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The Buckingham School

The Buckingham School

Headteacher's Update of 31 December 2020

31 December 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Prime Minister’s Announcement

Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister yesterday, 30th December, we are writing to you to explain what this means for the Buckingham School. We trust that you take a moment to read the information under each heading.

It is my personal view that we require one last push to stay as safe as possible. Before the vaccinations take effect and before the warmth of Spring, we must have one last drive to stick to the rules in full. The whole community needs the support of every member, in sticking to the Tier 4 rules. We have a responsibility, as a community, to ensure that our young people follow the rules. About 75% of England’s population now live under Tier 4 restrictions.

Learning starts for all students on Tuesday 5th January 2021
As per the announcement, all learning will take place remotely during the first week of term. We will run our “Small School” for children of Key Workers and other students, who we will contact directly. Students in Small School will be supervised whilst they join their peers in the remote learning programme.

There will be a particular routine to each day and we will be checking more carefully than ever that students engage with the learning provided.

If you wish to book a place for your child in our Small School and you meet the Government criteria for Key Workers, please complete the booking form using the following link by 12pm Monday 4th January – Please note we are unable to accept students which have not been booked in advance.

We will confirm separately when groups of students are physically returning to school.

Daily Tutor Periods, starting for all students at 8.30am on Tuesday 5th January
Students are required to attend a daily online session with their Form Tutor, at 8.30am. The Google Meet code will be Year Group, followed by House, eg 9swan or 8claydon.

Form Tutors will take a register, share any notices and talk about the day of learning ahead for students. A key part of the session is simply to “touch base” and keep home-school contact going as successfully as possible.

From Tuesday 5th January, school will contact home in the cases where students do not attend.

Lessons and learning, starting for all students at 9.00am on Tuesday 5th January
Students must engage with their normal timetable, at the normal time, during this period of remote learning.

  • Every lesson during remote learning will start with a Google Meet
  • Teachers will register students at that meeting (therefore tracking engagement)
  • Teachers will ensure that students understand what is being asked of them as they explain the work
  • The opportunity for students to ask questions about the work is something that we are keen to emphasise and this will be provided in the first 10 minutes of the lesson, after the register has been taken
  • The teacher may then either continue to teach a live lesson or leave students to complete work that has been assigned through Google Classroom
  • Work set will be done as an assignment on Google Classroom, therefore providing a deadline for its completion and teachers will be ensuring that students are completing the work provided for them.

Please contact the school urgently, via your child’s Form Tutor, if you have technology issues which will disrupt home learning. These might include more children than devices, poor or no internet, or no suitable devices at home. We will do everything that we can to help.

January Examinations
We have a handful of external examinations taking place in January. These will take place at the normal time and we will contact students to make sure that they are aware of the arrangements.

Confirmed Cases of Covid and Other Illness
Please ensure that you keep the school informed in the normal way, if your child is unwell and unable to engage in school work.

Please ensure that you keep the school informed in the normal way, if your child has tested positive for Covid-19, whether they have symptoms or not.

Buckinghamshire and MK Areas are in Tier 4 – “Stay at Home”
We are facing a new strain of the virus, which is significantly more likely to transfer between people. Students who break the rules place our staff, and their own families, at unnecessary additional risk.

Please ensure that your child remains at home or in the garden. Typically, a child has no reasonable excuse to leave home. They may go out to exercise, but you should be sure that you are trusting your child to meet up with a maximum of one other person. Social interaction should be limited to online.

The above is a simplification of what most children should do; the full rules can be found here:

Returning to School
We will begin the process of contacting families when we are certain about the arrangements. These will include groups of students returning on different days and the testing of certain students at certain times.

Our examination students will always be the first consideration in our planning.

School Meals
Students physically attending school will have the usual opportunity to purchase meals. Free school meals will also be provided, to eligible students. For students engaged in remote learning, the opportunity to book free school meals, for collection will be available. A separate contact will be made by the school, to explain how to book meals.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once more for your continued support during these very testing times. I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas and this evening is filled with optimistic thoughts and excitement for what 2021 will bring to us.

Happy New Year to you all!

With my very best wishes
Mr A McGinnes, Headteacher