20 May 2020
Reopening of Schools
We are still waiting for more details from the government on the reopening of schools and, especially, on what ‘face to face’ provision for our Years 10 and 12 students might look like in practice. The last DfE guidance that we received stated:
‘For pupils in Year 10 and 12, we are asking schools and colleges to supplement remote education with some face to face support for these year groups from 1 June. We do not expect these pupils to return to school or college on a full-time basis at this stage, and so we do not expect a full timetable to be offered as schools and colleges look to minimise the number of pupils in school or college each day.
This approach aims to limit numbers within schools and further education settings while ensuring that the children and young people who can benefit from attending most are able to do so.’
It is obvious from this guidance that any return to College will not be for full year groups nor will Collingwood look like it previously did for quite some time. Once we have further details, we will be able to outline to you how we might implement the government proposals.
I am sure you are aware of the ongoing disagreement between the government and some teaching unions regarding safety concerns and when might be the most appropriate time for students from all year groups to return to schools in a phased way. There are a significant number of issues for all schools that need clarification including the publication of the scientific evidence, how social distancing rules will work, what additional cleaning of the site will be needed and what provision can be made for those students still at home if more teachers are involved in the daily teaching on site.
It is obvious that Collingwood also has some very specific problems to address in considering this issue, including our larger than normal student and staff numbers, the campus layout and transport ,which makes the idea of staggered start and finish times almost impossible as well as the issue of social distancing on the buses.
Given the uncertainty, now and in the future, over all these issues we believe that our current focus on quality remote education, with a mixture of live and recorded lessons and web-based provision (and packs of work where necessary) is the best way of ensuring all our students can access learning and be supported. This quality remote learning has to go hand-in-hand in ensuring all students participate, which is why our pastoral teams are constantly checking in with students to ensure engagement. Of course the other vital element in making sure our students can fully access our remote education is to ensure all of them have the appropriate equipment and internet access and we will therefore be conducting a new IT survey to confirm our previous findings that a very high percentage of our students do have this access.
This situation is constantly changing, and we are receiving numerous updates from the government (38 so far with, apparently, another 41 on their way!). I will pass on any relevant information to you as soon as it is received.
Please note that we intend to use the two planned INSET days on Friday 26 June and Monday 28 June (there will be no onsite provision or lessons/work set for these days). Given the current situation we intend to focus the days on, unsurprisingly, remote learning. More details to follow in due course.
Year 11 Prom
Mr Ruffles has written to all Year 11 students to inform them that, very regrettably, we have had to postpone the Prom on Thursday 25 June.
This decision was effectively made for us with the government announcement that hospitality venues will not reopen until July at the earliest – so basically Lakeside won’t be able to host the event and it would be near impossible to observe social distancing with this amount of people in one place.
We want to reassure you and your sons and daughters that this is a postponement, not a cancellation. We are determined that the Prom will happen when it is safe and proper to do so - we will not let this milestone pass without a fantastic send-off to this outstanding year group.
Only a few more days before half-term!
Have a good week. I will be back in touch on the first Wednesday after half-term or before then if there is anything significant to report.