Headteacher’s Update – April 24th 2020
This week I’ve received lots of great feedback from parents and carers about the fantastic learning that is being completed at home. It is good to hear that despite the lockdown Patcham High students remain ‘gritty and determined’ to make progress in their studies.
We are trying to make the menu of learning varied in style and delivery so that students remain engaged in the ‘learning at home’ process for the duration of the school closure. And thank you very much for your support. It appears that that partnership between us at school and you at home is working well. Children always learn best when there is someone taking an active involvement in what they are doing and is there to encourage and support them.
At times I appreciate that ‘Learning at home’ is not straightforward … and I say this as a parent as much as a headteacher! I know that there is always a limit to how much support we are able to offer our children … my son knows not to ask me for help with his German or Chemistry and my daughter doesn’t value my opinion on her choregraphed Dance pieces. But you don’t have to be an expert in a subject to support your child with at home! Some of the most useful things that you can do are:
- Take an interest in what your child is working on. Ask questions, be curious, ask then to teach you something.
- Look through your child’s work and ask questions about what they have learnt that day e.g.: Can you explain that to me? Can you give me some evidence for that? Can you make that clearer for me? What do you mean when you say?
- Ask questions about what they think about the films and television shows they are watching, the books they are reading, or the news.
- Offer a lot of praise and encouragement.
- Encourage your child to develop a work routine. (It is fine to let them work it out for themselves but do get them to explain their thinking to you so that they’re putting enough time into the right activities.)
If having tried these strategies you still could do with a bit of help, please don’t hesitate to contact the relevant class teacher or tutor via email. Alternatively, you can email EHolmes@patchamhigh.org.uk to book an appointment at my a ‘Virtual Drop-in Sessions’ on Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00-9:30am.
Despite the school closure and beyond the immediacy of home learning and ensuring the safeguarding and wellbeing of students, there is still a great deal of ongoing work and future planning that we are involved in on a daily basis. The school budget has to be ratified for the new financial year, admission appeals need to be heard, Year 6-7 transition has to be organised, centre assessed GCSE and BTEC grades have to be submitted and regular returns need to be sent to the Local Authority and DfE. We are also finalising Year 9 Options for September and trying to keep the ‘wheels in motion’ so that the construction of our new 4G Pitch and Canteen are not significantly delayed.
Next Thursday we have our first ‘Virtual’ Full Governing Body meeting. It is fantastic that technology allows us to do this, there is much that has happened in school since the start of the Covid-19 crises that Governors need to hear about and scrutinise. We are very lucky that Patcham High has a strong and effective Governing body that is always willing to go the extra mile to support our students and the wider school community … invaluable during these challenging times.
Thank you for continuing to engage with the school.
Please take care!