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24th March 2020
I wrote to you at the end of last week to say that we would be in regular communication over the coming weeks on how we can support parents with the online learning your children will be doing. I want to start by saying that with the many millions of children starting online learning, this has obviously led to a surge of demand on the internet and learning platforms which has slowed down all systems. I understand as a parent myself how frustrating this can be and I would ask you to remain as patient as possible and bear with the systems as the companies work on building up their capabilities. Hopefully, as things begin to settle, ‘ItsLearning’ will increase their system speeds and all our children will be able to access the materials that are needed.
Due to these online problems, I am sending out with this Parentmail an English and maths booklet for Year 7, 8 and 9. This can be done straight into exercise books or onto paper and you won’t need to access ItsLearning to do this work. You can use any websites to support them doing this study such as corbettmaths.com or BBC bitesize. Children can work through these at their own pace and can message their teacher through itslearning if they struggle. As we go through the coming weeks, we will be regularly updating you on our online and offline provision so all students can continue on with their learning journey.
Your child’s Tutor will also be in regular contact (if they are fit and well) to find out how your child is doing and to offer any help they can. Please do look out for this message on itslearning at the end of the week. On Thursday we will write to you again with some ideas about how to support your child when they are requested by staff to use the internet to do research.
For many of our parents with students in Year 11 and Year 10, this is an extremely worrying time about how the GCSE grades will be awarded. On 20th March the government published the following guidance regarding the cancellation of exams this summer.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020. We would recommend Year 11 and 10 students and parents read this guidance as it answers several of the questions we all have regarding how grades will be awarded.
As the guidance states, the GCSE results will be calculated on a number of factors, with teacher predictions being one of these factors. Students who do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance will have the opportunity to sit an exam, as soon as is reasonably possible after schools and colleges open again. We will do our utmost to make sure the grades awarded are fair and what the students deserve and we will update parents and students as soon as we get further clarification. There is still the slight possibility that coursework and controlled assessment tasks as they stand will need to be moderated so if this is requested from a teacher do please make sure this is completed and sent through.
However, we would thoroughly recommend students in Year 11 to maintain good study and learning habits over the next few months in preparation for the next stage of their education, whether that be ‘A’ levels, college courses, apprenticeships or training. We would encourage students to research their new courses, read around the subject(s) and make use of free online resources. If we need anything from students, we will contact the parents and students affected as a matter of urgency. As far as we know, results day for students is still Thursday 20th August 2020. However, there has been some discussion although nothing definite about this date being brought forward to July. As soon as we have more information we will let you know.
The College remains open to those children of key workers and students who are deemed to be vulnerable. We are also open to those families who want to come in and collect exercise books for their children between 10am and 2pm. Please only come into the College if you are not self-isolating and showing no symptoms.
As ever, if you have any questions at all about teaching and learning, please do contact either James Collins (Deputy Headteacher) firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Potts (Assistant Headteacher) email@example.com who will get back to you as quickly as possible.
20th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
One of our key priorities over the coming weeks is to ensure that all of our students will be able to continue learning whilst they are not in College. Over this period of uncertainty, we will write to parents on a regular basis with advice and guidance on how to ensure your child continues their learning journey at this difficult time.
Your child has brought home their exercise books with them and the expectation is that work will be completed in these books unless they are asked specifically to complete tasks online. Student tasks will be set on ‘itslearning’ where every subject has its own course page which your child can access. The work in each subject course page will be set in a folder called ‘Keep up’ and all the materials and resources that your child will need can be found in this folder. You will find this folder in the ‘resources’ tab on each course page. The work set will be updated regularly by our teaching staff.
‘Itslearning’ can be accessed via the internet on any connected device e.g Smartphone/tablet/laptop. There will be a range of different learning tasks for students to complete which might involve watching educational videos and then answering questions, access to other online providers and completing online worksheets. Your child has also been given access to other websites which are being used for their online learning. If you can’t access these when at home, please ask your child to message their subject teacher via the ‘itslearning’ messaging service. We have had advice from ‘Itslearning’ that due to the large volume of traffic on the site, it might be slower than usual and especially over the next week, so please show patience and persevere if your child has any problems accessing or logging in.
There are many other excellent educational websites which can be accessed for free at this stage which will complement your child’s learning. BBC bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize and twinkle https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/keystage3-ks3-teachers-toolbox/homework-help-revision-packs-teacher-toolbox-secondary/school-closure-support-free-taster-packs-ks3-ks4 are excellent to assist your child’s independent learning.
Routines can give children a sense of organisation, stability, and comfort. That, in turn, should help develop better behaviour at home and a sense of personal control, especially in teenagers. Routines not only have emotional benefits but health benefits as well so please keep up good routines with your children during any isolation at home. Please do not hesitate to contact the College through firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s access to their online materials.
19th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
As you will be aware from my previous communications to you, the College had previously been working hard in preparing for a potential school closure by ensuring work is available on ‘its learning’ for your child to access. Now that school closures have been enforced, learning for the majority of our students will now be conducted remotely through its learning. If you believe your child may have difficulties or is unable to access work during the College closure period then please contact us on 02392 251 120 or email@example.com.
It is understandable that some students will find this an anxious and unsettling period of time and therefore it is important for them to maintain a routine as close as possible to a usual working week; getting up and dressed by a certain time, having meals at certain times, having dedicated learning time and allowing time for physical exercise. We will be sending more advice out on a regular basis each week to support students and parents with remote study to make it as effective as possible.
On Thursday we ensured that all Year 8’s who were in College left the site in the afternoon with all their exercise books. Year 7 were also issued with theirs too. Today we will go through the same process with Years 9, 10 and 11, so all students will have their exercise books. If you have a child who is currently having to self-isolate, their books can be collected from College once the period of self-isolation has been completed.
I want to take this opportunity to say how proud I was of the students on Thursday and the manner in which they are dealing with the current situation and recognising the importance of their learning over the coming weeks.
For many families, this is a particularly difficult time. I am aware that some of you are under extreme pressure managing the demands of family life and balancing this with the challenges of employment. We will continue to do all we can to work in partnership with you and can I remind you or your child of the KeepInTouch@crookhorn.hants.sch.uk email if you require further support.
Mrs S Bennett
Further to the guidance we sent out last night, the DfE has published two new documents with important information for schools.
18th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Following the Government announcement this evening, the College will be closed from 3.10pm on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.
A provision for those children of key workers ie NHS, Police, Social Care and delivery drivers and for children who are Looked After, have a social worker or are subject to an EHCP. If you require this provision please email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midday on Friday 20th March. Notification of the provision available will be confirmed to you later on Friday afternoon.
Over the next two days, the plan remains in place that was communicated to all parents earlier today in that Year 9 will not be required to attend College on Thursday 19th March 2020 but should return on Friday 20th March 2020 and Year 8 will not be required to attend College on Friday 20th March 2020.
All students who will be at home for the coming period of time should access their work via ‘it's learning’. All teaching staff will be working remotely to ensure work is uploaded and relevant to consolidating the knowledge and skills acquired so far this year.
Over the next two days, students will be given their exercise books to bring home with them to aid with their study and the work set on ‘it's learning’. For Year 9 who are not in the College tomorrow, the College will ensure they have them by the end of the day on Friday.
For students currently not attending due to illness or self-isolation please contact the College via email@example.com and we can advise you on arrangements for these to be collected as and when they are able to.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for their support so far during these extraordinary times. We will continue to update you with further details and work in partnership to the benefit of all the community.
Mrs S Bennett