In light of the fast changing situation regarding the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak and the updated government guidance we would like to give you a school update. We are aware that some schools in Durham are partially closing for the rest of this week. We have been fortunate that only a very small number of staff have had to self-isolate, meaning we can currently remain open for all students.
However, the government has just announced tonight that the school will be closed for all students from the end of Friday, unless you are a key worker. To help us plan for Monday, it would be really helpful if you could indicate whether you are a key worker and whether your child will be attending school on Monday, by completing the form (link above).
What will happen when the school is closed?
We have been planning for the possibility of a school closure for a number of days because we know that it is important for a students’ education to continue during this time.
Teaching staff will set work for all students to complete at home. All work will be set on Google Classroom. We will create resource packs using hard copies of resources and stationery for those students who have limited access to the internet. Please let us know if you require one or more of these and we will make arrangements for you to receive one.
Years 7, 8 and 9
A whole year group Google Classroom has been set up, and the majority of children have been taken to a computer room to sign in. It is important that if your child has not done this, they need to use the following codes to do so:
Year 7 - otcdlgm
Year 8 - od27npn
Year 9 - j4xv6mf
When students log in to the classroom they need to click on the classwork tab at the top of the page. They will then see this page:
As you can see, there will be a timetable for students to follow. Each day there will be a series of quizzes or other tasks to complete during each hour. These quizzes will be testing students on their cycle 3 knowledge organisers, which are in their revision guides. There is also an electronic copy at the bottom of the Google Classroom page. Teachers will take a register from the completed quizzes.
If your child does not do French, they will be given a paper resource from the Link to complete when French appears on the timetable.
Years 10 and 11
As these two year groups are approaching external exams, we are having a slightly different approach. Students will be required to follow their normal timetable. If, for example, students have English period 1 on a Monday, they will log in to their English teacher’s Google Classroom. There will be an invite to join a Google Hangout Meet. This is a function on Google that allows our teachers to teach a lesson, as they would in the classroom. Students will then have a series of tasks to complete. Again, staff will be taking a register of which students have logged on.
Based on the vague information shared by the government tonight about the allocation of GCSE grades this year, I think it could well be a predicted grade, although we can’t be certain. Therefore, it is important that students in year 11 continue to produce work to the best of their ability, in case we need to demonstrate why a particular predicted grade has been given, if it comes to it.
To support students and parents in operating Google Classroom, we have created a step by step video which can be seen by clicking the link to the remote learning guide below. We will also use text messages, emails and the website to keep you fully informed of any changes, for the period of time that the school will be closed.
As a school we play a role not only in educating students but also in safeguarding. We want to make sure our safeguarding responsibilities are maintained for all students. If you, or your child, have any safeguarding concerns about a child, where there is an immediate risk of harm, then you must contact Durham social services on 03000 267979 or the Police on 101.
Finally, I realise that this is a very worrying time for families, and the number one priority is to ensure everyone stays safe. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the ongoing support you are giving and hopefully things will return to normal soon.
Just a reminder that the school remains open for all year groups tomorrow.
If you have any questions, please get in touch using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr S Clough