The following message was sent out to parents on Tuesday 19 January 2021:


Well, we are 2 weeks into home learning, and there are a few other topics to update you on, but as a priority we wanted to ask for your views on our home learning provision.

Consequently, this email will cover:

  • Home Learning Consultation
  • Home Learning Hints
  • Year 11 & Y13 Exams
  • COVID Testing
  • Return to School

Home Learning Consultation

We are continually learning and looking to improve what we are doing with home learning. Many of us are parents too so we well understand the challenges. We want your children to keep moving forwarding, but we want to keep things engaging, manageable, happy and harmonious at home as well.

We know from messages that some children are flying along, whilst others find it an unremitting slog. This is not a case of ability, nor parenting. All of us with 2+ children know that one thing can work perfectly for one child, but not for the other, so home learning is very much like many things in life.

To this end, we would be grateful if you would complete the following short survey on home learning:

We will keep it open till Thursday evening and factor in a response for the start of W/B 25 January.

All responses will be confidential, no child will be flogged for a damning review, but if you have nice things to say then we’d like to hear that too J. We just want to get it all as right as we can.

Home Learning Hints

These quick-fire pointers will make your life easier:

  1. Ignore the due date – just do the activities as per your child’s timetable – so 5 subjects per day.
  2. Teams Meetings on SMHW lists are just links to ‘live’ lessons – there will often be no work to do on them apart from turning up – just attend and ‘Complete’.
  3. Your child can delete tasks from their ‘To Do’ list be ticking ‘Complete’ – this will help scale down the list; however, parents cannot ‘Complete’ from their log-on.
  4. Get your child to write out their subject timetable so you/they can tick off daily lessons as the go.

Also, remember Show My Homework is a homework programme which we are having to use for classwork delivery. This means there are some bits that don’t really gel; for example, the due dates are important on homework, but are not on classwork. Of course, no school had a pandemic learning platform in situ and so have had to work with the systems they have to choose from.

We are going to keep the due date for lessons much closer to the day of the lesson as this will mean it does not hang-over you like a threat for days at a time.

Year 11 & Y13 Exams

It does seem likely that when Year 11 & 13 students return they will have to do internal assessments which will form part of their final grade. This only highlights the importance of those students continuing to study during this home learning period. It is likely that any child thinking they do not have to do anything ‘without exams’ is making a huge mistake.

The government is consulting on how grades will be decided and we will not likely know till early March.

If you would like to read their thinking, or even take part in feeding back on the consultation, then you can do so here.

COVID Testing

We have received a large number of offers for help in the proposed COVID testing. We will leave the online volunteering form on till the end of the week

You can read more details about getting involved here.

You can volunteer here

Again, we will send full details in advance when we have the programme set up.

We can confirm that no child will be tested without parental consent, no child will be manhandled by any adult, and no volunteer will operate unsupervised.

Return to School

The formal date for the re-opening of school remains at Monday 22 February. Even so, this seems unlikely so it would be wise to mentally factor in that the home learning may go on a while beyond that.

We will likely learn about changes the same time as you – we get no advance warning – but rest assured we will get in touch and clarify plans after changes are announced.

To Finalise

I will get in touch after the home learning consultation closes to update you on any changes.

Well done for what you are doing – the schools closures do seem to be affecting the R Rate – and we know that you are doing a great job at helping your child along. This is far from ideal for any of us, but we are confident that with your support now, we can get your child swiftly back on track when they return to us.