Headteacher’s End of Term Letter
In light of the PM’s announcement last night, I think I am now on version 4 of communications to you regarding provision in the spring term! Apologies for the constant change of instruction and guidance as we respond to the ever changing picture.
The message this time is quite clear as schools including St Mary’s are now closed until further notice. All learning will be conducted remotely online for all year groups.
The only exception to the above remains the provision for our most vulnerable pupils and those children of critical key workers. For these children, a limited catering service will be available in school but you may wish to send them to school with a packed lunch.
Remote Provision / Online Learning
At St Mary’s we are committed to high standards of teaching and learning and to enabling our pupils to leave us with excellent outcomes. Like you, we understand the limitations and challenges of remote provision but I want to assure you that in the coming weeks, we will be working hard to ensure consistently high quality online learning for our pupils. Please be advised that our plan is as follows:
- From tomorrow (Wednesday 6th January) and for Thursday 7th and Friday 8th January, all pupils should access their work via the St Mary’s school website by following:
For Students / Online Learning / Provision for Covid Related Absence
As a starting point for these 3 days pupils should follow their Week 2 timetable Wednesday – Friday in order to inform which work they should select and focus on. In addition to this, they may receive specific instructions from their class teachers.
The website has been recently updated by teaching staff with a whole range of tasks, topics, and work across all subjects and year groups.
- From Monday 11th January, all lessons will be delivered via Microsoft Teams as either live or recorded sessions for all year groups and will follow the Week 1 timetable. Therefore your child should login at their usual lesson time where they will receive instructions, tasks and guidance from their teachers.
The only exception to this will be core PE lessons and we would encourage pupils to take a break and some exercise – the PE department will shortly be making personal exercise plans and activities available.
Please note ‘Teams’ lessons from the 11th January will not necessarily be a full hour in duration as we are not advocating 4 or 5 hours screen time per day. We are also conscious that our pupils will need time to complete and work on the tasks set. Most work should be available in Teams if your child is unable to access at the time of the lesson. All pupils had previously been given exposure to ‘Teams’ in school and login details, but I would strongly advise that they check they can access this in the coming days and prior to next week. Should they experience any difficulties logging in or gaining access please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child is experiencing any particular issues with the work set, please contact their subject teacher and/or Head of Department/Head of Year who will try to assist you.
Mr Hawkesford- Johnson will re-issue some reminders about safe working protocols with online learning in advance of Monday 11th January. Should you have any hardware issues or difficulties accessing IT equipment for your child, please do let us know and we will try to support you.
For Year 11 parents, please be assured that we will be following closely the implications of statements made last night regarding GCSE exams. Mr Giampalma will be in touch shortly and I will communicate any updates on this matter as soon as I have them. Rest assured, we will do everything possible to support this year group through what will undoubtedly be uncertain and anxious times.
Finally, thanks for your support, patience and understanding. In the coming days I will try to limit communications coming out of the school to those that are essential so as to avoid overload.
Your children were working so hard and in such good spirts last term. I look forward to having them all back with us as soon as it is possible.