Dear Grey Court Community
It is now nearly a week since we said goodbye to the vast majority of our students. We have been in contact through Google Classroom and other remote learning platforms, however that real-life interaction is being sorely missed. I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and appreciation from parents and I have tried as much as possible to share these with staff. Our approach to remote learning has generally been well received but we acknowledge that there have been a few teething issues - we will continue to fix these if you let us know. Many of our external learning platforms such as 'Active Learn' have simply been overwhelmed by the amount of internet traffic and have been slow to function, leaving some students frustrated. Similarly, some students have become anxious about completing all of the work set and have been working long into the evening at the expense of leisure and down time. This is certainly not our intention and by outlining the school's expectations below I hope this will desist.
It is key to strike the correct balance between giving students the much needed structure and routine and being sensitive to this unprecedented situation. Students should only spend the amount of time allocated to the subject specific lesson. Any work that they cannot complete in that time should not be caught up, unless they have nothing else to do of course. Homework should not exceed 60 minutes for KS3 and 90 minutes for KS4/5 per day - i.e. work done after 2.45pm. Teachers will ultimately set large amounts of work as students clearly work at different speeds, we work on the principle that it is better to have too much work than too little. They have been reminded of the need to be sensitive to this issue when giving feedback. Times of the day are:
Registration 08.30am - 08.45am
Period 1 08.45am – 09.35am
Period 2 09.35am – 10.25am
Morning Break 10.25am – 10.45am
Period 3 10.45am – 11.35am
Period 4 11.35am – 12.25am
Lunch 12.25pm – 01.05pm
Period 5 01.05 pm – 01.55 pm
Period 6 01.55 pm – 02.45 pm
No afternoon registration
As we are in the infancy of this programme and always being mindful of that fact that being outstanding does not mean being perfect, we welcome constructive feedback from parents but this should always be done in the spirit of cooperation. Our community must not forget that teachers and associate staff are trying their best under immense pressure as their own lives are impacted by the current circumstances. Many of them are parents and/or carers as well.
In addition, our IT support staff are doing a fantastic job. Together with our Head of Technology they are going above and beyond to answer questions, offer support and resolve issues. Problems will occur and at this point students should address these issues directly to their tutor. The tutor can then contact the IT support team. I urge everybody to be patient and if the issue is preventing students from completing work then they should not be stressed or anxious as the teachers will be very understanding. They can use this time to read or to exercise.
Tomorrow we will continue with our weekly eBulletin. We hope that its content will make you smile and I urge you to take the time to read it if only to laugh at teacher's baby photos and to share the messages with your children. We are working hard on delivering a quasi-educational online pack of resources aimed at wider reading/listening and watching subject matter that adds to cultural capital and general enlightenment. This should support both parents and students during the Easter break when there will be no online lessons.
During Easter, including the bank holidays, the school will continue to be open to EHCP, vulnerable and key worker children. Please contact email@example.com, if you meet the aforementioned criteria and wish for your children to come to school.
Finally, I would like to wish everybody good health and happiness in these extremely challenging times.
Take care. Stay safe.
Grey Court is a popular, thriving and well established school. We see the school as the central resource for learning and support in the local community and continue to strive for excellence in all we do.
I am proud to say we were judged as an “Outstanding” school in all categories following our latest Ofsted inspection in January 2018. Ofsted concluded that Grey Court has “the highest ambition for all pupils. Only the best will do,” and that the school, “offers an exceptional quality of education”. This built on the platform of excellence established when our school was first judged as “Outstanding” in May 2013
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