Happy New Year to all. A new year and new term … and a very different start to term from normal! Whilst learning has shifted to being on line and students may be at home, instead of here where we would all rather they be, learning continues none the less. As many of the challenges of last year continue to be faced, and undoubtedly there may even be a few more new ones along the way, we also look forward to the year ahead.
This week has seen staff continue to deliver the curriculum to all key stages, with students engaging well in their subjects, demonstrating their resilience and commitment to their learning. I have emailed all families a letter today with my hope that we will continue to work closely together in order to ensure that this vital learning continues effectively for all throughout the latest lock-down period.
We all appreciate at this time the challenges that learning remotely can sometimes create. The school and staff are here to help and support our students at all times and those who feel they may need some additional support should communicate this to us please. Students are contacted by their group tutors daily, in what would be morning registration, and this provides the first point of contact through the day and an opportunity for students to relay any concerns or information that they feel needs passing on. Similarly throughout the day, as students follow their timetable, contact is made with their subject teachers.
Teaching staff are all contactable via Google Classroom and their Gmail accounts, to which their students have access, and we actively encourage students to keep in touch, whether this is concerning their work or in general too. For any personal issues please ring school or email the usual school email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and communications will be forwarded to relevant staff. Whilst this is by no means the situation that anyone would want to be in, we are all in this together and there for one another.
Following a routine, whilst usually but not always necessarily possible, will help in providing structure to the day and ensuring contact and support throughout it. Students are expected to be following their normal timetables as learning continues and the curricula for all Key Stages continue to be delivered. As we are following a programme of Blended Learning, lessons combine the use of live streams, pre-recorded lessons and set activities. Whatever format the lesson takes, all staff remain on line during their lesson time and are there to answer any questions or concerns students may have and to offer help and guidance for the work set. Students must take the opportunity to contact their teachers if there is anything which they need help with. If students are unable to complete the work set in accordance with their timetable, namely during their actual lesson time, teachers understand that there can be numerous reasons for this, and engagement is being monitored with teachers making contact with students supportively if work is not being completed. This is why it is best to keep communicating and letting teachers know if there is anything that can be done to help. Please remember also that Google Classroom can be accessed through consoles (Xbox and PlayStation) – please click the image to see more.
Thanks again to the Castell Alun Friends Association
We continue to be incredibly grateful for all the ongoing work undertaken by our good friends at CAFA, and especially this time for their very kind donation to school to allow us to further enhance the learning environment, which we hope will in turn will play a vital role in assisting with students’ mental wellbeing. CAFA you are wonderful – thank you so much!
Year 8 Learning Online
Our Year 8 History students have made a really positive start to their online learning this week. One of the activities they were asked to complete as part of the unit on The Spanish Armada was a research task on King Philip II of Spain. They were tasked with finding out key details of his life along with some reasons as to why he wanted to invade England. Students have demonstrated excellent research skills and have communicated their findings through well-presented fact files. Some notable examples include Niahm, Katy, Jessica and William in 8O, Alicia, Dylan, Emily, Chloe and Josh in 8E as well as Aerona, Alice, Maddie and Spencer also in 8E.
We fully anticipate further Welsh Government announcements over the coming days and weeks, and apologise in advance if communications cross over in any way. I will endeavour not to bombard you with messages …. and use short social media updates etc where appropriate – I promise!
Wrap up warm and enjoy the weekend as best you can.