Letters from the Headteacher
Update - 22 January 2021
January 22nd 2021
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for the many supportive emails that we have had recognising the work that our staff are completing, under difficult circumstances at this time. There have also been questions about how and why we have arranged our lockdown systems as we have.
The decisions behind how and why our remote education offer has been arranged are based on;
· The physical and online safety and wellbeing of students and staff
· Maintaining progress in learning
· Our teaching programmes that cover the National Curriculum and exam specifications
Our provision follows the same pattern as we used in the first lockdown, although we have made improvements. Recently Ofsted produced a summary of what works well in remote education, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whats-working-well-in-remote-education/whats-working-well-in-remote-education. We believe our provision closely matches their findings.
Remote education is not school. We all want to be back here and enjoy the learning and social interactions that make a school a thriving community. In lockdown this is not possible and we cannot replicate it through online software. We also have a responsibility to keep school open and staffed for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. There simply are not enough staff to do everything all of the time. We also believe it is not right to expect children, or staff, to sit in front of a screen for hours at a time. This is not how engaging learning happens; it is very difficult for working parents and impossible where each member of a family does not have their own individual electronic device to access the internet.
Every subject is important and so we are continuing with every subject, in line with our school timetable. Teachers will post the work for their lessons on ShowMyHomework (SMHW). This will involve a range of activities and tasks which have included online programs, quizzes, use of YouTube for video explanations, activities from books and other resources, broadcast lessons, creative tasks, narrated PowerPoints, essays, practical activities, research and so on! Different activities suit the varied subjects and topics. Some will be online and others will not. Students do not have to complete the work at the same time as the lesson would have been in the school day. This builds in flexibility for families where it is not possible for children to be working at these times. Please feel free to arrange the day as it suits your household. However, we are expecting students to complete and submit work that is set on SMHW. Dr Fox has added a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page in this newsletter to help you. Earlier in the term information was sent out to parents and students about where the work is to be found, which is also shown on the school webpages.
There is one specific time in the day that we would like your child to be online and that is for the tutor check-ins that were announced last week. This is a new activity where we would like tutors to have contact with their tutor group every day. We hope that this will help to keep in touch with children through the weeks and maintain a sense of community.
We are aware that other schools are arranging their sessions differently but all TRMAT schools are using approaches similar to ours. We believe this is the best way to allow our students to access a diverse range of activities whilst supporting children, families and staff through the challenges of lockdown.
Finally, we depend on the help and support of parents and carers to ensure remote learning is the best that it can be.
With best wishes
Alex George, Interim Headteacher
Posted at 13:53 on 22nd Jan 2021 Back