing various challenges, please do not be afraid to ask for help. If any pupils require pastoral support please first and foremost contact your form teacher via email. If parents are struggling please don’t hesitate to email the school info account or telephone (our school phone is redirected to the school mobile and will be answered during school hours) and we will do our best to help. Although we are not all together in our school building, we remain as a school family and will continue to support each other through these very challenging times. Can I take this opportunity to publicly commend the Fivemiletown Coronavirus Response Group on all the wonderful work they are doing within the local community and surrounding areas. The difference you are making in the lives of so many is immeasurable, please keep up this excellent effort.
I wish you all a pleasant weekend, take care and look after each other.
Mrs J AllenPrincipal
Update 20 April 2020
Applications for Sixth Form
Last week all our pupils in Yr12 were sent an email from our Vice-Principal, Mr Clarke, regarding options for Yr13. You can see the content here, but Yr12 must check their school email to access attached documents. If anyone has any queries regarding joining our sixth form in September, they should contact us via the school email - email@example.com.
Update 19 April 2020
I hope you and your families are all safe and well and managed to make the most of the Easter period in these very challenging circumstances. I am particularly mindful of those who have family members ill at this time and those in the Fivemiletown College community who have lost dearly loved family members to Covid-19. Rest assured that those of you who are suffering are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.
The NI Assembly has announced a continuation of lockdown restrictions for another three weeks. Although it is difficult to remain at home and we are all undoubtedly missing our extended families and friends, it is imperative we observe these regulations and stay at home. A return to some normality may be hastened if we stick to the government's regulations.
On Thursday the Minister of Education made an announcement outlining how exam grades would be awarded to pupils in years 12 and 14. There was also a reference to pupils in years 11 and 13. This provides some clarity on how the grades will be awarded. I recommend you read this information for yourselves carefully. You can access it by clicking on the links below which takes you to the CCEA website and to the relevant documents which were published on Thursday.
As a staff we will shortly begin the process outlined by the Minister. All our efforts will be directed to ensuring that the grades pupils receive are as close to the grades they would in all likelihood have achieved if they had taken their exams in normal circumstances. In doing so our prime consideration will be that the final grades are as fair as possible to all pupils, accurate and take account of all available evidence at our disposal.
Please note that at the instruction of the Minister, the grades awarded by staff and the rank order placings must remain confidential and cannot be shared with pupils or parents. At this time the Minister's plans are that results will be issued on the already agreed dates in August i.e. A level results will be issued to pupils on 13th August and GCSE results will be issued to pupils on 20th August. At this time we are planning to run with normal careers appointments and interviews for sixth form but this will be subject to any restrictions in place at the time. We await final confirmation from the Department of Economy on the process re the awarding of grades for BTEC and other Vocational courses.
As a consequence of the Minister's announcement there will be no further online teaching for pupils in years 12 or 14, however our online learning programme begins again on Monday 20th April for all other pupils and I stress the importance of these pupils engaging with their subject teachers. It is critically important that pupils are involved in their learning programmes as much of it will contribute to next year. In particular I would draw to the attention of pupils in year 11 and 13 that teaching continues in their GCSE and A level subjects. In some subjects teachers will be starting next year's work now and it will not be possible to repeat it again in September therefore pupils must engage. Check in with all your teachers on Monday to find out what the situation is for you in each subject.
We may issue further guidance for senior pupils and parents if the necessity arises or if additional instructions are forthcoming from the Minister so please revisit our Facebook page/Twitter feed/this webpage frequently. I hope that the Minister's guidance clarifies the situation somewhat for pupils and parents and relieves some of the anxiety that has been understandably prevalent in your minds.
If you wish to speak to someone about any issues (including if you are a key worker and require supervision for your child) please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you.
Best wishes at this time, remember to stay at home and keep safe.
Update 8 April 2020
Update 3 April 2020
It's hard to believe we are now approaching what would have been the beginning of our Easter holidays. GCSE and A Level coursework deadlines would have been fast approaching and a final flurry of activity to make sure everything was completed to a high standard would have been in full swing.
How different it all is this year.
With regard to GCSE and A Level grading this Summer an announcement has been made by Ofqual this afternoon regarding how grades will be awarded in England. Please follow this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summer-2020. I have also received a letter from Justin Edwards (Chief Executive of CCEA) this afternoon stating,
"I am writing to you in relation to Ofqual’s announcement today regarding the awarding of GCSE and A level qualifications. The announcement outlined the arrangements for awarding in England and for those candidates, in Northern Ireland, who take their qualifications with other awarding organisations (AQA, Eduqas, OCR and Pearson). This information may be relevant for some of the subjects that you offer at your centre. For the CCEA qualifications that you offer, we have made considerable progress in finalising the options for the awarding of GCSE and GCE qualifications. These options will then be carefully considered by the Minister of Education."
This information therefore applies to students completing Pearson BTEC qualifications. For those who are undertaking GCSE and A Level CCEA courses, we await further clarity.
I have asked teachers to observe the Easter break with regard to school work. Therefore, pupils, parents and teaching staff please move your focus away from school work over the next two weeks. I would encourage you to put your efforts into enjoying family time together, appreciating how little we actually need and keeping in touch with those who you know are living on their own or who are struggling through these uncertain times.
Thank you to all those who continue to share your lovely pieces of work and experiences with us, whether that be school related or not. They are wonderful to see and help us all to stay connected.
Please everybody, although the weather may be improving, do not be tempted to meet up with friends or go out unnecessarily. Continue to follow the guidance to stay at home and stay safe.
Update 28 March 2020
As we end our first week of sailing through unchartered waters I'd like to commend pupils, parents and teachers for their engagement in this very different remote learning environment. This relatively new concept, I am proud to say, has been readily embraced by our school community. It has been encouraging to see the high level of engagement from our pupils and thank you to parents for ensuring this has happened. Thank you to the teaching staff for your continued efforts and engagement with all classes.
It has been heartening this week to see some of the fabulous work completed by our talented pupils, some much welcomed positivity during these difficult days. Please keep contributing and sharing these wonderful pieces.
I would like to remind all students that your welfare, even though we are no longer in school, is still of paramount importance. If you have any pastoral concerns Form Teachers, Year Heads, Designated Teachers for Child Protection and other pastoral staff are all available to be contacted via email.
To our Year 12 and Year 14 students, we are aware that this has been a very abrupt and unexpected end to your time here in school. God willing, when we come out the other side of all this, we can come together and celebrate your time in school the way it should have been done. Rest assured we are all thinking about you and will continue to support you as you move towards the next phase of your education/career. In relation to GCSE and A Level exams, the guidance is not yet available regarding how final grading will be decided. The latest advice received from CCEA on Friday afternoon stated "learners should be working towards completing their programme of study and further updates will be provided as soon as possible." In light of this, it is important to stress that you should continue to fully engage with teachers via remote learning in order to ensure courses are complete.
For students who are entitled to free school meals information regarding Free School Meals payments can be sourced via this link www.education-ni.gov.uk. Our school remains open to support the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils also. A text message was sent to parents this afternoon to contact the school info account should they wish to avail of this service. We would request that parents give us 24 hours advance notice of this.
Although we are not together in the same building, we remain connected as a school family. I am incredibly proud of the way our school community has responded to the current crisis. From embracing remote learning to volunteering in the local community our school family has come together to support one another in a wonderful way. Thank you to everyone. Take care, stay at home and stay safe.
Update 27 March 2020
A text message was sent to all parents stating that our school will remain open for children of key workers. Parents have been requested to contact the school via the school info account, email@example.com, to request this service (giving 24 hours notice.). A Social Media post over the weekend will remind parents to check that their children have access to their My-School page. Once here they can access school email, My Files and Google Classroom. The guide sheet is available under Update Friday 13 March. Pupils are reminded to use their school @c2ken.net accounts for accessing all school related materials, and for communicating with teachers.
Update 20 March 2020
The Minister for Education has outlined how schools will support key workers in the ongoing fight against Coronavirus from Monday 23rd March.
We aim to help parents who are critical in the fight against Covid-19. In order to support them it is vitally important that we are made aware how many children (who are in Years 8, 9 and 10) of key workers will be attending school on Monday morning.
With this in mind, if you are an identified key worker, please make contact with us here in school by 3pm today (Friday 30th March) via phone on 02889521279 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note this is aimed directly at children with BOTH parents working as key workers and both parents out at work at the same time (in single parent families the individual parent must be a key worker.)
If possible, alternative childcare arrangements should be sought before deciding to send your child to school in order to try and limit the number of children and adults together in a small place in line with recent social distancing guidance. We will also be limited to normal opening and closing times (8.55a.m. – 3.20p.m.)
Please see list below to help clarify who key workers are:
Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.
Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.
Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.
Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.
Utilities, communication and financial services
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.
Update 18 March 2020
I would like to begin by thanking you all for your support and understanding during these challenging times.
In light of the announcement from the First Minister this evening, school will be open tomorrow for pupils in Years 11-14 only. Teachers will be available throughout the day to provide support and guidance to pupils regarding future work to be undertaken.
Can I thank those pupils who came in to complete their GCSE Art examination and Science Practical today.
We will keep in contact with you all via Google Classroom, email and the school messaging service. If you have any queries please contact us via the school office or email using the school info account.
We will endeavour to keep you updated with regards to how GCSE and A Level pupils will be assessed when we receive more detailed information.
Update Friday 13 March
In preparation for remote learning, all pupils were given this guide sheet on how to access My-School, school email and Google Classroom.
CoronaKindness at FMT
Each pupil in school on Wednesday was given a sheet with two postcards that will allow them to show kindness to others in their community.
You can view our calendar month by month, or click here for a pdf version.
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook: