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  • Update from the Headteacher – Do we now have a new normal? – Thursday 26th March 2020

    Dear Parent and Carer, So perhaps we are now beginning to settle into the routines required for these times: “Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives” Certainly when I have taken my turns on the in-school rota I have been able to set off later in the morning, return home much earlier than usual and […]

  • Covid-19: link to NHS advice – links checked by school – 25th March

    Advice for everyone Advice for people at high risk Symptoms and what to do Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms More information

  • Update from the Headteacher regarding planning for the period of school closure – Sunday 22nd 2020

    Dear Parent and Carer, Along with everyone else, I have been spending the weekend trying to think through the full implications of the period of social distancing that the government is urging on us in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. The following government webpage provides strong messages for us all: https://www.wilmslowhigh.com/noticeboard/new-government-guidance-about-social-distancing/ For the […]

  • Parents and carers who believe they are ‘Key Workers’

    Schools will close from Monday 23rd March, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children As you may be aware, the following statement was given by the government on Thursday 19th March in relation to school closure and the children of key workers as well as vulnerable children: “After schools shut their gates on […]

  • New government guidance about social distancing

    This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and […]

Update from the Headteacher

Do we now have a new normal? – Thursday 26th March 2020

Dear Parent and Carer,

So perhaps we are now beginning to settle into the routines required for these times:

“Stay Home.  Protect the NHS.  Save Lives”

Certainly when I have taken my turns on the in-school rota I have been able to set off later in the morning, return home much earlier than usual and the journey has been shared with much less traffic than on a usual school day.

Similarly, driving through Wilmslow I have been struck by the fewer people out and about, and that the instruction to be only in pairs was being observed – although I did wonder whether the couple cycling on a tandem did actually have sufficient social distance between them!

Thank you for doing your bit to “slow the spread” of the Covid-19 virus by staying at home.

 

Starting the day with the Wider Curriculum Daily Briefing

We are really keen that our school community should continue to stay connected and maintain good Wilmslow Way habits throughout this extended period of school closure.

As part of this, Mr Vincent and the Wider Curriculum Team is producing daily messages and tasks in one  “Wider Curriculum Daily Briefing”.  Some of the tasks already posted in this area have included:

  • a daily PE workout
  • a link to The Day student news website
    • “Like a certain famous chef who has campaigned for healthy food in schools, we campaign for clear and balanced knowledge of the world: an ‘apple a day’ for the mind.”
    • https://theday.co.uk/about-us/our-story
  •  a link to the eBook website that the LRC subscribes to

And the Team are continuing to work on further ideas to add to this.

From Monday we will be adding to this with Bi-weekly briefings for our Year 11, 12 and 13 students from Mr Williams.  There will be more details about this in High Notes on Friday.

As we go forward our aim is for the Wider Curriculum Daily Briefing pages to be the place where we can share our experiences of, and reflections on, this time.

 

Teething Trouble with Mass Online Learning in Schools beginning to be overcome

As Mr Vincent also emailed out to parents and carers on Tuesday evening:

I’m sure you know that again, we experienced problems with Firefly today…very frustrating for everyone involved, but unfortunately out of our control. Firefly have told us that the issues have now been resolved so we are confident for tomorrow. Please ensure that your son / daughter has quit and restarted his / her web browser or cleared their cache / history if they see an error or maintenance message.

We don’t expect to have to adopt the following approach, but if we do have connection problems tomorrow, the plan is as follows:

There will be a task for every KS3 subject on the ‘student’ quick link on the school website. Students should complete the subjects they have as lessons on a Wednesday.

Year 10 and 12 students will have work emailed to them by their subject teachers.

For Year 11 and 13 – we are working up a package of learning and wider learning that will support their post-16 or 18 future learning / work / life – this should be ready for next week.

Thank you for the various pieces of feedback that have been sent to me or my colleagues. We are all working hard to try and make every student’s home learning experience as effective and purposeful as possible; your suggestions will help us to improve what we provide.

Encouragingly, Firefly does appear to have resolved the technical challenges it experienced on Monday and Tuesday, so I hope that your child’s experience of using it on Wednesday was smoother.

If anyone is finding it difficult to access or complete work placed on Firefly due to not having a suitable device to work on, parents or carers should email the appropriate Head of House.

For all technical questions, please use the IT widget on the website.

 

How is our Home Learning provision evolving?

This week we have been concentrating on getting into routines and tackling technical challenges.

On Friday in High Notes we will be sharing our next steps in the Home Learning programme for each year group.

 

How is our provision for the children of Key Workers evolving?

The Key Worker information submitted by parents and carers last week is the basis on which we are planning our provision.  The online form remains open, so parents and carers are invited to add to it if there are material changes in circumstances that might be helpful for us to know.

Additionally you are invited to email datateam@wilmslowhigh.com should you have any urgent information that you need to pass onto the staff running the Key Worker Support Programme.

 

Where are we up to with the provision of Free School Meal support?

What Free School Meal provision will be made during the period of school closure in the Spring Term?
The school will be issuing parents/carers of students eligible for a FSM with grocery vouchers from Tesco as soon as possible.  Please could eligible parents/carers click on the following link to complete an online survey in order to indicate whether they wish to take up this offer.

The vouchers will be pre-loaded with credit amounting to £3.50 per day per eligible student, for the period from Monday, 23rd March, to the end of the Spring term, in the first instance (This is more than the usual £2.35 FSM allocation per day,  in line with the government’s recognition “that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs”).

How can I use my voucher?  Will I need to print it out?
Vouchers can only be used in Tesco stores; Tesco do not permit them to be used for online purchases or at Tesco Petrol Stations.

We will be issuing digital vouchers, by email, but are advised that these will need to be printed off (or the link shown on, for example, a mobile device, in exceptional circumstances).

What if my financial circumstances do not permit me to wait until later this week for the voucher to be issued?
If you are facing acute circumstances, please contact your child’s Head of House to discuss your situation, using the contact details provided in the Home Learning During School Closure guide published on Friday.

What Free School Meal provision will be made during the period of school closure in the Summer Term?
The government has indicated that A national approach to providing these supermarket and shop vouchers is being developed. Further details, including the total values being provided, will be provided shortly via the published guidance.”

We will continue to actively monitor the issuing of FSM guidance from the government and will send an update to parents/carers when further details are received.

 

“It takes a village to raise a child”

Many of you will have heard me talk about the meaning and significance of this African proverb (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_takes_a_village).

These are times when its relevance probably resonates even more strongly.

All of us working at Wilmslow High School have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and messages of support that our “village” has been sending to its children.  Remarkably these offer have been coming in from all over the world as former students and staff have been contacting us in order that they could share their experience and knowledge. We are very grateful and look forward to celebrating the contributions of our community partners in the special issues of High Notes we will be producing every Friday during this time of home learning.

 

Yours sincerely,

J.H. Pullé

Headteacher