Provision during the Coronavirus pandemic
Our key priorities are
• Health, safety and wellbeing of students, families and staff;
• Provision of appropriate structured learning materials for all our students;
• Learning, pastoral and safeguarding support for students and their families
Throughout this crisis we have sought to communicate clearly with staff, parents & carers, students and the wider community so that, under difficult circumstances, the community of WLD are all aware of what is going on. Communication is vital. Our daily updates to parents and carers can all be found here. Work is emailed to students, parents and carers each week and is available on the website here.
You will find detailed information about our provision for remote learning on our Remote Learning page.
What are we doing and why?
Last updated: Sunday 21st June 2020
Based on our key priorities
- Wellbeing and pastoral care: From the beginning of the crisis we have implemented a system of weekly or fortnightly contact with families to discuss wellbeing and to check on learning. Every member of our school community, whatever their role, has been involved in this. There is significant work around provision of food vouchers, food parcels and the safeguarding and guidance of our students.
- Learning: We use an approach to learning which provides study resources by email each week - we started off daily, but that did not work for many families. We have used an individual tutoring and support approach - teachers have been available throughout the day each school day to answer individual queries and to provide support. Work submitted is celebrated and acknowledged and some feedback given. Teachers were instructed not to chase up non-submission of work as we knew that many of our families and students faced challenging circumstances which made completion of all work set impossible. It is just worth mentioning that nationally there has been a lot of debate about "zoom" lessons. We did not go down the route of fixed online lessons as we knew that would not work for many students - for example those who had no (or poor) internet access or those who shared devices. Right at the beginning of the crisis we established that all students had access to their email in some way (phone, tablet, games console, if not a computer or laptop), even if they had to access it via a parent or carer's phone. We send out the schedule of study each week identifying where the resources can be found - mainly using Microsoft Teams - and we specify that work can be completed on paper if the student has no regular access to a device. We consider that this is the best, most appropriate and logical approach for our student community. We are also carrying out a pilot with our some of teachers recording lessons and explanations, and a small number of live lessons.
- Gaps in learning and students "falling behind": Teachers and departments behind the scenes have mapped the curriculum so that when students return in September we know where they are up to and what we all have to do. We are planning for various scenarios as we do not know the course that this pandemic will take! The study that has been set, week by week, means that we know what our students have done, as long as they have completed it, with the individual support of their teachers. With that in mind we looked at the submission of work from our students across the school and, from half-term, increased the focus on the gaps in learning. We know that learning at home is hard on students and parents and that each student and family situation is different. We have implemented a report to families about the records that we have of student engagement with learning. We have done this with some trepidation because we know that in many families things are uncertain, pressured and difficult and we did not wish to increase stress levels, but we also know that if students are not keeping up-to-date with their study it will be more challenging to help them in September. The key to success, as always, is that students are in regular contact with their teachers. This requires independence and motivation by each of our students - we fully understand that this is difficult for everyone at this time.
- Individual support: We recognise that all our students will require individual support in a variety of ways over the coming months - motivation, learning, wellbeing... This will mean that, for each student, an adult within the school community needs to know their individual circumstances, their wellbeing, and their progress in each of their subjects. This person is the "mentor", "advocate" or "bridge" between the student and their teachers and a point of contact and support. For many years we have offered this kind of support to Year 11s as they enter their final year, but we are now implementing it for every student. To do this requires the involvement of every member of staff, whatever their role. In many cases this "key adult" will be the person who has been in contact with the family throughout this crisis. There will be communication between each of our students and their mentor before the summer break so that students all know what they have to do before they return in September.
- Awaiting national guidance: There are several key questions on which we await guidance from the government. For example, we do not yet know whether there will be provision for children of key workers over the summer. We do not know if there will be any "summer school" provision and, while there has been an announcement of funding for student catch-up from September, we are awaiting details of this, As always, as soon as we know we will let everyone know using the usual daily updates.
- Collaboration: We are in constant contact with local and national networks of schools to learn from best practice at this unprecedented time. Collaboration is vital - going it alone in a pandemic is not a sensible approach!
Provision for children of key workers and vulnerable students
We remain open for supervision of children of key workers, following government guidance, during the normal school day. Should you need to access this provision please contact Mrs Hodgson, Headteacher's PA, on firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure that she has a copy of your key worker identification and your work patterns. Mrs Hodgson can also advise you on times, transport and other arrangements. We ar also open for vulnerable students - Mr Howarth, Deputy Headteacher, co-ordinates this aspect of our provision and he can can be contacted on email@example.com
Re-opening to more students - guidance for parents & carers of Year 10 students
The government expectation is now that we will be able to offer face to face support for a quarter of year 10 at one time to support their remote education.
Our basic principle in opening for Year 10s is that we are treating students as individuals and seeking to address individual learning and pastoral needs. We are supporting remote learning, not replacing it.
In summary, we will invite Year 10s to come in on one day during the week beginning 22nd June according to their section. They will meet with their form tutors, discuss their wellbeing and review their learning and get online help direct from the relevant teachers. We will then use the information from the review in that week to plan small group teaching in various subjects with subject specialists for the following weeks to address specific issues which cannot be resolved remotely. We will invite specific students for specific days from the second week onwards.
There is detailed guidance in the documents below.