COVID RESPONSE UPDATE – 17 December
This page will be updated to reflect the current government advice and guidance around the pandemic. It was last updated on Thursday 17 December to include guidance around track and trace over the Christmas break and to give further details about our approach to remote learning for when it is required. Our approach is informed by the guidance issued by the government regarding how schools should respond to the pandemic, this can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/guidance-for-schools-coronavirus-covid-19
What should I do if my child has symptoms of Covid-19 over the Christmas period?
If your child is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, you should arrange for them to be tested. If the test is positive you need to inform the School immediately via email: email@example.com so that we can take appropriate action. Once informed, we will track all staff and students who have been in close proximity of the student (generally defined as closer than 2 metres for 15 minutes or more), and will require all those that are identified to isolate for 10 days. In January 2021 we are intending to implement on-site testing for those identified as a close contact of a positive case so that students will no longer need to isolate if they test negative each day for seven days. We will update this guidance and contact parents once our approach to testing has been finalised. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges/coronavirus-covid-19-asymptomatic-testing-in-schools-and-colleges
We will continue to monitor emails and engage in track and trace within School up to, and including, Christmas Eve. Parents should therefore continue to check their registered email address in case we need to make contact to inform you of the need to isolate for 10 days, as a result of being in close contact with a confirmed positive case.
What should my child expect from immediate remote education in the first day or two of students being sent home?
All work will be set on show my homework. Students can access this through the app on their phone or through a website. Parents can do the same. If you have lost your login please use the lost password link on the login page. If you need further support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the first few days of remote education, will my child be taught broadly the same curriculum as they would if they were in school?
Yes. It is our intention to deliver the same curriculum as we would at School. If it’s appropriate to do so the order of some topics will be moved about so that the work set at home is accessible and allows students to continue to make progress. Students will, however, over the course of the year cover all of the content we intended to within our planned curriculum.
How will my child access any online remote education you are providing?
They may use any device capable of accessing the internet. Many students simply use their mobile phone. All work will be accessible through SMHW. In addition, live lessons will be offered using Microsoft Teams which is available as an app on mobile phone platforms, windows or MacOS. Students can access all of these resources through our VLE which can be accessed by clicking here: http://vle.haringtonschool.com. Here they can access their home network area, the Microsoft Office suite (word, Excel and powerpoint), email, Teams and SMHW.
If my child does not have digital or online access at home, how will you support them to access remote education?
Please contact email@example.com who will be able to offer you support and advice. We will do what we can to help.
How will my child be taught remotely?
If all students within a year group are asked to remain at home online live lessons will be delivered via Microsoft Teams. We will offer at least two out of the four weekly lessons per week in this manner. Many subjects will of course deliver all lessons via Teams if they feel this is the most effective approach. In some circumstances staff may decide to set work on Show My Homework and follow this up with drop in sessions.
These live lessons will take place during the normal timetable slot to avoid clashes. A register of attendance will be taken and we will seek your support if students do not attend.
If students struggle with any work that is set, they should email their class teacher directly, but also look to complete other work whilst they wait for a response. For students needing additional support, small group live lessons will also be offered to complement the work set on SMHW.
What happens in my child’s lessons if a member of staff needs to isolate as a result of Covid-19 symptoms?
If they are well enough, then they will set work on SMHW and then if appropriate join the lesson virtually using Teams.
What are your expectations for my child’s engagement and the support that we as parents and carers should provide at home?
Our expectations for remote learning are the same as they would be at School.We know from the last lockdown that students who established good routines early found working from home more manageable, please therefore discuss with your child expectations around getting up in the morning, attending lessons, completing work in good time and being proactive in seeking help if they are struggling with anything. We are very mindful of students’ wellbeing and the additional pressure of needing to isolate. Your child should also feel comfortable to email their tutor who can help them access further support if needed.
Your child’s tutor, will be asking all students to join their usual tutorial lesson at 2:05pm every day, (except Wednesday) and a register will be taken at that point. This will be an opportunity to carry out the usual tutorial programme but also for students to simply to check in with their tutor if they have a concern or question about what is happening.
How will you check whether my child is engaging with their work and how will I be informed if there are concerns?
We will monitor your child’s access to SMHW and contact parents directly if we are concerned. Likewise, teachers will be taking registers for live lessons, checking work is submitted on time, marking it and providing feedback in the usual way.
We will continue to contact parents when we have concerns about their child. We also encourage parents to contact teachers directly using email (addresses are available from the last report home) if you have any concerns about the work being too hard, too easy, too much or too little.
How will you assess my child’s work and progress?
Teachers will mark and follow up with additional support with students who have not completed work, or, their work is below their usual standard. We will still follow our published assessment calendar of checkpoints and key assessments, the results of which will be reported home in the usual way. We will also continue to offer our usual progress evening albeit online so that you can discuss your child with their teacher.
How will you work with me to help my child who needs additional support from adults at home to access remote education?
Following individual risk assessments, students with EHC plans will be educated on-site unless it is considered unsafe for them and they will have access to their usual support.
If my child is not in school because they are self-isolating or are ill for another reason, how will their remote education differ from the approaches described above?
Prior to lockdown, classwork was not routinely set for students who were absent. However, in order to keep students’ learning on track as a result of any absence, we have changed this approach. In addition to prep, classwork is now being set by the end of each working day by teachers on SMHW so that those who are absent, whether COVID–19 related or not, will be able to do their classwork as well as prep, if they are well enough. If students struggle with the work or need further help, then please ask them to email the teacher directly in the usual way but be aware that teachers are unlikely to be able to respond immediately because of their usual teaching commitments. Students should move onto another piece of work until they receive the help they need.
Once the student returns to School, teachers will review their work and, if the student was not well enough to finish it, teachers will give the student a reasonable time frame to complete it. Routine procedures will follow, such as catch-up sessions, if further time is needed and we will contact you in that event.
Returning to School
We were delighted to welcome our new Year 12 cohort back to school on Tuesday 25th August with Year 13 following on Wednesday 26th. Students were provided with the opportunity to meet their tutors, receive their timetable, and attend some of their scheduled lessons. In the next few days they will choose their academic enrichment sessions and activities.
We have also written a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which aims to answer questions which have been asked by a number of parents and we will update this as we continue to refine our approach.
Q. Is the school using social bubbles
To ensure the safety of students we have decided the best way to mitigate risk is to have a distinct social bubble for Year 12 and for Year 13. Due to the nature and importance of subject specialism it is impossible to have smaller bubbles. On site we have clarified with students how this will work, for example there are different areas designated to private study, different locations for break time (Year 12 in our Orangery, Year 13 in the Restaurant) and slightly different timings for lunch. For now we have had to pause some of those important aspects of the school (e.g. year group assemblies, students volunteering at other schools). This is a real shame for our students but we hope to be able to return to this as soon as guidance allows.
Q. What will happen at social times once students have finished eating? Will they need to stay in their bubble?
Once students have finished eating they will need to leave as soon as possible and either go back to their classroom or, whilst weather permits use one of our outside spaces where social distancing is more easily maintained. They should not break their social bubble (year group) and must remain with it at all times.
Q. Why are students moving between classrooms?
We want students to have as normal a return to School as possible where they can access specialist teaching and the resources necessary to enable that. By students moving to specialist rooms it will allow students to resume practical lessons in Art, use IT facilities and begin science practical work. If we did not take this approach teaching would be very limited and very reliant on worksheets and less engaging or, appropriate activity.
The change of lessons will give students a short break as they walk around the building. We are fortunate to have a new building that was designed with corridors that are at least twice the width of a typical school. All students are asked to use sanitiser before every lesson and antiseptic wipes are available in every room to wipe down equipment and surfaces as needed. A one way system is in place to minimise contact across bubbles.
Q. What is happening to all those important extras (Duke of Edinburgh Award, trips, sports fixtures)
One of the hardest aspects of the current situation has been accepting that these crucial aspects of life at Harington have to be put on hold. We probably get asked more about this by the students than any other aspect and know how much they are valued. When the situation changes we will be keen to ensure these activities are available. We are pleased to say however that our usual Wednesday pm Academic Enrichment Programme will be running (excluding volunteering). Year 12 will have the chance to sign up to a range of options including careers in Engineering, Politics, and Science. This year we are also running a distinct group for students who would welcome additional transitional support into their A level studies. Likewise, Year 12 will be able to access a good range of activities on a Friday. These include sport (badminton, fitness, rounders), charities / environmental committee, Cyber Security, Art workshops and many others.
Q. Are staff allocated to social bubbles?
No, staff will be keeping to social distancing rules and will remain at least 2 metres away from each other and students. If they need to come closer than 2 metres then additional measures including face coverings and gloves will be used.
Q. Can my child or member of staff wear a face covering?
The government advice is that this is not necessary because of the other mitigations we have taken. However, if a member of staff or student wants to wear a face covering they may wear a plain one.