Information from Principal Andrew Davis
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you and your families continue to be safe and healthy.
Once again last week we were overwhelmed with fantastic work across a range of subjects in different media; from great pencil drawn art work from Jess in Year 9 to Olly in Year 7 who produced a fantastic news video on scooters – who knew they were invented in 1817! If you would like to see more of the work being produced by students, please visit our social media or school website, plus the Padlet site: https://padlet.com/ExmouthCommunityCollege
Please feel free to share any work that your child has done with us. It can be anything from handwritten work through to U tube videos – it doesn’t matter.We won’t share it unless you are happy for us to do so but I know staff really love to see what students have been producing!
At the moment, there are many rumours circulating around the country about when schools might re-open. The Prime minister mentioned last week that the Government would be reviewing the lockdown this week. Currently I can assure you that staff only know as much as you and frankly your guess is as good as mine on when schools might open! As school leaders I know we have asked the Government to give us as much advance warning as possible since re-opening the College, even on a partial basis, will require a great deal of planning and a large number of changes to our normal practices. As you would expect we are beginning to plan what a return might look like, that would keep students and staff, as well as everyone’s families and friends as safe as possible.
Rest assured, whatever the Government guidance, we will re-introduce students to site gradually and with regular reviews to ensure that we are operating as safely as possible. This may involve different year groups, or parts of year groups, returning for parts of the week to perhaps access a limited range of subjects and continuing to study at home on some days in order for us to adhere to the strict social distancing requirements currently in place. As soon as we receive further guidance I will, of course, update you on those plans.
The face vizors keep going….
Mr Greaves and the Design Technology team continues to make face vizors for local care homes and this was the latest lovely thank you message we received.
I would also like to thank A1 Extraction in Newton Abbot who kindly supplied a very reasonably priced new motor for the extraction fan linked to the laser cutter that produces the masks. Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to send out another 100 masks on Tuesday alone to heroes like those in the picture. Thank you!
Update on Online Learning for Parents
As I mentioned in my last update, Mr Allen spoke to a range of parents, carers and students a couple of weeks ago to get their views on how working at home was going. I know many of you have posted comments and feedback to us through our social media as well. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Mr Allen has produced a summary of the queries he received which hopefully other might find useful.
- Please remember there are three main ways of submitting work: Class Charts / One Drive /Email. Teachers have been asked to be specific about how to send work in.
- Class Charts– things to be aware of:
- If using the Parent App you will see slightly different things – e.g you won’t be able to upload work and you will not see the feedback. Students also need to tick tasks off once they have been completed so they do not keep showing up on parent app.
To see feedback through ClassCharts, students need to go to the original task and open it up. They will then see the feedback that has been provided.
- We have asked staff not to use the red ‘Not submitted’ code if students have not been able to send work in, but we are keeping a record of and rewarding work that is submitted. Please let us know if this is happening and we try to resolve the issue.
- Microsoft Teams– a few parents and carers have been asking about whether we can host ‘live lessons’.
- Teams is a major development that would normally take months to plan and roll out, in particular, ensuring that it is used safely by all students and that homes have the broadband capacity to access work through the software
- Staff have been using it to conduct departmental meetings. We have also been considering which settings to allow for students to make sure it is a safe and secure platform for collaboration.
- We are currently trialling Teams with some Post 16 classes and establishing what is an effective way of working.
- Due to the number of classes, safeguarding concerns, access to laptops in many homes where there is more than one child and the broadband connections for some of our own staff it is unlikely that we will be offering live lessons for all, however some small tutorial type meetings have been possible for older students. If, or when, we roll this out we would prioritise Year 10 and Post – 16 students.
Over the past few weeks staff have shown great initiative at new ways of delivering content from voice-over Powerpoints to YouTube videos. We are currently working with staff to upskill them by sharing that best practice so that all students get the same great experience.
Finally - Keep on going and look after yourselves!
Mr Taylor came across this on the internet and we thought it was so good we wanted to share it with everyone:
Students, please remember to take a break and be kind to your families!
We are all in this together so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through our website if you require any further help or guidance. We are more than happy to help.
Have a good week and stay safe.