Principal’s Letter to Parents – 15 January 2021
A pdf copy of this letter can be found here
I hope that you and your families are all well and managing to keep yourselves safe. My key reason for writing on this occasion is to share with you a message that will be going out to all students regarding establishing good working habits during this period of remote learning. However, I wanted to start by thanking you all as parents and carers for your incredible support. I am particularly appreciative for everything that you have been doing to support remote learning over these past two weeks. With two young children myself, I do know how difficult it is to juggle working and running the family home under these conditions alongside supervising and supporting your own children with their remote learning – it is far from easy. The school has continued to receive a number of messages of thanks and support from so many of you, and these are all received very gratefully indeed. I am also very grateful for the constructive feedback that we have received from some of you in terms of our current remote learning offer. The information and thoughts that you have shared have been very helpful in enabling us to review and improve our offer.
Please be aware that a message is being posted on the Tutor Group Google Classrooms as well as being emailed to all of the students in order for us to clarify a few salient points with both them and you as parents and carers (please see below).
We are finding that some of our younger students lower down the school are becoming anxious about completing all of the work set in each subject. We would therefore be very grateful if you could find some time to sit down with your child to go through these expectations, and, if students are feeling overwhelmed, reassure them that if they do their best and communicate with their teachers through their Google Classroom, then their teachers will not be able to ask any more of them. Sticking to their timetable and the timings of the school day will be extremely important as this will help our students to know how long they should be working on a particular piece of work. We would not expect them to be working long hours after school. Hopefully, the message below will help you and our students understand more fully what is expected of them. Please do encourage your child to communicate with their teacher(s) regularly if they are at all anxious. As always, all of the staff at Homewood are very keen to support the students and to ensure that they continue to make good progress in their studies.
Please be assured that we are constantly trying new ways to improve the effectiveness of our remote provision, this will always be evidence-informed and take into account the context of our school community.
Please note that further details and support for parents about remote learning at Homewood can be found via the following link: Remote Learning: Parent Guide
As mentioned in my correspondence to you last week, for students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form due to sit external examinations and who are therefore still awaiting confirmation as to the how these are going to be assessed, it is imperative that they continue to work hard and engage with their teachers through Google Classroom to ensure that they stay up-to-date with their learning and revision. I am sorry that we are still unable to offer them any more clarity at this stage; it must be incredibly frustrating for them. However, please reassure them that we will provide an update as soon as we have received the necessary information from the DfE and Ofqual. Once again, we are assured that the Government, Ofqual and the examination boards will work together to identify ways in which schools can award individual students the grades that they deserve. You should now be aware that the Parent Consultation Days will be taking place on Wednesday 27th January, Thursday 28th January and Friday 29th January. All appointments that have already been made on the system have been carried over for the same day and time. Please be aware that reminders will be sent for those of you who are yet to book appointments. If you have lost your login codes, then please email Miss English via firstname.lastname@example.org
As I have said now many times before, I am very mindful that these continue to be unsettling and difficult times for students, staff and parents. However, through working together so positively, we have demonstrated just how much can be achieved within such a cohesive, assured, caring and supportive community such as ours, and from this we should continue to draw much strength.
Please do remember to contact us if you need any support. In the meantime, I send my very best wishes to you and your families.
J K Single
Message sent to students
Dear ‘Name of Tutor Group’,
I hope that you have all had a brilliant Christmas and that you have had plenty of time to relax with your family.
I am writing to check in and make sure that you are all OK and that you are managing to organise your workload. I wanted to share a few tips with you with regards to organising your days. My aim is to help you through your week. My advice and the school’s advice to you is as follows:-
- Make sure you get up nice and early and that you have had breakfast and are ready to work by 8.50am
- Try and find a place where you can work quietly and without disruption
- Have a copy of your timetable nearby because each day you will be expected to complete work according to what you have on your timetable. If you do not have a copy of your timetable your parents can access it through the SIMs app or, failing this, request it from your college office. Please note your Google Calendar is not your timetable; this only shows when work is due in.
- Log onto your Google Classrooms by 8.50am and see what work has been set for the subjects on that day’s timetable. For example, if you have Maths, English and Geography on your timetable for Monday, you must work on these subjects on this day at the correct times
- Follow the timings of the school day for each subject
- Start work on your first subject at 8.50. At the end of that period submit/ hand in the work that you have completed if you have been asked to do so by your teacher even if it is not quite finished
- At the start of your next lesson, start working on the next subject shown on your timetable even if you haven’t finished work from the previous lesson
- If you finish your work before the end of a lesson, you can either take your break slightly early or get started on one of your other subject areas
- Make sure you always follow the timings on your timetable because your teacher will be online to help you at this time
- Make sure you take your breaks and lunchtime away from your workstation
- Sometimes your teacher might set you work and give you a full week to complete it. If this is the case, you must still work on it during your normal lesson times and hand it in by the final deadline date
- Remember if you are stuck or are unsure of something then the teachers are there to help. Just send a comment to your teacher on Google classroom (private comments can be seen only by your teacher whereas class comments can be seen both by your teacher and by the rest of your class).
As your form tutor, I will support you as much as I possibly can, so if you are feeling like you need some advice or are feeling anxious please let me know. You can do this by email or through our tutor group Google Classroom.
Finally from me – my top tips are:
- Do what you can each lesson and don’t get upset if you don’t get everything done
- If you can, get some fresh air and exercise during the day
- Keep in touch with your friends and members of your wider family – for example can you set up a weekly or daily video chat?
- Let your teachers know if you are worried about anything- they will be very happy to hear from you
I am here if you need me; just post a private comment on our tutor group Google Classroom and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can!
Take care and look after yourselves.