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Parent Bulletin 15/01/21

Please see the weekly bulletin from Mr Solly below...

Dear parents and carers, 

I hope this email finds you and your families safe and well.  

One of the key aspects of our school culture is a desire to continually learn and improve. This applies to everyone in the school and I frequently talk to our staff about striving to become incrementally more effective in our professional roles. This requires evaluation, self-reflection, and the collation of feedback from a range of stakeholders. Given that we are working in unusual circumstances, performing new tasks, and working in novel ways that none of us trained for, we feel that it would be appropriate to ask parents for their thoughts on how things are going during this latest lockdown. We have produced a simple and quick survey for parents to complete and we will spend time looking through the responses before tweaking and refining our approaches as necessary. Please visit the survey here

Mr Anderson produced a video for our whole school assembly this week - UCC Assembly January 11th 2021 on Vimeo. The subject of the assembly is Hope and Humanity and I thought it would be worth sharing with parents. 

We have published an update on our rapid testing facility on the school website. We have spent considerable time setting this up and it will be ready very soon. We will be testing students in our key worker and vulnerable student provision who want to participate from the week commencing 18th January 2021.  Parents will be e-mailed in advance to confirm the date and approximate time of the first test. For students who are currently working at home, we will inform you of plans for testing before they return to school, once we know more. 

We will start to collate information about the degree to which students are engaging and completing the work that has been set online. At the end of each fortnight cycle of the timetable, our teachers will be asked to make a judgement, as outlined below, on each of the students they teach. This will be sent home to parents and we will use the information to help us understand where more support for families is required, in order for their child to engage fully with online learning.  

Teachers will select one of the following for each student: 

2   Most (80%+) tasks completed and submitted

1   Some tasks completed and submitted  

  No tasks submitted. 

This information will replace the reports we would normally issue to parents as it is currently very difficult to make valid or reliable judgements on student progress. Therefore we have decided to monitor their engagement levels and when we return to school our teachers will spend time assessing how much students have understood from the work set during this lockdown. This doesn’t mean that students will be issued with lots of tests when they return; it will be quite the opposite. In the same way we did when we returned at the start of this academic year, our focus will be on formative assessments in the classroom as part of everyday teaching.  

That is all from me this week. I hope you are able to have a good weekend. 

Take care and stay safe, 
Mr Solly