Update from the Headteacher

19th January 2021

From today we are setting lessons as per students timetables. All lessons, with the exception of History and PE in Years 7,8 and 9 ( due to staff illness) will have some live contact each lesson from the subject teacher. Whilst this is an improvement on just setting worksheets or tasks, we have become very aware of the pressure of screen time on our students and staff and would urge everyone to keep to school hours of 9-3.40pm wherever possible. We know that some students are still sharing devices and some prefer to work in a different way, but we are very keen to reduce the number of hours online.
We know that some students are finding online learning a real challenge, so in addition we are ensuring that regular contact is made by tutors, Progress Leaders or SLT, as appropriate , so we can maintain  a balance and sanity in these coming weeks. If you’re concerned about any aspect of learning online, please do get in touch.
All students who had requested IT support have now received a device, dongle, keyboard or data. We are waiting for a few more laptops to arrive from very kind community donations. As soon as they are ready, we will them out to students on the ‘waiting’ list. We have prioritised Yr11, then those who had no device to work on or no internet connection, followed by those working from a phone. We do have a fairly long list of students who share devices and as we are able to, we will get more  out. Thank you for your patience.
Google classrooms had been posting work at silly times of the day and night ,but we think we have worked out why this was happening and taken steps to stop it .
Again, let me know if this is still a problem.
Almost 100 things to do that DO NOT involve a screen! This link is a – not inexhaustible list- of things that students could do when they have had enough screen time. All useful and all supporting learning.
The BBC have launched some lessons via TV,  programmes for secondary school pupils are on BBC Two, between 13:00 and 15:00.
However, these are very generalised and will not follow our curriculum, but  for a change or if you’re struggling might be worth a look.
Free school Meals allowance is still being topped up each week on the Co-Op cards. There was a slight backlog last week, but they are doing  a great  job and we have every confidence in them.
Year 9 Options will be launched via a ‘live’ Google meet next Thursday 28 January at 4pm. We will send out ore details to Year 9 parents early next week and a physical copy of the Options booklet will be sent via post to all year 9s this week.
This event will be followed up by a Year 9 parents ‘live drop in ‘ session with the Senior Leadership team on Thursday 4 February at 5pm.
All further parents evenings are being scheduled and planned. Year 11 will be first, when we have more clarification about the way grades are to be awarded. A 2 week consultation by Ofqual has just bene launched- this link
will take you it if you wish to have your say. I am putting together our school’s response.
Finally, we will be surveying all our students over the next couple of weeks to ensure they are keeping themselves safe and well online . The Safeguarding Lead- Mrs Brosnan is putting together the survey and it will help us identity anything we feel we need to act on.
As ever, thank you for your support.
Stay safe and have a some screen time breaks!!