It seems a long time since the whole country went into lockdown and at very short notice students were taken out of school and expected to continue their studies from home. As you will imagine Kingsmeadow staff were quickly tasked with the challenge of attempting to shift weeks of carefully coordinated lesson planning, content and skills progression into online learning tasks and sessions.
At first students seemed to take reasonably well to the different approaches but over time it has become apparent that the lack of classroom interaction and contact has been difficult for staff and students alike. There was no time to coach the children, to prepare them.
Some parents reported that their child quickly settled into a routine, completing work, submitting it and then acting on the feedback. Others of you have found it more challenging to support your child with their work. There have been discussions where parents have commented to staff that they are struggling to engage their child, or that the child ‘can’t find’ or ‘has not been set’ work. Staff have worked tirelessly over the last few months since this began to support children in their remote learning. Sometimes when a child has been prompted by a parent who has sat with them, they have been able to get back on track. We need to work together. If you have gone through the work with your child and you see they have not completed work or have not responded to prompts or requests, then let us know.
This is not homework in the traditional sense, where work is built on a platform of classroom explanation or discussion and then built on later at home, to be fedback or discussed soon afterwards in class. Working remotely for extended periods of time is a new approach now in these times with Covid-19, and one that we are set to have for some time to come, whatever the case in September.
Over the coming week, teachers will be supplementing tasks and activities assigned to students with further guidance about approaches to home learning. We hope that students will feel encouraged to refocus and re-establish purposeful routines. It is important to remember that it is never too late to make improvements, and that staff are happy to support where they can. Students remain advised to contact their teachers directly where they have questions.
We are learning all the time as a school and I hope you will continue to keep us informed of how we can best support and improve the experience of your child.
Parent and Student Questionnaire
To help us to prepare for what is round the corner, in September onwards, we have prepared questionnaires for yourselves and students. The information that these will provide will give us insights into what we can do better and what we need to plan for. Thank you in advance for completing these:
Face to face sessions
23-26 June saw successful face to face sessions for Yr 10 and Yr 12 students. We were able to successfully accommodate all those students that were able to attend in key sessions in Maths, English, Sciences, Spanish and Geography or History and for Yr 12 in each of their studied subjects. All work or materials used for those in attendance was then made available to those members of the cohorts that were unable to attend. Students appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and quiz staff.
We intend to offer face to face sessions for all Yr 7, 8 & 9 students before the end of term. Each student will be invited to book a slot with their tutor or a member of the pastoral team to review their work at home and deal with any outstanding concerns. Due to restrictions and social distancing these meetings will be for the students only, parents will not be able to attend. If you wish to speak to a member of staff please feel free to communicate with the school or individual subject staff in the usual way. Key email addresses are on the school website.
The government has announced their intention that all schools will fully return from September. Believe you me as a school there is nothing that we want more. It remains the case though that Covid-19 has not been eradicated and as we are reminded on a daily basis it will be with us for months to come, so the possibility of what they are now calling Local Lockdown remains a distinct possibility. This in essence implies that should there be a local spike or an incidence of a Covid-19 case either in school or in a family with close ties to school, we may be locked down for a period of time. This could happen not only to a school but to whole towns, or factories etc, so there needs to be the ability for students to smoothly transfer to remote learning. In terms of planning this will be a challenge. At the same time, even if we remain open and untouched we will continue to have to deal with no more than groups of 30. That means no assemblies nor parents evenings, concerts etc.
We need to continue to work together as a community and make sure that the young people of Kingsmeadow are supported and do not miss out on their learning. We can only do that through strong, robust communication and support between home and school. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks for the support you have shown towards school during these unprecedented times and more importantly for your efforts in supporting your child with their home learning.