9th Dec, 2020
As communicated to you yesterday, Welsh Government has announced that secondary schools will close for face to face teaching from 3.00pm today. The announcement states that "Secondary schools … in Wales will move to online learning from Monday as part of 'national effort to reduce coronavirus transmission'.
The full statement can be found here <https://gov.wales/secondary-schools-and-colleges-wales-will-move-online-learning-monday-part-national-effort-reduce>
Therefore pupils will return to school for face to face lessons on January 4 2021. However, we wish to inform you that the *school is open throughout next week and all staff will continue to be available at the school site for remote education and for wellbeing purposes. *We are conscious that the last minute decision by Welsh Government* may add unexpected pressure and disruption for families and we urge any families in crisis to contact us* as we are here to assist with educational and wellbeing emergencies. Should your son/daughter be struggling with any aspect of education, please get in touch as we may be able to support him/her with additional resources.
*Arrangements for working at home: All year groups Monday 14 December - Friday 18 December 2020.*
The Welsh Government announcement states that "This is not an early Christmas holiday, please do everything you can to minimise your contact with others". As such all pupils are expected to continue with their learning at home during this time.
Today (Friday) teachers have been working with pupils to ensure that they are prepared for their working at home days next week. Teachers will have set a variety of work for pupils to address whilst at home. This might take the form of paper based work, or through online assignments and work set through Google Classroom.
As such, the following arrangements will be implemented from the start of day Monday, 14 December 2020.
- Although Welsh Government guidance issued 22/10/20 states that "Remote learning does not require that existing lesson times are honoured as in school", Cowbridge pupils working from home should follow their normal daily timetable during the five days. This will allow an appropriate learning routine to be maintained. For Years 7 - 11 this will take the form of 5 periods during each day. Sixth form students will have fewer timetabled lessons each day but should use the additional time to complete relevant work and consolidate learning and understanding.
- Pupils working from home will be able to access work for each lesson through Google Classroom, paper based work or complete work set previously in the run up to today. Such work might include, but will not be restricted to, structured tasks; self directed learning experiences; research tasks; examination question completion; reading tasks; accurate note taking tasks; essay completion; using video extracts to enhance learning; or, using recordings of teachers delivering video extracts/voice overs, to motivate and engage learners.
- Work for many online lessons will be 'released' at the scheduled lesson time. If work has been released and provided in advance, all pupils will be reminded that teachers are available at the scheduled time.
- During each timetabled lesson, subject teachers will be available online in school for the duration of the lesson. During this time teachers will be able to offer help, instruction, guidance, clarification and feedback related to the work set.
- Pupils can use the private comments section under each assignment or material set on Google Classroom to communicate with their teachers. Pupils can also email teachers directly (using only their school email address) if there is any problem communicating using Google Classroom.
- Teachers will provide enough time to complete most work during each lesson, with the possible exception of limited homework to consolidate learning.
- Lessons where teachers are available on line will start and end promptly. Pupils may have some homework to complete at the end of the day, consistent with usual homework demands.
- Learning resources will remain in Google Classroom for pupils to access following the lesson, for those who are unable to follow the timetable due to home circumstances.
- We understand that there may be technical obstacles preventing engagement with online learning. If you are aware of such obstacles, please contact the school to let us know.
More information on blended learning can be found on the school website.
During the autumn term to date, a number of pupils have been required to self isolate due to COVID-19 related issues. During this time teachers in school have been able to deliver a number of real time, live online lessons to pupils in Years 11 - 13 through Google video conferencing facilities. We were able to offer this provision as:
- the numbers of pupils involved were relatively small;
- sufficient numbers of teachers were available at specific times to allow for 2 teachers to staff each individual live online lesson. This complied with requirements as outlined in the Welsh Government publication 'Live-streaming and video-conferencing: safeguarding principles and practice - September 2020';
- sufficient video conferencing equipment was available to enable this provision to be offered (computers with speakers, microphones and cameras);
- sufficient ICT capacity, in terms of the school's infrastructure, was available to support the live streaming of lessons.
However, during the 5 days next week,* we will not be able to deliver "live" online lessons*, as the circumstances outlined above will not be applicable. Live online lessons are often not the most appropriate learning experience. This is due to issues some students may have with Wi-Fi; sharing devices within the home; and, home situations inconsistent with synchronous (live) learning. Furthermore, pupils cannot review live lessons later because we cannot record lessons where pupils are involved. Finally, the capacity of the network (and staffing) will not support live synchronous lessons across the school to over 1500 pupils at any given time as our infrastructure was never designed to deliver live streamed lessons on this scale.
Pupils are reminded that they can and should contact their teachers for support if required during the scheduled lesson times.
For your information, our lesson times can be viewed at the end of this letter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require assistance.
We wish all families a restful weekend.
Yours sincerely, Cowbridge Comprehensive School Senior Leadership Team.
09:10 - 10:10 Lesson 1
10:10 - 11 :30 Lesson 2
- 10:10 - 10:30 Y7 & 12 break
- 10:40 - 11:00 Y8 & 9 break
- 11:10 - 11:30 Y10, 11 & 13 break
11:30 - 12:30 Lesson 3
12:30 - 14:00 Lesson 4
- 12:30 - 13:00 Y7 & 12 lunch
- 13:00 - 13:30 Y8 & 9 lunch
- 13:30 - 14:00 Y10,11 & 13 lunch
14:00 - 15:00 Lesson 5