Letter to Parents – Remote Learning

20th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

I wanted to write to you all to convey my thanks for how you have supported the school, students and staff in engaging with remote learning.

Last week 89% of students have been completing daily activities, thank you all for supporting and making this happen, having myself a ten and six year old at home, I know how difficult and challenging at times it is to keep students focused and engaged.

Can I take this opportunity to remind you of our remote learning strategy, students are set work via Teams, students have all received passwords and had training in school last term to ensure we were prepared if this situation arose.  The completed work is then uploaded onto Show My Homework.  The reasoning behind this decision is through our ICT audits conducted; the majority of students have to share devices with other family members.  This we believe then puts students who have restrictive access to live lessons at a disadvantage.  The benefit of voiced over PowerPoints is that they can be accessed at the household’s convenience and if needed replayed again to help ensure understanding.  Students also have access to weekly live inputs if needed, these are a mix of modelling examples of work or explanations and a session when staff are available for students to come online and ask questions if struggling with an element of the work.  We believe this blend gives all students the best opportunities to be successful and make progress.  We are posting on our Twitter account examples of great work completed at this time, I encourage you to follow us on Twitter.

Free School Meal Vouchers, I am pleased to inform you all that the voucher scheme is again operational by the Government, eligible parents should receive vouchers under the same process as operated in lockdown in Spring 2020. As with many of you and reported in the national press last week, I was disappointed with Governments first response of food parcels, I can inform you that I made my feelings quite clear to the appropriate bodies. It is clearly unacceptable that adequate provision can only be made through the additional work of school staff sourcing additional charitable donations to supplement and improve the below standard offer.  I am glad the voucher system that had originally worked well has been brought back into operation.  Thank you for your letters of concern and also the understanding that it was beyond our control.

Thank you for your responses to the parental questionnaire we sent out in November, to summarise around 60-70% responded positively to the questions with around 10% unhappy with some level of provision.  This feedback is important and as a Senior Leadership Team we discussed in depth the analysis on how to improve the education and support we provide.  One of the common themes was around 20-25% responding to the feedback with an “I don’t know” response.  These are key in our analysis and helping us plan our directions, as they demonstrate areas where we need to improve our methods of communication.  Many of these type of responses hinge around curriculum understanding.

In response to this useful feedback from February you will receive a curriculum overview, this A4 document will have a brief snapshot of what the students will be learning in the coming half term, along with what the PSHE and careers links will be.  I hope you find this document useful to be able to have conversations with your children regarding their learning.  These conversations are vital as this encourages students to recall information, discuss further and explain to somebody who was not in the lesson.  Students who engage in these type of conversations regularly at home achieve better results in final examinations.

Year 11 parents will have received information via the MyEd app regarding parents evening on Thursday 28th January, this will be done remotely, please follow the links to book appointments.

We always appreciate your support and if we can support you in anyway please do contact us, reception is open during our normal office hours, our website also has links to support if people need additional guidance.  Thank you for the many positive messages we have received regarding the work being set, staff helping resolve issues and the weekly wellbeing phone calls, I always value and listen to what you have to say, if you would like to leave feedback on Parent View please follow the attached link:

https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk

Regards

S Mallett

Head of Academy