NGHS Covid-19 School Update - January 2021
Headteacher - Mr Scott
Since January, schools have a duty to publish information on their websites about arrangements for the return to education in January 2021 including remote learning and testing. Please find below an update about students who can attend school, remote learning and testing.
Students who have one parent who is a critical worker can attend school if they cannot be looked after by another adult in the same household. In addition, the school has invited a small number of students who receive significant additional pastoral support. Students do not need to attend school for five days from Monday-Friday, but whole days are necessary.
During the day, they will be attending online lessons under supervision from support staff in our large Atrium area, which is well ventilated. Desks are all 2m apart and students are only allowed to mix in year group bubbles during breaks. In the breaks between lessons, students must be outdoors (unless the weather is seriously inclement). Testing is offered to students who are on-site - see below.
Remote Learning & Assessment
NGHS was one of the first schools to go to full classroom lessons on MS Teams during Lockdown#1. We have therefore been able to pick up the baton again with relative ease.
All students are receiving all lessons online as per their timetable. The exception is that only one of two PE lessons a week are being provided online. 24/25 live lessons a week are thus being provided. Students are encouraged to be active during breaks and lunchtime and not to sit in front of their device for 5-6 hours a day. These are 'live lessons' and last 45 minutes for KS3/4 and up to 60 minutes for KS5. Whilst work may be set for part of the lesson (as in a normal classroom) the teacher will remain on the Teams call to answer any questions.
Appropriate safeguarding considerations have been made and the school's safeguarding policy has addendums for remote online learning, which have been circulated to all staff and student/parent reminders have been issued. Students are encouraged to switch on webcams to interact with online lessons.
Registers are taken for each lesson and absences from lessons chased up by our Reception/Attendance Officer. The school makes full use of CPOMS to record any absences from lessons, disengagement or discussions with parents/students which staff feel should be flagged with the pastoral team and senior leadership team.
MyTutor sessions are provided by NGHS for students who are struggling in a particular subject. These are continuing during lockdown.
Work completed at home is being assessed in a variety of ways including (but not exclusively):
- Self assessment using published markschemes
- Peer review and assessment (verbally, such as in break-out rooms on MS Teams) and through sharing of work via email or chat facility in MS Teams
- Written work that is scanned in and emailed to teachers
- Written work that is typed and emailed to teachers
- Notebook in MS Teams
- Online resources such as Kahoot!, Dr Frost Maths, MyMaths, MyTutor and other such packages.
The school's assessment policy is being reviewed by representatives of each faculty in a working party to create an addendum for during lockdown.
We are delighted to have received such positive feedback on our lessons and thank all our staff for their fantastic hard work.
"I continue to be amazed by the support and online learning provision that your school has put in place for my daughter" - Year 8 parent, January 2021
"Thank you to all the staff for carrying on with the curriculum remotely and for keeping my daughter engaged and enthused in her learning" - Year 10 parent, January 2021
"It's clear NGHS is going above and beyond the call of duty at this difficult time. Thank you to you and all your staff" - Year 12 parent, January 2021
"When I speak to other parents, it's clear we are very fortunate that our daughter attends NGHS" - Year 9 parent, January 2021
Hardware for Remote Learning
All students who are on the FSM register and those for whom the school receives Pupil Premium have been contacted to ascertain that they have the necessary hardware (tablet/laptop and broadband connection) to take part in online learning. The school has a limited supply of additional laptops for non PP/FSM students who are struggling. These can be loaned by clicking here.
Free School Meals
The School has engaged www.schoolvouchers.com to provide supermarket vouchers to the value of £15.00 per week. These are delivered one week in advance to the email addresses of parents whose daughters receive FSM. There is a choice of supermarkets where these vouchers can be redeemed.
Asymptomatic Testing (Covid19)
NGHS is offering weekly testing to all staff who come on to site on a Monday or Thursday morning. Take-up has been positive with over 50% of staff consenting to testing in the first three days. As the majority of staff are working from home, we expect this number to reach almost 100% in due course.
Students who are attending remote lessons in the school building have all been offered tests on Monday and Thursday. The vast majority have so far consented. The school has trained staff to manage the process and has plans to scale up testing when the majority of students and staff return (hopefully later in February).
The school has linked up with the NHS Scanning Service Portal to obtain parental consent quickly and easily. Further information about the Testing programme at NGHS can be found in a short video on this webpage.
Families of students not currently attending will be invited to sign up / give consent in the coming weeks prior to returning to school.
A timetable for a fuller testing programme has been developed ready for the return of students after Lockdown #3.
Our pastoral / wellbeing team and Heads of Year are continuing to support any student who is struggling during this lockdown. Support can be offered by phone or MS Teams. Parents/students themselves are welcome to call the Office on 01952 797550 if help is required. Girls who normally work with a pastoral team member can contact this person directly via email or click here to request help and support. Each week, Newport News (the Headteacher's newsletter) will contain advice and support for those who may be finding lockdown difficult and we can signpost you to other external agencies as/when required.
A full risk assessment is in place for the return to school in January. Parents or visitors to the site can request this by clicking here.
In addition, our regular on-site cleaning protocols from the first term are continuing during the day with toilets, communal areas and common touch-points being cleaned on a very regular basis.
Parents who have any questions about the return to school arrangements are welcome to click here to email the School Office, or call 01952 797550.