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Lent term 2021 – Week 2

Everyone is beginning to settle now into a routine of Remote Learning and a small number of children onsite for key worker school. Congratulations to those support staff who have stepped up so brilliantly to be with the children here onsite. I have had a big walk round this morning before writing this and have been struck by the enormity of what we have achieved in very little time. Dropping into key worker classrooms, you are met with a hushed silence, each child with headphones concentrating, listening and learning at their own pace. They are able to see their friends at home and have direct access to their teacher throughout their lessons, exactly like they would at school. The teachers (all teaching from their homes) are working in real-time so the children really are getting ‘live’ teaching. They share their screens so that the lessons are clear and talk the children through their learning. The teachers communicate with individual children, listen to queries and answer them either by message or by live question and answers for each lesson. I caught up with Mr Cunliffe, who is working from his classroom rather than his home. He estimates that each one hour lesson takes an hour to prepare, then there is LIVE teaching and the afternoons are spent marking the work done in the morning, feeding back and preparing the lessons for the next day. It is a massive task for everyone onsite and off, but it is working. Well done all!

I know (because I can see you all) how much work parents still do have to do to assist their children, but it is certainly less than some schools, which only provide a ‘work pack’. Some children are wearing their school uniform; some parents have stated it helps their children differentiate between work time and home time.  A good idea to try if your child is worrying about that. However, other parents have written in to say that their child just gets on with it. They hear them taking part/playing their recorder in Mr Hoban’s music lesson and joining in with tutor time. It really is an extraordinary thing.  Testing staff onsite has started. Thank you to Mrs Hurley, Matron, the admin team and our parent volunteers for getting this off the ground. It is all getting more straightforward and manageable. The boys’ dormitory is unrecognisable!

We are introducing more live afternoon sessions. Storytime has a different presenter each day; do log in.  Apologies for some of the glitches this week. It will settle next week. Mrs White does live sport everyday.  Look at the activity programme, which will be extended so your child can log in to live activities if they
wish.  Assembly is moving to Pre-prep, Lower School and Upper School so that all can access and I can say “Hello” to all the children from next week. More
information to follow Thank you for completing the survey with feedback.  All comments are much appreciated.

I am starting the Head’s Challenge again. This will now be on the Activity Programme each week.  Get your children designing the Rollercoasters! I will
comment on their individual work. Thank you! Here is Lily’s to whet your appetites!

Mrs Charlotte Johnston
Head