Dear Parents & Carers
Another week and another steep learning curve. One of the things I have learned this week is that, despite the bad press, Public Health England, is an extremely helpful organisation, especially the person attached to Warwickshire Local Authority. They return calls promptly and listen carefully as I explain cases. They then help the decision-making process rather than demanding that things are done, respecting that we know our school and circumstances better than they do. They are also clinicians and can fully explain how risk of infection diminishes at each one metre gap. Despite it being a rough start to the week and having to ask Year 13 to work from home as a precaution, I end the week with greater faith in the system and the advice available to head teachers.
Next week we will start to welcome back some of the students we have had to send home to self-isolate, starting with the Year 10s. I would like to thank all the students who have had to work from home during this period. They have been the first to try out the SharePoint menu of work on the website, put there for these circumstances, and they have given us useful and objective feedback on how we can tweak and improve things. We’ve reviewed this, along with a few other aspects of school life, and I will write early next week to explain some changes which will come into effect after half term.
In the case of Year 13, the students have been extremely understanding. We didn’t take the decision lightly to ask them all to work from home, but they have all taken it in their stride and have engaged fully in the online lessons being delivered. This is obviously far easier when a whole class is out because it leaves the teacher to deliver to the camera. It isn’t as good as a class being there, but it is as close as we can manage under the circumstances, and the staff have been very pleased with the way the students have engaged.
With other year groups, some staff have taught a mixture of students in school and self-isolating students via Teams. This obviously depends on what is being taught, how it is presented and the number of students missing, but there have been some successes and again, students have worked well from home. All this information is fed back to Mr Cannon who leads our digital learning and coordinates our learning response to any confirmed cases. We take on board any feedback and look at how learning takes place and make adjustments as necessary as we go on.
I would add that when delivering lessons via Teams, I have found the ability to mute a child with a simple click of a mouse the most liberating experience I have had in over 20 years of teaching. I wish I could use it at home on my own child. Muting kids – it’s a revelation.
With best wishes
Andy Perry – Head TeacherClick here to return to the current newsletter