Thank you all as always for your continued support of us and the students here at KPHS, I am amazed by how well you are doing at getting the students online and motivated and we are still having very high levels of engagement online which is really pleasing. In particular I want to note how well Y10 are doing at staying in their live lessons and keeping going – their attendance rate is FAB; and Y9 are underway with their GCSE options process and taking part sensibly and with real thought and consideration, so a huge well done to them too. All our young people are trying so hard though, so do let your children know how impressed we are with them!
We are hearing from the students now that the constant screen use is tiring at times and – as next week is Child Mental Health Week – we are going to take on board a suggestion from some of them that we consider a very short “screen break” next week as small recognition of the fact that all of us could do with some time away from computers. So, on Friday 5th February we will suspend online lessons after P3, and all students will be emailed some ideas for non-screen related activities that they could do with their P4 & 5 time. I will include the possibility of tidying up or making dinner for their parents as one of the suggestions, I promise! I have decided to include Y11 in this – and I know some will be anxious and worry that they are missing a lesson or two, but I want to say very clearly that they have been genuinely brilliant so far this half term and they too really need a break and the reassurance that they can afford an hour or two away from a screen. I couldn’t be more proud of them for how much effort they have put in. Staff will be using this time towards the work involved in the adjusted Y11 assessment activities – also offline, I am going to direct them away from their screens too, for the same reasons. Lessons will resume as normal on the Monday morning, for a big push towards half term.
I know you will have seen the PM’s announcements that schools will not be re-opening straight after half term. The date for any possible return has now moved back to March 8th – and I think it is important to note that this is unlikely to be everyone all in one go even if it goes ahead, so we do have a few more weeks of remote learning to get through. On this I want to say two things: firstly, when the time is right we will be ready and will plan a sensible and managed re-opening in everyone’s best interests as you would expect – and we are looking forward so much to having the students back; secondly, I am less worried about the extra time in remote learning than I was even a few weeks ago because of the incredible efforts of KPHS students, staff and parents at making sure the time is productive. I know it is not perfect, and I would far rather have them in school – but, they are continuing to learn, and they are learning some new and valuable skills such as good use of technology, independence, resilience and perseverance. They are maintaining their good humour and making us laugh online every day and we are seeing some of them really flourish. For many though, of course I know this is hard – and if your child is struggling, or if you are, please get in touch, we want to help.
There are some resources on our website for parents on this link: https://kingswaypark.org/parents__students/parental-support/ (scroll down the page for lots of links to useful information, including managing anxiety etc) and ideas and advice for helping your child to learn remotely on this one: https://kphs.padlet.org/kphs_jca/hb0hn8utvztj3uwp
Finally – as always, please look after yourselves as well as the students. Do not worry that things are not perfect, do not worry when the technology wobbles and do not worry about the times when things don’t go according to plan. The bigger picture matters more so look after your own health, allow yourself a break and some rest – and always ask if you need help.