Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are all safe, well and are keeping yourself occupied. I know that this is a very challenging time for everyone. However, we need to ensure that we follow all government guidance to ensure that we reduce the risk to everyone in our community.
I want to talk to you just to allay any concerns or worries you may have on a number of topics.
Pupils have continued to engage fantastically with all work that has been provided and this is massively encouraging. You may have seen lots of speculation in the media about when schools are due to return. We are in the same position as you and have no “insider” knowledge as to what the plans could be. We understand that the situation can be frustrating for parents and I will agree that for teachers and staff it is frustrating too. We want nothing else to be back in school, as you may not believe me when I say that being in school with the pupils is a lot easier than trying to work remotely!
A few tips to help with educating your children at home:
- Use the link https://stbedes.sharepoint.com/sites/StBedesOffsiteWorking to access the closure workspace. This will take you directly to where pupils need to go. We have sent this link out many times via email, text and social media post but have still have some parents and pupils contact us saying they have difficulties. Once they have contacted us and are given the link, pupils can access all the work available to them! If pupils just log in to their 365 account, it will be quite challenging to find as this also includes all their other files and folders.
- Some parents have contacted us to say why don’t we just put everything on Teams. We use a range of Office365 platforms to make sure that the work is accessible to as many pupils as possible. Putting everything on Teams would mean that a large proportion of our pupils would have great difficulty accessing work regularly due to limited device access. We also have some younger pupils and a considerable number of pupils with Special Educational Needs, where Teams is not appropriate. We have to try and cater for as many as possible, not the few.
- Use resources at BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize and Oak National Academy https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom/schedule/#schedule to compliment the work that staff are setting. If pupils just want to complete the Bitesize or ONA tasks, that’s fine too. Pupils just need to email their teachers via email or ePraise to share with them what they have done!
- Some staff are having to balance their own families with their work schedule so please bear with them in terms of the time they take to provide feedback.
- Keep an eye on our Social Media channels and your emails as we will be sending out additional activities to keep everyone (including parents!) entertained!
I understand the anxiety of parents with regards to forthcoming residential trips and the financial implications of this. Please be rest assured that the finance team at St Bede’s and at Our Lady of Lourdes MAC are working tirelessly on a daily basis to secure the best possible outcome for everyone. We will update you with information when we get it so please bear with us.
I meet with the Heads of each of the MAC schools and Mr Roberts each week via Microsoft Teams and we talk each week about transition of Year 4 pupils to St Bede’s and Year 8 pupils to St Augustine’s and other high schools so please be confident that this is a priority for us. Mrs Melsom has already started meeting virtually with staff from first schools and Mrs Wintle is in correspondence with the high schools to begin the handover. I am sure that we will be able to engage in some transition work, as and when, the restrictions allow us to. Obviously, we do not know when this will be as of yet.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s form tutor via email or ePraise and they can direct any questions you may have.
Stay safe, stay at home, take care and God bless.
Head of School