Headteacher’s School Closure Update
Please accept my warmest greetings at this difficult time and my hopes that you and all of your families are keeping well. We are most grateful for your messages of thanks and support for our work leading up to and during this first week of closure. A kind word has indeed gone a long way.
I want to update you regarding how things are progressing during the closure and the ‘Stay Home’ instruction.
Working at Home
Firstly, students working from home have been able to access tasks on Go 4 Schools as well other websites, some set up by our own staff. Where problems have occurred with logging in, the ICT team and teachers are responding the same day to get them going. We are grateful when students let us know if something is not working like “an image is fuzzy” or “a document won’t open”. It enables us to fix it for everyone.
We realise it is not easy to motivate young adults and we would urge you to maintain family harmony. The object of the home working is to keep the study habit, so that when students are back at school they will be still be able to concentrate. We are not expecting huge leaps of progress whilst they are at home. Please remember a concentrated period of time reading a work of fiction, a newspaper, or watching a documentary, is time developing brain muscles!
Future Plans for Working at Home
Currently, we are trialling a system for students to hand in work and get feedback from teachers. If this works, we will be emailing a guide out to all students and parents. Time for us all to ramp up our ICT skills! We are also preparing to provide video resources from our own teachers to keep up the rapport with students. Some teams have already started this. We recognise that motivation is the key issue as time goes on and hearing from teachers will help with this.
I am acutely aware that all of this relies on having a good Internet connection and ICT equipment. You must let us know by emailing email@example.com if you have any issues of affording or maintaining your ICT equipment. Label your email “ICT problem”. In a few cases, we are providing paper versions of work, by post or drop off.
Schooling for Key Workers
Our schooling for key workers has continued all this week. We are working with families to support them to be able to continue their work in the Healthcare sector. You must be registered with us to use the facility. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Free School Meals
We do not yet have the arrangements from the government regarding the Free School Meal Voucher scheme, so we are supporting families in the interim. If you are having difficulty feeding your children (even if you were not previously registered for FSM) you must reach out to us. We have ways in which we can help. You can send a message to RMoors@wbvs.co.uk for help in this regard.
The latest update on how the students will get their qualifications is as follows: Exam boards will use teacher assessments and then combine this with a statistical matching exercise probably involving previous year's data and prior attainment. Students will have a right of appeal. We will update you further on this. We have not yet been approached to provide any information. The key message is not to worry.
New Reward Scheme – Home Heroes Award
Please let us know of your positive stories in our community. I am sure our wonderful students are helping in amazing ways at home and in the community. I am also sure that they are completing independent work that has surpassed your expectations. For that reason, I am setting up a ‘Home Heroes’ reward scheme from Monday. Parents and carers can nominate their child by emailing Homeheroes@wbvs.co.uk You can send in a photo, a piece of amazing work or simply type a few words explaining why you think your child deserves a ‘Home Heroes’ award. We will then send something suitable as a reward.
I will provide another update next Friday. Stay safe and stay home.