LPSB Weekly Update 15th January 2021Posted on: January 15th - 2021
Welcome to the end of the second week of the second lockdown. I hope that for all of you it has been as productive and positive a week as circumstances allow. There are a number of updates for you this week.
I remain extremely heartened by the positive feedback that I continue to receive on an almost daily basis about how well your sons and daughters are getting on with the remote learning and how well it is working. Given that both staff and students have had to adapt very quickly to a completely different way of working with the delivery of live lessons I am pleased that it seems to be working so well. I am also aware that the 8:30am Form Period has really helped to ensure the students have a structured start to their day. This will obviously continue throughout the period of lockdown. Any students who are struggling to access remote learning through a lack of appropriate devices or internet access should contact Anna Siddell in the first instance, email@example.com
As far as possible, teachers are setting work that is achievable within their timetabled hour, rather than work that should take students much longer after the school day has finished. There will of course be instances where students need to work a little longer to finish things off, but this shouldn’t be taking hours each day. Given the challenges of remote learning for students and families, our expectation is that students are able to log off reasonably soon after their lessons for the day are finished. This may be slightly different for KS4 and KS5 students, who may be expected to complete more independent study, but the general rule of thumb should be that all students are finished by 4pm. We’re all adjusting to the challenges of remote learning, and working out what a manageable amount of work looks like. If your son or daughter is struggling to manage their workload, please do contact their teachers so that we can support them to manage the work that needs to be done.
I would just like to remind parents / carers that the live lessons are delivered for the benefit of the students and it is not appropriate for parents to be sitting in on lessons or interacting with them. If you need to speak to one of your child’s teachers for any reason then please contact them through the school office and arrange an appointment in the normal way.
Access to the Internet or Additional Data for Disadvantaged Students:
The Government are running a temporary scheme to assist disadvantaged students to gain access to the internet during the school closure. Applications need to be made by the school on behalf of their students. This scheme is open to children and young people who: do not have access to a fixed broadband connection / cannot afford the additional data needed to access educational resources or social care services / have access to a mobile device that uses a participating network / are facing disruption to their face-to-face education or have been advised not to attend school. Participating networks are as follows: Three, Smarty, Virgin Mobile, EE, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile, O2. The scheme helps in one of two ways – either to provide additional data for mobile devices or to provide WIFI access. If you require support with this please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pupil Premium / 16-19 Bursary
If your child is eligible for Pupil Premium or the 16-19 Bursary and requires additional support or resources to help with home learning, please contact email@example.com to discuss. We also understand that the circumstances of some families have changed. If this is the case and you think you may be eligible for Free School Meals, you can apply online at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
Free School Meals
The Government led Edenred Free School Meals voucher scheme will be back up and running from next week as it was throughout the first lockdown. Details of this will follow in due course and families who are eligible for free school meals should expect the receive further information shortly. The Government was not able to have the scheme up and running by the start of term so families eligible for support will have received Tesco vouchers to cover the first two weeks of term. Assistant Headteacher, Anna Siddell, firstname.lastname@example.org is the main contact for issues around Free School Meals so if you have any questions or concerns please contact her in the first instance.
Key worker / vulnerable students provision
Our key worker / vulnerable student provision has been up and running again this week and will continue throughout lockdown. I have however, had a significant increase in the number of students accessing this provision this week which is starting to put pressure on our staffing. All I would ask is that families only take advantage of this provision where they really need to do so to enable you to do your own jobs, or where your child(ren) cannot be supervised safely at home. With all of my teachers now teaching a full timetable of lessons each week I have a limited number of staff that I can call on to supervise the on-site provision and it may be that I will have to limit numbers who can attend each day if the number of people requesting supervision increases further. Your understanding is appreciated.
We are aware that this can be a difficult time for families for a wide variety of reasons, and once again I would urge you to make use of our School Counsellor Ms Bullen, email@example.com, if any members of your family are experiencing difficulties with their physical or mental wellbeing during lockdown. I am also aware of families who have lost loved ones in recent weeks and I would ask that you please let us know if your family suffers any kind of bereavement so that we can offer support as appropriate to you and your sons / daughters.
I would also ask you all to encourage your sons / daughters to make sure they find some time each day to get some kind of physical exercise, even if they just go for a walk. When so much time is being spent in front of a screen it is really important that students remain as active as they can.
A parent of one of our Year 13 students has contacted us to let us know of some online Mindfulness sessions that are running each day until February half term. She says that ‘no previous mindfulness experience is necessary and it is open to adults and young people alike. We just ask that under 18s have an adult with them for safeguarding purposes.’ If families think they might be interested in accessing these sessions then the link is below.
Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) | Bringing Mindfulness to Schools
The link below takes you an instructional video on the use of the GCSE pod software package which is a really useful resource for students in years 9-11 and which has materials for the majority of subjects to support your live lessons.
The consultation on what will replace GCSE and A Level exams is due to begin next week and we are awaiting further information about this. In the meantime it has now been confirmed that the BTEC exams that were scheduled for February and March will not go ahead. I will keep you posted as we learn more, but the message remains that years 11 and 13 must keep working hard as usual.
A reminder to continue informing us of any positive cases of Covid 19 in your household using the firstname.lastname@example.org email address so that we can continue to report cases to the DFE as appropriate.
We are going to run a virtual Extracurricular session next week for hockey.
Time: Thursday 15.15pm
What you need:
• stick and ball (tennis ball preferable)
• small space inside or out, you do not have to run.
The aim of the session is to practice close skills.
If you have not been invited to this session and would like to be please contact email@example.com
Thanks Mr Falconer
I wish you all a restful and relaxing weekend. Time to log off.
Mr S. Parsons
Langley Park School for Boys