Finding our flow
As I write this week’s blog, I feel more positive and confident about the week ahead, as I feel that I am settling into a calmer ‘flow’ rather than the frantic, reactive, survival mode I have been in for the past few weeks.
I hope that for those of you home schooling you are finding your own flow at home.
In school, we continue to provide a supervised provision for vulnerable and children of critical workers. This provision is to be used only if there is no other alternative. Where we can, we must all follow the advice to "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives"
Our in-school provision will prioritise our most vulnerable children and children of critical workers in Years 7 to 10, where no other child care arrangements can be made. The booking form will be open until 12:00 noon on a Wednesday to book places for the week ahead. However, in order to ensure student and staff safety on site and protect the quality of the remote learning, places are limited and the form will be taken down if places are filled sooner. At this stage, we have met requests for places, and thank our families for following the guidance and keeping their children at home.
The routine for students in school is the same as at home; they follow their school timetable, sat at a computer engaging in the live lessons being delivered by our teachers. Our expectations of exemplary behaviour continue as does the requirement for students to be in full school uniform.
One difference for our students and staff in school is that we are offered weekly LFD testing for COVID. We have all settled into the flow of this routine and are pleased we are doing what we can to keep our school and community safe from asymptomatic cases of the virus.
Working from home can present a challenge, not least because of the change in environment. Our staff are also having to set up remote classrooms from their homes to ensure an organised, distraction free environment, as you can see from these photos shared by Mrs Bradbury-Cheetham. Thank you to all our staff who are continually adapting to ensure the highest standard of remote learning is provided to all our students at this time.
Missing Equipment Requests
Our students are working so diligently, many are now reaching the end of their exercise books. The use of exercise books and good presentation are regarded as an indication of the pride students have in their work, as such we would prefer students not to complete their work on random pieces of paper, but want to make sure that students do not make unnecessary journeys to collect these from school. To overcome this barrier we have created a Request Missing Equipment form which students and parents are encouraged to complete so that we can post out the necessary equipment to enable students to continue to access learning activities and take pride in their work. Please use the above link to log your requests.
Changes To Lesson Times
Following feedback from staff, pupils and parents we have been looking at ways to reduce screen time to prevent eye strain, fatigue but also to encourage motivation and physical activity throughout the day. As such you will see a very small change to the length of lessons, which will be reducing from 60 minutes to 50 minutes. Staff will gradually work on this change over the course of week. From the week commencing Monday 25th January all lessons will follow this new temporary time change:
It will be even more important that your child joins their lesson promptly and ready to begin learning.
The Maths Department have shared personalised feedback with all Year 11 students following their PPEs in December. They have asked us to remind you that year 11 students are expected to have completed independent study, based on their target areas in preparation for their retest on Wednesday 20th January.
Key Stage 3 Mathematics students are also being kept busy by being set 20 minutes homework each week on Times Tables Rock Stars. Not only will this aid their timetables and numeracy skills, but forms will also take part in Battle of the Bands, where they will get to compete to be the best form in the year.
For students who are wanting to challenge themselves, don’t forget about the following additional resources that can be accessed any time:
- Oak Academy which now has the wonderful addition of the Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library
- The Day - Free Online Daily Newspaper
- The Kingsway Virtual Library (via Google Classroom)
Please make sure you follow our social media pages for daily tips on effective remote learning.
We have received some fantastic feedback from parents/carers and students on our current remote learning offer. We are not complacent, and would like to work collaboratively with parents to improve the system where needed, and remove any remaining barriers. With that in mind I would like to invite all parents and carers to complete the Parent Voice on Remote Learning. Please complete one form for each of your children. We hope that this will provide you with a platform to let us know how remote learning is going for your child and for us to be able to respond. The form will remain open until next Monday. We will then collate the information and see what we can do to ensure your child remains engaged, safe and enjoying school during this remote learning period. Many thanks in advance.
DfE and Ofqual Consultation on Summer 2021 exams
Friday evening saw the release on the much anticipated consultation on this summer’s examination proposals. The DfE and Ofqual are inviting all students, parents and teachers to express their views on the alternative arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A Level students. Following the consultation, Gavin Wiliamson will share the ways in which he wishes students to be assessed by teachers and how he wishes for teachers’ assessment to determine the student’s grade. Ofqual will then respond and put in place the arrangements in which it will regulate the exam boards.
Free School Meals Update
This week, we will be moving onto the Government's national voucher scheme to continue to support our families whose children are eligible for free school meals. Eligible families should have received a link to a form asking you to register for the scheme and to provide us with a working email address. Once you have done this, we will upload your details to the online portal and you will receive an email containing en e-Code directly from Edenred by Friday 22nd January 2020.
If your e-Code does not come through, firstly, check your spam/junk mail and/or trash folder. If it still hasn’t arrived by Monday 25th January 2021, please contact Miss Stansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that we have your correct email address. If necessary, we can resend the e-Code.
Whilst there are a number of supermarkets contributing to the school’s FSM voucher scheme, last week Marks and Spencers said that they would contribute an extra £5 if the school voucher was redeemed via their website, alongside a weekly planner to help prepare five simple, nutritious breakfasts and lunches. The Kingsway School is also sharing daily recipes which are nutritional, healthy and budget-friendly.
Finally, we love receiving emails from students and parents sharing examples of the fantastic work that is being completed in the home school. Please keep them coming. Here’s some examples, keep them coming!
Dates for your diary
Have a good week, and stay safe and well.
Mrs J. Lowe