Distance Learning

Distance Learning

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we begin the Summer Term in truly unique circumstances, I wanted to recap and share with you how our teaching will adjust to the ongoing lockdown and school closure.

All Heads of Subject have carefully planned how they can deliver their curriculum to students through distance learning, both in the short and longer term. This means that whenever schools reopen to all students they can continue with their studies as unaffected as possible. In some subjects this may mean that prior activities are consolidated, and in others new material will begin to be studied – should the closure of schools continue then it is more likely that new material will need to be studied at home. Your role in supporting us with this is vital therefore, and of course we are here to support your child’s learning in whatever way we can.

Class teachers will continue to record work on SIMS Homework and upload any resources to Filr, exactly as they have done since our school closed. Teachers, or in some cases Heads of Subject, will also email your child each week with an explanation of upcoming activities and to provide any tailored support required. The timescale for each activity will be made clear so that students can plan their time, and class teachers will try to set activities as close to our normal school timetable as possible. For example if your child has their first History lesson on a Wednesday then their History teacher(s) will try to schedule the work for that time, rather than everything being set on Monday morning. All students should try to complete as much of the activities set as possible.

Based on feedback and your own experiences of home learning you’ve shared with me since the school’s closure I wanted to also share with you some points of what seems to be emerging as best practice in this situation:

  • Structuring your child’s home learning is crucial. This can be done in whatever way suits you and your situation, but separating study time from leisure time is as important now as it is in normal circumstances. Routine will also help your child to cope with the significant change to their way of life at the moment. Class teachers will try to support this by setting tasks as close to the normal school timetable as possible.
  • Be wary of claims that activities or work have been “done” before in school. Learning is a long-term change in a student that comes from at least three unique opportunities to encounter an aspect of our curriculum. If a class teacher feels learning is truly secure, based on their in-class assessment, then it would not be set for home learning.
  • Include reading, writing and maths as part of the daily routine on a study day. Work set by class teachers in our English and Maths Faculties will support this of course, as will the range of additional resources I’ve shared in previous communications.
  • Class teachers are there to support your child as thoroughly as they would normally in school. If any additional support is required please encourage your child to email their teacher directly. The easiest way for them to do this is to simply reply to the class teacher’s weekly email if needed.
  • Be realistic: activities are being set taking into account how challenging this situation is for everyone and the wide range of ways this terrible virus is affecting us all. As long as your child is trying their best at home, seeking support from class teachers if they are truly struggling and completing as much as they can then that’s a great approach given this context.

As always if any further support is needed please just let me or the relevant member of staff know.

Yours faithfully,

Mr B Wilcox
Assistant Head of School