Headteacher Update 28th January
* 45-minute lessons from Monday 1st
* Tutor Calls: Adjustment
* Mentoring Day – Spring Term:
* Parents Evenings
* Free School Meals
28th January 2021
I hope you and your families are all well. Thank you for all the positive feedback our teachers have been receiving over the last few weeks regarding remote teaching. It has been well received and hugely appreciated. The feedback has also helped us to look carefully at what we are all doing, share as a team the best practice and learn some new skills and opportunities in order to enhance our teaching and your son/daughter’s learning from home. Yesterday’s announcement suggests a potential return for week commencing Monday 8th March 2021. We await the details on what this will mean, i.e. full return or staggered return but will communicate a plan as soon as we know when it is definite. Please see below a summary of updates and I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week:
Remote Learning: Screen Time – 45-minute lessons from Monday 1st February 2021
We are now into a well-established routine with our live lessons, and are delighted with student’s attendance. However, we have also noticed what the stress and strain looking at a computer screen for 5 hours a day can do to our pupils and staff’s health. Therefore, from next Monday 1st February 2021 all lessons will last 45 minutes rather than 1 hour. This will give both the pupil and the member of staff a 15-minute break where we would encourage the pupils at home to move away from the screen and take a break. The structure of the day and the start and end times of lessons will stay the same but finish 15 minutes early. For students in emergency school, the teacher will take them out of the computer room and down to their designated area indoors either in the canteen or main hall for some time away from the screen and to refresh for the next lesson. Please can I remind all students at home that by giving a short 15-minute break between lessons we will expect all pupils to be logged onto their next lesson on time.
Tutor Calls: Adjustment
The next round of tutor calls will take place on Wednesday 10th February 2021. We are going to make it more explicit that your son/daughter’s tutor will call on this day rather than at some point during the week. We hope this will ensure staff and students have time to talk without disrupting lessons. For students in emergency school, we will hold onsite activities within their year group bubbles led by staff that are not a tutor. Students in emergency school should come to school as normal on that day.
Following on from that, our next scheduled date for tutor calls would be Wednesday 10th March 2021 but this will be dependent on the Government’s announcement if pupils will return on the 8th March 2021. I will update you all closer to the time.
Mentoring Day – Spring Term:
Looking ahead to mentoring day at the end of this term, due to the fact that students have been taught remotely we cannot provide current grades or attitude grades as we normally would. Therefore, teachers will be giving a grade between 1 and 5 (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest) for the following two areas rather than a current grade and three attitude grades in classwork, behaviour and homework.
1. Attendance online
2. Effort online
This will be for all subjects in all year groups. Hopefully our normal reporting will take place again in the summer term. We intend to hold mentoring day and Year 9 options appointments as normal but will be guided by the Government’s announcement closer to the time. Mr Bedford (Assistant Head Teacher) will write to you after half term confirming these details.
Year 10 Parents Evening:
A gentle reminder that Year 10 parents evening is taking place tonight. This will be our first time holding a large online parent evening before using a new online format with school cloud. We are confident it will all work but please be patient with us if there are issues that need addressing we will try our best to address them.
Year 11 Parents Evening:
Mr Shelley has written to all Year 11 parents this week outlining the process for booking appointments using our online booking system at https://stgcc.schoolcloud.co.uk/ If you have any questions, please email him on firstname.lastname@example.org A gentle reminder that it is on Thursday 4th February 2021 from 3:30pm-7pm.
Please note Year 8 parents evening on Thursday 25th February and Year 9 parents evening on Thursday 11th February will take place between 5-7:30pm. Year 8 parents evening will be online through school cloud. For Year 9 we will confirm closer to the time dependent on Government guidance.
Exams Cancelled – Year 11
I know many of you will be anxious about how teacher predicted grades are going to be calculated. I can confirm that the consultation document is now available to schools to review and make their comments before the final guidance is released. At this stage our initial intention to plan a formal assessment point in the summer term was the right thing to do in order to provide supporting evidence when making decisions regarding grades.
Most importantly we are delighted that almost every pupil has got a plan for next year. They have had their college interview and have either received an offer or are waiting to hear back. Please can we encourage all students to make sure they are thinking about their next steps and if you have any questions or require support we are here to help. The best person to speak to about careers, college applications is our careers advisor Mrs Sharron Ward at email@example.com.
Lateral Flow Testing Programme for COVID-19
All students in emergency school have been tested twice and all results were negative. All staff have been tested every week and we had one positive result but the member of staff had already been isolating because a member of their household had tested positive. There was no contamination with anyone at school. We will now stop testing pupils as per the guidance and just continue testing staff weekly until we all move across to the Saliva Testing programme.
Saliva Testing for COVID 19 – To Come
We are doing all we are being asked to do to be ready to start this testing programme when we are formally told to begin. Thank you to all parents who have updated us with new contact details. As we get more information of course we will update you.
We would encourage pupils to use the firstname.lastname@example.org for sensitive mental health and safeguarding issues. The stay safe email address is available for pupils if you are feeling concerned for your safety, wellbeing or anxiety which is affecting your ability to function as you normally would. This will be looked at daily. Please be aware that if you message staff on MS teams between 8:20am – 3:20pm teachers will be teaching but will respond within three working days. For parents, the email address will be emailed to all students via their school email accounts and put on each year group’s team page.
Free School Meals: From Tuesday 5th January 2021 to Friday 12th February 2021
There is now the option to have either a food parcel or vouchers for FSM pupils not in our emergency school. For those parents that have requested vouchers we have ordered these through Edenred and for those that are receiving food parcels this will continue. If you wish to make a change please email email@example.com but please note if you do wish to change either way that you may have to wait two weeks due to the deadline of orders.
A gentle reminder that parents have the opportunity to complete a confidential questionnaire at the following link: We would appreciate your feedback in order to ensure we are doing the best we can for our pupils at this challenging time:
If you have any questions please get in touch. Stay safe and take care.