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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Update from principal Andrew Davis

Thanks and information from Andrew Davis

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for you continued messages of support and the many positive comments the staff at the College have received from you. I know staff feel that their efforts during this time are really recognised and appreciated. 

It is very rewarding for us to know that we are playing our own small part in helping key workers fulfil their duties to keep us safe and healthy and the country functioning. Our immense thanks goes to all those key workers and in particular anybody working in the NHS or maintaining our food supplies at these difficult times. 

Thank you also for keeping your children indoors, safe and supervised which will be really important in trying to break the chain of infections.

We hope that the home working is going well with the students. We understand that sometimes the content is slow to access. This is a national issue at the moment since lots of students are all trying to access sites at the same time.

We have heard from some parents/carers that sometimes there is a bit too much work and sometimes too little. Please don't worry about this too much. The priority at the moment is getting students into a good routine which mimics a school day and includes some down time, reading, time talking remotely to friends and, where possible going out for a walk with you as well as getting their Class Charts work done. This structure is both important to their mental health and well-being but will also be important when we move back to normal school working.

To help you we have posted more information on our website on the school closure at https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/closure-info This page also links to a new Frequently Asked Questions section where we have tried to answer the most common queries parents and carers have asked us through Social Media. Follow us here: 

https://twitter.com/exmouthcollege

https://www.facebook.com/officialexmouthcollege

https://www.instagram.com/exmouthcommunitycollege/

In addition, we have just posted some further advice to parents and carers about how to try and keep your children engaged in their school work during this period. This can be found at https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/help-with-home-learning  Though if I am honest both my wife and I are teachers and we are finding it difficult to get the balance right with our two secondary age children at the moment so please don't beat yourself up if it isn't quite right yet - just keep trying to do your best!‚Äč

I think we will all get better at learning from home and I know that now it looks as though this will go on for several weeks we are putting in place methods that your child can return work to us for marking. More on this soon. 

We are also conscious that some parents and carers are worried about falling behind. We do recognise that children do learn at very different rates and so we will have to try and address any gaps in knowledge to make sure no child is left behind when we return to normal lessons. 

As you will know China has been in lock down for several weeks and so below are some thoughts from a Chinese teacher who has been going through the same process that we are just beginning. I think their thoughts give an interesting insight.....

We are just finishing our 7th week of E-Learning, seven weeks of being mainly housebound and seven weeks of uncertainty. We are healthy, we are happy, and we are humbled.

We are allowed to move around freely now with a green QR code that we show when we get our temperature taken. You get your temperature taken everywhere, and it's just become part of the routine. Most restaurants and shopping centres are now open, and life is coming back to our city. 

As we watch the rest of the world begin their time inside; here are some of my reflections on the last seven weeks:

1. Accept that you have no control over the situation. Let go of any thoughts of trying to plan too much for the next month or two. Things change so fast. Don't be angry and annoyed at the system. Anxiety goes down, and you make the best of the situation - whatever that might be for you. Accept that this is what it is and things will get easier.

2. Try not to listen to/read/watch too much media. It WILL drive you crazy. There is a thing as too much!

3. The sense of community I have felt during this time is incredible. I could choose who I wanted to spend my energy on - who I wanted to call, message and connect with and found the quality of my relationships has improved.

4. Appreciate this enforced downtime. When do you ever have time like this? I will miss it when we go back to the fast-paced speed of the 'real world'.

5. Time goes fast. I still haven't picked up the ukelele I planned to learn, and there are box set TV shows I haven't watched yet.

6. As a teacher, the relationships I have built with my students have only continued to grow. I have loved seeing how independent they are; filming themselves to respond to tasks while also learning essential life skills such as balance, risk-taking and problem-solving, that even we as adults are still learning.

7. You learn to appreciate the little things; sunshine through the window, flowers blossoming and being able to enjoy a coffee in a cafe. To those just beginning this journey, You will get through it. Listen to what you are told, follow the rules and look out for each other. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Useful advice I think. 

We now have all of the key contacts from Form Tutors to Heads of Department and Pastoral staff on our website and so if you have a problem please do not hesitate to get in touch. We continue to be on site each day and across the holiday period to help.

Many thanks again for your support.

Andrew Davis - Principal