12th February 2021
We come to the end of another strange half-term, and I thank you again for your continued support as we remain a school dispersed. We look forward to hearing from the government on the 22nd February what the national plans are for when and how we will return to a gathered school community once more.
It was great this morning to be able to have a live assembly to the whole school. I hope your daughters and sons (and maybe some parents watching over shoulders) found it encouraging as we enter Lent to see the ways that we can support those in our world who are without clean water; something we all take for granted. I would encourage us all to think about how we can prepare our hearts, minds and souls as we travel through this Lent season together.
On Wednesday, we invited the city's school improvement officer into our virtual school to see how we are making use of Microsoft Teams to deliver remote education. As a former headteacher and experienced Ofsted inspector, we were interested to hear what he had to say about how we approaching remote education. He joined a sample of lessons on Teams to see a the variety of ways that learning is taking place. He were delighted to hear at the end of the day how impressed he was with both the quality of the education, and the engagement of our pupils. Of lessons, he said: "All were characterised by welcoming and snappy starts, high expectations, warm and caring support offered to learning, a spirit of enjoying learning and having fun in the process, pacy and varied delivery of content and a good balance between doing and reflecting." What is important to note is that this included lessons that were not "live" in the sense of having an audiovisual component. As Ofsted reported in their recent findings: live lessons are not the gold standard. What matters is careful planning of how the curriculum is delivered, the opportunity to support students as they access that learning, and effective feedback on work pupils produce. He ended his report with: "There is a great deal of strong practice here".
Supporting our families
As we approach another holiday, we are providing food vouchers to all families that are in receipt of free school meals. I refer you to the email sent to all parents by Emma Wright, our Inclusion Lead, about vouchers yesterday. We are also pleased to be providing food boxes to some of our families too.
Ms Wright will also be contacting a number of families to support with other aspects of living thanks to a new referral process the local authority have set up alongside the Southampton charity SCRATCH which can help with a range of needs.
If you are in any need with regards to food or other issues financially, please do get in touch with us so that we can either help or refer you to other organisations that can. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
Parents of Visually Impaired Pupils
A Vision Impaired Artist, Rachel Gadsden is delivering free workshops in the Easter holidays for young people in Southampton through Zoom in two age groups, ages 7-11 and 12-16. They will provide all the materials/resources that are required. It looks like a great opportunity, particularly if they like art! See more information and the booking form attached.
Virtual Dance Competition
If you are interested in taking part in the Hampshire School Games Dance Challenge to the song "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars with the theme of "Empathy" to tie in with Empathy Week then take a look at the flyer below:
Have a good half term break.
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