COVID-19 Support - Overview

School Assembly

Every week, we usually have a school assembly on a Wednesday morning. As the school is currently closed and students are working from home, we aim to have a virtual assembly at 9am every Wednesday morning here on the COVID-19 microsite.

 

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LATEST NEWS:  Celebration of work page is now live! Please have a look at the examples we have  received so far. If you would like to contribute examples to the page, please use this Google Form.

Please find below resources that will help your child structure their day over the coming weeks.

We understand that for many families, juggling work, childcare and now facilitating education is going to be enormously challenging. On top of this, we know that you may well be supporting sick or vulnerable relatives and friends, while many are also endeavouring to manage financial or other concerns. But through all this, we want to encourage and support you to do all you can to help your child sustain their education to the best of your and their ability: routine and a sense of purpose are going to be incredibly important over the coming weeks and months. Perhaps the key thing at a time of uncertainty like this is to focus on ‘controlling the controllables’ – focus on the things you can do rather than on the things you can’t.

We are all in this together and we must be realistic about that. Family comes first for everyone, and that includes our staff. We would ask that you are considerate of that when you look at the guidance provided here: staff are clear about what is reasonable in terms of our expectations of students and families, and we ask that you are reasonable in your expectations of the staff.

With that in mind, please be aware that:

  • With the best will in the world, we cannot provide a school away from school.
  • It is very difficult to effectively teach new content remotely. For this reason and others, much of the work your son will be set will consist of enriching their prior learning, strengthening and deepening their prior learning, or developing the fluency with which they use their prior learning.
  • Until there is clarity about exactly how Year 11 and Year 13 will have their studies recognised and exactly what sort of assessment will take place, staff will only provide feedback on work for students in these year groups. This will be kept under review.

We hope that the information and guidance on these pages will help you understand the resources being provided for your child and enable you to support them as best you possibly can. More than that, we hope that what we are offering here can support your family more generally with finding a rhythm to your days during what is likely to be an extended period of school closure.


Why should we keep up a ‘school-like’ routine at home?

Keeping a daily routine, maintaining some form of exercise, and making time for reading all have significant benefits to mental health and well-being. We would strongly encourage you to set up and stick to a daily schedule, and where possible, work alongside your child. For example, if you are working from home then set up a desk where you can both work independently but together. The sooner you do this, the better. You will find further suggestions about working with your child in the other pages on this site.

Below you will find our proposed timetables for KS3, KS4 and KS5 students. These have been emailed to students as well and we encourage them to set their new timetable as their iPad homescreen. Below, you will find pdf copies if you should like to print them out as they are, or alternatively you can download as an Word document (at the bottom of the page) if you would prefer to reorder them to suit your routine as it develops – but do print it out, agree it, and endeavour to stick to it!

How will work be set for my child?

Work will be set by subject teams using Show My Homework. Work will be set weekly and will remain ‘open’ from the Monday to Friday of each week.
If you need assistance with your own login to SMHW in order to support your child directly with this, please use this link to contact the IT Helpdesk.
For further information about the other components of your child’s timetable (the reading, the exercise and the ‘personal interest project’), please see the relevant webpages. 

What if school is closed for a very long period of time?

We firmly believe it is important that all students are supported and encouraged to keep up their studies but appreciate that this will become increasingly challenging the longer the period out of school is. The best way to maintain it in the medium to long term is to introduce a daily schedule from day one so that this becomes your family’s ‘new normal’. 
We are continually reviewing the situation and will provide updates for parents and students as and when the guidance we are being given by the government changes.

My child was due to sit GCSE or A-Level exams this summer, what is going to happen?

The truth is at the moment we still don’t know any more than you. The PM said that “exams in May and June are cancelled” and that “their progress will not be impeded because of this”. This doesn’t mean that they won’t ever have to sit exams to be awarded their qualifications. For this reason, we feel it is important that all students due to sit exam this summer should be continuing to prepare for them – see this as an opportunity to do even better. We will keep all students and parents updated of any changes to that situation.
Details released this afternoon (20th March) suggest that NEAs will be taken into consideration, so where students are undertaking work on these at the moment, they should continue to do so.

How can I motivate my child?

The truth is, it is going to be difficult! The longer the school closure goes on and the more ‘locked-down’ society becomes, the harder it is going to get. But, as this happens, it will become increasingly important for them to focus and engage with their learning on a daily basis.
Try to find ways of rewarding them –for younger ones a sticker or star chart leading to a larger reward on a Saturday. Or X minutes of time on their Xbox/TV for each 30-minute chunk of time working. Try to maintain an emphasis on celebrating, rewarding and telling them how proud you are of them, rather than simply punishing or criticising.
Encourage them to work collaboratively, online with their friends so that they can keep up as many peer interactions as they can.

I am incredibly proud of my child, they have really risen to the challenge, what can I do?

Let us know! We want to hear about all the positives so that we can share them amongst our community on these pages and on social media – this is an excellent way of motivating each other. Encourage them to contact their subject teacher, Form Tutor or Year Leader with a copy of the work or a photo of themselves with the work with a short description if appropriate. Update 27/03: Details of how to submit examples of work will be added shortly. 

My child has special educational needs, how will they be supported?

Each of Learning Support Assistants have been allocated a number of students to try and support over the coming weeks and months – they will endeavour to maintain contact with your son to offer support and guidance.
However, as I am sure you will appreciate, it is not easy to support the students remotely and at times, due to personal circumstances, they may not be available to do this. Your child will need additional support from you or another adult / older sibling so that they can access the work.