COVID/National Lockdown Updates - 5th January 2021
The College is currently making final arrangements for the continuation of learning, both within the College and through Distance Learning. Your child should be receiving through Show my Homework/Satchel One their daily lessons. This will amount to five separate lessons each day. We understand that this is an increase for some pupils but it is a decision we have taken to fulfil the revised DfE guidance. If pupils become overwhelmed, please prioritise the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and RE. Currently, all of the teaching and support staff are in College, however, from tomorrow, in line with the guidance from the Government and the Department for Education, we will be operating a reduced staffing level. We are committed to the provision for pupils who are deemed vulnerable or whose parents are keyworkers. We have four teaching groups, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 and 11. These groups have been allocated a computer room each and there are both teaching staff and support staff on hand to support the learners.
Mr Carne has sent out an updated list of keyworkers, and parents who would prefer for their children to come to College, are asked to follow the instructions and notify the College.
From Monday 11th January, we will have in place a number of teachers who will be in College throughout the day, this will mean that we will always have in college an English teacher, a Maths teacher and a Science teacher present, plus a number of other subjects, depending upon the timetable. As a result, we will have specialist teachers in College to support learners. The remaining staff who will not be in College will be able to support the Distance Learning. We intend to identify to pupils and parents the staff who are available for Distance Learning advice. Pupils can also communicate directly with staff through Show my Homework/Satchel 1. This is an upgrade of the provision from last March. It is an expectation that pupils engage regularly in the learning on a day-to-day basis. Teachers will provide action feedback to pupils and we are planning to supplement provision with some live sessions. These may include lessons, question and answer, or feedback. We recognise the benefits and limitations of the different technologies and seek to create a blended offer.
The Government has indicated that they expect Secondary schools to reopen on Monday 22nd February and it is hoped that this will be the last time schools will close in this academic year. We are awaiting information from the Government with reference to the public exams this year. Reports circulating in the Press that exams have been cancelled is incorrect, this is not the case. It would be a huge error of judgement for any pupil, in any public exam year, to believe that they can “down tools”. Until we have further clarity on the situation regarding exams, teachers of Year 11 and 13 pupils will continue to set work on SMHW for their timetabled lessons and we expect all pupils in these year groups to complete all work set for them. We do not want any of our pupils falling behind and being disadvantaged by not engaging fully with the work set for them. I am sure you will fully support us in ensuring that your son/daughter completes all that is expected of them during the time of distance learning.
For students in Year 11, 12 and 13 scheduled to sit BTEC examinations before February half term, the current guidance is that these examinations will go ahead here in the College and each pupil has been or will receive a personal phone call regarding this matter.
Further information relating to transport, the provision of free school meals and lateral testing of pupils who attend College will be issued during the course of the week. For now, transport will continue to operate as usual, and FSM will be provided for pupils in College. We are working on arrangements for FSM in line with the Government guidance that we should use food parcels.
I know that for many pupils and parents this lock-down comes as a great disappointment and a huge worry. As a society, and a College, we have learnt a great deal from previous experiences and I am confident that we will get to a point that when we re-open, we will all be able to celebrate that progress that has been made.
Mr M Burrowes - Headteacher