New Year. New Term. New Online Distance Learning Programme

Welcome to the beginning of another interesting term. It is unfortunate that we are plunged back into the world of online learning, but hopefully this will be the last time we shall have to endure such provision.

We shall be reverting to an online timetable from Thursday 7th January for Reception to Form 6. We will once again be using Seesaw – our interactive platform for delivering the curriculum, and secure online journal where pupils can document and reflect on what they are learning in class. Lessons will be signposted from each pupil’s page and there will be resources either on Seesaw or in School’s portal. Many of our pupils who are now competent at working with Seesaw use it even when we have been back at school, and parents too are no longer strangers to how it works.

During the national schools’ closure period in 2020, Form 5 and Form 6 received regular Maths and English tutorials in small groups over Zoom video, and we shall endeavour to do the same this term. We shall also be enhancing our pastoral support providing small group Zoom meetings twice a week for all pupils with their Class Teacher or Form Tutor. This will allow children to see and hear from each other and their teacher, and give them opportunities to ask questions.

Headmaster’s Forum
I am sure some parents will have questions, or concerns, and to help address these I will be hosting a series of Zoom Forum Meetings for parents over the next few weeks. These will be organised in year groups, as some queries may be year specific, and I suspect early evening sessions may be more useful for parents than during schooltime. Further details will be published this week.

Kindergarten, Nursery, Vulnerable Children and Children of Critical Workers
The school will remain open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers, and for Kindergarten and Nursery children to attend their booked sessions.

I hope that we can bring our pupils some normality in a time of uncertainty. We are in a new, exciting phase of education. Innovations are being forced into everyday life and I have no doubt will enhance the opportunities our pupils will experience now and into the future. We are already developing our skills, and those of the children, in the use of technology. I look forward to sending assemblies and messages out via pre-recorded video and I am excited to review work and activities that the children have been involved in. We love to share as much as we can on Twitter, Facebook and through our Newsletter. I also look forward to giving out stars and merit badges in the forthcoming term.

Robert A Yates