Year 7 & 10 School Closure
As you know we had to make the difficult decision at the start of this week to ask students in 2 year groups to move to on-line learning for the remainder of the week, due to significant covid-related staffing difficulties. We have monitored this situation closely as you would expect, and continue to work hard to make sure we reduce the impact on students and their learning.
The level of staff covid-related absence continues to present challenges. As you will imagine, the complexity of isolation periods starting and finishing on different days and spanning different time periods, as well as the uncertainty around whether staff will be well enough to return to work at the end of the isolation period, makes planning in advance, extremely difficult.
We do not expect our staffing levels to return to a fully operational rate until Wednesday of next week and so from Monday 6 December the school will be closed to Year 7 and 10 students, and they will move to remote education at home. This will allow us to maintain prioritising in school lessons examination year groups and invite Year 8 and 9 back to school for face to face teaching after more than 4 days away from us.
Students in years 7 and 10 should attend school as normal until the end of this week.
Like other local schools who have recently had to take similar action, please be assured that this decision was not taken lightly and is always a last resort for us.
The current level of staff covid-related absence means that we are not able to operate the school day in a safe and meaningful way with all students on site. When making these sorts of decisions we have to take into account not only having enough adults to cover the lessons for staff unable to come to school but also the safe supervision of students while moving around the school and also during break and lunchtimes. We also have to consider how effectively we could manage emergency situations such as fire evacuations, etc. should the need arise.
Remote learning for Year 7 and 10 students will be in place initially until Wednesday 8 December. We will continue to monitor the situation and confirm return dates with you as soon as we are able to.
How Lessons will Work
Students need to access work linked to the current school curriculum via their Google Classroom, the same way they accessed learning during the previous Lockdown this year. Work will be set by the classroom teacher for each timetabled lesson and should be accessed at the time they would normally attend that subject in school. Teachers will be ‘live’ (via the Google meets link in the classroom) to talk through the learning of the lesson and answer any questions for the first 15 minutes and aim to include live or interactive content to support the learning. Throughout the lesson time, the students will be able to contact the teacher via email to ask any further questions they might have. Students would have been automatically enrolled to their Google Classroom last half-term. These start with 'WEL' in front of their class code, e.g. 'WEL-10yEN1' for year 10, Y side, set 1 English. This will be on their Google Classroom page. If your child is having difficulties accessing their Google classrooms, please email email@example.com for support.
Computer and Internet Support
Most students who needed to borrow a computer from us during the last period of remote learning, still have their Chromebook. If your child returned it to us or if you have joined the Welling School community since then and need to discuss how we can support you, or if you need technical support with Google classrooms, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students Eligible for Free School Meals
All families who are usually in receipt of free school meals will receive a voucher through the post. If you would like to discuss how we can support you further then please get in touch with us.
Again - thank you for your understanding and support. We hope that by giving you at least a short period of notice it will be easier to put necessary arrangements in place for your son or daughter.
We will be back in touch by Tuesday 7 December to confirm arrangements for the rest of the week. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via email@example.com for general enquiries, or firstname.lastname@example.org for technical support, if there is anything else we can do to support you or your child while they are working at home.
Miss J Sangster