Meet Tom. He is 20 years old, lives in Kent, and is a former student of Trinity School & College in Rochester.
Prior to joining Trinity, Tom started to struggle with generalised anxiety linked to attending school. In order to avoid the trigger, he stopped attending and in total missed about two years of schooling. As well as losing his self-confidence during this time, Tom also lost contact with all his friends.
He says, "I'm not a great lover of school. The current education system is outdated for the modern world but my mum knew I had to get back into education and she fought to secure my place at Trinity".
Roll on two years and Tom found himself totally settled and relaxed in his place at Trinity. He credits the school's approach as key to ensuring he could thrive there. He says, "for a start, Trinity isn't based in some massive building, it's smaller and more personal. Year groups are small too and they're geared up to help the individual by putting emphasis on supporting an individual's own interests and what they're suited to."
In Tom's case this was identifying and building on his interest in photography, specifically photographing the emergency services and their vehicles. He says that the school's supportive acknowledgement of his specialist interest allowed him to feel comfortable and to forge his own path.
Tom completed his Trinity education, gaining qualifications in Maths, English and ICT, as well as developing his photography and creative areas. In addition, he praises Trinity's input around life skills and the emphasis they put on developing social skills and resilience. This resilience, he says, allows him 'to confront difficult and challenging situations head-on, to own them and cope with them in a way that no longer allows fear to own my life'.
After leaving Trinity, Tom secured his dream job with the London Ambulance Service. Working as part of the A&E Ops team, Tom is part of the crew conveying patients. He responds to 999 and 111 calls dealing with situations as varied as mental health care crisis, to end of life care.
He thrives on being able to help people and feels that his own experiences are hugely beneficial in him being able to do a good job. He says, "Because of my own journey, I have empathy for all sorts of situations. I understand that my patients feel at their most vulnerable, and having been there myself, I feel so privileged to be able to help in some small way".
Having worked on the front line throughout the pandemic, anyone would forgive Tom for wanting to relax a little in the coming months but no, he has his sights set on his longer term career with the Ambulance Service, gaining new qualifications, moving up through the ranks, learning new skills and, he hopes, securing the role of Assistant Ambulance Practitioner in time.
From being unable to attend school, to planning the next steps in his career in just a few short years, Tom is an inspiration. "People will try to hold you to your limitations, but allowing yourself to rise above this is so important. I like telling my story and if it can help or inspire just one other person, then I'd be very happy".
Tom continues to invest time in his photography interest and is proud to say that some of his pictures have been used by the Communications Team of the London Ambulance Service on their website, social channels and in their publications. Tom also runs his own YouTube channel where he broadcasts content linked to emergency service vehicles and response. He has over 26,000 subscribers and some of his videos have attracted over a million views.
I know the last thing any of us wanted to consider was that we would still be in grips of the coronavirus some 9 months after the first lockdown, but here we are. So now together we have the responsibility to keep each other safe and for Trinity to continue to provide the best educational and well-being support possible. Boris Johnson supported by his advisors have recognised that schools are ‘vectors for transmission’ and we need to support the national lockdown in ensuring that the Trinity working and learning community minimises risks for everyone. Whilst we are adamant that the educational provision is important, nothing is more important than the health and well-being
of us all. Without this, the benefits of any other achievement is severely compromised.
I appreciate that the challenges of the new restrictions will be different for us all but the need to support the valiant efforts of the NHS and care teams, to save lives and indeed to show a community spirit of care and support for our fellow man, has never been so important. So as we enter the new national restrictions let’s keep in our mind that our decision making is focused on reducing the spread of the virus and to keep all who work, learn and are stakeholders in our Trinity community safe.
Term 3 Plans
Attendance at Trinity from the 11th January will
be on an individual basis for those who continue to need the support of Trinity throughout this lockdown and will be managed by application from parents and carers weekly through the Head of School or the Head of College.
allow access to virtual learning within Trinity only in limited numbers of bubbles and not in current class or tutor bases.
be via a regime of testing which will happen on every third consecutive day of attendance or in circumstances of partial attendance on the first day of returned attendance. Consent from parents or over 16 year olds will be needed for us to implement the testing in order to safeguard all those who attend Trinity during the lockdown period.
If consent for testing is withheld, there will be a non-tested bubble for these learners which will be manned with staff in full PPE in accordance with our risk assessments of ensuring safe working practice for our employees as stipulated within Employment Law. We understand fully that students may have the consent of parents to be tested but find the process traumatic in Trinity. If this is the case, students will be allowed to enter the non-tested bubble of learners for the week.Organising Attendance at Trinity Attendance at Trinity will be booked weekly on a priority basis for key worker students and vulnerable LAC learners. However, at any point parents who had
previously not wished to have Trinity based attendance with learning, can be considered for placements as well as the senior leadership team taking into account the changing needs of the first cohort of elected attendee learners. We will need to continue with this process due to the planning, preparation for students and indeed availability of staff at any given time within this lockdown which might limited places available for each day/week. The number of places available may change according to staffing numbers. Parents/Carers can
nominate for their child to attend on a part time basis (e.g. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) with virtual learning making up the educational provision for Thursday and Friday. This will provide a mixture of supported in Trinity education, open access to face to face support with mental health, wellbeing and indeed provide an effective transition to a phased return to education.
Please talk to Mrs Georgina Moorcroft or Mr Thomas Furnell when you feel that this is part of the support package you might like from Trinity. It is our hope that we can continue to offer the students who have request in Trinity education, consistently during the lockdown period and to support with phased returns for others.
Action by parents and carers around attendance:
1. To communicate with Mrs Georgina Moorcroft or Mr Thomas Furnell weekly by the Wednesday on attendance provision for the following
week. This needs to be done by those currently attending Trinity and those who would like to start a reintegration/phased return.
2. To advise Trinity of emergency contact information and arrangements for collection from Trinity is your child has a temperature; has a positive result for the COVID19 testing in the Trinity or has become ill.
3. To not send their child to Trinity if they have been ill within the past 48 hours.
4. To accept that students will need to go onto the virtual learning platform from home if they do not follow reasonable requests from teachers or place others at risk of increasing potential transmission of the virus.
The Virtual Learning Programme
Students attending Trinity will access the same virtual learning programme as those studying at home. Weekly reports on engagement and achievement will be emailed to parents whether attending at a Trinity or learning from home. All students are encouraged to bring a reading book, and some table top activities that they can complete when they have completed their learning objectives. This is particularly important for those in Key Stage 2 and 3. Students within Key Stage 4 and 5 are encouraged to bring a reading book but will also have access to past Functional Skills and Vocational challenges which they will be asked to complete in line with their own personalised learning
The Trinity Arrangements during the initial weeks of Lockdown
All students attending Trinity will have their temperature taken on arrival.
All classes will be set up in the College which provides larger classrooms reducing the risk of transmission.
Students will be tested twice a week depending on their days within Trinity.
Students will not be with their tutor groups.
Pastoral Responsibilities, Wellbeing and Safeguarding
We might be back to facing the toughest of restrictions, but Trinity is committed to continuing to provide education, well-being support and safeguarding for allenefit of parents, carers and students, to meet our responsibilities as an our students. To this end, all students and families will be contacted by members of the safeguarding and/or well-being teams weekly, together with a contact from your child’s tutor. This communication is to assure Trinity that the family and most importantly the student is continuing to manage within the current restrictions. It is important to add here that this communication is for the beducational provision and to maintain harmony and pleasant working relationships. Please be aware of our safeguarding responsibilities by viewing our safeguarding policy on our website
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If at any point parents feel that Trinity’s contact with the family is become obtrusive or overwhelming, please rely this information to the Head of School or the Head of College only, and this can then be addressed in the most sensitive and supportive way.
Taxis will need to be informed of your requirements for transport to and from Trinity. It is highly recommended that to reduce the risk of transmission, that masks are worn by students as previously recommended within this transport provision. I am aware that some students have exceptions. During the initial lockdown period, Taxis need to drop students at the front of the college, where they will be met by staff who are working within Trinity to support those who will be attending. At the end of the day students will need to be collected from the
college at 3.00 p.m.
Parent/Carer collection in the case of illness, a positive test or a failure to follow reasonable instructions resulting in increased risk of virus
If you are called upon to collect your child, we ask that you do this as quickly as possible in order to minimise the risk of any transmission to others. Students will be placed in quarantine until collection which needs to be from Trinity College. Parents will be asked to wear a mask when entering the college site, as well as maintaining a two metre space when speaking with staff. You will be advised of the recommended the next potential date to return to Trinity depending on the reasons for the student leaving the college site.
As we enter this third national lockdown, I’d like to remind you all that no one linked to Trinity is alone, support is available whether that be a friendly voice to speak to on the phone, to helping with any issues or concerns facing your family. This is a time for us to come together to work harmoniously and to focus on the best for your child and your family, protecting each other from the virus and in order to emerge from this lockdown stronger in our collaborative and consultative arrangements. My heart goes out to you all and I ask that you protect yourself and your loved ones.
Stay safe and stay in touch.