Clarity – the next few weeks

We now have some clarity about how the next few weeks are going to be shaped. It looks at the moment as though the vast majority of secondary children will not be returning to school until September. The only exception is for Year 10. The aim for Year 10 is for them to have “some time with their teachers to supplement the distance learning” before the end of the Summer term. We await further guidance and instruction as to when that will be and what it will look like – I will of course let you know as soon as we have further information. Please do keep regular checks on the website, where the most accurate and timely information can be found.

With the prospect of several more weeks of distance learning, it is even more vital that all students engage with the work being set. I want to reassure parents again that you are doing a great job! We have noticed higher levels of engagement with the work and many Year 10 students clearly valued the “live” online lessons being provided. Teachers have reported how much they have enjoyed “seeing” their students again and the interaction has been really appreciated because it has brought a very small taste of (albeit virtual) normality.

I would also like to thank all those Year 10 students who responded to our feedback questionnaire; the feedback has been very positive and has helped us to shape future learning. This feedback has really made it clear that the “live” lessons have helped the majority of students and we certainly intend to continue with them. I would urge students to make “attendance” at these lessons a priority if at all possible, though of course we recognise that this may not be possible due to individual family circumstances.

One extra piece of contact that we also believe to be important is between the students and their form tutors. From this week, form tutors will begin making telephone calls to the students in their forms. The relationship between the form tutor and students is absolutely central to everything that we do and we think that this is a good way of keeping that relationship alive during this extended closure. Again, it’s a small taste of normality in such challenging circumstances. Good for learning but also, I think, good for everyone’s mental health and well-being.

Finally, please be aware that “Show My Homework” has rebranded itself as “satchel:one”. Apparently, this has caused some confusion. Please don’t worry – it is a renaming only and the content shouldn’t be affected. Please do let us know if you need some supprt with distance learning, either through contact with your child’s Head of Year or through the dedicated address. Feedback from parents who have contacted us in this way is very positive and we aim to help as much as we can. In the meantime, stay safe and well.