“Keeping in Touch” KIT 12 update letter 17th June

Dear families

First of all, the last couple of days have been some of the most positive for a long time! We have started welcoming back some Year 10 students for 1:1s and been able to see some more students in school. I have to say that, whilst many of them looked somewhat shell-shocked for the first hour or two (the consequence, no doubt, of having to get up early for some of them!) they seemed to get the hang of things very quickly (they were certainly happy to tell me the ‘new’ beard does not suit me!). Their teachers and teaching assistants have certainly been full of praise for them and we have loved having them back in school.

As regards social distancing and our updated Home-school agreement, all the students have been very mature and, from a school point of view, we feel as if our extensive planning has paid dividends and we have been able to manage things properly. The students have been a credit to you as parents and carers! The LA have asked me to tell you that the social distancing rules need to be followed when using any School Crossing patrols and to ensure they don’t stand next to the patrol when waiting to cross the road. Please keep 2 metres distance between yourselves and the School Crossing Patrol as this would be very much appreciated by all the staff and help them feel safe when they are working. As the Head teacher my fingers are now crossed that the national situation changes such that we can see more students in school sooner rather than later.

Bereavement and family support – We are aware that during the current situation that many of our school community may have been directly impacted by Covid-19. Please can we ask that if you have experienced a loss within your family that this is communicated to school so we can be aware and support pupils where we can. We are training all our staff on bereavement this week and will be talking to all students in groups about this in their online form sessions. We obviously do not want to cause any further upset where we can avoid it and will be sensitive in the session particularly where we know someone has been particularly affected.

Online lessonsmeanwhile, we are continuing to make ready to deliver some online provision for all year groups via TEAMS – recognising, of course, that this can never be as effective as real, face-to-face lessons. All staff are being trained to ensure this is done safely and effectively with small steps to begin with while we all adjust to this new way of working. The Doddle lessons, BBC Bitesize and Oak Academy will all continue so that these activities all complement each other not replace each other. The Y10 programme was sent out last week and is being discussed in the 1:1s.

Key Stage 3 – Remote Learning Timetable w/b Monday 29th June – A series of online lessons will be being offered to KS3 students via Microsoft Teams. These sessions are to complement the online learning currently being set through doddle. This is not a replacement for this work and we would expect the students to complete a blended approach to home learning by completing aspects of both across the days. Not all subjects are represented as new learning is being introduced with the systems currently in place.  We would highly recommend that parents/carers discuss this with your child in advance and help them come up with a study timetable that can be followed for each of the days.

Year 7

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9.00- 10.00 Dance History English   Religious Studies
10.00-11.00       Science  
11.00-12.00 Maths        

Year 8

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9.00- 10.00     English    
10.00-11.00 Religious Studies Dance History Science Maths

Year 9

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9.00- 10.00 Business Maths English History Music
10.00-11.00 Creative Imedia Religious Studies Drama Science  

9X French

9X Italian

9X Spanish

9Y French

9Y German

9Y Spanish

Dance   BTEC Sport

Key workers and vulnerable children  – We remain open on a full-time basis for vulnerable children and those of critical workers. Please see the relevant section on our school closure portal but bear in mind that we will need plenty of notice if you want to use this facility for the first time; with more students now in school and a full programme of online lessons, it takes time to re-organise safe staffing.

Year 10 Curriculum and GCSEs – Thinking forward, we know that many of you with students going into Year 11 in September may be feeling anxious about what is to come in terms of their GCSEs next year. We wish to reassure you that we are taking time now to plan how we will move forward with our students next year to ensure the best outcomes for them. The first step in this is the lessons that will start on the week beginning the 29th June. We are awaiting final information from OFQUAL and JCQ (the bodies that are in charge of exams), but we are constantly keeping ourselves up to date with the latest information so that we are ready to act as soon as we know how this will look. We will update you further with information as soon as we have it and understand how this will look for our students. We thank you for your patience and understanding with this. In the meantime, the best thing that any child can do is engage with the lessons that are offered and complete all work set for them in the best way that they can. This will help us to ensure the best outcomes for every child.

How are Teenagers coping with Life under Lock Down?Finally, I am aware you have had a lot of information already re safeguarding and mental wellbeing but there are some new resources on the next 2 pages from Reading University. I have not checked them out personally but offer them to those of you who may wish to try some more alternatives.

As ever, my best regards to you as we all try to stay Responsible, Respectful and Safe. #We are Oulder Hill.

John Watson

COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression is available now on FutureLearn.

Links to useful information

Children’s charities

Tips and advice

Free resources

Helpful organisations

A Life Guide for Teenagers will help teenagers navigate this strange time, by focusing on how to look after themselves and exploring many of the issues teenagers face. It’s a small book covering a lot of ideas, perfect for students to skim through to find bits relevant to them. The ideas are distilled into a page-spread per topic, using a dyslexic-friendly font and plenty of illustrations. It gives strategies to increase self-esteem, to deal with stress, communicate well, to think about the future, and to stay healthy – both physically and mentally. You’ll get a flavour of the book from the pages below.

“It’s all the bad bits of school with none of the good bits. I still have to do all the work, but I don’t get to see my friends, and if I don’t understand something I can’t ask the teacher.”  Ben, 16

“I’m spending much more time on my schoolwork than I used to because there is no boundary any more. At school I have to stop at the end of a lesson. But I want to make sure I keep doing good work otherwise my grades could go down.”  Caitlin, 14

Useful and fun to read – I didn’t get bored. Tom, 14

I would have liked something like this when I was twelve or thirteen to prepare me for the later years. Esmé, 17

I tried lots of the ideas in the book and it did help ­– especially negotiating with parents and how not to over-react, because I’m not very good at those. Callum, 13


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