What we (kind of) know:
- Students will not be returning to school until at least February
- Some form of restrictions may continue beyond this and education may not return to normal until the summer term or beyond.
- The government are focusing on getting the vulnerable members of society vaccinated so that we can start moving back towards ‘normal' life.
- The summer exams have been cancelled for all Year 11 and 13 students; they are to be replaced by teacher assessments. Currently we do not know what this means or what will be required from us as a school. The government are going to consult the profession on their ‘plan B' options in due course – experience tells us that this is likely to take a while and that we might not know until Easter what is required of us or of these students.
- We will continue to focus on quality input.
- We will continue to progress through the curriculum making decisions on what content is best to deliver remotely on a subject by subject basis.
- We will be holding regular live Zoom meetings with all students.
- We will be providing regular meaningful feedback to all students.
- We will provide an average of 5 hours of remote learning each day for all students (slightly more will be expected of our Year 12 and 13 students)
What is expected of my child?
We expect all students to:
- Login to form time and assemblies each morning at 8.50am
- Engage with the work set for them each week and to upload their work as directed, meeting the deadlines set by the subject teachers.
- Try their hardest to complete their work to the best of their ability, making sure that where they are provided with answers, that they mark their own work.
- Let their normal class teacher know if there is any reason at all that they cannot meet the deadline set via email or Showbie.
What do hope parents will do?
- Stay positive and encourage your child through praise and reward.
- Ensure they are set up for each day and that they know what they need to do and when.
- Check in with them later in the day and ask them to share something they are particularly proud of from the time they have spent working in the morning; let them talk you through it whilst you listen and ask questions.
- Give your child at least 10 minutes of undivided attention each day; a time where there is no technology around, no mobile phones, a time to talk or just to walk it doesn't matter; time spent with you where they know you aren't rushing to do something else is unmeasurable in its value.
Why should we keep up a school-like routine at home?
Keeping a daily routine, maintaining some form of exercise, and making time for reading all have significant benefits to mental health and well-being. We would strongly encourage your child to follow their normal school timetable – if they get out of a routine it is going to much harder for them to establish one gain. They will have zoom lesson scheduled starting with form time or an assembly every morning at 8.50am; they should be up, dressed, have had breakfast and set up to work in a suitable location by this time. Where possible, work alongside your child. For example, if you are working from home then set up a desk where you can both work independently but together.
How will work be set for my child?
Your child should be following their school timetable every day. Teachers will be populating their Outlook calendar (accessible via their iPads or online at office365.com). Each day your child will be expected to login to Form time with their tutor and then every lesson throughout the day to be registered. There will be a mixture of Zoom lessons where the teachers teach them via Zoom for up to 40 minutes and periods where teachers set the students off on an independent task once the class has been registered. Subjects will be moving forwards with the curriculum as appropriate.
The timings of the school day are as follows – these are the times that your child will be expected to join a lesson via Zoom to be registered.
8.50am - Form Time
9:15am - Period 1
10.05am - Period 2 (Year 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13)
10.20am - Period 2 (Year 8 and 11)
11.15am - Period 3
12.05pm - Period 4 (predominantly lunch for Year 7, 8 and 9 although some times they will have late lunch)
12.55pm - Period 5 (Year 10 and 11 lunch)
1.45pm - Period 6
2.35pm - Period 7
3.25pm - End of the school day – all Zoom lessons will finish by this time
Will my child be given feedback on their work?
It is our aim to provide all students with regular feedback to ensure that their hard work is being recognised and any misconceptions addressed. This feedback will happen in a wide variety of ways both during the Zoom lessons and of work that is uploaded. Please note that it may not be immediate – teachers will do their best to give feedback as quickly as possible after the work has been uploaded but it is important to remember that they are also working under challenging circumstances and sometimes there might be a delay.
Teachers will be proving feedback via Showbie as well as virtually in online meetings.
How can I motivate my child?
Now that we into lockdown number 3, it's starting to feel a bit like Groundhog day! Thankfully it is only the second lockdown in which your child has not been able to attend school! The truth is that at times motivating ourselves let alone our children can be really challenging. But, as this continues, it becomes increasingly important for them to focus and engage with their learning on a daily basis. Routine, structure and discipline will help.
The very best way to motivate your child is to try and keep the lines of communication open between you and your child – the best way to do this is by having positive conversations with them every day. Ask them what they are proud of; find something that they are interested from the work that has been set and spend time exploring it with them. It is about the language you use – instead of asking them “what have you done today?” try “Show me something you're proud of that you did today?”… instead of saying “you can't play on your X-box now you've got work to do” try “How about you get this work done and then you can play on your X-Box for an hour”… The difference are very subtle but it makes a huge difference.
Back in July we ran two webinars for parents – links to them are below as many elements are relevant again this time round.
Try the 10 minute rule – this is something that Mr GH talked about a lot in his weekly videos throughout lockdown 1 and it really does work so please encourage your child to give it a go!
I'm incredibly proud of my child, what can I do?
My child has special educational needs, how will they be supported?
For all other students with special educational needs, the learning support department are working hard to support your child with their learning. They are doing this in various different ways for example by leaving voice notes and comments within Showbie; and making direct contact with parents where necessary, setting up 1:1 zoom meetings and being present in their live lessons. Please encourage your child to engage with these and use the help that is available. However, as I am sure you will appreciate, it is not easy to support the students remotely and at times. It is likely that your child will continue to need additional support from you or another adult / older sibling so that they can access the work.
If you are concerned about your SEND child then please get in touch directly with Mrs Hughes via email (email@example.com)
I'm concerned about the increase in screen time
Ultimately there isn't much that we can do about this. In order to keep the students moving forwards in their learning and engaging in lessons we need to keep them working in the structure of the school day and this means using their iPads or another computer in the household. There will be a mixture of learning throughout the day and some lessons will simply require registering via Zoom followed by an independent task that doesn't require a computer.
We would recommend that they do not spend their lunch time looking at a screen! Please also encourage your child to have a change of scenery and get some fresh air in the middle of the day if they can. Equally, at 3.25pm for at least an hour they should be walking away from screens ideally to get some fresh air and exercise.
The member of the School Leadership Team who is responsible for the remote learning provision is Anna Dwyer (Deputy Head). If you have any questions you can contact her via email on firstname.lastname@example.org