MHS Update 7-10-2020 Number Two
Earlier today I blogged that Year 11 have been asked to stay at home today after a positive case of Covid-19. This was a sensible precaution and one that we were happy to take, in the hope that we would then be able to welcome some of Year 11 back into school tomorrow.
Having taken further advice this morning the decision has been made that around thirty Year 11 students must self-isolate for the next 14 days. These students and their families were informed at around midday today via an emailed letter. However, the majority of Year 11 can now return to school on Thursday 8th October. All Year 11 students whose parents/carers have not recieved notice of 14 day self-isolation TODAY (not last night) can and should return to school on the 8th October. Siblings of the self-isolating students can also attend school as normal. If parents are not sure whether their child is part of the thirty can check by calling the school.
As I said in my previous blog I would like to thank the family of the student concerned for sharing the news of the positive test so promptly. In doing so we were able to save a great deal of disruption this morning and take action that helped us to avoid a full year group closure. Of course we are worried about the thirty students who will be at home for the next two weeks. Work will be set every day on Show my Homework to replicate the learning taking place in lessons, but we are also keen to experiment with a small number of ‘hybrid’ lessons whereby those students at home can take part in the lessons as they occur in school, in real time.
I’ll be honest with you in that this is a challenge for us. If we run ‘hybrid’ lessons then we need to ensure that the experience for the student at home is worthwhile (ie, better than working on Show My Homework based tasks), whilst at the same time not reducing the quality of lessons inside school just to fit with the technology available. The student at home needs to be able to see and hear what is going on, and that can be complicated where teachers are moving around and changing lessons plans in real time depending on what happens in the lesson. There is also a workload issue too as staff may have to greatly adapt their resources in unfamiliar ways and get used to new ways of teaching, and there are some potential safeguarding issues that we need to iron out. However…we are keen to experiment with various solutions to these problems, and self-isolating Year 11s can expect to take part in some hybrid lessons over this coming fortnight.
We’ve known all along that this term (year?) would be hit by these kind of disruptions, but we are determined to do all that we can to enable students to keep learning no matter what. I have a great deal of faith in our staff and our Year 11 cohort to make the best of this situation, and as we experience these closures our internal staff mantra of ‘Better Never Stops’ has rarely been more apt!