Following the news yesterday, we know that schools will be closed until at least February half term with the exception of the provision for identified key workers and vulnerable students. We will, of course, let you know of any updates as we receive these.
We do understand that the idea of remote learning can cause anxiety for students and parents and we are keen to ensure that our provision is as good as it can be. We have learnt a lot since the last Lockdown and we have had the opportunity to teach students how to use the Google Classroom.
Your child is expected to engage fully with the remote learning which will be offered via the platform of the Google Classroom for all subjects. Students should log into their Google Classroom and check their Gmail accounts by 9am each morning. Students should then access the lesson resources and follow their normal timetable accordingly. We have asked staff to be available at the time when the lessons would be taking place allowing for interaction and questions where this is needed.
In terms of “live” and ‘semi-live’ video lessons, there will be a focus on year 11 and year 13 exam groups for the first week and then this will extend to other year groups as soon as possible. This may in some cases depend on staff remaining well and able to teach. We are expecting “live” lessons to take place for one in every three lessons timetabled for the class with that teacher. Where possible, staff across all subjects will also be producing more video lessons this time around. This means that staff will record themselves delivering the work and explaining instructions. We hope that this will make the work more engaging and accessible for all students. Students should be submitting work through the Google Classroom and class teachers will be offering feedback on this work and how to improve further.
Requests for help or any questions can be made during lessons via Google Classroom to the class teacher or via direct emails to staff. We can’t guarantee emails or questions outside of student’s lesson time will be answered immediately. We encourage students to be resilient and make use of resources such as the Knowledge Organisers (found via the school website under the Student Intranet) and revision guides etc accordingly. Completed work should be ‘handed in’ or ‘submitted’ via Google Classroom, so that teachers can then give feedback to students directly.
It is clear that following a routine and students following their normal timetable should have a positive impact on learners and enable staff to better support. Hopefully, it will also help you as parents by ensuring that the day has structure.
‘Live’ digital lessons will use Google Meet via students Google Classroom or an email link. Can we please remind students of the expectations for these -
- Microphone and camera should be turned off once the lesson/session has started and until invited to turn these on by the teacher. It is also possible to ask questions via the chat feature.
- Students should be appropriately dressed and in an indoor quiet, space conducive to learning. Students should have stationery and relevant books ready, with mobile phones turned off and away so that they can focus.
- Screen shots and all personal recordings are prohibited during the session, with all other school rules for behaviour and conduct expectations for a lesson adhered to.
Guides continue to be available on our website to support remote learning if required under the blended learning section.
If you do not have access to online materials and require paper copies of work then again please contact the school so this can be arranged. We are also currently in the process of allocating chrome books to students who do not have a device from which to access remote learning. Students can also access some of the work using other devices, such as tablets and mobile phones. Students who work on paper can take photos of their work and upload or email this to teachers.
If your child is expected to be in school but is unable to attend because of illness, please call the absence line (01603 485266) as early as possible. If your child has any symptoms of Covid 19 they should not attend school and should seek a free NHS test and self-isolate as per the government advice.
Year 11 and 13 mock results will be sent home as digital reports and Year 11 parents evening is expected to go ahead as a virtual meeting as planned. There will be more information on these events to follow. Year 11 and 13 students who should be sitting examinations in the summer, should continue to work hard and engage with all remote learning so that however they will be assessed, we know that they can achieve. As information is shared and confirmation around examinations and assessment is made, we will share with parents and students involved.
We appreciate it is a very unsettling and uncertain time and we will endeavour to keep you fully informed. It has been necessary to communicate frequently in the last few days and weeks, and we thank you for taking the time to read and respond to all of this communication.
Can we take this opportunity to thank you for your support as we appreciate remote learning is very challenging for the whole household. Please continue to take care and stay safe.
Assistant Head for Blended and Remote Learning