Dear Grey Court Community,
With the announcement this week from the secretary of state for education it is now clear that it will be some time before schooling returns in its normal guise. Mr Williamson used the phrase, 'phased return', which implies that when we get the 'green light' to reopen it may well be only for certain year groups. By this time next week we expect a far more detailed explanation concerning government expectations on how schools should return. For your young people, it is now of even greater importance that they continue to work diligently on the online platforms provided. We must ensure that we strive to keep gaps in learning and curriculum coverage to an absolute minimum as the children will not be afforded additional time in their educational journey.
We have been working diligently on the establishment of the 'Grey Court Bridging School' which will replace normal online lessons for the Y11 students from the 11th May, as we would ordinarily be in the exam period at this point. This 4 week course has been designed to facilitate learning in the sixth form subjects that students expect to take when entering Grey Court Sixth Form. These online lessons, along with subsequent tasks, resources and materials will provide students with the opportunity to equip themselves with some much needed skills, competencies and knowledge that will ease their transition between KS4 and KS5. The lessons will be followed up with small group online tutorials where students will be asked to comment upon their weekly endeavors with a member of our teaching staff (their course tutor). Students who do not intend to continue at Grey Court Sixth form should contact their chosen institutions to find out what they are offering in terms of transition materials. However, all students who do not intend to continue at Grey Court will be given a large bank of tasks and resources aimed at improving generic skills that they will need at KS5. Y11 students should expect to receive further details this week about the logistics of the course, the formulation of subject specific google classrooms, their new timetables, their new course tutors and some general expectations.
It was really reassuring to see the students who are still in school working so well this week. Just walking around the Library so many students were using 'google meet' and really interacting with their teachers. The staff have also been informed of a new tool within the 'google classroom' armoury that allows for more efficient online marking. We hope to make more use of this over the coming weeks.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that we are still publishing our weekly eBulletin (click here). In this bulletin, we showcase students’ work: sports videos, film trailers, artwork, and history projects. We share some shoutouts and we look at what our History department has planned for VE Day which falls on the 8th May. Please note that the Richmond Council is running another competition, and you can watch Helen Sharman’s video on her time in space, the questions she was asked by some children, and the answers she gave. All very inspirational!
I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents such as key workers and others who are attending school that we will be open for the bank Holiday next Friday. There will not be any online lessons (for any students) and children in school will be doing a range of exciting activities.
Finally, it seems that once again we are to be blessed with some sunshine over the weekend. I urge parents to enjoy family time together and make the most of the fantastic parks and recreation spaces that we have in this beautiful area. Keep the children away from their screens for a couple and days and make the most of your time together.
Take care, stay safe.