LPSB Weekly Update 22nd January 2021Posted on: January 22nd - 2021
Welcome to the end of another week, and I hope you continue to be fit and well in a week that has seen an alarming and distressing increase in the number of daily Covid related deaths. If we can take any comfort at all from the news then it must be that the roll out of the vaccine seems to be continuing at a good pace so fingers crossed we will be able to put this behind us at some point in the not too distant future. There are a number of things to draw your attention to this week.
The DFE’s consultations on what should replace the GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams were launched last Friday and contain a series of questions and suggestions for how we might move forward with the replacement for exams this year. The links below take you to the consultation documents, one for GCSE and A Level, and one for BTEC and other vocational courses. Families and students may well wish to read them and respond to the suggestions. The consultation runs until the 29th January so there is plenty of time for you to feed back your comments. Please feel free to send any questions or comments you may have about the consultation to the school, using our Deputy Headteacher, Mark Ridley, email@example.com as the contact. Mr Ridley has also created a short loom video highlighting some of the key parts of the key points in the consultation which you may also wish to watch, the link to which is included below. Clearly at this stage we will not necessarily have the answers to your questions whilst things remain at the consultation stage. Please note that only questions about the consultation itself should be sent to Mr Ridley, he will not be able to answer any questions about individual students or grades. The key thing to note is that the consultation seeks to ensure that no students are unfairly disadvantaged. Our message to years 11 and 13 remains the same - keep working!
Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021
Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021
General info about the consultations on the Ofqual blog: https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2021/01/15/how-2021-could-look-for-students-and-learners-we-want-your-views/?fbclid=IwAR2qSegedZTNzEAB61NCit17mF1rcOLYf31DK_u4ah4QSPeBEzzLiRm26NU
Mr Ridley’s consultation explanation video can be found here
Wellbeing and Support
A reminder again that there is support available to families and students who are finding the pressures of lockdown difficult. Our School Counsellor, Ms Bullen, firstname.lastname@example.org remains on hand for anyone who needs to talk, and is also able to signpost families to relevant external support groups where appropriate. Please do not suffer in silence. Please let us know if there are any issues.
Key Worker and Vulnerable Student Provision
Our key worker provision will continue again next week. As before, please can I ask families to confirm the days that your son / daughter will be on site. Please can I also ask again that you only use this provision if it is really necessary for you to do so, so that we can keep the numbers manageable. If you have not already done so please can you use the link below to give consent for your child to have a lateral flow test each week if they come on site.
Free School Meals
Families entitled to free school meals should by now have received the first round of vouchers from Edenred who run the Government’s scheme. Please check your junk folders if you don’t think anything has come through so far. Any problems or issues related to accessing the vouchers should be sent to our Assistant Headteacher, Anna Siddell. email@example.com
Well done to all of our students on their fantastic attendance to and engagement with the remote learning so far. Please encourage your sons / daughters to keep it going and keep themselves in the habit of learning. If any students do not have access to PowerPoint or Word on their own devices, these can be accessed for free using their school details in Office365.
Reporting Your Child as Unwell
If your child is unwell and therefore unable to attend online lessons, you must make the school aware. Please email the appropriate attendance officer before 8.15am on each day that your child is unwell. This will reduce the number of times you are contacted by teachers as result of your son / daughter missing online lessons.
For pupils in years 7 - 11 please contact Clare Duffy - firstname.lastname@example.org
For pupils in years 12 & 13 please contact Alison Dell - email@example.com
Rapid Flow On-Site Testing
We have now been operating our Covid-19 test centre for three weeks and have tested over 500 pupils and staff using the Lateral Flow Device (LFD). Thank you for your support; this has made a real difference to the safety and well-being of the staff and pupils currently attending school. Thank you also to the many local volunteers and school staff who are running the centre. As most pupils are currently not in school, we are now running one test centre to cater for both of our secondary schools, which is working well. We will continue to offer two tests per week (3-5 days apart) to all of our staff and pupils who are in school.
Please note that there have been two key changes this week in the Government’s guidance on school testing centres:
- From Monday 25th January, a positive result at an LFD test site will be treated the same as a positive PCR test at an NHS Testing Site. So people who test positive will now have legal obligation to self-isolate immediately for 10 days , and schools will begin school contact tracing immediately. People will therefore not need to book a confirmatory PCR test at an NHS test centre.
- Also, LFD tests cannot now be used for the daily testing of identified contacts instead of isolation. All identified close contacts (including the school bubble) must now isolate for 10 days as normal.
Please see our updated Isolation Quick Guide which is attached to this email to be used if you or your child has Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
Year 9 Options
Families of Year 9 students have recently been sent the booklet which outlines the process for this year. Look out for a Loom video put together by Miss Cummins which talks students through the details. Next week we will send home a virtual assembly in which Heads of Department explain what is involved in their subject at GCSE level. The week after that we will send home presentations by Mr Parsons and Miss Cummins which would normally have been given during the Options Evening. There is plenty of time for students to make up their minds about their chosen subjects, but we would like them to start thinking about their choices. The online Options form will be available after Parents' Evening and reports have been issued with a deadline after the Easter holidays.
Get Reading for FREE During the Winter Lockdown
The libraries may be shut but there are lots of ways, if you have a phone, tablet or laptop, to get reading this January/February.
There are hundreds of titles, including current and newly published books, available to ‘virtually’ borrow for FREE, for primary and secondary pupils, and any adults at home!
Member of Bromley library – you can login into your account online at Bromley libraries and borrow ebooks & audiobooks for FREE. Instructions attached for accessing this service and signing up for a FREE account.
Kindle App - turn your tablet or phone into a 'Kindle' for FREE, by just by downloading the free Kindle App from the App/Play Store. If you have a Kindle, you can link your account. If not, you can still search for the free ebooks available – these are mainly older or classic books. Search for ‘free books’ in the app search bar.
Prime Reading – do you have Amazon Prime? Then you have access to hundreds of books for FREE with Amazon Prime Reading (included as part of the subscription). You can read up to 10 selected ebooks at once for free and the service offers over 1,000 titles on a rotating basis. Books can be read on a Kindle/Fire tablet, or by using the Kindle App. To find a FREE a book, search in the Kindle store and select a title. If the title is available via Prime Reading, it will show a cost of £0.00 with the Prime symbol next to it.
You can also listen to stories, with books read to you via your device:
Audible – listen as someone else reads you a story on your phone, tablet or laptop. The FREE catalogue can be accessed directly from this link -https://stories.audible.com/start-listen or you can download the Audible App from the App/Play Store
Got an Alexa device? - listen to FREE audiobooks and short stories. If you've got an Alexa-enabled device, such as an Echo smart speaker or Fire TV stick, you can listen to selected audiobooks each month completely free – just say 'Alexa, what's free from Audible?' to hear what's available. You don't need to have an Audible subscription or give it any payment details.
PE & Games Lessons – the importance of staying active during lockdown
Despite the difficult circumstances and challenges of home learning it is vitally important that students and families stay as active as possible during the lockdown period. Physical activity is important for both physical and mental wellbeing, enhancing confidence, mood and energy levels as well as helping to reduce stress and anxiety. The demands of online learning mean that students are spending more time than normal sitting down in front of their computer screens working, and finding ways to staying active is more vital now than it ever has been. In addition to the many physical and emotional benefits, physical exercise is also proven to improve concentration and focus which leads to improved academic achievement.
We encourage pupils to engage fully with the PE and Games lessons and activities being provided by the PE department, as well as scheduling time for physical activity after school and at weekends. It has been great to see the vast majority of students joining in with the live PE lessons being delivered in Key Stage 3, as well as taking part in the weekly lockdown fitness challenges being set through Microsoft Teams. You can read about the huge success of last week’s Treasure Hunt Challenge in the attached PE Report. Next week Langley Park Sport will be starting to deliver extra-curricular live sessions and training ideas set via Microsoft Teams for the many students who are missing sport, and we encourage as many of you as possible to get involved.
This week’s fitness challenge is called the Lockdown Monopoly Challenge, with students earning ‘money’ towards the game by heading out for exercise – whether that be running, walking or cycling - and sending evidence of their tracked exercise session (via a screenshot of their running app) to their class PE teacher on Teams. The more time pupils spend exercising and the further the distance they cover all result in more money being earned towards purchasing a property for the form group at the end of the week. Please check out the full details on the powerpoint posted in the students’ PE / Games Team – entries to be submitted by Sunday at 5pm. We encourage all students and family groups to get involved whilst adhering to social distancing expectations at all times.
For further updates on the week’s sporting and outdoor activities and for a very thorough rugby remote training guide, please enjoy the PE report which is attached to this email.
OK, time to switch off for the weekend once again, and as long as the weather holds fine maybe you can take part in one of the PE challenges to keep fit and get some fresh air over the next two days.
I hope you all have a restful and relaxing weekend. Let’s take a break from the screens. Time to log off….
Mr S. Parsons
Langley Park School for Boys