Headteacher Update

Blog Header Image
/ School News
February 1st 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Thank you so much for your responses to our Remote Learning questionnaire.

We were really pleased to get 414 responses come through so quickly. Based on these returns, we are now in a position to tweak our remote offer to help support our students even more.

In terms of the responses:

  • 80% or our parents/carers felt that their child was receiving the “right level of work”.
  • 13% felt their child was receiving “too much work” (the vast majority of this 13% came from parents/carers of students in Years 7, 8 and 9).
  • 93% of responses thought that our live lessons were “working well” or “very well”.
  • 98% felt that the quality of work set to students was “good” or “strong”.
  • 95% also felt that Microsoft Teams is working “well” or “very well” as a platform.
  • However, 22% of parents and carers indicated that feedback from teachers could be improved.
  • In terms of hours working, 63% believed their child was working between 5/6 hours a day.
  • 21% felt that their child was working 7 or more hours a day (the vast majority of responses came from parents/carers of Years 7, 8 and 9).
  • If able to choose, 89% of parents/carers would want 4 or 5 lessons a day for their child (the vast majority of requests for 4 lessons, came from parents of Years 7, 8 and 9).

Comments from parents (the main themes):

  1. Feedback to be increased, so students know the work is checked (lots of comments about this).
  2. Screen time to be decreased for Years 7, 8 and 9 and more breaks (lots of comments about this).
  3. Homework on top of live lessons is overwhelming younger students (lots of comments about this).
  4. Waiting in the lobby is frustrating.
  5. Consider ways to make live lessons more exciting.

Now we know that students will not be returning to school straight after the Half Term holiday, and that it can be no sooner than the 8th March, we really must try to avoid student burn-out. They are doing so well at the moment, but we do not want to overwhelm them and cause undue stress and anxiety.

To remind everyone, the Department for Education state that secondary aged students should be working approximately 5 hours a day during this lockdown period. Based on the questionnaire responses and comments received, we feel that too many of our younger students are doing more than this.

Key Stage 4 and 5

We feel the current balance for Key Stage 4 and 5 (Years 10, 11, 12 and 13) is about right, and that the responses and comments from parents/carers also indicate this. We will not be making any changes to our provision for these year groups. However, if as a parent/carer you feel your child is doing too many hours, please contact us.  We can work with you to try to reduce the load.

Key Stage 3

It is clear that we should make some small tweaks to reduce the amount of screen time Years 7, 8 and 9 are receiving. To achieve this, we would like to do the following:

  • Reduce the amount of daily “live” lessons for students from 5 to 4.
  • Use the spare hour where they are not in a “live” lesson, for students to complete the over-spill work set in their other 4 lessons across the day.
  • This lesson will not always be at the same time every day. It will be spread around the timetable, to ensure that all students have an equal reduction in lessons across their curriculum.
  • We hope to start this from the week commencing Monday 8th We will be reissuing all students with a new timetable which will show where these changes have been made.
  • We will also refrain from setting these students additional homework.
  • These changes should result in students working the recommended 5 hours a day. It will also reduce screen time and ensure they get more opportunity to complete their work and have some family time.

Due to this reduction in “live” lessons, teachers will also (on average) receive an extra hour a day. We will be using this time to work on the following:-

  • Increase the regularity of feedback.
  • Work on more exciting/engaging methods of delivering live lessons.

As ever, we massively appreciate all of your honest, supportive feedback. Please do get in touch with myself or Mr Cade if you want to discuss any of this further.

Please give our regards to your children. We miss them and look forward to seeing them soon.

All the very best

Mr Price (07732800899) and Mr Cade (07874796897)