Monday 30th March
STAY SAFE; STAY AT HOME
I hope you had a happy and healthy weekend.
I think you will agree that when people are given the opportunity to go the extra mile or step up and take responsibility for something due to unforeseen circumstances such as now, they rise to the challenge. Whilst the school site seems to have lost its ‘core purpose’ for the time being, the core purpose is happening in your homes and for that, I would like to thank you.
I’d like to take a moment to highlight some amazing students who are stepping up, thinking creatively and taking a pro-active approach to their learning. These are some you have told us about (they may cringe on seeing their names!!):
- Isaac has been creating some amazing artwork in his free time
- Hallie has been a really conscientious worker
- Ollie has produced wonderful food when baking at home
- Holly has been an independent learner and incredibly self-motivated
- Brandon has completed work ahead of schedule
- Ben has displayed a wonderful work ethic
- Laila, Emma, Holly, Eleanor and Vicky have creatively worked as a virtual group in response to English tasks set
- Aisling and Helen have completed work well ahead of schedule through focus and determination
These are just a few names. Well done to all our students and thanks again to parents/carers because you are doing something quite extraordinary at the moment! Please keep telling us about the wonderful things your child is doing!
Most work is set for students via Classcharts. Staff have set work there so they can see what has been completed and for ease of access for students. There is a lot of work on there – please don’t let that put you or your child off! Students should work through their tasks at their own rate, depending on their health and also on their determination to get into a routine as far as they possibly can. If your house is anything like mine, this has been even tougher today now the clocks have gone forward! Deadlines should be met, if possible; given the circumstances we are fully aware these may not be met and students obviously will not be penalised for this. Quality is more important at the moment than quantity!
A suggested timetable is available on our website so that students can plan their day but equally, they may wish to follow the timetable they usually follow in the normal school day and complete work set when they would usually have those lessons – ie. a normal school day, but at home!
Students must build-in ‘down time’, a fun activity and time with others at home – this is good for mental health and well-being and is vitally important as the weeks and months go on.
One or two parents have asked if we could use Google Classroom or similar to set work/virtual lessons. We are in the process of upgrading and installing new ICT hardware infrastructure within the school. Until this process has been fully completed (which we expect to be by the end of August) we will not be in a position to use either the Google Classroom suite or Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools (both offer the same/similar functionality).
There are also other considerations that we have to take into account such as improving our broadband connection to a faster speed and higher bandwidth as well as investing in the correct licensing. We would also need time to provide appropriate training for staff on how to use what would be a new platform / manner of working for the school. Rushing something like this would only lead to further frustrations for both staff, students and parents/carers.
Whilst this is something that the school will be moving to in the very near future, it is not something that we can implement at this precise moment in time. I am fully aware that other schools are further down the line on this journey and using these tools with their students and I thank you for taking the time to make your suggestions. We are still able to communicate with students via their school email and staff are proactively doing this during these unprecedented, difficult times.
We have unfortunately not had any further information regarding vouchers for those children in receipt of free school meals, other than the information sent out by Miss Diffley last week. Please refer to her email if you’ve not managed to read it.
Finally, we still have a small number of students on site each day who are behaving impeccably and are working well with staff. Thanks to everyone concerned for all their efforts in supporting our students.
Please let Mrs Shields know (by telephone to school or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you require provision Tuesday 14th-Friday 17th April as our school will be closed but we can secure a place for our students at another local school. We need to know as soon as possible so that we can liaise with other schools. If a student does need to go to another school that week, a member of AC staff will be there with them all day.
Enjoy your evening; stay safe.
Ms Kim Earle