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Headteacher’s letter 8th January 2021

Friday 8 January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We all hope the first few days have gone well and that the transition to remote learning has not been too difficult or problematic. I shall write to you each Friday and this week have a series of clarifications, reminders and a few requests.

The Goldilocks Zone

We do not want a single student to feel unsure or stuck when asked to complete a task at home. Similarly, if the work we set is taking much longer than expected then something is not quite right. And so, if a student is feeling stuck on their work we ask that you make immediate contact with the teacher by email. There are so many things we can do to help as long as you reach out to us and let us know.

Please note that all staff emails are available on our website or by following this link.

Synchronising the School Day and Daily Registrations

Time Activity
8:40am Morning Registration
8:55am Lesson 1
9:55am Movement time
10:00am Lesson 2
11:00am 1st Break
11:25am Lesson 3
12:25pm 2nd Break
12:50pm Lesson 4
1:50pm 3rd Break
2:00pm Afternoon Registration
2:15pm Lesson 5
3:15pm End of School

You will be aware from my letter on Tuesday that we are aiming to mirror the school day with many more live lessons and an approach that strongly encourages students to complete their work during school hours – taking rest breaks as they would at school. 

The normal school day appears here for reference and the feedback, so far, has been that this has been a helpful shift for students and colleagues as well.

Please do not forget that twice-daily registration begins on Monday.

Students have been sent a Google Classroom invitation and are expected to attend on both occasions each day.  

Do you need a device or free data?

We have been loaning out devices to families this week and this includes families whose children are not entitled to free school meals. We fully understand that it is not always possible to purchase a laptop and so we can help. Please do get in touch with either Mrs Lisa De Bruyn ([email protected]) if your son or daughter is in years 7 to 9, or Mrs Yvette Armistead ([email protected]) if your son or daughter is in years 10 to 13. They may be able to help, or at least provide a device when more become available.

Do you have a spare device?

Which leads neatly on to asking if you have a spare or unused laptop that you would be willing to donate to the school? If you would like to donate, we can ensure the laptop’s memory has been wiped and that any viruses are removed, before reinstalling software to make them perfect for remote learning. We have already received a number of laptops from families and we are extremely grateful for their generosity! If you have a spare device then please do get in touch with Mrs Jodie Green on [email protected] and she can guide you through the next steps.

Do you need to collect anything?

Starting on Monday, if your son or daughter needs anything to assist them with their remote learning then we can arrange a pick-up service with you. Should you need a new exercise book or text book, for instance, then make that request with the relevant teacher who will ensure a labelled package is made ready for you to collect. Collections may only take place between 10am and 2pm, at the Main Reception door. Please use the intercom to alert reception, who will then give you access to the porch area to complete the collection. Please be aware of surface transmission risks and hand-sanitise before and after collection. Unfortunately, non-essential face-to-face meetings and conversations are not permitted at this time.

Year 11 Collections

We have a bundle of varying sizes for all Year 11s to collect at the start of next week. If you are a parent or carer of a Year 11 student then please look out for an email from Mr Robinson to explain how the collection system will work. We are able to deliver or post a limited number of bundles and Mr Robinson will explain how to make those arrangements as well.

School Meals on Site

If your child is attending school and they require a meal from the canteen, including if they are in receipt of free school meals, please complete the catering form by 9am on Monday 11th January.

Mass Asymptomatic Testing Programme

In my letter to you next week I hope to share more information on the planned introduction of lateral flow testing for students (who remain at school) and members of staff. When all students return it is anticipated that the testing programme would be offered to all students and again if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. More on this next week and until then take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully

Mr Doherty, Headteacher

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