Tuesday 31st March 2020
STAY SAFE; STAY AT HOME
I hope your day has gone well, that you’ve achieved what you set out to and have had a few laughs along the way. I’ve been trying to get to grips with the app “Zoom” so that I can continue to conduct meetings and even interviews over the next few weeks (and months if need be).
I’ve received more wonderful feedback on the accomplishments of some of our students since yesterday. Staff were keen for me to share this with you so…
- Kade: Kade has done some of his homework and has been cooking and helping wash t;he car. He's helped his sister with her fractions and times tables.
- Isabella: Some great food and art work; Isabella has been learning about red and white meat, and practising her egg making skills in the kitchen! In addition to this she has been learning about the colour wheel in Art.
- Amber-Louise: Some great food and nutrition work being completed; keep up the great work!
- Lena: Lena has been trying to help at home and help her parents around the house. She has been doing her homework and working out everyday. She sent us a lovely picture of her sorting the laundry! Lena has also completed a wonder rainbow of kindness for Mrs Woods in Year 8’s weekly assembly challenge.
- Ella: Again, completed a lovely rainbow of kindness for Mrs Woods showing her what she is grateful for.
- Diana: Diana received 5 class chart points for her English work from Miss Greenhalgh; keep it up!
- Ali: Ali has fully completed the History Reading Challenge and a book review to go with it.
- Ben: Ben has also completed the History reading challenge and a book review to go with it.
- Mitchell: Mitchell is studying well at home. Ms Sumner is very proud of your efforts.
- Ms Sumner would like to praise all her Year 12 English Literature class: Charlie, Natalie, Evie, Lily, Sam, Oli, Charlotte, David, Maddie, Aimee, Rebecca and Grace for being proactive with their NEAs. They’re all working independently to explore their chosen novels and criticism.
Now, there are some year groups missing here so please keep telling us about the wonderful things your child is doing! Well done to everyone listed above – we are very proud of you!
Further to the piece in my bulletin last night, when considering work being set by schools at this time, it may be helpful for parents/carers to think about it as a series of phases:
1) The initial phase. During this time (probably up to Easter) headteachers and leadership teams, teachers, young people and parents/carers are all trying to adjust to a new way of living and working. For many schools the primary concern at this stage is rightly the welfare and safety of students and teachers. This may not be the right time to do deep thinking about what optimal learning may look like in the current context: that may come in later weeks. The situation is dynamic and it is difficult to make lasting plans –anything we can do as a school to add value to the lives of young people is a step in the right direction and is, therefore, worthwhile. The resources, websites and activities our staff have made available to students will give them the opportunity to do some learning at home. It may not be optimal, and it may well develop over time, but right now we are doing the best we can in a situation that developed very quickly.
2) The adjustment phase. We hope that students will settle into a rhythm after some weeks and that our school will be able to begin to look a little further ahead. Of course, the situation remains fluid and, as such, the extent to which this happens depends on what occurs at a national and local level. If and when a more settled rhythm emerges, this is the time when schools will consider how learning has been going, what adjustments can be made and what longer term planning may be required. For example, we would then like to get further feedback from students and parents/carers about the learning students been doing, what has worked and what has not.
3) Recovery phase. At some point schools and colleges will reopen to all students, although we don’t know when that will be. It’s just worth keeping in mind that this might require careful planning. For example, the normal school curriculum may need to be adapted. However, it is probably too early to make decisions about this yet.
I would urge parents/carers to bear with us at this time. Suggestions from parents/carers are helpful and are taken on board, but not always do-able immediately. Every school differs in their approach to setting work and at this moment in time, we are doing absolutely the best we can.
Refunds from ParentPay
Parents/carers have rightly been asking when they might receive refunds from ParentPay for school dinner money or trips. This has not been straightforward unfortunately as there is huge demand from schools as you can imagine. ParentPay are struggling to meet everyone’s requirements. We have spent today in communication with them and will have a further update shortly.
This morning the Government announced it will be providing e-vouchers for families who receive Free School Meals. This is welcome news! Families will receive £5 more through this scheme than they would if their children were at school as the Government realises families may need to buy in bulk rather than on a day-to-day basis. Our staff have spent time today putting arrangements in place so that families can access the vouchers swiftly.
Finally, a friend of mine who teaches at Julien Day School in Howrah, West Bengal in India sent me this image today:
The picture shows Ipsita, one of the School Captains distributing food to those who have no food or money. Their homes can be seen on the far right of the image. Ipsita and her family and friends do this regularly; even though they are potentially putting themselves at risk, it’s for a greater good. My friend and the staff at the school are very proud of her!
This is a humbling image, isn’t it?
How does one effectively communicate about self-isolation and social distancing when people have nothing?
In a world where the total population is about 7.8 billion, with 1.4 billion living in India alone, how do officials there manage a pandemic such as this, effectively?
But there is hope in the world and I believe this image captures that. We can all do our bit – there is no such thing as a small good deed; all acts of kindness, no matter how small, have tremendous worth.
Ms Kim Earle