Wednesday, 14 October 2020
The impact of Covid-19 infection in our town is well-known; unfortunately, the virus is also putting ever-increasing pressure on our school community. Our families, students, and Kingsway Park High School staff are carefully following advice from the NHS and other authorities by isolating whole households and going for testing when symptoms are experienced. We thank our school community for following all guidance to minimise the spread of Covid-19 in our locality; however, this has resulted in significant numbers of staff not being able to come into school. Although most absent staff are well enough to work from home, their absence from school does have a significant effect on delivering lessons and being available to supervise on duty areas.
Please be assured that our school leaders and Governors have worked with relevant professionals across Rochdale Council to prepare robust health and safety risk assessments designed to keep everyone safe and well inside the building. We remain incredibly proud that our strategic decisions balance the health and safety of the school community alongside a high quality broad and balanced curriculum. The school has not compromised on the quality of education by giving all students access to the full curriculum. In such turbulent times, we believe that normality and rich learning activities are beneficial to the well-being of all young people. In addition, we have continued to offer high-quality hot meals to all students; this provision further exemplifies our commitment to the care and well-being of your children.
Our school day is structured to support our risk assessment by having separate start times, breaks, lunches, and end times to keep year groups apart minimising the risk of infection across bubbles. With a full cohort of staff, we were able to cover the necessary supervision on duty areas without issue; however, with increasing staff absences we are not able to sustain the level of supervision we need.
Regarding lessons, teacher absences always need to be covered by specialist colleagues to ensure our students continue to make good progress across the full curriculum. We have huge respect for supply teachers, but in these unprecedented times we would prefer KPHS staff deliver lessons to our students.
To maintain the balance of the health and safety of the school community and delivering a high-quality curriculum, the Joint Headteachers and Chair of Governors have made the decision that students in year 8 and 9 will move to remote learning with effect Thursday 15th October 2020. This means they will access their curriculum learning from home until at least half term. The decision has been made to keep our youngest students and our students with upcoming examinations in school. We will continuously review the situation and give parents/carers and students good notice of the date they will return to school-based learning.
Throughout today, Year 8 and 9 students have been reminded how to access their online remote learning and some may arrive home with paper-based activities. We currently have one Y8 bubble isolating at home and we encourage parents/carers of students in the 8P bubble to check their child is accessing their work from home via the “pop up” on the school website. The update from WC 7th October on our Letters to Parents webpage includes links and guides to accessing remote learning.
Other than 8P students, all other Year 8 and 9 students are not required to isolate; this means they can order work packs from their year group website and come to school reception to collect work after they are notified that their orders are ready for them.
Our remote learning is designed to continue from previous learning in the curriculum plan and students are expected to keep up with their work so that they have reached the required point ready for their return to classroom-based learning. KPHS teachers will closely monitor students are completing their work and they will happily support via email or remote learning websites to help students complete their learning. The following is a presentation detailing the steps to take to connect to remote learning. Remote Learning Presentation
Pastoral support will be offered via a weekly “Keeping in Touch” phone call from your child’s personal tutor or other relevant member of staff. The phone call will allow us to monitor if students are engaging with their learning, support their well-being, and of course to let them ask us any questions. Additional provision has been arranged for our most vulnerable students and these parents/carers will be contacted by key members of staff.
We will notify parents/carers with a clear date for Years 8 and 9 to return to school-based learning.
This has not been a decision we have taken lightly, but we do believe it is the most sensible option to maintain high quality consistent learning and to operate a safe school.
Thank you for your continued support.
Mr C Kolbuck Mr I Carey
Acting Joint Headteacher Acting Joint Headteacher