Blog #17 – w/c 18/01/21
Well, we’re another week into the spring term and while on the one hand we appear to be no closer to a return to normal, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. There are now signs of a small reduction in infection rates nationally as a result of the latest lockdown; this can’t come soon enough for all of us. This, coupled with the roll out of the vaccine, will eventually allow us to move forward again. What is important in the meantime is that we all remain positive, follow the most recent guidance, abide by current restrictions and maintain as much normality in our lives as possible in, what are undoubtedly, challenging circumstances.
Thank you to those students who have attended all of their lessons consistently and continue to complete work; this is very commendable. Thanks also to parents and carers who are having to juggle so many things to enable this; we know how much pressure some of you are under and we appreciate your ongoing support. Additionally, at a time like this, it is really rewarding for teachers to have your positive feedback so we are very grateful to those of you who have taken the time to send in some lovely comments about the support that your children are receiving. Thank you again!
We have seen an increase in engagement this week, with more students than ever accessing their lessons via Google Classroom. The situation with school closures is a national issue and, while it isn’t ideal, it is vital that all students continue with their learning journey remotely until schools are allowed to re-open their doors and welcome students back; something that we are all looking forward to. Our commitment to you is that work will be set for every student, for every subject and for every lesson. This will be a blend of uploaded resources with tasks to complete, recorded lessons, and live lessons. Live lessons offer an important opportunity for real-time interaction between teachers, students and their peers. This social interaction not only promotes progress, it is really important as a means of supporting good mental health.
In last week’s blog, we said that we would be hosting a Zoom meeting with parents in our effort to maintain effective lines of communication. However, we decided to amend this approach because we felt that, at this stage, we have one main message that we want to share with everyone. As a result, today, we have posted our ‘Presentation for Parents on Home Learning’ on to the school website and social media. We have also added further resources that you will find under the ‘Home Learning’ tab. Please take the time to watch the presentation. This will be followed up with remote Progress Evenings for each year group at which time there will be an opportunity for live interaction. Please follow the link below to the presentation and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
Some great work completed this week in English.
Year 7 and 8 students are now at the midpoint of their current scheme of work: ‘Entertainment in the 19th and 21st Centuries’ where they have been exploring non-fiction texts across time. They are gaining cultural capital through their understanding of how society has developed, and also improving their reading and analytical skills. Students are able to access and complete all tasks whether they are in school or working remotely from home.
The fantastic examples below are a review and comparison of the forms of entertainment they have read about and researched. Next week, they will complete a mastery quiz to help us to assess their progress.
Also, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s nothing better than a good book. So, to make sure nobody has a chance to get bored, the English department has created virtual libraries on Google Classroom in conjunction with the National Oak Academy who have provided free books that can be read online. The choice of texts will be updated regularly to ensure that everyone always has access to an entertaining read.
The site has been really busy this week as more walls are fitted out with insulation, more brickwork is completed and the first of the window and door frames are installed. The shell of the building will soon be complete, which means I’ll have to get my hard hat on and get inside each week to keep you updated with the building’s progress. You will notice that there is a huge shadow across this photograph, which also means that, despite the cold, we have had some sun; the first hint of spring perhaps?
Miss Garner’s Food and Nutrition Challenge
So you think you can rap?
Follow the link below to a short video that will challenge your wrap!
Send some photos of your creation via Miss Garner and who know, you could become a famous wrapper!
Follow the link and get creative.
Free School Meals
Still on the theme of food, you may or may not be aware of this offer form Marks and Spencer so I felt that it was worth sharing here.
RAGE Fitness Blacon - Virtual workouts
From the end of January, Blacon High School will have access to the ‘Rage Fitness Blacon’ website, a virtual school portal, which will enable them to carry out weekly fitness sessions. Each session will be 20-25 minutes long, a HIIT (high intense interval training) session that students, teachers & family members can all take part in with limited equipment at home during lockdown. The PE Department will continue to work with Craig Brown & Rage Fitness and develop this relationship for the benefit of the Blacon Community.
Here’s one to keep an eye out for. February 9th is ‘Safer Internet Day’ and Mrs Tait will be sharing some great ideas, advice and resources with you to ensure that you continue to enjoy using the internet safely. Watch this space!
As always, please contact us if you need any help, advice or support as we continue to prioritise the academic development and well-being of all of our students in these challenging times.