Executive Principal’s Blog – 8.1.21: “New Year, New Direction, New Opportunities.”
With the major government announcement on Monday evening and significant U-Turn in policy direction, it has been another demanding week in the education sector and I would like to once again thank all stakeholders for their continued patience and understanding in these challenging and ever-changing times.
Since May 2020, after the initial 12-week lockdown, the emphasis has been very much on supporting all students to return to classroom-based teaching and then tracking and tracing individuals and close contacts who become infected with the virus and supporting them with home learning via google classrooms.
Whilst comparisons are being made between the current restrictions and the March lockdown period, in schools there are now major differences which bring about new opportunities that haven’t been possible until now. All staff are now allowed and indeed expected to be at work, which means we are all in the hugely supportive environment of our usual workplace, surrounded by excellent Wi-Fi and broadband width, with easy access to state of the art IT resources, supported by an outstanding IT Team and protected by all the safeguarding systems and protocols not afforded in a home-based environment.
This has significantly accelerated and fully supported our move towards enhancing our approach to remote learning, enabling us to build on the live streaming initiatives piloted by teachers last term with some of our Key Stage 4 and 5 learners. Emerging online ‘Staff Champions’ are now rolling out training to colleagues across the school. In addition to this all staff are being provided with the necessary IT equipment to support the delivery of a hybrid remote-learning model of teaching that fully connects classrooms at Bushey Meads to students’ homes.
Whilst everyone recognises that it is very hard, if not impossible, to better the experience of actually being in the classroom, students at home will be able to connect in with what is happening in their timetabled classroom lesson in real time and will have opportunity to participate with questions and discussion opportunities if appropriate, whilst they continue to complete the same work set for students at school.
We would continue to encourage all keyworker and vulnerable children to take up their entitlement and attend school and experience the quality of lessons in person – particularly those for whom remote learning is problematic for whatever reason.
There will inevitably be teething issues as we roll out this new approach but we sincerely hope that it enhances the current google classroom experience for those students who need to remain at home.
With that in mind, I would ask you all to continue to be patient and understanding as we roll out this new enhanced remote learning strategy which has taken a significant amount of planning by all staff in very challenging circumstances.
In the meantime, do click on the following links to read our updated Covid-19 documents:
Whole School Covid-19 Risk Assessment v21
Remote Learning Policy
Do also remember to click on the usual link to read our latest BMS News.