January 2021 School Closure Guidance

School Closure Guidance January 2021

Please scroll down to see 4 main sections which are as follows:

  • QUESTIONS ABOUT ONLINE/HOME LEARNING
  • GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION
  • QUESTIONS ABOUT ON-SITE PROVISION FOR KEY WORKERS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS
  • SAFEGUARDING AND WELL BEING

 

Please click on each question to find the answer - if you wish to read the entire document please scroll down

QUESTIONS ABOUT ONLINE/HOME LEARNING

What does Cheam High’s online learning model look like?

How is work submitted and how is feedback given to students?

What do I do if my child is struggling with their work?

What do I do if I want some more work for my child or if the online platforms crash?

What do I do if we have difficulties logging in to tutor time or live lessons?

How will rewards and sanctions work?

What do I do if my child doesn’t have access to the right technology to access online learning?

What do I do if my child is unwell or cannot complete work for any other reason?

What happens if my child doesn’t log-in to lessons / misses lessons?

What’s happening with homework?

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION

What is happening with summer exams?

How long will school be closed for?

What is happening with Covid Testing, including during current on-site provision?

QUESTIONS ABOUT ON-SITE PROVISION FOR KEY WORKERS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS

What is provision for the children of key workers’ children or those considered vulnerable?

How do I arrange a space in the on-site provision?

What is happening with Covid Testing, including during current on-site provision?

SAFEGUARDING AND WELL BEING

How will school help safeguard my child when off school?

What doi i do if my child is feeling anxious about the current situation?

How are external agencies working during lockdown and what support may be available beyond the school?

QUESTIONS ABOUT ONLINE/HOME LEARNING

What does Cheam High’s online learning model look like?

We will be offering remote educational provision Monday-Friday, 8.30 to 2.50 in line with the normal school day.  We will try to replicate a ‘normal school day’ as best as possible.  This includes an online tutor time each morning from 8.30-8.50 followed by lessons in line with your child’s normal timetable.  For sixth form students this may include a period 6 which runs from 2.50 to 3.50. 

A lot of these lessons will be delivered ‘live’ by teachers.  Other lessons will involve instructions and work being set for your child to complete.  Research conducted after the last national lockdown showed that a blend of live learning and task-based learning was most effective for students.

Live lessons may not involve the teacher teaching for the full hour – often the teacher will teach for the start of lesson, showing students what to do.  The teacher will then close the live video aspect of the lesson so that students can complete the work set but will remain available to answer any questions, and then reopen the video it towards the end of the lesson to check students’ progress.  It is very important that your child logs in on time for each lesson so that they can be admitted to the live learning classrooms.

We use two key platforms for our home learning provision.

These are Show My Homework and Google Classroom.  Show My Homework (SMHW) allows staff to post instructions and learning resources in line with your child’s timetable.  These posts may include a link to a Loom video.  This is a pre-recorded video where your child’s teacher will talk the class through the learning or demonstrate an exercise to students.  Your child can pause, rewind or replay the video as often as they need to.  Usually, SMHW posts will include a direction to a Google Classroom.  This is used for live teaching.  Teachers can also use their SMHW posts to upload other links, such as to You Tube videos or newspaper articles, as well as learning resources such as worksheets.

Your child is able to communicate with their teachers through either sending them messages on Show My Homework, speaking to them live through Google Classroom or through using the Google Classroom text chat function.

How is work submitted and how is feedback given to students?

Students can submit work by uploading typed work to SMHW or Google Classroom.  They can also upload photographs of written or practical work.  Teachers can then provide feedback to students through these platforms where appropriate.  Not all lessons will require work to be submitted.  Teachers will make clear whether work should be submitted and how.

What do I do if my child is struggling with their work?

As always, please communicate with us directly.  If you wish to speak with a particular teacher, please call the school or email the relevant Subject Leader.  For general concerns, please contact your child’s Year Team.   You can find a full list of email contacts by clicking here.  The school office will remain open to receive phone calls and messages if you would prefer to communicate with us this way.

We know that online learning is challenging for some students and will do our best to support your child.

What do I do if I want some more work for my child or if the online platforms crash?

We have uploaded extensive work to our own website which you can find here.  This work is tied into the school curriculum and is broken down into Subject Areas and Year Groups.

Click on the relevant areas to find work suitable for your child. 

Of course, there are also a wealth of learning resources available online elsewhere.  Please call the school if you have any questions or would like any further guidance from teaching staff who will endeavour to assist you.

If you do experience issues with the online platforms which you think are problems with their system rather than at your end, it is always worth checking their Twitter feeds where they always update if, for example, their system is under repair. 

What do I do if we have difficulties logging in to tutor time or live lessons?

If you experience any difficulties logging in e.g. issues with a password or your child cannot access a Google Classroom, please contact us as soon as possible.

If you experience difficulties with Show My Homework, please email: smhw@cheam.sutton.sch.uk

If you experience difficulties with Google Classroom or with your child’s Google account, please email: googleclassroom@cheam.sutton.sch.uk

Please outline what the issue is, include a contact number, and staff will contact you as soon as possible to assist.

If you would rather speak to a member staff, please call the school office who will direct your call appropriately.  For general queries, please contact your child’s Year Team.

How will rewards and sanctions work?

Where students are working well, we will continue to reward them using IRIS, praise on our online systems and, where possible, with contact home such as postcards and phone calls to parents/carers.

Controls are in place to ensure that, as far as possible, students cannot disrupt others’ learning on line if they choose to behave below our expectations.  This is very rare but we will not hesitate to remove students’ access rights to online learning if we feel appropriate.  This could be done on a temporary or permanent basis.  If this action is taken, students will be provided with paper work to complete at home.

What do I do if my child doesn’t have access to the right technology to access online learning?

Please contact your child’s year team and outline what the issue is. 

We are currently working out exactly what specific needs are and have already allocated laptops in some cases.  As most of you are likely aware, during the last lockdown we provided as much tech support as possible, distributing laptops from our own supplies where needed.  This should mean that most issues are now resolved.  We will undertake similar measures this time but please bear in mind that our resources are limited and we may need to prioritise certain situations above others.

Please be aware that online provision can be accessed via tablets and smartphones, as well as laptops.

What do I do if my child is unwell or cannot complete work for any other reason?

If your child is unwell, or can’t complete their school work any other legitimate reason, please contact the school office as per usual procedure.  This information will be passed to relevant staff.   Please contact us when your child is feeling better so we know to expect them in their online lessons.  If we do not hear from you, pastoral teams will be in touch to check on the wellbeing of your child. 

What happens if my child doesn’t log-in to lessons / misses lessons?

If we note that your child is not present for lessons, we will contact you.  Please be assured that we know there may well be a legitimate reason why your child was not present such as, for example, the need to share technology in the household.  Often this will just be an email so that you are aware that your child has missed some learning time but, if there are ongoing issues, we will contact by phone to discuss matters with you and see how we may be able to help.  Who contacts you will depend on the particular situation – it may be your child’s Year Team, a teacher or a Subject Leader. 

What’s happening with homework?

We are not following a formal homework timetable during the period of school closure. 

However, teachers will make it clear during live lessons whether a piece of work should be completed by students before the next lesson, or whether any additional independent work should be carried out.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CURRENT SITUATION

What is happening with summer exams?

As of today, 06/01/21, the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has made clear that examinations will now be replaced by a form of teacher assessment grades.   As yet, we do not know exactly what this will entail.  This means it is very important that students keep working and learning to the best of their ability so that evidence for their grades is as strong as possible. 

A full consultation regarding this process will be launched by Ofqual next week and will last two weeks.  After this, we very much hope to be able to provide you with more details and a clear plan for what will happen.

If you have any questions or your child has any concerns regarding this process, please email silver@cheam.sutton.sch.uk if your child is in Year 11 or 6thformteam@cheam.sutton.sch.uk if your child is in Year 13.   Please note that teachers cannot discuss potential grades with you and are under instruction not to do so.

If your child had an exam planned for the summer and is in Year 10 or 12, the likelihood is that they will be resitting those exams at some point but we will update you as soon as further information is available.

How long will school be closed for?

As stands, all we know is that the government hope it will be safe enough to reopen on-site provision for more students following February half-term.  However, regrettably, we must accept that closure may well last longer than this.  Any broader opening will depend on Covid rates being sufficiently low and the public health risk being judged as acceptably low.

We do not know, at this stage, whether there will be a phased reopening where schools open to certain year groups first or only in certain areas of the country, or whether all schools reopen fully at the same time. We will, of course, update you immediately as soon as any further information comes to light.

What is happening with Covid Testing, including during current on-site provision?

We have now received a large batch of tests (8000) which, if administered correctly, give results in 20-30 minutes.  We intend to test all students attending on-site provision once a week.  We will start this as soon as possible.  As I’m sure you will appreciate, this process presents a number of logistical, staffing and health and safety challenges and require very careful planning.  We will communicate with the parents/carers of students attending site as soon as this is ready.

If this test reveals a positive case, or if we are informed of a positive case in a student who is attending/has attended on-site provision, we will enact our usual track and trace measures based on seating plans and break time contacts. 

We will then contact relevant parents/carers.  You will then have the option to:

  1. Keep your child in self-isolation for 10 days since point of contact with the positive case or
  2. Continue to send them to school where they will be tested every morning for 7 school days

Please note: In this circumstance, you can only send your child back into school if you agree to the testing. If you do not, they must self-isolate.

If your child is attending current on-site provision, you will be contacted shortly with the testing consent form and with details regarding the programme.

We intend to enact the same kind of process on a wider scale as and when we are able to reopen on-site provision to greater numbers of students.  We will provide further details of this as and when the time arises.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ON-SITE PROVISION FOR KEY WORKERS AND VULNERABLE GROUPS

What is provision for the children of key workers’ children or those considered vulnerable?

We continue to offer daily provision for these students.

Our provision here is overseen by Assistant Headteacher, Miss Pelling.  Students follow the online learning model using school computers.  They cannot have separate, on-site lessons as their teachers are, of course, busy delivering online live lessons to the rest of the students.  However, wherever staffing permits, we are able to offer some practical activities when students are timetabled to have this ordinarily.  This includes Key Stage 3 Technology and Games lessons.

By necessity, the staffing to supervise and support children on-site will largely be drawn from support staff.  This is because all teachers have full-time duties already with regard to remote learning, tutorial roles and other teacher related duties and so are not available for supervisory roles.  Where teachers have significant spare capacity, then they will form part of the onsite team.  All staff will offer whatever support they can to help your child with their learning but we cannot provide subject specialist support for the reasons outlined above.  Where this is required, your child can contact their teacher directly through our online platforms or you can contact the school via the usual channels.

At least one Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) will be on site at all times, as will the Senior Leadership Team and members of our pastoral teams.

How do I arrange a space in the on-site provision?

If you would like a space for your child in this provision and have not already informed us, please email office@cheam.sutton.sch.uk.  In order to ensure adequate rooming and staffing arrangements, you must contact us by 3pm the day before you wish your child to attend

Please include:

  • Your child’s full name and tutor group
  • What your job role is if you are a Key Worker
  • If you child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • If you believe your child should qualify for on-site provision as a vulnerable student

We will then make contact with you as soon as possible to confirm or discuss a place for your child.  We will do our best to provide provision from the following day but this may occasionally be staffing-dependent.

What is happening with Covid Testing, including during current on-site provision?

We have now received a large batch of tests (8000) which, if administered correctly, give results in 20-30 minutes.  We intend to test all students attending on-site provision once a week.  We will start this as soon as possible.  As I’m sure you will appreciate, this process presents a number of logistical, staffing and health and safety challenges and require very careful planning.  We will communicate with the parents/carers of students attending site as soon as this is ready.

If this test reveals a positive case, or if we are informed of a positive case in a student who is attending/has attended on-site provision, we will enact our usual track and trace measures based on seating plans and break time contacts. 

We will then contact relevant parents/carers.  You will then have the option to:

  1. Keep your child in self-isolation for 10 days since point of contact with the positive case or
  2. Continue to send them to school where they will be tested every morning for 7 school days

Please note: In this circumstance, you can only send your child back into school if you agree to the testing. If you do not, they must self-isolate.

If your child is attending current on-site provision, you will be contacted shortly with the testing consent form and with details regarding the programme.

SAFEGUARDING AND WELL BEING

How will school help safeguard my child when off school?

We appreciate that, for some of our students, school is not only a learning environment but a place where they receive support for a range of issues including, for example, their mental health and emotional well-being.  We also appreciate that the current situation may place particular pressure on some families and students for a range of reasons.

Should you have any concerns regarding the safety of your child or others, or any other serious matter that you feel you would ordinarily speak about with the Year Team or Safeguarding Team at the school, please telephone as normal or email cp@cheam.sutton.sch.uk, CCing in your child’s Year Team.  As always, if you have any immediate concerns regarding the safety of your child or others, please contact the Emergency Services on 999.

Relevant school staff will continue to liaise with external agencies where appropriate.

What do I do if my child is feeling anxious about the current situation?

Please continue to contact your child’s Year Team if you have any concerns in this area.

There are also a number of services, both local and national, that are operating to provide additional support to young people at this time.  These include:

You may find the following links helpful during this period:

Off The Record – counselling support for young people in Sutton

Kooth – online support for young people with well-being and mental health

Child Line or Samaritans – these are best for urgent support or if your child feels they need to speak to someone directly (both are open at all times, day or night)

The NSPCC also provide a guide to the current situation and managing a range of presenting difficulties and challenges which you can find here.

We very much appreciate that this is a difficult time for all, adults and children.  Some children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs or other factors, may find the current situation especially difficult and NSPCC provide particular advice regarding how best to support your child here.

If there is anything you wish to discuss, make contact with the SEN department by phone or by emailing sen@cheam.sutton.sch.uk.

If you are concerned about the mental wellbeing of your child during school closure, please email cp@cheam.sutton.sch.uk or telephone the school.  You can also refer to the safeguarding information provided on the school website.  If there is an immediate concern for the safety of your child or another child, always call the Emergency Services on 999.

How are external agencies working during lockdown and what support may be available beyond the school?

We are awaiting information from some of the agencies we work with, such as CAMHS, to confirm exactly how they will be operating.  However, we anticipate that all will move to online working with some face-to-face work where possible and safe (as they did during the last school closure).

If your child is already working with an external agency, they will communicate with you directly.  If your child needs to receive support/intervention from an external agency during school closure, we will assist you in understanding how things work wherever necessary.