This evening in the virtual staff briefings myself and Miss McDermott were working with staff on all things remote learning. This is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that our remote provision is of the highest quality possible and that this continues to evolve and develop over time. We are pleased that well over 90% of parents are pleased with what we have put in place to date and the unprecedented number of positive comments both in terms of live lessons and the high quality narrated resources is something I know that staff really appreciate.

We also reflected a little on the key area of focus raised constructively by some parents, this being the amount of marking and feedback being given to individual students. We discussed the many different ways that this can be done, especially given the fact that in our school teachers are online throughout each lesson and the excellent opportunities this presents. We have included some of these below so that parents are aware that these things are happening.

This is obviously on top of the marking and assessment that staff do at the end of each half term. I know that Miss McDermott intends to send out next week a guide to what, when and how these assessments will be taking place in each year group. We have also extensively about the value of the narrated resources for Year 7 and 8 but also the desire from staff (and some parents) to introduce some live lessons once we have fully evaluated the impact of this with Year 9. As such I can inform parents that it is our intention to move to this blended provision for KS3 immediately after half term.

I am also pleased to inform parents that from Monday we will further expand the live aspect of form time provision for all year groups in school. I will provide further details of this tomorrow evening.

Marking and Feedback:
Our marking policy continues to run as usual, with an hour’s worth of ‘deep marking’ taking place each half term.  Students are being assessed across all of their subjects between now and half term, with all assessments taking place through Google Classroom and students being asked to act on feedback from their teachers and improve their work in subsequent lessons (we call this ‘DIRT’).

Feedback will be given in a number of ways and Google Classroom lends itself very well to a variety of techniques – the methods outlined below are the ones that parents and students can expect to see most frequently in online lessons.

  • In live lessons, regular question and answer will play an important role in checking understanding and offering feedback, as will the classroom stream in narrated lessons
  • Where possible, staff will set work to be completed on Google Docs or Slides, meaning that they can review this work and ‘live’ mark as students complete it.  This is really useful tool and allows for direct feedback and input on work whilst students are writing
  • Live modelling or ‘up-levelling’ where the class teacher models the completion of a piece of work or shows students how they can improve by modelling changes to an example answer
  • Teachers will review work after the lesson and may start the next lesson with an explanation of any misconceptions or common errors that they noticed
  • Google Classroom has a ‘question’ function which allows a question to be set as part of the lesson that students complete during their class work
  • Google Forms will be used to complete short quizzes and reviews, these will either be marked immediately or reviwed by the teacher
  • Teachers might use ‘Mote’ – this enables them to leave voice note comments on students work that give them detailed individual feedback to act upon

I hope parents find this helpful and can see that we continue to reflect on any and all feedback we receive from families.

Allotment club
The allotment club re-started today – it was lovely to see the regulars and the advantage of online is that there were a few new faces across different year groups.  So,  the message to parents is that any KS3 pupil can join in.  They just need to send me an email at and I will invite the pupil to the classroom. We will be aiming to do activities that connect with the outdoors and may get people into the garden.  Next week’s club will be around the RSPB bird count which is done every year and helps the organisation get data about garden bird populations.  We are also going to have a look this term at making paper mache seed pots and bird feeders.  The club is on a Wednesday after school.

Arts Award Enrichment
From Next week we will be offering an enrichment opportunity AHS Bronze Arts Award @home for any Y7 or 8 students who would like to take part. Currently all of Year 9 are completing the Silver Award.

To achieve a Bronze Arts Award, young people collect evidence in an individual arts log or portfolio of their experiences of:

  • developing their interests, knowledge and skills through actively participating in any art form
  • experience of at least one arts event/experience as an audience member and their review of that event/experience
  • researching the career and work of an artist or craftsperson that inspires them
  • experience of passing on an arts skill

All instructions and information and resources will be posted on Google Classroom for any student who would like to be involved.

Google Classroom link:

Mrs Newton will be available to offer support and ideas.

Head of Year update – Tonight is Miss Turvey and Y10…
As we approach the half way point of this half term, it is good to see the majority of our Y10 students settled into their routines. Grey mornings, rainy weather and a warm duvet do make it difficult for some of us to roll out of bed on time, but school begins at 8.45am. Students need to be dressed appropriately ~ no more dressing gowns please. Your Y10 son or daughter is, in effect, in school. They must attend their lessons as indicated on their timetable. If your child is not in the correct lesson at the correct time and you have not informed the school of their absence then I have to assume that they are truanting. Thank you to those of you who are remembering to phone us about medical appointments and illness.

I am happy to provide you with a copy of your child’s timetable so you can ensure that they remain on task and in the correct lesson, please email me and ask for it

The next three weeks are very simple for your son or daughter:

R ~ register in the morning via the Y10 Classroom and in register in each lesson.

A ~ attend every class; there are 24 live taught classes in the week (core PE is not a live lesson but resources are available on line)

G ~ go to the google meet when you are invited to by your form tutor

Registration takes place at 8.45am. During each lesson (except Core PE) the teacher will take a register; if your son or daughter is not in the lesson then you will receive a text message, email or phone call asking where they are.

Thank you for your continued support

Wellbeing messages
Please find below the key messages for the day:

Collective Worship
This week our Form Tutor Collective Worship is entitled The Secret of Happiness and our daily quotes follow the same theme. We are going to consider how Denmark has yet again been ranked the second-happiest country in the World Happiness Report and how this might link to the concept of Hygge.

Thursday – “It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.” – Source Unknown