Dear Grey Court Community,
Today Grey Court was busy preparing to move learning from the classroom to online. It was great to see so many of our students present, however, there was a tinge of sadness from me personally and the staff, knowing that the best thing about our job will no longer be present next week. It was my privilege to lead assemblies to all year groups 7-11, the themes of which I would like to convey. Firstly, the expectation of our students to be above all socially responsible is paramount. Our children have a key role to play in these difficult times. They must follow the advice and guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education which includes avoiding public/social gatherings, adhere strictly to hygiene protocols and remember that while they may not be ill, they still can represent a threat to the vulnerable members of the community.
Secondly, I made clear our high expectations during online learning which will exactly replicate their current timetables. We are using Google Classroom and other elements as the core method of our online delivery alongside the other subject-specific packages we use daily at Grey Court. Students should be ready to receive messages from their tutor at 08:30am every weekday morning in term time. Break and lunchtimes will be the same and students will be expected to be working through the equivalent times of periods one to six. Homework will also be set as normal. We will also be sharing a list of wider listening, reading, and watching, with subject-specific topics that will contain links to a number of online resources, podcasts, clips, documentaries, etc. which should augment the children's appreciation of different subjects. Core learning is the priority and these are expected but supplementary.
Additionally, I outlined what learning would look like for those that will still be attending school from Monday. As per the government's recommendations students with EHCPs, students with social workers and the children of key workers who wish to attend will be offered the opportunity to come to school and have their online learning facilitated by our staff. Thank you so much to all of the parents of these students who have already completed the Google Form, sent this morning, which indicates whether your child requires this onsite provision from Monday 23rd March 2020. If you have not completed the form then please do so.
Clearly the impact of the situation has been acutely felt by all, but no more than by Year 11 and 13. At present we are awaiting further information as a school from the government and we will share this with you all as soon as we know more. That said, my message in the assembly was that, if at all possible, Grey Court would seek to provide a series of entrance style examinations (not dissimilar to GCSE) in order to ensure that students were accessing the correct courses at our sixth form provision. We will keep you up to date regularly as we are fully aware of the anxiety our young people are experiencing. Year 11s were also assured that their hard work will not be in vain and that we would work with them to ensure they receive grades that were commensurate with their dedication and commitment to their study. We expect this dedication and commitment to continue in their attitude toward remote learning in the coming weeks.
I would now like to take this opportunity to thank the members of our community for their kind words and well-wishing messages - these have been much appreciated. I will be in regular contact but for now, take care of each other, stay safe, and be reassured that Grey Court will continue to support all members of its community through these testing times.
Chris Rhodes - Headteacher