I hope that this finds you well – given the circumstances!
We are now at the end of the first week of a very new way of working. Everybody is finding their feet, and we are learning as we go. Staff and pupils’ have been brilliant, and the quality of resources and activities which are being provided for pupils’ is wonderful to see.
Today I have looked through nearly all the virtual classrooms that your children are (should be) registered in. It is wonderful to see that pupils are engaging positively with the work set. Equally, teachers are getting used to supporting pupils in a very different way – the nature, pace, frequency, is new to everyone.
At the moment, we have provided pupils’ with approximately 4 weeks worth of work (mainly via the school website) – it is approximate and was ‘rushed’ and pulled together quickly! It is now being complemented with newer tasks which are being added to googleclassroom (as we speak). I really commend the staff of St. Joseph’s for their enthusiasm, professionalism, and their continued commitment and concern for all.
At some point in the future – we don’t know when, pupils’ will return to school, and return to normal school days. In the meantime, it is important that pupils get the opportunity to enjoy working in a different way, in a different place, learning from their parents, undertaking activities that you think will be valuable: helping with chores, doing reasonable and appropriate DIY – in fact, any of the beneficial activities that schools don’t always get to provide!
We do need to strike a balance though. Pupils’ do need to be undertaking work set by the school. They will, as I said before, eventually return to school and for some pupils, continue towards exams and GCSEs. It is important that you, as parents/carers ensure that a sensible amount of time is dedicated to school work. I would ask that you get your children to login to each and every googleclassroom as soon as possible. Please also be aware, that we have 10 members of staff on-site in school each day looking after the children of keyworkers, and those deemed vulnerable by Welsh Government – on that basis, responses to messages and queries will not be instantaneous. The majority of staff who are working at home will often have their own children to look after and educate too – so please, bear with us as we navigate this new territory.
Year 11 pupils have been informed that GCSE examination will not be taking place. As such, they should continue to complete work in subjects that they are likely to study at sixth form or college. Staff will be providing reading / research / work, but will not be assessing it in the same way as they have previously.
I intend to write to you again on Monday, and will make all classroom codes available to you in one place.
Many thanks for the kind words, prayers and support offered to school at this time.