As promised in my letter from earlier this week, I am writing to update you with our remote education plans for the coming weeks. So far this week we have seen a typical #TeamHeanor effort with our test centre up and functional, our key worker students safely supported onsite, Y11-13 vocational exams taking place safely and efficiently, food parcels organised to bridge the gap until our voucher scheme is sanctioned and a hugely positive engagement in remote learning. I couldn’t be more proud of the collective effort and spirit of the entire school community.
We are well aware that ‘home schooling’ is not an easy task. Our vision is that every student should be able to get into a good routine and follow their daily school timetable; a copy of which will be emailed out to you separately. In order to ensure that students receive access to a high quality blended provision, whilst supporting our staff body to cope with the demands of a completely new setting as well as managing their own family situations, our provision starting on Monday 11 January will include:
- virtual assemblies;
- drop-in tutor group sessions;
- face-to face-teaching;
- recorded content;
- set tasks.
It is impossible to give finite details of what each individual child’s diet will look like in one generic letter, however further information will follow from your child’s achievement leader in a year group message and directly from teaching staff via messages on Google Classroom. We have tried to ensure a fair spread of ‘live’ teaching but in line with government guidance we have given priority to examination groups. So you have a general understanding of your child’s offer, the following principles will apply:
- All students will receive a virtual weekly assembly and a weekly drop-in tutor session to stay connected and discuss any issues which may arise through remote learning.
- Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 students will receive a minimum of 60% ‘live’ teaching in every subject via Google Meets. This will equate to a minimum of 15 hours ‘live’ teaching per week, all other lessons will be pre-recorded/ directed tasks and will be posted on Google Classroom.
- Years 7, 8 and 9 students will receive a minimum of 1 ‘live’ lesson per faculty via Google Meets. This will equate to a minimum of 8 hours live teaching per week. All other lessons will either include pre-recorded content or tasks set to be completed independently. These will be posted on Google Classroom.
Where lessons are live the codes for lessons will follow a generic format: YEARGROUP+TEACHERINITIALS, e.g. 11LHE or 13KJW. Where content is recorded or tasks are set they will be posted on Google Classrooms by 8am each day.
Routines for all children are absolutely essential. As parents I urge you to ensure that your children have a good sleep routine and are up, awake and ready to learn for 8.45am. They then need to carefully check Google Classroom for their timetabled lessons that day to establish what work they need to complete and which live lessons they need to attend.
For clarity, all students will follow a general school timetable:
- 8.50am Tutor time (combination of remote assemblies, tutor drop-in sessions and digital resources)
- 9.10am Period 1
- 10.10am Period 2
- 11.10am Break
- 11.25am Period 3
- 12.25pm Period 4
- 13.25pm Lunch
- 13.55pm Period 5
For students who are struggling to access Google Classroom or Google Meets, please see the support videos below:
After this, if you are having any technical issues accessing material then can log any questions or concerns with the ICT technical team using this email address: IThelpdesk@heanorgate.derbyshire.sch.uk
Only “vulnerable children” and “children of critical workers” will be allowed on the school site. There will be classroom supervision for these students and the provision for these students will be the same as other students in their year group. From Monday 11 January, key worker students should continue to arrive at the main reception at 8.50am but must wear full school uniform. Students should bring a jumper or equivalent if rooms are cold due to necessary ventilation. We will trial selling a limited range of hot food should students wish to purchase any, or students can continue to bring a packed lunch with them. It is important to note that if your child is coming into school you should have already liaised with your child’s Achievement Leader/Assistant Achievement Leader and they will need to consent to undertake a lateral flow Covid-19 test once on site. Guidance around consent for these tests has been sent out separately.
The only other students that will be onsite are those who are involved in vocational exams. They will be on site for a pre-exam focus class and to sit their examination and this will be in a completely separate part of the school to the ‘key worker’ provision. Full details of timings for these students has been communicated directly with them.
Y11 and Y13 public examinations
It is very important that all parents of all year groups understand our current position regarding the recent government announcement that GCSE and A-Level examinations will not take place in the summer. At the moment we do not have any definitive guidance on what they will be replaced with and also what evidence will be required around the submission of teacher assessed grades. Therefore it is essential that we not only continue to fully educate these two year groups for that reason alone but, arguably more importantly, because all of our students’ learning is holistic and not solely about an examination grade. The next stage of life for these two year groups does not begin until August and we must continue to equip them with a knowledge rich curriculum and the skills required for that next stage throughout the rest of this academic year.
When we are in a more clear position regarding the submission of grades, we will contact each year group separately but please be assured that we will support every individual student to get the best set of grades possible with no one being disadvantaged due to the impending new system.
Once again I will end the correspondence with a plea to the community to continue to support the national lockdown in order to drive down the infections so we can get back to school normally as soon as it is safe. The infections today have increased further to near 500 per 100000 and with this likely to rise for the next ten days or so, we really are in a critical period. The situation is very difficult for everyone and we certainly do not underestimate the complexities of family life whilst everyone is working from home and in the same house 24/7. We will do everything we can to ensure the school provision makes it as painless as possible to home-school. We’ve had a good start and now it’s time to stay strong, resilient and positive and ensure we continue to engage throughout the time we are away from the school building.