Half term 2 - a new normal?
I am writing this blog as our half term comes to an end - I hope you and your families had a lovely week - despite the awful weather!
COVID remains high on our radar, with more positive cases being reported during the half term via our dedicated COVID email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the increase in cases locally and nationally.
It seems that sadly we have reached a period of new normal.
In school we are continuing to drive forward the message of hands, face, space to reduce the risks of transmission. We are urging parents to help us by:
- ensuring students have their own hand sanitizer and use it regularly. All students (except those exempt) will be expected to santize on their way into school each morning and break time and also on their way into the canteen.
- they wear a clean, washable face mask each day (and a spare just in case). We are encouraging any students, particularly in KS4, who want to keep their masks on in lessons to do so. If we do not see a drop in cases in year 10 & 11 bubbles, the wearing of masks in lessons may become mandatory.
- they maintain social distancing wherever possible between themselves and others including their teachers
Sending year group bubbles home is a last resort, but a necessary step to prevent the further spread of the virus whilst we identify close contacts. Whilst I very much hope this is not something that we will need to do as we embark on a new half term, please ensure the school knows we have your consent to send your child home in such an instance. Year 7 parents have been sent a link for those who haven't already completed School Closure Consent form to do so. For our older students in years 8 to 11, we are assuming we have consent unless you have informed us otherwise. Please contact your child’s Pastoral Head of Year if you have any concerns about your child being sent home during the school day. All parents/carers will be contacted via our text messaging system in the event of a year group needing to be sent home.
Students will return to school this week on Tuesday 3rd November, as we have a staff INSET day on Monday 2nd November. The programme for the day will focus on assessment and remote teaching. Teachers will work in departmental teams (socially distanced) to develop strategies to assess students’ gaps in understanding either in the classroom or via remote learning. Like many walks of school life, staff training now has a different style - but nonetheless it is valuable time spent to improve students’ learning experience.
A reminder that our next INSET day will be on Monday 4th January 2021; students will return to school after the Christmas break on Tuesday 5th January 2021.
There are some helpful resources for parents on the Education Endowment Foundation website on supporting their child’s remote learning experience.
If your child is learning from home (e.g. due to bubble or self-isolation) they can download the Google Meet App on their smartphone. To aid engagement and interaction, students are asked to have their cameras ON during lessons. If your child has any issues with the technology, preventing their full engagement with the learning, please contact their form tutor or Pastoral Head of Year for support.
In 1943, Abraham Maslow wrote a paper on ‘A theory of human motivation’ from which was born Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
At the top of this pyramid is our school’s vision ‘to be the best version of ourselves’ - something which is strongly embedded into our school’s culture. However, it is also true that for some of our students their basic needs are not always being met - something that Marcus Rashford has been championing on the news over recent months. Financial hardship can affect any of us at any time and present a struggle for our families to meet the psychological needs of their children.
If this is something that is affecting you, please reach out to us for help, via your child’s Pastoral Head of Year. We are more than the providers of education for your child, we are at the heart of our community and are here for all our families at their time of need. Please find below some information from Stockport council on accessing food banks.
Have a good week, and stay safe and well.