I am delighted to share with you the outcome of our recent virtual Ofsted Inspection, which focused on how we had adapted our teaching and learning to support students during the first lockdown and subsequent return to school. Although it does not give a graded judgement, it nevertheless recognises the significant support that we have put in place for students to ensure that, as far as possible, they are not disadvantaged by the disruption that they have experienced in the last year.
Remote Learning – Support
We will be delivering remote learning to all students following our normal school timetable. Lessons will follow broadly the same framework as lessons in school: an introduction which focuses on retrieval and recall of previous knowledge, direct instruction by the teacher and a substantial period of independent work by students. All lessons will end with a final review, including the use of MS Forms to enable students to complete an exit ticket from the lesson. We are working hard to ensure that all students have access to devices to enable them to learn remotely and I would like to draw your attention to some alternative ways that your child can access our lessons.
- If your child has access to a games console (e.g. Xbox or Playstation) or smart TV, they can use the browser to login to MS Teams.
- Xbox – in apps, find Microsoft Edge, type in Office 365 and login as if you were at school
- PlayStation – identify the PlayStation browser (www with dots around it), press the PlayStation logo on the controller, go to the library and find the options for apps, find the internet browser, type in Office 365 and login as if you were in school
- Smart TV – follow the instructions to access the internet browser, type in Office 365 and login as if you were at school
- We have a number of keyboards available which can be plugged into your console/TV, or these are widely available for less than £10.
- The Department for Education has announced a scheme by all the major mobile providers in which your child can register for unlimited data during the lockdown period. If you do not have fixed broadband in your home and cannot afford additional mobile data, please contact us and we can apply for your child to be registered for the scheme.
If you have any devices that you no longer require, we would be very grateful for any donations that we can pass onto students who would benefit from them.
Free School Meals
If you would like to order a food parcel, which can be collected from school weekly, please email Mrs C Brown email@example.com. In order to minimise food waste, we will only be preparing food parcels for families who have ordered them in advance.
It is the absolute expectation that students login and engage with all lessons and tutor period each day, as they would do if they were physically in school. If your child has not engaged with their learning, you will receive a ‘missed lesson’ notification via the ClassCharts app; our attendance officer Mrs Turner will be following up all absences. If you know your child has a genuine reason that means they are unable to engage with their learning, please contact Mrs Turner firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vulnerable/critical worker students
Whilst the key advice remains to ‘Stay at Home’, we are able to offer places in school for students that would benefit from an in-school provision. If you believe your child is eligible and would like a place for your child, please contact Mr Priddey email@example.com
Year 11 and 13 Examinations
We have written separately to Year 11 and 13 students, following the Secretary of State’s announcement that examinations will be cancelled this year. We are going ahead with mock examinations next week and are awaiting further guidance as to how teacher assessment will work. It is therefore essential that Year 11 and 13 students remain engaged and committed to their studies, to enable teachers to accurately assess their performance in their GCSE and A Level courses. At the moment, BTEC examinations are going ahead; we will contact students who are due to sit these directly.
Student Mental Health and Well-Being
You will be aware of the tragic murder of a Year 8 student from Highdown School and I know that many members of our local community will be affected directly by this. Our thoughts are with all those affected.
We know also that this is a difficult time for many students and their families and we are keen to offer support wherever we can. Please contact your form tutor in the first instance if you have any concerns and the Heads of Progress for your year group are also available if you need anything and we will endeavour to secure the support that you may need.
I am extremely grateful for all the support and encouragement that I have already received from parents and our staff really do appreciate knowing that they are making a difference. We are continuously striving to improve our remote-learning provision and if you have any further suggestions, I would be delighted to hear from you. We know that there have been a few teething problems with ensuring all students have been added to all the right Teams; if this remains a problem please contact Mr Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org and we should be able to resolve this for you quickly.
I hope you have a restful weekend.
Mr D Littlemore