Letter from our Principal: Start of the Summer Term
Dear Parents/Carers and Pupils,
It is nearing the end of the first week back of the Summer Term and I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you to update you on our approach to learning for this term.
We know that life is very different at the moment and that by continuing to work together we can play a huge part in reducing the spread of the virus amongst the population, protect our most vulnerable and support the NHS. We also know that one of the knock-on impacts of this is that the school building is closed to the majority of pupils and we are therefore all learning at home.
As we move into the Summer Term, our priority continues to be to ensure the wellbeing of our entire school community and to provide appropriate opportunities for your child to support them with their learning and wellbeing at this time. We will be using google classroom as the main way in which we will be delivering our home learning package. We have decided to use this platform as it is one that all our pupils already have access to and are used to using.
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with further details as to how this learning will look, our expectations for learning for your child and to remind you of the additional support that is on offer for you and your child at this time.
What will my child’s learning look like each day?
In previous communications to you, we have reiterated the importance of there being a clear routine for each day in order to help your child to continue with their studies and to ensure that there is some sort of ‘normality’ for them. To support your child with this, we have put together a timetable for each year group which outlines the minimum daily home learning that we expect your child to complete.
Where can I access my child’s timetable from?
Your child’s timetable can be accessed through the hyperlinks below:
It is also available to you through the academy website, home learning page which can be found at https://northmanchester.coopacademies.co.uk/pupils/home-learning/.
We recommend that you have the timetable to hand, for example, you may wish to store a picture of it on your phone, or encourage your child to have this on their phone, as many of them do with their school timetable. Having a copy of your child’s timetable to hand will also enable you to have conversations with them regarding the learning that they have done each day.
Please note that as part of the timetable, all pupils are expected to read for at least 30 minutes a day (see further guidance on this) and to complete some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day (see our social media feeds and google classroom for ideas).
Is this the only learning that you expect my child to do?
This is not the only learning that is available to your child and we outline additional opportunities for your child in the space below. However, this is the minimum online learning that we would like your child to do. We have organised this in this way for a number of reasons, for example, there may be a number of family members requiring access to the same device during the day, and this minimum expectation takes this into account.
In addition to the minimum learning expectation on your timetable, there is also an additional element to our online learning. This includes opportunities for your child to join a subject tutorial, masterclass or lecture. These will be online and will be led by a subject specialist. Your child will need to sign up for these sessions in advance, and information on how they will do this is provided below. A tutorial will enable your child to ask specific questions and to see worked examples of problems, a lecture will enable your child to find out more about a particular topic/area and a masterclass will enable your child to extend their learning about a particular subject.
It is not compulsory for your child to attend these sessions, however, we would encourage them to attend at least two per week as these will not only support their learning, but will also enable them to feel connected to the school community. We have organised the timetable to avoid any year group clashes, thus enabling households with one device and multiple siblings to still be able to access the learning.
Your child will need to sign up to the sessions in advance through a google form. Signing up to the session will enable them to receive a unique link to access the session. Further information on the timetable and how to sign up for the session can be found by following this by clicking here.
For the purposes of safeguarding only, any ‘taught’ sessions are monitored and recorded and guidance on our expectations for our pupils on these sessions can be found here.
It is also important to note that there are other challenges and ideas for learning that we encourage your child to join in with through our social media feeds. There is also the ‘Principal’s Question’ which is an independent research task that all pupils should also complete. Finally, you may also be aware that the Department for Education has also released a list of other online learning which your child may wish to access, to view this click here.
What if my child needs additional help or support?
If you or your child have any questions about any aspect of their wellbeing or learning, your first contact remains the year team. The year team email addresses can be found in the key contact list below.
You will also notice that there are online sessions to help pupils who may be struggling to navigate Google Classroom.
In addition to this, we also have access to other support mechanisms that your child will have previously accessed, and if you feel that your child requires further support with these, then again, you can discuss this with your child’s year team.
If your child received additional support through our learning support hub, then Mrs Lea will be in touch with you to discuss the additional support that we can offer and how this might look for your child.
Will you be monitoring the work that my child does?
The simple answer is yes, we will. We are able to see how much work your child has completed through google classroom, and teachers will also be able setting work which requires pupils to submit responses, and thus, if these are not submitted, this will also be visible to us.
We realise that if a child is not submitting work, there may be a series of reasons for this, for example, your child may be unwell, or unsure on how to complete the work. We will therefore get in touch with you if we notice that your child is not submitting work, so that we can discuss these with you and support both you and your child on how they can complete at least the minimum amount of work.
What about my child’s wellbeing?
The wellbeing of everyone in our school community continues to be a real priority for us. As noted above, it is important that your child spends time learning.
You will notice that we have included:
- An online programme of wellbeing/form time activities which is accessible through the year group google classroom.
- Regular phone calls with the year team, as are currently happening
- Interactive sessions to enable pupils to still feel connected to the school community
- Online competitions, challenges, ‘shout-outs’ etc. to encourage pupils to continue to stay connected to the school community
- Opportunities for you to get in touch with the school to let us know about any ‘good news’ stories involving your child, so that we can send out reward postcards.
- Continued support mechanisms that are already in place.
In addition to this, we have also released a list of different organisations which can support you and your child’s wellbeing at this time. There is also the Children’s guide to coronavirus published by the Children’s Commissioner which aims to answer questions about Covid-19 and how to help young people make the best of their time at home. Please also remember that your child can also access the free Kooth online counselling and more information can be found at https://hub.gmhsc.org.uk/mental-health/kooth/. To sign up to use Kooth, go to www.kooth.com .
What about extra-curricular opportunities for my child and other initiatives such as the volunteering initiative that they had started in school?
You will be aware that we believe that having access to extra-curricular activities is very important for our pupils. You will also realise that it is difficult for us to be able to offer the full programme that we already have available to pupils remotely. However, we are putting together some suggestions that your child might be interested in, and would encourage them to complete. A link to this document will be published on our website and social media channels next week.
We will also be releasing some links to extension ideas for different subjects on our website.
All our pupils were taking part in our whole school volunteering initiative that we had written to you about. We are encouraging our pupils to continue with their volunteering at this time and to make sure they let our year teams know of what they have been up to.
My child is in Year 10 and I am concerned about their Careers Education, especially as they will not be able to complete their work experience. What do I do?
Every child has access to the careers classroom on Google Classroom. We encourage them to have a look in this classroom to support them with their future career choices and related skills.
What do I do if my family do not have access to Wi-Fi or an online device?
You will be aware that we have already contacted all our families to ask them these specific questions. This means that we already have this information for each of our families and we will be connecting those of you who fall into these categories over the course of the next few days to discuss plans with you.
What about the e-safety aspects of my child spending more time online?
We are aware that you may have concerns about e-safety at this time. Please note that your child has had a number of lessons related to online safety over the course of their time with us at school. To remind them of the main points of these, and to help you, we have provided an overview sheet which is available through our home learning area on our website. You can view this by clicking here.
Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding this, then please do get in touch.
|Year 7 Team||Headofyear7@northmanchester.coop|
|Year 8 Team||Headofyear8@northmanchester.coop|
|Year 9 Team||Headofyear9@northmanchester.coop|
|Year 10 Team||Headofyear10@northmanchester.coop|
|Year 11 Team||HeadofYear11@northmanchester.coop|
|News and social media||Social@northmanchester.coop|
|Emergency contact||07536 766803 (only to be used in emergency situations at all other times, please continue to use the school number)|
For more information about where you can find support, click here.
Finally, I would like to thank the entire school community for continuing to work together at this time and for continuing to demonstrate so many varied examples of how we are supporting each other. Please encourage your child to continue to demonstrate our values in all that they seek to achieve and we will continue to work together and be there for you at this time. I continue to be the very proud principal of this academy.