Posted on: Sun, March 22

Dear all,

Today the teachers undertook training for new innovative ideas for online learning.

We have listened to your ideas and concerns from parents, staff, governors and other schools in the vicariate, and have now finalised the timetables for your children to interact with teachers online.

We enhanced the timetable originally sent to show face to face times between the students and teachers so they can best support learning. This is now available on the website. The type of things that will happen in this time include but are not exculsive to: 

  • discussion boards
  • collaborative working with other students
  • video chats or hang outs to discuss learning and share issues
  • presentations from students following a period of research
  • discussions regarding work from virtual laboratories
  • tutoring sessions with video and/or presentations from the teacher
  • links to other sites that will provide resources for discussion
  • audio presentations from the teacher
  • examples of good submissions/ exemplar pieces of work 
  • Independent work that is being commented on by the teacher

All work and activity will be posted in google classroom, and that may then provide links to hangouts and other sites, but in response to some of your suggestions, we will begin all sessions and post all work to the google classroom app, even if it sends you elsewhere, that way you will know you have not missed anything.

The timetable should be followed from now, and teachers will be at different stages of readiness for live video etc, so please understand the the full range of activities above will be on offer but this week is more a focus to revision so some teachers may not yet be going to live video, however, you should check and follow the timetable so they can get in touch and work with you on any issues during your live sessions by way of a discussion board.
So, to be clear, you should be online during the allotted times in your timetable, which are available from 23rd of March. At first, the teacher may be using discussion boards etc, but we are all working towards the videos and using hangouts etc, so please be patient. 

Timing:

The timings for secondary are 8.30 – 1 pm.

Primary, again in response for parents who are worried about being able to help their children will have teachers online time from 3 – 5 for live sessions/ interactions. In addition to this, teachers who are not going live or posting on that day will be available in the comments section of their post in order to support you through tasks etc.

Communication:

You have the emails of the teachers, please respect their privacy and post during office hours – i.e. 8-5. We will all endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible..

Students comments are open on google drive, and there will be hangout times. Students and parents ust only post in relation to the academic work in hand. Any other issues should come through private email. Anyone using the forums for personal issues or inappropriately will be removed from the facility to post. 

The VPs and Principal can also be contacted on email should you wish to query anything or give positive suggestions and solution led queries.

We had an enquiry regarding the parent whatsapp group. Please understand this is not an academic group. The parent representatives that run these groups are focused to the activities for FOSMM, only teachers and management of the school can help with your questions on this. Also please follow protocols regarding naming individuals on these groups, and address personal complaints to the relevant member of staff regarding other students or individual teachers.

Students of determination:

All students of determination have a key worker who will get in touch and support them every day. 

The guidance counsellor, Ms Anne for Primary and Ms Jolit for secondary are available to any students who are anxious or need support during this time. you can email Sr Victoria for a referral if you need support with emotional and anxiety issues etc. .

Fitness – GET MOVING! 

The PE department will post a 15 minute work out every day in all google classrooms for you to join in whenever you can!! Please encourage your children to do this at least once a day just to keep them moving about and maintain some sort of activity. There are breaks between sessions, so they could have a go then or use some family time to do it altogether. 

Reading:
Of course we will mention reading. Online books are available through bug club etc, and there are also audio books for free on the internet, so if you can’t find the real thing or have read every book in the house, please turn to the internet. Children should read for at least 15 minutes every day.  Here is a link to audio books which are now free to help in this crisis! https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Term 2 reports:

Term 2 reports are due by the end of April as you know, because we pushed them back when this month of distancing was announced. Should this time be extended we have new ongoing assessment records in place, called formative assessment, which records the success in each key objective during the term, as well as graded classwork , so if necessary we will use these marks for the final marks for term 2. This also fits with the practice internationally and in the UK where the GCSEs and A levels have been cancelled for this academic year, so we are in line with the UK practice on this. We will adjust this as necessary should this distance learning be continued into term 3. 

FS:

Teachers will send you the timetable when they will be online. They will use google classroom and email to send activities and links to books etc and will provide live sessions for your children. Ms Jaimiely will send the timetable for you.

Please remember that this is new to all of us. We may have some hiccups, we may have some people at different stages to others, but we will definitely have some brilliant things going on. 

Our only focus is getting your students interacting and learning in the face of something that no one could have predicted or prepared for. It is an extraordinary situation that requires an extraordinary resilience with bucket-loads of courage and patience from us all.  

We will do our very best, thank you for your ongoing patience and kindness, and we hope you find enjoyment and excellence in the work we continue to provide for our young people at SMM. 

SMM management team. 

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