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Weekly Update (29/1/21)

Here is the update for this week...

Dear Parent/Carer,

So, like me, you probably read the stories of proposed return dates to school with a sense of hope and then a huge dash of reality. I often feel that it is best to prepare for the worst and then you can only be delighted if that doesn't happen. In the case of the announcement, I had a quick look at the impact of COVID in June (when we started our last phased return). It's fair to say that the numbers in June looked far nicer than they do at the moment!

So what does that mean for us? Simply put, we need to push on and get through this together. Staff are hard at work getting the evidence they need for Y11 and 13 and we continue to offer the full range of lessons for your daughter/son throughout the week. It is tough looking at a screen for a long time and I thank you for your support of our little initiatives to help manage that.

We are aware that online learning is not for everyone and we are working on ways that we can support those who feel they might be falling behind. Don't panic, but do get in touch if you think that applies to your daughter/son. We do check the learning that is going on, but you will have the full picture at home. 

Well done and thanks

I do want to say a huge well done to any of you who are at home and trying to juggle your own work with supervising your children at school. It's hard, but I just wanted to offer a few thoughts on how you can try to balance that.

The key points from our point of view are:

  1. Check that your daughter/son registers with the teacher
  2. Drop in at random times throughout to check that you can see them engaging in writing or that you see the teacher is there. 
  3. Check in at the end of the lesson and quickly ask what they have been doing.

If you have any concerns over this then my advice is to not make a big deal of it there and then. Call us and we can support you in that conversation. Things are stressful enough and I know that the thought of having a battle in a house during lockdown fills some people with fear. Every emotion we have at the moment is now even more on edge, so let’s tackle those things together.

Online student survey

We shared an online survey to see how the students are coping and to allow us to reflect on any changes we need to make to ensure things are as good as they can be. The results were amazing and really insightful. It has been great to pass on examples of success to teachers and to also follow up any concerns. The overall picture is very positive and we are delighted that our online offer seems to be hitting the spot. Rest assured, it doesn't replace normal school, but we will be working on this as a number of our younger students (or new students and staff) simply have no experience of the real Dene Magna. That is mind blowing, but plans are afoot to ensure that we are all reminded of the roots and principles that make this school great and how we will flourish once things go back to the old normal.

Parents evenings

Bookings are now available for Y12 Parents Evening which will be held on 11th February.

Bookings open on 8th February at 9.00 for our Y10 Parents Evening. That will take place on 25th February. 

Have a safe and restful weekend. Who knows, we might go out for a walk, watch some TV, call family members...a bit like last weekend. I would say though that we will look back on these simple things when this is all over and probably miss them. 

Every day we go on is a day nearer to us being back together.

Stay safe and positive.

Steve Brady