Educating your children at home update

To say there is a lot going on at the moment is an understatement. We appreciate that balancing the demands of parenting, working and supporting relatives in addition to overseeing the education of your own children is incredibly challenging.

Please remember, we all need to look after ourselves at the moment; a rigid schedule for learning may not be as valuable this week and next as simply reassuring those around you. We have been incredibly lucky with the support we have received from the parents within our school community and know that you are all doing your best.

We cannot overstate the need for some unstructured family time, fresh air and physical activity (in a format that follows Government guidelines). We are all getting used to a new way of doing things and nothing is going to work perfectly in the first stages.

Of course we hope the national effort yields results and we can return to normality as soon as possible but in the meanwhile, here are some key questions and answers with regard to your children’s education at this time:

What can I do to support my child?

You can only do your best to support - we know you are juggling jobs and in many cases, supporting elderly relatives as well as trying to ensure your children are not disadvantaged educationally. We appreciate your support.

What work have you set and where is it?

We have set general work to keep students going until Easter which is mostly based around on-line learning platforms frequently used in school- you can guide your children on how much/little to do - you know your family situation and the needs of your own child. Websites are listed on this section of the website and on Show My Homework. Teachers are working from home and from Easter will begin to set more focused tasks on Show My Homework and via email. Students should check these regularly.

I have a query regarding a learning issue. Who do I ask?

We have a skeleton staff in school and we regret we cannot respond to lengthy queries immediately. We will do our best however. You may receive a more rapid response for subject specific queries if you contact the relevant teacher directly.

I do not have web access or a printer at home. What do I do?

We have sent paper copies home to those students who have informed us they have no PC or internet access.
For those without printers, we do not expect work to be printed or submitted on paper. Most work can be submitted in electronic form, there should be very little need to print material out.

Will work be marked?

Teachers will welcome the opportunity to give feedback to online submissions. There will be some pieces of work set that will receive more detailed feedback than others, particularly for Years 9 and 10.

What pastoral contact is in place?

Heads of Year have set up individual year group-based newsletters to keep our students in touch with events and to share other information.

My child was in Year 11, what should they do?

The next few months is important. There may still be an element of written assessment in determining our students’ final GCSE grades. The DfE is currently working with the examination boards and JCQ to finalise the process. Once they have done so, we will ensure our students (who were working exceptionally before this situation arose) receive the grades that they most likely would have.

For those going onto study A-Levels, we believe that bridging material (reading around the subject for example) is going to be very important. Whilst our curriculum had been delivered in its entirety, the formal teaching gap will be unprecedented. We will therefore shortly be publishing subject specific reading lists so that students can prepare for Key stage 5 and begin their A levels in September with confidence.