Weekly update from all at Harton

Dear parents/carers and students – I hope you are all well.

An early update this week as I thought you might be keen to hear how the provision for year 10 and 12 has gone.

  • As expected, there has been an increased number of vulnerable and key worker children attending this week – 9, 10, 12 and 11 so far. The students have had Science x2, Art, History, DT, RE, PE and ICT with Music and Geography to come tomorrow. No maths or English this week as many of the staff have been teaching year 10 all week.
  • Year 10 have attended each day this week for Maths in the morning and English in the afternoon. They have been superb in every respect and the attendance has settled at 65% for the week. Hopefully that will increase even further next week as the word spreads about how well organised everything has been – Physics, Chemistry and Biology staff are desperate to get going next week! Massive thanks to staff (teaching and support) for ensuring that the students have had an extremely positive experience so far.
  • Year 12 attended for Option B subjects this week with attendance around 63% overall – a little disappointing, but many have been engaging in Zoom or Teams lessons for the past 12 weeks. The subjects covered this week were: Biology, Business Studies, Computer Science, Health & Social Care, and Law. Many thanks to 6th form staff too.
  • We have ordered over 100 laptops, which are for some of our vulnerable students who don’t have access to ICT. We are still awaiting the laptops from the Government so have gone ahead and ordered our own for distribution in order that we can increase the offer of on-line learning (more below)
  • At the time of writing, we have had in excess of 100 volunteers from the teaching staff who are prepared to offer catch up/twilight provision for our students in the autumn term. I notice that the Government are perhaps going to announce today a similar scheme to have schools provide catch up provision in the autumn term by extending the school day!
  • We await news on what any Summer School provision might look like, but will respond accordingly as and when we receive any guidance.
  • We have confirmed a possible date for the Year 11 Prom (Thursday December 3rd) and are hoping to secure a separate date for Year 13 (maybe Monday December 14th) all being well. I realise that the weather might not be great but hopefully we can go ahead by that date – we’ll see!
  • Year 13 students are going to be safely returning text books to school next week and Mr Gibson (the young one!) is organising for the safe distribution of year books and hoodies for year 11 students tomorrow and next Friday.
  • Thanks to Pastoral and SEN staff who continue to keep in touch with numerous families. They are also looking at fitting in some face to face contact, following Government advice, for other year groups such as 7, 8 and 9.
  • Thanks to Pastoral staff for the FSM vouchers being issued and massive thanks to Marcus Rashford, whose determined campaigning for the extended FSM voucher offer over the summer has been successful and rightly so!
  • Thanks to subject leaders for continuing to organise the provision and timetable for home learning, and for the vulnerable/key worker children.
  • Thanks to many staff for coordinating a much increased emphasis on e-learning using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc. This was in direct response to some concerns from a few parents, but we have had to ensure that more students are able to access such provision in the first instance. A number of staff continue to provide such learning opportunities and an ever increasing number of staff are receiving further training in order that they can offer such lessons. The programme for next week covers Science, English, Maths, Psychology, Health & Social Care, Business Studies, Spanish and Geography.
  • I am even considering doing a video message in the future but thought that I ought to have a haircut and some sleep first. I look as though I share the same hairdresser as the Prime Minister at the moment!
  • Finally, I have been working with the senior team on different scenarios for September. Ideally, we would have all students back full time but we need to plan for different situations ranging from 100% down to zero if there is a second peak of the Pandemic. My guess, at this stage, is that it will be ‘blended learning, a mix of school and home learning in September with maybe 50% contact time for students. All we can do is respond to the guidance as and when but rest assured that we have several options which we have been exploring, and will be ready to implement.

Many thanks for your continued support and many positive comments – it has been an excellent week so far!

Have a lovely weekend and do take care.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Sir Ken