Lockdown update from our Head Teacher
It seems timely for me to write to you ahead of the half-term break.
Firstly I’d like to thank you again for all that you are doing, at home, to support remote learning. This is a new and challenging landscape for all of us and while I have first-hand experience of the challenges for teachers, I can only imagine how tough it must be for parents at home, having to support learning across the whole subject range. My children are in their late 20s now, so thankfully I have do not have this direct experience at home.
I do feel that remote learning has gone incredibly well across the school, considering the circumstances we find ourselves in, and this is a reflection of the combined efforts of teachers, students and parents, so thank you for your efforts and support.
I’m sure you are aware that the government has set out some loose plans for years 10 and 12 to receive some face-to-face sessions to support remote learning, beginning sometime after June 1st. I have written to year 10 and 12 parents separately, but in summary, we are setting out our plans to best accommodate some face-to-face sessions, with the safety of all involved our paramount concern.
The government advice, particularly in relation to years 10 and 12 attending school, is vague and contradictory at best. While we will do absolutely everything we possibly can to prioritise the safety of any pupils attending school, I don’t want to pretend that we can guarantee social distancing at all times in a school environment; we can’t!
We currently have around 15 pupils of key workers attending school and even with this small group, they forget to socially distance as soon as they leave the classroom. Social distancing with teenagers who want to talk to their friends, with much larger numbers of students, will be extremely difficult.
In addition to plans for year 10 and 12 coming into school, we must continue with home learning for students in years 7, 8 & 9, who also need to continue their education. Again, we have had no guidance from government on how we might balance these two competing priorities. It is clear that students are to be in small groups; this will mean more teachers in school, which will inevitably impact on their capacity to engage in remote learning for younger students.
It is absolutely clear that home learning continues to be the priority form of education for our children for the foreseeable future, possibly well into the autumn term. In order to ensure that students do not fall behind in their education, we must continue to work together to ensure that they make good progress through remote learning.
I apologise if this email raises more questions than it answers, my hope is to be able to clarify some concrete plans for next half-term over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime please get in touch if you have any concerns and I will do my best to answer them.
Remote learning will stop for the half-term break, as well as teachers needing a break, I’m sure you and your children also need some time away from this.
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend and my best wishes to you and your family.