13th November 2020
Whilst the week began with disruption to year nine, we have ended the week being able to look back on both Remembrance day and Children in Need with some pride.
There has been national news this week regarding examinations next summer and the decisions of the Welsh government to cancel examinations. I was asked on to Radio Nottingham this week to give our thoughts on this development and what may happen in England. It was therefore very helpful to also have had the year eleven parents' evening last night where we reiterated the school's commitment to ensuring that students are as well prepared as possible for next summer whilst also being prepared for any eventuality. We have become accustomed to changes of mind by the Department for Education and so we will continue that we keep one step ahead with support for students in years eleven and thirteen who are facing national assessment this year. As part of this we are keeping a range of completed assessment material in school where normally we would have sent this home.
We used the interactivity of WeDuc and the cloud app to enable the year eleven parents' evening to take place. Please can all parents ensure they have the latest version of WeDuc as there have been some upgrades recently and we want to ensure that our contact with home is kept as glitch free as possible.
I regret to say that we have had had an increased number of students arriving at school this week without masks. Please can parents ensure that their children have a supply of these and also to check that masks are washed when they are reusable or replaced when they need to be. We must continue to protect each other.
Student council feedback
I will be meeting with representatives of the year councils next week to discuss further their experience of this term and what we can do to improve further. I was really pleased to read the following comments from the minutes of the meetings across different year groups.
Year seven - generally pupils felt behaviour was better than they were prepared for, 8 out of 10! Pupils happy and confident that the school is doing everything possible to keep them safe.
Year eight - feel good progress is being made. Homework is much easier to complete now that it is on Google Classroom
Year nine - prefer the double lessons – however afternoon sessions feel very long. A lot of homework being set on GC
Year ten - They asked for assemblies that cover mental health and how to manage it/support each other. They also asked for face to face assemblies as they felt they really missed both the whole year group talks and the corporate experience and would benefit from this as a matter of urgency.
Year eleven - Positive about behaviour. Lessons are good – making progress in lessons. They like double lessons and are used to them now. No problem with keeping double lessons in the future
Finally, to return to the issue where we began the week, we will continue to plan that when we have a whole bubble needing to remain at home, our teaching staff will be available to give enhanced provision though online dialogue to support students with their learning. It was good to see a number of year nines interacting with staff in both Google Classroom and Google Meet on Monday. Where a small number of students are self-isolating in a bubble, they should continue to use our regular provision of accessing lesson resources and tasks on Google classroom.
Of course, all of us hope that situations like Monday will remain as limited in number as possible. This is why it is so important that students continue to look out for each other and be aware of the need to keep everyone safe.