Distance Learning Update - letter dated 27 April 2020
The Easter break has been and gone and we have finished our first week of the summer term. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all of the expectations around distance learning for your children and hopefully answer some of the questions that have arisen this week. As I have said previously, we are extremely grateful for all feedback we receive as we continue to adapt our practices to best suit the needs of all members of our community.
Years 7 and 8 - KS3 Independent Learning Grids
Most of the questions and queries we have received have been from families who are unsure of the expectations surrounding the KS3 learning grids. I would like to apologise for the fact that these were perhaps not as clear as they could have been. The idea with the independent grid is that it is designed to be flexible and adaptable to your own environments and to your children. With so many different home environments, we wanted to create something that was accessible and achievable for all, hence why there are no deadlines and no expectations on the amount that needs to be completed. We are looking for you to work with your child to decide on what is an acceptable amount of work, dependent on the environment you are in. Alongside the main independent learning grid that is accessible on our website:
(https://www.buckinghamschool.org/page/?title=Distance+Learning+Resources&pid=304), we have also asked each curriculum area to create independent tasks for students to select if they wish. These are available on Google Classrooms and, again, there are no expectations around the volume of work or the timeframe in which it needs to be completed. If your child has a particular interest in one subject over another and would like to do some more of the work in that area, we encourage it. The whole system is designed to meet your needs and your child’s interests.
Although we are not asking for work to be submitted, we would love to see what you’ve been up to and are asking you to send pictures of the things you’ve been doing to our TBS Superstars email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. It really has been a pleasure seeing all of the wonderfully creative things our students are getting up to!
Years 9 and 10
Having spoken to many Curriculum Leaders this week, they are very happy with the way in which the majority of our Year 9 and 10 students are approaching both the tasks set and the engagement levels on Google Meet. We are asking for one assignment per week to be completed, alongside your child accessing a virtual classroom on Google Meet - the details of which will be shared on the Google Classroom. To ensure your child continues to make progress and access subject-specific learning in each area, it is vital that they access these meetings. It also provides them with the opportunity to ask questions and allows for the human interaction that is the crux of excellent teaching and learning. Please ensure your child is accessing all of the meetings assigned to them.
Alongside the subject-specific tasks is the KS4 independent learning grid, available here: https://www.buckinghamschool.org/page/?title=Distance+Learning+Resources&pid=304
Years 11 and 13
At the time of my last letter, we were still awaiting the guidelines from the DfE and Ofqual regarding the awarding of examination grades. Now that we have the guidelines, a process is in place to ensure that we meet the deadlines set.
Teachers will continue to provide tuition where courses need to be completed. The independent learning grids are also available on our website here:
Mrs Pykett has also published a document called ‘6th Form at The Buckingham School - Getting a Head Start!’ that also outlines our plans for Year 11 at the present time. The document is available in our Coronavirus section on our website. If you are a parent of a Year 11 student, I’d strongly recommend you read it. We are also working behind the scenes to ensure our students have everything they need in order to move into the next phase of their lives. More information on this will follow. As Mr McGinnes said in his letter earlier this week, your child is one of ours and we will do everything we can to support them. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask.
Teachers of Year 12 students have expressed to me how happy they are with the enthusiasm and rigour they are showing. Many have also asked me if they can provide extra Google Meetings and tasks as this is what students are craving. My initial guidelines published before Easter were a guide and where there is mutual agreement between students and teachers, the amount of work set and the number of Google Meetings per week can be changed. Please continue with the excellent work, Year 12!
Finally, from a pastoral perspective, please ensure your child’s form tutor is your first port of call with anything school-related. They will continue to check-in with you once a week to ensure everything is OK and offer support and guidance where needed.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Mr D Fox, Deputy Headteacher
To view/download a copy of the letter, click here.