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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Key Stage 3 Distance Learning Update as at 22 May 2020

As I write this letter, it is National Teacher Appreciation Day and I couldn’t be any prouder of all staff at The Buckingham School. They have adapted, modified and developed their working practices to embrace completely different systems of working in such a short period of time, alongside continuing to offer fantastic pastoral support to our families. Our students and families too have reacted incredibly and embraced change; it has been a real community effort so far.

As a teaching team, we are constantly reviewing and discussing our distance learning offering and we will be adapting it for Key Stage 3 from June 1st. It is becoming increasingly apparent that students in Years 7 & 8 will not be returning to school before the end of this academic year. We are acutely aware that the longer students in Key Stage 3 continue to be away from school, the longer the period in which they are receiving little feedback on their work or face-to-face contact (albeit virtually) with their teachers. This needs to change.

The learning grids were always seen as a short-term solution to distance learning. We have been hugely impressed with the students’ efforts and engagement with the tasks outlined in both the independent grid and the subject-specific grids, as seen on our social media pages, but now feel it necessary to offer some face-to-face teaching over our online platform, Google Meet, alongside tasks that will be assessed and feedback given, in each subject.

Like the families of our students, our teachers’ home lives have been turned on their heads and they have done a fantastic job in ensuring that students across our school have continued to be provided with relevant tasks that will aid their education. From June 1st, we will be offering Google Meets in every subject, alongside tasks to complete that will be assessed and students will receive feedback on their efforts. The feedback will come from a range of different sources - from online software platforms to teacher assessment and comments.

Details of when Google Meet sessions will be for each subject will be published on your child’s Google Classroom. We recommend plotting these on a weekly timetable so that you have an overview of when each one is. A downloadable timetable template is available on our school website to help you with this process.

It is also more important than ever that your child engages in the processes we have set up. We will be tracking engagement levels of our Key Stage 3 students on a weekly basis and want to work with all of our families in ensuring this is as successful as possible. If you are finding it difficult to engage your child, we are here to help. In these unprecedented times, where so many things have changed, we can all feel disillusioned at times. Please remember you are not alone and can contact us if you need help.

Finally, we would like to thank you for working with us throughout this period as we’ve modified and adapted our practices to find the best solution for our community. Your messages of feedback, support and positivity have been shared with our team and have really made a difference. Take care of yourselves and each other.

With my best wishes,

Mr D Fox, Deputy Headteacher
dfox@buckinghamschool.org