Last week the Prime Minister announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term and instead hopes it will be safe to commence the reopening of schools and colleges from Monday 8 March. This is disappointing news but we appreciate that the decision has been made in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity.
School will not be open for children of key workers or vulnerable students over half term. The local authority will be providing vouchers for students eligible for free school meals during half term. Our remote learning and in-school provision (for children of key workers or vulnerable students) will resume after half term.
We have everything crossed here at Kingsway for the roll-out of the vaccination programme, control of the spread of virus and a safe return for all students to school. We miss them!
The thanks and praise from parents in terms of the quality of our remote learning continue to flood our emails. Many thanks for the positive feedback - it is great to share with staff who are working hard to make sure that the education your child is receiving at home is as best as it can be. We continue to track students’ attendance to remote learning each lesson, and we currently stand at 89% attendance. We would like this to be higher, in line with good attendance to school at 95%+. Please make sure your child attends all their online lessons. You can track this using the Class Charts app.
Class Charts is our home/school communication system, which enables parents and carers to be informed of their child’s learning in real time. As mentioned above we have been using this to track remote attendance and you may have received notification of ‘non-attendance’ since January. This is one of our methods of tracking engagement with remote learning, which is a requirement by the DfE. Now that routines for attendance are fully in place, we are adding a new notification, one of ‘non participation in remote learning’.
Student engagement is vital in ensuring teachers can monitor understanding and progress. In class a teacher will regularly invite students to respond to questions and complete work. Where a teacher has sought a response, or work is not completed, parents/carers will be notified via Class Charts, of non-participation, which will only be sent when the teacher has tried to engage the student and there has been no response following a warning. We are aware that there may be occasions when there are technical issues or other circumstances so this notification will not award demerits, or sanctions, but is an alert to inform home of the teacher concern about the engagement and progress in class. Raising Standards Leaders will also track this information.
Both non attendance and non participation alerts will be used to inform Attitude to Learning Grades. If you have specific concerns about receiving a notification in the first instance you should email the teacher who has sent the notification. All staff emails are email@example.com (e.g firstname.lastname@example.org). Staff will attempt to respond to your queries as soon as possible but please remember that most staff will be delivering live lessons throughout the school day.
Over the next couple of weeks staff will be completing their half termly assessment milestones. Many of these will be completed via the Google Classroom but to ensure that parents and carers are fully informed teachers will record the date of the assessment, the format and the content on Class Charts.
These assessments will provide staff with useful information to support, attainment grades but will be used diagnostically to identify gaps in learning, misconceptions and to support further progression by using the information in future planning and any intervention that may be required. As such it is vital that staff have sufficient time to mark these assessments and provide feedback. These assessments may take a little longer than usual to mark, due to the constraints of online assessments and any additional replanning that may be required, so we are providing teachers with a small amount of additional time when they can provide remote independent learning, rather than live lessons. The effect upon your child’s learning will be minimised by all staff providing work in the relevant Google Classroom and students will be able to access these through the resources provided and with independent application of their learning to date.
Carrying on regardless of COVID-19, last week we launched our Year 9 options information videos to support our Year 9 students and their families in making decisions about GCSE options. These videos can be found on our website.
We are hosting our annual SEND catch up meetings virtually. The aim is to make our SEND parents feel involved and up to date through a relaxed and informal platform. The Inclusion & Diversity team will be on hand to offer advice and support, whilst also providing families with an opportunity to network with other parents and share lockdown experiences.
Dates: (all times are 1pm-2pm)
- Mon February 1st - Year 7
- Tues February 2nd - Year 8
- Weds February 3rd - Year 9
- Thurs February 4th - Year 10
We also held our virtual GCSE presentation evening for the Class of 2020, whose last day in school was 20th March 2020. They were robbed of their leavers’ assembly, prom and the opportunity to sit their GCSE exams. It was a pleasure to congratulate them on their success and resilience via our virtual event. I am so proud of this COVID generation who have gone onto further education, employment or training in another challenging climate. They are simply fabulous human beings!
In other news, our normal school Immunisation programme will continue as planned once schools are fully open. In the event that students are not back in school, the Local Authority has an outreach plan for immunisations. See the below letter for Year 9 parents.
We received some much welcomed news last week. Our Resourced Centre staff will be the first to receive the COVID vaccination. I hope this is the start of a wider roll-out to school staff before we return to full operation in the Spring.
Thank you to parents and students who are sharing photos of students home learning. Keep them coming. Here’s one from Beth C (Year 7) who made a berry-layered dessert in Mrs Knowles’ food lesson. Beth emailed her teacher “Here is a photo of my Berry Layered Dessert from today's lesson. The lesson was lots of fun and I really enjoyed it! “
Here’s a photo of Bradley S (Year 9) making library lockdown cupcakes in Life Skills.
The DfE has asked schools to continue to record cases of COVID-19, even if students are studying at home and not attending our in-school provision. Please can you use our specific email address (email@example.com) to report any incidents of COVID-19. Further details are on our school website.
Please do not send your son or daughter to school if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are unsure, then it is better to be on the side of caution.
Dates For Your Diary
Have a good week, and stay safe and well.
Mrs J. Lowe