Mrs Dewland's Blog - January 11th 2021
Welcome to my first blog of the New Year.
It has been quite a start to the term and year! A week ago, we were preparing for a phased return and setting up a Coronavirus testing centre, which suddenly changed with the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement on Monday evening - I would like to thank the whole school community – staff, parents, carers, and pupils – for the positive response and support given. I can’t express enough how much this is appreciated by all. The school has been sent some positive and lovely messages, which have really helped during a time like this!
It is a difficult decision to close schools, but we hope it drives down the numbers of COVID-19 cases and the whole community stays safe and well.
Considering the short notice of all the changes and expectations from government, we have had a good first week! One major improvement compared to the lockdown last March is, I am delighted to say, how far the approach to remote learning has developed.
We are using Google Classroom as our consistent learning platform - and a huge amount of work from teachers and other colleagues means that the pupil experience is so much better. Pupils and teachers are following their usual timetables, with teachers online to respond to live-time emailed questions and queries. Live lessons with teachers are also being trialled, with a view to rolling these out across the whole school from the 25th January onwards, alongside Google Classroom, in a blended approach to remote learning.
We have come a long way since March 2020 with our online learning, and I am pleased that it has been received well these past few days; we couldn’t have achieved this without the amazing dedication of our teaching staff of course.
We were fortunate to have strong pupil engagement online during the first lockdown, and I am confident numbers will be even higher over the coming days and weeks.
If pupils are struggling with logging on, devices or anything remote learning related, it is important to let the school know and we will do our best to support. We would like all pupils to have a settled routine as quickly as possible.
Also, we never underestimate the impact that school closure can have on well-being, so please raise any worries or concerns with us on this matter, so that we can offer appropriate support and guidance. This can be done via the tutor phone calls, or contact with the pastoral team, or more generally via the school office (and your contact will be directed to the right person).
As with last year, we would also like to celebrate pupils’ hard work and any new skills learned during lockdown. Please send emails of their achievements, including photographs, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite lockdown, we are still progressing our set-up with our Coronavirus testing centre.
In the first instance, this will be used by staff working in school and the children who are attending, and is another important step to keeping our community safe.
The blog will be posted weekly during lockdown as an additional method of keeping everybody informed.
Thank you, and I hope you and your family stay well and safe.