We have welcomed back students in September but we know that there is a real possibility that we will have to go into another lockdown at some point this academic year. The information below outlines our plans for such an event so that you know exactly what to expect.
Planning for Lockdown
What is the aim for a future lockdown?
The government has outlined tiers of school closure in the event of a future lockdown. At tier 1 there are no school closures but local areas may be subject to national intervention and restrictions including the wearing of masks for all adults and pupils on school site.
At tier 2, there will be partial closures of secondary schools on a rota model. Students will spend two weeks in school and two weeks at home accessing online learning.
At tier 3 there will be full closure of secondary schools and most students will be working from home remotely.
Our intention in any lockdown is to make sure that children can progress through their learning at the same rate as if they were in school. This is necessary because the lockdown may affect only schools in our region. This means our children will have two fewer weeks of schooling than their peers across the country, but will ultimately be expected to take the same examinations, with the same grade boundaries, as everyone else. The only way we can make it fair for our children, and ensure they are not disadvantaged by a lockdown, is to ensure they make the same progress they would have in school.
At the same time, we know that, although home learning is different for every family, it is often a very challenging experience. We know that it is often impossible for children to spend five hours on school work whilst at home, and we have been mindful of this whilst making our plans. We do not want home learning to be a source of stress or anxiety for any family.
How much work will my child have to complete?
We will be asking each child to complete three submitted pieces of work per day. We will support this with a live lesson for every single piece of submitted work, ensuring that your child has three lessons per day. These will be recorded in case your child is unable to get online at the specific slot of the lesson. Live lessons will be scheduled on days when your child would usually have these lessons timetabled. The schedule will be available on our website via the ‘Remote Learning’ tab. All students have access to MS Teams via their school login and password. Scheduled lessons will be available via this platform with relevant resources posted on show my homework.
As before, every department will also set discretionary work for children: this is meaningful work than can be done to extend and enrich learning, but which is not compulsory. We have done this to meet the different needs of our families, and so that no family ever feels that there is not enough work or that they have run out of work. This work will be available via show my homework.
In lockdown, children will unavoidably have less time with teachers than they would in school. Nevertheless, we are confident that they will continue to progress through their learning at the same speed as they otherwise would. This is because, we will focus on the examination curriculum far more than we usually might for the duration of the lockdown.
How can we prepare for lockdown?
We do not want to ask families or teachers to spend a lot of time preparing for a lockdown that, we hope, may never happen. There are also some limits on what’s possible for us when it comes to preparation. We do not know exactly what will happen and what advice and instruction we will be given by the Government. We do not know how much notice we would get; we do not know what the provision will be like for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and we do not know whether single year groups, like Year 11 and 13, will remain in school partially.
We have nevertheless prepared timetables for all children as part of our preparation and we would ask you to look at these with your children. You will find these via our website on the remote learning tab. If you do not have access to appropriate technology, please let the school know asap. We have already surveyed students to find out who may struggle to access our resources. Our intention is to provide any necessary help before lockdown measures go into place to avoid anxiety or difficulty in the event of a lockdown.
Below is a link to a parent help sheet detailing how to access your child’s email, access Teams and participate in a live teaching session.