I write with an important update regarding the developing situation linked to COVID-19 and our latest actions relating to this.
Unfortunately we will be closing the school to students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 from tomorrow, Thursday 19th March 2020; this is not a decision that has been taken lightly but one driven by necessity due to staff absence. This situation will be reviewed pending further government announcements regarding school closures.
Students in Years 11 and 13 should attend school as normal on Thursday 19th March and Friday 20th March as should Year 10 students completing their Design Btec exam.
Learning from home
Students will be set work via their school email accounts. If any students encounter difficulties logging on, please email PasswordReset@heart-england.co.uk describing the problem and they will respond promptly.
In Key Stage 3 where students have multiple lessons per week (English, Maths, Science, MFL) the work will be set in one weekly chunk to cover all the lessons that week. In subjects where the lessons happen less frequently work will be set on the day in question or a slightly longer project will be set that is intended to last a certain specified number of hours. Encourage your children to follow the working pattern of their timetable to space work out and keep variety. Teachers will adjust the length or amount of tasks rather than setting separate homework.
In Year 10 and Year 12 students will be emailed work which follows the rhythm of their timetable. Again a slightly longer project might be set that is intended to last a certain specified number of hours.
We are aware that students have different levels of access to technology and so have prepared a helpsheet for how to access the school network which is available on our website here:
During working days if teachers are well they will check their emails daily and so should be able to reply to any reasonable queries by the next working day. If staff are themselves ill they have been encouraged to set up an Out of Office email reply so that you are aware of this.
Our students have access to online learning platforms such as MyMaths and Doddle (for which they have unique usernames and passwords) and there are other e-learning sites such as BBC Bitesize, Memrise, Quizlet and Seneca which can help support or augment learning. We are aware that student access to and tolerance of technology varies immensely so we will aim to set a variety of tasks, rather than it all be computer based.
We know that good teaching is much more than can be provided by any distance learning. This is going to be the most challenging part of learning from home. We plan to set tasks that can be self-marked and we won’t be asking staff to mark all completed work in the short term but we are working on systems that enable feedback in the longer term, if necessary. Despite our contingency planning this is a new situation for all of us so please bear with us as we work together to support your children. We will be continually reviewing the effectiveness of the systems we have put in place.
Pending any announcements from Ofqual students in Years 11 and 13 should continue to prepare for examinations. The learning of these two year groups will be prioritised. We will keep you informed of any developments.
We understand that this is an incredibly difficult situation for all and we do not underestimate the impact that this may have upon many members of our community. Our pastoral team will continue to be available via email to offer support and guidance as necessary.
We understand that some families have different levels of need and we will contact these families directly.
Pastoral manager contact addresses are:
- Apollo: BaynesClarkeE@heart-england.co.uk
- Phoenix: HoldgateL@heart-england.co.uk
- Pioneer: LeeR@heart-england.co.uk
- Voyager: LydsterS@heart-england.co.uk
Our staff will be working hard to mitigate the challenges of this unprecedented time which requires patience and consideration of all and from all. Please bear in mind that they too are working in difficult circumstances as they juggle their professional responsibilities with their own health and wellbeing and the needs of their immediate and wider families.
If you need to keep in touch or make general queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue to keep us informed with relation to any COVID-19 illness by emailing email@example.com . This will help inform our ongoing decision-making processes.
We will continue to update the information and guidance page of our school website with regards to any developments: https://heart-england.co.uk/coronavirus-concerns/