Letter from the Headteacher - 12.06.2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope this email finds you and your family safe and well.

As you can imagine, we have been very busy since half term setting up the face to face contact sessions to supplement home learning for our Year 10 and 12 students. This will begin on Monday 15 June. I have sent out full details of these sessions to parents of students in the two year groups and their Heads of Year have also been in touch with the students. We are really looking forward to seeing them again next week. 

Please note: The school also continues to remain open to care for the children of key workers and vulnerable students as we have been doing since this all began back in March. 

As I said, in my previous email, the government has confirmed that students in Years 7, 8 and 9 will not return to school this term and I know that some parents and students will be disappointed by this decision.  As Mr Hughes, Head of Lower School said in his letter last week our teachers will continue setting work, giving feedback and getting in touch with students and if you or your child needs support for anything our Heads of Year are available on email. 

We have been incredibly impressed by the standards of work continually being produced by so many of our students and we have sent out many Amazon vouchers to the students who have been getting it right across the whole curriculum.  We intend to give away plenty more vouchers before summer, so please urge your child to keep working hard to earn the praise and rewards they deserve from their teachers.

Live Lessons via Zoom

As a school we are constantly reviewing how our teachers can provide the best home learning experience for our students.  Increasingly teachers have been including short pre-recorded video and audio clips with online learning.  We will shortly be introducing some live lessons via Zoom as this can be a really useful way of allowing students to ask questions about their work and talk to their teachers directly.

It is important that you are aware that all live lessons via Zoom will be recorded and saved to the school Zoom account.  Recordings will not capture the student video stream; however, all audio and comments/questions posted by participants during the meeting will be saved along with the teacher’s presentation screen.  This information is being shared with all students so that they understand and agree before participating in recorded live lessons.

Teachers will invite students to participate in a live Zoom lesson by sending a unique meeting link via Google Classroom/Showbie notification.  We ask for your support to reinforce our expectations that these live lessons take place in a quiet space within the home and not a student bedroom.  Students must ensure that their microphone and camera remain turned off until the teacher invites them to unmute, be appropriately dressed and ensure siblings or other family members are not present in the meeting.  After the live lesson the teacher may upload a recording of the lesson to Google Classroom to allow students to review the lesson later, including any student not present during the live lesson.

To support you in making sure all students are working safely online, please read the attached student information and the link to the NSPCC guide to Zoom https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/zoom/ (note: age rating for Zoom Education is different).  Further instructions will also be posted in each Google Classroom to remind students of the ways in which we work and the expectations we have in these live lessons.  It is essential that students follow the safeguarding protocols that we outline to ensure they are working safely at home. 

Finally, I would like to issue my usual offer of support to you as parents as you move into the next phase of lockdown and continue to cope with the challenges of home schooling.  I have attached a link to the websites designed to support you and your child with any issues caused by this situation.  Please also remember that Form Tutors, Heads of Year and our safeguarding team are also available via email.

Thanks as always for your strong support.

Kind regards,

Martyn Hill


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