The Government is clear in its intention ….
We want to get all children back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know it is good for children’s mental wellbeing to have social interactions with other children, carers and teachers.
Much of this week has been spent planning for a partial re-opening of the school to Year 10. We are excited at the prospect of seeing students back in the classroom but we are proceeding with extreme caution. It is essential that we minimise risk and ensure that the school is a safe environment.
We have been working with a set of risk assessment frameworks to make sure that appropriate measures are in place so that we can manage the school according to guidance from the DfE. Things are going to look and feel very different. Students and teachers will be working in ‘social bubbles’, classrooms will be marked out so that seating arrangements conform to the 2m social distancing rule, and a one-way system will be used to move around the school.
I have written to parents and carers of students in Year 10 outlining our plan to invite 20% of the year group in on each day of the week from Monday June 8th. Students will be offered Maths, English and Science sessions and will also be given the opportunity to reflect on their wellbeing. We have put a huge amount of thought into the safe delivery of these sessions and much preparation of the learning environment will be carried out by our maintenance team in the next fortnight. The planning has been immense but all extremely necessary. We are determined that in these challenging circumstances our students have the safest and best possible school experience.
Whilst this planning has been going on we have also been developing our Home Learning provision. In the last few weeks staff have received further training and support with Microsoft Teams. From Monday June 1st all assignments for all subjects will be set through Microsoft Teams. This is a significant development that allows both you and us the opportunity to monitor your child’s levels of engagement and the quality of work that they are producing for each of their assignments. Additionally, the dialogue between student and teacher will be markedly improved and this will help with progress. If you are unfamiliar with this system I strongly recommend that you take up Mark Warner’s (Deputy Head) offer of a Zoom meeting. The dates and timings are advertised on the letter he wrote to you today (a copy of the letter is posted on the school website).
Although the situation we are in is hugely frustrating we fully appreciate that the restrictions of lockdown are essential to the safety of us all. Moving forward is going to be a slow and careful process but I think we’ve taken significant strides in the last seven days.
Please can I remind you that you can make an appointment to meet with me on Zoom at one of the ‘Virtual drop-in sessions’ (Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00-9:30am) by emailing EHolmes@patchamhigh.org.uk
THERE WILL BE NO HOME LEARNING WORK SET DURING HALF TERM.
Thank you for your continued support.
Please take care!