Parent Bulletin 8/01/21
Please take some time to read the latest parent bulletin from Mr Solly...
Dear parents and carers,
I hope this email finds you and your families safe and well. I know this may well have been a challenging week for many of you, dealing with difficult circumstances with family and work, whilst supporting your children with remote learning. As I said regularly during the summer lockdown, it is essential we are understanding, compassionate and supportive of those around us during such unusual times.
Despite the frequent and frustrating national u-turns regarding education policy, I think schools up and down the country have done a remarkable job in supporting young people during this first week. From a UCC perspective we have seen a great mix of live lessons and on demand resources provided by our teaching staff - the standard of this provision has improved substantially since the first lockdown and it really shows how our staff have worked extremely hard to adapt to a new way of teaching. We have supported our most vulnerable families with regular phone calls home and the team of staff who are working in school have ensured the UCC wheels have kept on turning. Staff working from have diligently supported the smooth running of the school remotely and our teaching assistants and cover supervisors have really rolled their sleeves up to support the 30 or so vulnerable/key worker children who are attending. We have made a great start and I am sure we will continue to refine and improve our approaches as we progress through this lockdown.
Inevitably, there have been some teething problems with technology, and we are working with individual families to resolve any barriers that might prevent their children from accessing the online education provision. If you need to contact us about this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have encountered a small number of instances when students have behaved inappropriately during online lessons. Our school behaviour expectations are 'Ready, Responsible and Respectful'. These are exactly the same for our current situation. Being ready to learn, respectful of other learners and being responsible whilst online will enable teachers to deliver the curriculum remotely. Therefore, we ask that all parents remind their children of these expectations and be understanding of what the school has in place to monitor this. If students deliberately disrupt online learning, including misuse of the chat tools, this will be coded by the member of staff teaching the session. Parents will then be contacted, explaining that the disruption has taken place, knowing that you will support us in ensuring that no further disruption occurs. If there is a persistent disruption by an individual, they will have the opportunity to take part in live lessons removed.
We are forging ahead with our mass testing preparations, but at a slightly slower pace than we had first anticipated. We will begin with testing the staff in school, along with the students who are currently attending, and this will offer us the opportunity to iron out any creases before we have to scale up the systems for the wider return of students. More details will follow next week.
You would normally receive my weekly bulletin as part of a wider UCC newsletter on a Friday. We are pausing this newsletter during the lockdown period, so you will only receive my updates via email. This will usually take place each Friday, but as we know, circumstances often change rapidly, so there may be times where communication is required more frequently, or during the week.
As an overall reflection on this first week of remote education, I have thought a lot about how young people up and down the country must be feeling. I imagine they will be missing their friends and missing the interactions involved in a normal school day; all of this, along with the uncertainty of the national situation, can be unsettling for even the strongest of characters. Young people will need consistent and calm reassurance from the trusted adults in their lives and both school staff and parents have an important role to play in this. I saw a fantastic quote a few days ago which really resonated with me, from the American author Neil Postman: “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
I hope you have a great weekend.
Take care and stay safe.