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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Distance Learning - Letter dated 26 March 2020

We are nearly a week into distance learning and I am very proud of our staff who are working hard to ensure that continuity of education continues as much as possible for your children. I am equally proud of our students who are adapting and responding to these new ways of learning with aplomb.

With any new system or method of working, especially one that is forced upon us so quickly, there will inevitably be teething problems and we are keen to ensure these are overcome as quickly as possible. I have received a number of emails from students, parents and members of staff who are concerned about the amount of work being set and the deadlines given to complete it.

Distance learning has posed some unique problems that we are trying to work through. For example, with all teachers remotely setting work, they do not know what other teachers have already set and no one person has a complete overview of what is being asked of any individual student. In fact, the people with the best overview of what is being asked of our students are the students and their families.

With this in mind, there are some things that can be done to manage the workload and ensure that students are not being overburdened or stressed from the demands placed upon them:

1. Ask students to contact their teachers if they are struggling. Teachers are only aware of what they have asked of your child, not the complete picture. If there are concerns or worries about a particular subject, a 2-way dialogue between the student and teacher will be hugely beneficial to both parties.

2. Monitor the amount of work being set. If you feel that it is too much or deadlines are not feasible, feel empowered to intervene. Prioritising work and deciding on a manageable programme of study for your child is something that you can do.

3. Ensure students have time away from their screens - insist on it. Taking a break from their studies to do something completely different will help them hugely.

I will be speaking to all teachers tomorrow morning regarding both the huge amounts of positive emails we’ve received and also the ones that have highlighted particular issues with how things are working at present. We will respond to these to ensure we are doing everything we can to continue your child’s education in these unprecedented circumstances.

Yours faithfully
Mr D Fox, Deputy Headteacher