Coronavirus Update

19 June 2020

Please see Mr Walker’s latest update below:

Good afternoon. I hope you are well.

As you know, we are still focusing on our online learning and students are doing a great job completing this work with your help. The efforts students have made is just remarkable. Year 7, 8 and 9 have three weeks to maintain this momentum before we change focus. Year 10 have four weeks to go – they are doing a great job. Next week, work will be online by midday on Monday 22 June, and needs to be handed in by 10.00am on Friday 26 June.

Year 10 programme

This week has seen our Year 10 programme begin, with students coming in for support with catch-up work. This morning, we had inductions for the students who are coming into school from next week. All inductions were recorded, and are available via the Microsoft Teams app. Mr Angove will send an e-mail to Year 10 students this afternoon, featuring a video guide to the school’s safety measures. This should support the information I sent on Wednesday via e-mail, and you should also receive confirmation by post. We are really excited to see the students; staff are looking forward to Monday.

Online live teaching

As a school, we are looking to develop the ways in which we support your child’s learning during this difficult period. One of these options is to make use of Microsoft Teams, an app on the iPad that provides for live lessons with groups of students. We have been trialling this process over the past two weeks, across a number of subjects and year groups, and I would like to thank those students and parents/carers who have provided us with feedback – we have learnt a lot already!

We are now ready to roll out more lessons, and I would like to update you as to the protocols that underpin these live lessons. It is important to note that the purpose of these sessions is to support and supplement the online work being set – it is not in addition to work set on the Virtual School.

From next week, we will publish lesson times each week via the weekly parental e-mail. In addition, teachers will notify students as to the content of the lessons, as well as the time and day of the meeting via the Virtual School or Showbie.

To access Microsoft Teams lessons, students need to:

  • Make sure they have a live internet connection by checking that they can access the BBC website;
  • Open the Teams app and sign in, if needed, using their school e-mail and password;
  • Tap on ‘Calendar’, locate the meeting and click ‘Join’, or tap on ‘Teams’ at the bottom and select their class;
  • Select the Channel (normally named ‘Online Lessons’). They should see a ‘Join Meeting’ button. Their camera should be off by default – please ensure it is off. If they cannot access the app on their iPad, they can join the class through Office 365 using their school login details on your home computer or on their phone;
  • Look out for a link that teachers send to their Teams calendar shortly before the meeting.

The protocols for participating in these sessions are:

  1. Students will use their school e-mail and password to access the Microsoft Teams app on their iPad;
  2. Students will be members of a Microsoft Teams class set up by their teacher. This is a secure platform and only students who have been invited can access the lesson;
  3. When joining the Teams lesson, students need to ensure that their microphone and video are turned off;
  4. Although students should turn their camera option off, it is also important that they are suitably dressed and in an environment that they and you deem appropriate for the lesson;
  5. Students can communicate with their teacher by clicking the ‘chat’ icon;
  6. Students may be asked by their teacher to turn on their microphone if they would like to ask or answer a question, or interact with the lesson;
  7. If asked to use the microphone by their teachers, students must use appropriate language and be respectful at all times;
  8. If students do not adhere to the student protocols, the teacher will remove them from the Teams lesson and contact you.

As part of our use of Microsoft Teams, our policy is to ensure that every student is safe while operating online. Two members of staff will be present for all interactive lessons. It is also important to note that all lessons are recorded via the Teams app. This is to enable students to refer back to the lesson at a later point when completing work independently.

If your child experiences any technical problems, either with their iPad or downloading the app, please do not hesitate to contact our ICT team on or phone the school on 01326 372379.

This is a fantastic opportunity to support your child with their home learning in an interactive way. Whilst we would love your child to attend these sessions, we understand that this might not always be possible.

I wish you all a really wonderful weekend. Take care.

Paul Walker