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Headteacher's Blog - 8th January - Remote Education Update


It is sad to see the school so empty this week and I know that many of you must be facing significant challenges.  What is keeping me going is that there are significant differences to when we had to shut schools so suddenly back in March.  The biggest of these is of course the national vaccination programme and the hope that this gives us to see an end to this pandemic.  However, I want to focus this blog on the progress we have made in delivering remote education and to give some reminders to ensure that students continue to learn, as effectively as they can, from home.

In March the concept of teaching students online was new to us.  On Monday I was able to share with you a full remote learning plan, delivering 5 hours a day of remote education, for all students, with a mix of live lessons and remote activities being set by your child’s teachers.  I am incredibly proud and grateful to all the school staff for making this happen. 

Now that we have a fully functioning remote learning plan, it is vital that your child engages with the live lessons and remote learning activities.  The learning platform being used for all remote education is Microsoft TEAMs.   Students should be well aware of how to access and complete their work now, as we have been using this platform fully since September.  However, there is a helpful narrated powerpoint on our website if your child needs a reminder.  You can find the power point through this link   https://www.thecoleshillschool.org/remote-learning/remote-induction-2

Top tips for Remote Learning at home:

Be organised & check your timetable the day before to: Understand what lessons you have and to prepare your books and any resources in advance Make sure that you have completed and uploaded any work your teacher has asked you to do, into the assignments function on TEAMs prior to the lesson You will be receiving a spirit point for every LIVE LESSON that you attend and additional spirit points for engagement with your home learning, as it’s important that you persevere with your home learning and education whilst at home during lockdown Reminder of the key functions on TEAMs that you will need to use to effectively learn from home: General reminders/Chat from your teacher will be in posts Assignments- will be used by your teachers for work to be set and for you to upload responses Lessons and resources will be accessed in files, which will be clearly labelled with: A date Period Title of lesson g. 7th Jan. Period 2. Where are the worlds megacities?

Support with technology for learning

As our primary way of delivering remote education is online, it is important you let us know if your child is unable to access MS TEAMs, due to not having a device or internet access.  Several families have now been supported with the loan of laptops and we have a limited number remaining if you need one.  We cannot guarantee a device but if you contact your child’s Year Leader we will assess needs on a case by case basis.  We can also offer your child a place in school to do their work, if access to technology is a barrier to your child accessing remote education.


Tutor time for all students

From next Friday 15th January we will be operating tutor time twice a week for all students in Year 7-11.  This will be on a Monday and a Friday for students.  Attendance at tutor time is compulsory for these students, the same as lessons.

Tutor time will run live on MS TEAMs for 20 minutes at the same time as it would normally be timetabled, during the school day and will enable tutors to check in with students so that your child has an opportunity to talk with their peers and ask any questions of their tutor and will mean tutors can check on how your child is getting on with their remote learning.

We will also be posting assemblies, as we did in the last lockdown and we will communicate this through tutor time.

The Sixth Form team will in touch with students in Years 12 and 13 to outline how tutorial time will operate for them.

Rewards for students

Praise points will be awarded to students for each live lesson they attend and also for students who are engaging well with lessons and submitting quality assignments.

Update letter for examination year groups

Year 11, 12 and 13 will be getting separate letters today following the announcement about examinations from the government this week and to share some important updates.

I wish you a peaceful weekend and stay safe.

Ian Smith-Childs