COVID-19

Gumley House School

COVID-19

We have been very busy over the past couple of weeks preparing your child for Home Learning.  The challenges set and the pace in which the work is completed will settle into a proper pattern as we all come to terms with this new way of working.  The work set on Google Classroom has been designed to help you in supporting your child to continue their learning over the coming weeks and months. We hope that the below provides you with clarity on what we will be expecting from your child during this exceptional time.

Whilst we fully appreciate how challenging this is going to be for all families, we implore you to do all you can to support your child in continuing to access education to the absolute best of your and their ability; routine and a sense of purpose are going to be incredibly important over the coming weeks and months.
 

Please be aware that we cannot provide a ‘school away from school’.  In the short term, your child needs you to be their educator, all we can do is facilitate by providing resources. Please also be aware that we cannot effectively teach students new content remotely and for this reason the majority of work provided will sit outside the curriculum or provide opportunity to recap prior learning, develop skills and deepen their understanding - this is hugely valuable and should be seen as an opportunity.

 

Keeping a daily routine, maintaining some form of exercise, and making time for reading all have significant benefits to mental health and well-being.  We would strongly encourage you to set up and stick to a daily schedule, and where possible, work alongside your child.  For example, if you are working from home then set up a desk where you can both work independently, but together. The sooner you do this, the better.

 

We purposefully haven’t just focused on the academic work. Reading, fresh air, sunlight and exercise, personal interest projects and family activities are just as important so we have made time for these in the suggested schedules and provided some ideas to get you started.

 

How will work be set for my child?

Staff will set work online through Google Classroom which your child can access on any electronic device.

All communication between staff and students will be via their Google Classroom and their school email account.   Please be aware that Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 classes will not be set tailored work as staff will have to prioritise the students who were due to sit external exams this summer - they still have qualifications to achieve and must now prepare for their next steps. More on this below.

 

Will my child be expected to learn the curriculum by themselves?

No. Realistically we cannot effectively teach students new content remotely. For this reason, all the work being provided for Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 is supplementary – by this we mean that completing it will either help broaden their knowledge and understanding of a topic or it will help them recap something covered previously.

 

Where there is still new content to be delivered to Year 11 and 13 students, departments will do their utmost to provide effective teaching of this new content. Even if there are not formal examinations, teachers will still be required to submit accurate predicted grades and students must ensure they have the base knowledge to take them forward next year.

 

Will my child be given feedback on their work?

It is unrealistic for all students to receive individual feedback on work they complete. Staff will prioritise the students who were due to have external exams this summer.  Where possible, during normal school hours staff will be available to communicate with students in Year 11 and 13 individually and collectively via their school email accounts.

 

We are continually reviewing the situation and will provide updates for parents and students as and when the guidance we are being given by the government changes.

 

How much should my child be doing?

The following is meant to provide you with an idea of the amount of time we would advise your child to spend on various activities each day:

Year 7 & 8: 

Schoolwork set by your teachers: 2 hours

Exercise / fresh air: 1 hour*

Personal project or creative hobby: 1 hour

Reading:  ½ hour to 1 hour 

Year 9 & 10:

Schoolwork set by your teachers: 2-3 hours

Exercise / fresh air:  1 hour*

Personal project or creative hobby: 1 hour

Reading:  ½ hour to 1 hour

Year 12: 

Schoolwork set by your teachers: 2-3 hours

Thinking Hard Activities: 1 hour

Exercise / fresh air:  1 hour*

Personal project or creative hobby: 1 hour

Reading:  1 hour to 1½ hours

 

*Please be very aware that any exercise outside of your home must be kept to an essential minimum – and that the social distancing rules apply.

 

Assessments and Exams to Key Stage 3 and Year 10

Don’t worry about your assessments!  Everything is on hold for now.  Once we have a better picture of how and when we will be returning to school, we will work with you on scheduling these at an appropriate time, and after you have had some guidance and support from your teachers.

 

Year 11 and 13:

The government has now given some guidance on what is expected as a result of the decision to withdraw summer examinations.  You can read about this here and I ask you to read this carefully if you have a child in these year groups:  However, it is clear:

  • GCSE/BTEC, and A Level students will be awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in.
  • There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to (however, I would assume that this may be necessary for some educational establishments)’
  • Students will be given a calculated grade based on professional teacher assessment. If students want to appeal the given grade, then they can sit an exam once schools open again. Students can also sit their exams in 2021 if they wish to do so.

 

We will be collecting new teacher assessed predicted grades for all our Year 11 and 13 students in a few weeks’ time. These grades will form one part of the grade your child is awarded (see government guidance for further details). It is very important that your child continues to engage with learning over the coming weeks as not only will it help inform the teacher assessed predicted grade submitted to the exam boards, it is also vital that they continue preparing for sixth form, college and university. 

 

It is also essential for those students who get ‘boundary’ grades (grades below a standard pass, for example, or grades below their target grades), should they want to eventually sit an exam, to be ready to do so.  There is also a likelihood that some sixth forms and universities could implement some form of entrance exam to gain baseline academic information.

Please do not email individual teachers regarding predicted grades, we will not sending anything out to parents. At present the guidance suggests that results will be received in August as originally planned. The reason for this is that the grades we predict may not be the exact grade that a student is awarded by the exam board once their moderation exercises are performed.  We will keep parents up-to-date with any new information that we have on this.

 

Year 11 will also have access to bridging course material on Google Classroom which is aimed at preparing GCSE students for further studies in Sixth Form.  This material should be completed for the subjects your daughter is wishing to study at Sixth Form.

 

How can I motivate my child?

The truth is, it is going to be very difficult. The more locked down society becomes, the harder it is going to get. But, as this happens, it only becomes increasingly important for them to focus and engage with their learning on a daily basis.  Try to find ways of rewarding them.  Find their “carrot” for your “stick”.  It’s going to be difficult but there is bound to be something that you can find to help motivate them even if it’s only small.  If they produce a truly brilliant piece of work, please encourage them to email it to their Form Tutor or subject teacher and their Head of Year so that we can see the great work they are doing.  Encourage them to work collaboratively, online with their friends so that they can keep up as many peer interactions as they can. 

 

For many families, prayer can be extremely powerful in times of trouble.  We will be posting regular prayers and reflections on our website for the entire Gumley community to access.  

 

I am incredibly proud of my child, they have really risen to the challenge, what can I do?

Let us know! We want to hear about all the positives so that we can share them amongst our community including on social media – this is an excellent way of motivating each other. Encourage them to email their Head of Year and subject teacher with a copy of the work or a photo of themselves with the work with a short description, if appropriate.

 

My child is going to really struggle with being isolated from their friends how can I help them with this?

It is going to be very difficult for them. Try to encourage them to spend some time each day chatting to their friends on the phone or via face time. This is quite natural for them!

They could also arrange to do their daily reading together – read first independently and then get together online to discuss/debate. Alternatively, they could ‘mark’ each other’s work – do a set of maths questions, photograph them and send them to their friend for marking and vice versa.

 

Finally….

Please, please, please follow the social distance and self-isolation guidance.  Do not let your children go out and socialise with their friends.  Do not let them have friends over to socialise.  Minimise the amount of time they are in contact with anyone outside your household.