We have worked hard to refine our remote learning offer, based on our experience of the first lockdown and the past term. Your child’s education will be as close to in-person learning as possible. It includes Personal Development sessions, assemblies as well as a full timetable of subject-specific sessions. 

We will continue to connect with the school community and deliver the curriculum at home through ‘live’ lessons. We expect students to spend between 7 – 8 hours learning each day, including breaks, lunch and homework. All students should use Teams (via Office 365) to access curriculum work set by their teachers and this can be accessed via the JQA app or via students’ school email.  

For more information on the JQA app and home learning guides, please see the online support and equipment section of the website – in this section you also find information about equipment and devices.

We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We aim support those pupils who are unable to access the online learning. If you require a ‘loan laptop’ you can request one on the Forms section of the JQA app. If you require technical support to access live learning, call 0121 729 7220.

You’ll also find more information on the Student Info section of the app including a guide to using Microsoft Teams: 


Live learning timetables 

All students follow a live learning timetable at Virtual JQA.

These timetables are below and on the Virtual JQA section of our mobile app.

It is essential that students have:

  • downloaded the JQA App (search Piota schools on app store)
  • all their usernames and passwords (here)

You can also find much more in the ‘Student Info’ section of the app.


JQA App 

The JQA app is very useful for parents, it provides work for students, contact details of key staff, as well as updates and any latest news. To access:   

  • search ‘Piota School’ in any app store and then install  
  • search for the school and allow updates and notifications. 

The app also provides easy links to learning activities in the ‘Student Info’ and ‘Virtual JQA’ sections.  


Teams Assignments and School Email  

The teachers have set up class groups in Microsoft Teams and will set work via Assignments in Teams groups which can be accessed via Office 365. This will require students to log-in to their school email. Students will also enable you to communicate with teachers during the school shutdown by using this email. Downloading Microsoft Outlook on your phone is one way to do this.  

The email address is the year student joined the school, their surname and first letter of their first name. The password is the same password used to log-in to the computer at school. E.G Joe Bloggs in Year 11 would be: [email protected]  

If you are unsure, you can call the school on 0121 729 7220 or request a password reset via the ‘Forms’ section of the app. 

A full guide to accessing Teams for parents can be found here: 


Equipment  

CORE Education Trust is committed to ensuring every student has access to a laptop or tablet device so that they can continue to receive high quality education.  Should you need to borrow a device for this period please get in touch and arrangements will be made for you to collect a laptop from school.  If you do not have access to internet connection we will support you. Please call the Academy on 0121 729 7220.


Questions & Troubleshooting 

If your child experiences difficulties with logging into Microsoft Teams or you have any general questions about online learning, please contact us by:   

  • calling the school on 0121 729 7220 between 8:00am and 4:00pm   
  • emailing us at [email protected]    
  • alerting a senior member of staff immediately by using the Sharp System link on the JQA App 

We understand the stress and anxiety that students and parents will be experiencing. Tutors will continue to keep a close eye on students’ resilience and wellbeing. We have excellent pastoral care in place for any student who requires it. Should you have any concerns about your child’s welfare, please do not hesitate to contact their tutor to discuss any additional support we can provide. You can also contact the Wellbeing team via email:

Your email will only go to the staff in this team: Mrs K Lowbridge, Miss Hanley & Mrs Lloyd.

The emails are checked between 9:00am and 3:30pm weekdays, during Term Time.


Free School Meal Vouchers 

If your son / daughter is eligible for Free School Meals, then you will have received an email from Edenred. The amount issued will be enough for four weeks. Please contact Reception on 0121 729 7220 if you are experiencing any difficulties or to update us with your contact details. 

Check whether you are eligible and make an application for free school meals here:

https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/birmingham


Parents and carers supporting home learning 

We know as parents and carers it can be difficult to know how best to support your child. Here are some quick tips for supporting your child outside of the virtual school day:  

  • ensure they are online for tutor time at 8.30 each morning
  • know your child’s timetable and ensure they stick to it
  • ask them about assignments set and what they still have left to complete
  • encourage them to use the screen breaks and plan their day to get lunch at the designated time
  • make some time for practical activities, such as arts and crafts, exercise in the afternoon 

Remember, you are not alone, many parents are facing the same challenges. Gov.UK provides some detailed guidance on the website.


Outside of the school community there are several support services available to students and parents:  

YoungMinds provide help and advice on mental health for both children and their parents. 

Every Mind Matters provides expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. 

For foodbanks visit Find Foodbanks Brum

Kooth is an online chat and resources website providing direct help for 10 – 25yr olds.  

For both our mental health and physical wellbeing it is important we keep moving over the coming months.  

We invite students and parents to take part in CORE Educations Trust’s daily 25-minute fun fitness films. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the films offer a wonderful way to stay active. You can access the films via our YouTube channel:

What’s more, we’re delighted to be able to offer students and parents access to Les Mills BORN TO MOVE programme. These Netflix-style fun-filled screen-based classes incorporate a range of movement patterns – including strength, stretching, martial arts, core, dance, yoga and mindfulness – designed to support physical literacy, confidence and self-esteem. 

To access the Les Mills platform visit:

If you are not shielding or self-isolating, taking the time to go outside for your daily exercise is also great idea. There are several resources online which provide ideas around exercising outdoors, whether it is a high intensity work out in the garden or a walk around the block. 

Whilst the majority of our students will be learning remotely, we are providing school provision to vulnerable and key worker families.  

If you need to access this provision, please email our Lead DSL: [email protected]

Students who are on site will be accessing their live learning timetables using devices and headphones, supervised by pastoral staff.

Full information around vulnerable children and who is classed as a key worker can be found on the Government website.

If your circumstances have changed and you qualify as a key worker, please contact the school:  

Alongside JQA online lessons, there are several external websites that can help to extend and enrich student learning. Please see below for available resources.


Echo Eternal Horizons Festival

7th January – 27th January 2021

Be the light in the darkness

Throughout January, Echo Eternal present Horizons 21, a festival that partners schools and community groups with survivors of the Holocaust, who share their personal testimonies to engage pupils and communities directly with living history. Using live performance, exhibition and film, the participants then create ‘echoes’ – creative pieces that pay tribute to these survivor testimonies.

Tune in and see some of the work that JQA have produced on the festival website. Find out more here:


Cooking with your family from Mellors

The pack provides a range of healthy recipes for the whole family to cook and eat together, including ideas for hosting your own theme day and staying active.
Engaging children in learning at home can be a challenge but cooking can be a great way to incorporate all sorts of learning and development of new skills with the added bonus that the family also get a nice tasty meal at the end.

Find your family cook book here:

It’s important that we continue to communicate. We have number of ways for students and parents to stay connected.

Students and parents/carers should ensure they have downloaded the Piota Schools JQA app to stay in touch with all the latest news from the school and access supporting documents and information.

Students’ form tutors will be in touch with students and families, if the Virtual Tutor Time is not accessed each morning.

The Sharp System enables students to quickly alert a senior leader if they require support.

Students and families should call the school on 0121 729 7220 between 8:00am and 3:00pm if they require support or email [email protected]

Please note: we are updating our phone system to ensure the facility to leave messages is available, if the phone lines are busy.


For pastoral care, students and parents can email the Student Welfare team:
[email protected]

Miss K Lowbridge, Miss Hanley & Mrs Lloyd

Your email will only go to the staff in this team.

The emails are checked between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm weekdays, during Term Time.

Here you will find the most recent and up to date home communications.


Dear Parent/Carer,


We are always reflecting on how our students can get the very best possible provision at JQA. You may have seen the recent announcement from the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, regarding the expected levels of ‘live’ learning parents and carers should expect of schools in England. In late December, the provision to learn remotely was shared with Year 8 and 9 who had to remain at home and this offer was then extended to all students who have been learning from home from 5th January via Microsoft Teams.


This initial offer was a platform to provide effective live learning to all students in the short term as we expected students to return to the Academy shortly – but with national restrictions coming into force and students remaining at home, we are now in a position to strengthen our live learning provision for students to enable them to make more progress in
the long term whilst they continue to be away from JQA. Our expert staff continue to enhance their practice in delivering remote learning, supported by excellent professional development from our Senior Leadership Team, and clear expectations of how to best deliver remote learning.

Key Changes:
We are sharing revised timetables for live learning via Microsoft Teams for all year groups, beginning on Monday 11th January. We have reviewed the latest research and evidence from the Education Endowment Foundation to guide our practices. The changes will see:


• Students in KS3 taught in their class teaching groups (in most cases) instead of whole-year group teaching – this will enable closer support, more effective teaching and more opportunities for independent practice with support and feedback for our students


• Regular screen breaks built into the timetable for students and staff to support visual health and promote a culture of looking after ourselves

• Standard lesson timings and routines for all students at the Academy, including ‘whole academy’ assemblies led by senior staff on a Tuesday morning at 8.30am.


• A ‘flexible’ 2pm slot to give students in Years 7-10 the opportunity to complete assignments or do other assigned personal development sessions such as CCF or CORE Leaders of Tomorrow; Year 11 will have Accelerate sessions and also the opportunity to do Careers-focussed sessions too

From Monday 11th January 2021 – Virtual JQA Revised timetables for all years will be in place to support progress in the longer term.
Students should go to the correct Teams group for their scheduled lesson at correct time. In combined groups, students can easily click on the links in the timetables to find the Team.


These timetables can be found for each year group on our website link here: https://www.jewelleryquarter.academy/home-learning/
All students will have their individual timetables emailed to their school email account and can also find them on the JQA app.


We will also enhance and further develop our website, creating an extensive microsite dedicated to our Virtual Academy. This will help students and parents navigate more easily through our full package of online learning and support. We will let you know when this is launched.
As always, if you need technical support, you can call the Academy between 8am and 4pm on 0121 729 7220 and work with our superb IT technician, Mr A. Shabir.

Technology Requests
We have published a guide for all parents and carers on how to use Microsoft Teams to support their child with live learning. We are working hard to ensure all JQA students have access to technology. Please use the Form on the JQA app to request a laptop if you have limited or no access to devices.


We have been encouraged by the start our students have made to learning safely from home and we are sure our strengthened offer of live learning, combined with our efforts to support families with access and technology will enable more students to make superb progress whilst they continue to learn from home.

Stay safe; stay in touch.


Yours faithfully,
Mr J Barton


We teach the same curriculum remotely as we do in school wherever possible and appropriate. However, we have needed to make some adaptations in some subjects to combine classes and have them taught by subject experts.

Secondary school-aged pupils not working towards formal qualifications this year:

Four timetabled live lessons plus a 30-minute session on personal development each morning.

Secondary school-aged pupils working towards formal qualifications this year:

Five timetabled live lessons plus a 30-minute session on personal development each morning.
We use Microsoft Teams to deliver live lessons and set assignments for independent work. All students have a username and password to www.office.com.
We recognise that some pupils may not have suitable online access at home. We take the following approaches to support those pupils to access remote education:
  • The pastoral team, led by AHT (Respect) collaborate with families who make requests via phone for laptops or via a form on the JQA app.
  • We identify where there are internet-access issues through welfare checks and address these through our IT technician with oversight from AHT (Respect)
  • Families (via welfare checks) can make requests for additional printed materials to be sent home.
  • We encourage all to be able to get online and submit assignments so they can receive appropriate feedback on their work.
We use a combination of the following approaches to teach pupils remotely:
  • live timetabled teaching (online lessons via Microsoft Teams)
  • websites such as EdLounge, Seneca and MathsWatch
  • textbooks and reading books pupils have at home
  • printed paper packs produced by teachers (e.g. workbooks, worksheets)
  • We record attendance at each live lesson, and we alert parents to any absence at the end of each day. Where work is not completed to a sufficient standard, parents/carers can expect to be contacted by their child’s teacher(s).
  • Where we have concerns over attendance or engagement that are persistent, parents/carers can expect pastoral staff to be in phone contact and collaborate with parents/carers and the child address barriers. If persistent disengagement continues, following significant intervention, we will class the child as ‘vulnerable’ and will insist they join students on site safely to ensure they don’t miss out on further learning.
Feedback can take many forms and may not always mean extensive written comments for individual children.
Students receive a range of feedback – ‘live feedback’ and ‘whole class feedback’ as well as self-assessment via quizzes, for example. Feedback is given frequently and appropriately in line with the sequences of learning.
We expect all ‘self-isolating’ students to be in touch with their teachers via Microsoft Teams so they can receive directions on assigned work and learning to remain at pace with learners who are on site. We also encourage students to use EdLounge to complete additional topic-related activities to support with this.
The most important aspect is to communicate with their teaching staff regularly to receive direction and support.

This is outlined in our Remote Learning Policy.
  • We expect all students to be ready and online for virtual Tutor Time at 08:30am and to actively participate in all live lessons, following their online timetable and abiding by the clear expectations of online etiquette for live lessons.
  • We expect parents to ensure their child is ready, respectful and safe, abiding by our etiquette and code of conduct in the appendices in our Behaviour Procedures on the Academy website.
  • We expect parents/carers to pro-actively collaborate with us to resolve barriers to accessing live lessons.
  • We expect parents/carers to familiarise themselves with the guides and timetables we have put online to support them to help their child continue to learn.
  • We expect parents and carers to ensure they and their child abide by the national ‘Stay At Home’ restrictions in place.