I cannot believe 6 weeks have passed and we are now at Half Term. The cold and icy weather has added to the excitement of the last couple of weeks, however the days are getting longer and we occasionally see the positive signs of sunshine breaking through.
I was hoping that I would have information regarding assessment and returning to school to share, however we have not yet received any updates from the Government or Ofqual, so I am still in the dark. We are planning to return on 8th March but at this point I don’t know if it will be a phased year group return or complete return so will update you as soon as I know more. We are also waiting for further guidance on the testing requirements on our return, although we have our eager volunteers ready and a large number of staff have also been trained and are ready if required for testing.
I would like to thank those parents who have sent emails praising individual staff and teachers in general for their blended learning over lockdown. The engagement from students has been outstanding and it is reassuring to know that for the majority of students their education has continued this term. We will continue with the intervention and catch up classes after school when we return and change the focus as required.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kaide in Year 11 who has been signed by Liverpool Football Club this week, we wish him all the best and hope he has a long and outstanding football career ahead of him.
We are very aware of the screen time and pressure the students have been under with the online learning. Please encourage all students to take a break over the half term holiday and enjoy some time outside and away from their screens. Teaching will recommence on Monday 22nd February.
We are currently looking at changing the school day permanently following the success of the temporary new timings this year. We have consulted with staff and are now seeking your comments so a decision can be made.
The reasons for the change are as follows:
- The staggered lunch and break allows all students to have access to a hot meal and an indoor seat for meals without the previous long queues
- Supervision of students at social times on such a large site can be problematic, however with a limited number of students out and about at any time, supervision is more effective and manageable
- The new school days maintains 5 hours of teaching, whilst allowing time at the end of the day for intervention, catch up and sports clubs to take place at a more accessible time for all students
- The majority of secondary schools have adopted a similar school day and this will allow our sports teams to compete without loss of lesson time
- During the winter months the majority of students will be able to travel home in daylight.
If you have any comments regarding the proposed change to the school day please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 22nd February.
Intervention and catch up would be accessible for students as required and will not be a part of compulsory school day. School buses would collect at the end of the official school day at 14:45 pm.
Wishing you all a restful half term.
John Port Spencer Academy