We hope that you are all continuing to remain safe and well during this challenging time for all. There are some moments of real joy and optimism that we hope you are all managing to share and enjoy via social media, TV programmes and other online platforms.
As we end the first week back of home-schooling for students we wanted to take the opportunity to offer support, guidance and clarity on expectations of students completing work, online tutor group check ins and staff feedback on work submitted.
Setting of work
Staff will continue to set work for students via our Edulink platform. This work will come in a variety of forms; project tasks, exam questions, extended writing and/or research tasks. Staff may upload daily, weekly or be setting work to cover a prolonged period of time and will make it clear when the expected deadlines are for work to be submitted. We all fully appreciate that there may be circumstances that make completing this work difficult at times so ask that you correspond directly with subject staff to clarify any concerns you may have.
For Year 10 students in particular there may be a higher volume of work than in other year groups as they are in the midst of their GCSE studies. It is crucial that this is completed and submitted to staff so that guidance can be given for improvements and next steps which will enable students to maintain necessary progress with their GCSE subjects. This guidance and feedback is likely to come from a specific piece of work rather than on all tasks set by staff for home learning.
A way to try and manage workload is to create a home-school timetable which we are sure many of you have already done. Please do not feel you have to replicate normal the school day and reach out to staff if you need any support with this.
There are also a great set of resources in English and Maths, as well as other core subjects, in an expanded version of the BBC Bitesize website and also on special programmes broadcast on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button. Try to use these resources to provide some variety with home learning. There have also been further resources released today which can be found by following the link here
The school closure period is, of course, an excellent opportunity to promote other worthwhile learning beyond just the school tasks that are set. It will be a chance to read books, to practise musical instruments, to learn new skills (in the kitchen, perhaps), or to explore other new aspects of learning, including beginning to investigate more advanced levels of study.
We have received some enquiries regarding the marking of students’ work and would like to remind you that many teaching staff are parents and home educating themselves therefore whilst some staff receiving students’ work to offer feedback , not all staff are in circumstances where this is possible. All staff will be aiming to acknowledge work submitted and issuing achievement points to recognise students efforts with their work.
Weekly check-in via Microsoft Teams
All parents received communication earlier this week explaining that we require all students to log-in to their online tutor group on Microsoft Teams at least once a week where they will be expected to complete a weekly ‘check in’. This will enable the form tutor to quickly identify any issues and give support as appropriate. This will ensure that communication between tutor and tutee remains strong (as the tutor is their first point of contact in school) and offers your child the opportunity to raise any concerns that the tutor can assist with. If your child does not respond to the weekly ‘check in’, we will email you and, if necessary, follow up with a phone call to ensure that all is well. Instructions on how to set up Microsoft Teams and for students to check-in has been emailed home and placed on our website. It is essential that we are able to make contact with students as part of our safeguarding responsibilities and we ask that parents support this process by encouraging students to check in weekly.
It is also vitally important to maintain the family’s well-being while children are at home; social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine, are important protective factors for our mental health. In the future, students will be returning to school and although there will undoubtedly be a new normal for us all to adapt to, a routine will have to be re-established that ensures good health and well-being. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible it is crucial that all students are trying to maintain this over the coming weeks/months.
We send all students, parents and carers our very best wishes.
Assistant Headteacher-Head of Upper School
Assistant Headteacher-Head of Lower School