Issue 916: 22nd January 2021

Live Lessons

We are aware that some parents/carers have some concerns about the amount of time pupils are spending in front of screens. We have therefore agreed the following protocol for all live lessons.

Pupils in Years 7, 8 & 9: Lessons will be between 40-45 minutes, with no more than 10 minutes to follow up any unfinished tasks independently. No homework will be set for the time being.

Pupils in 10 & 11: Lessons will be no more than 50 minutes in length with no more than 10 minutes to follow up any unfinished tasks independently. Homework will be set, but teachers will be mindful of the length and frequency of homework, and will consider longer deadlines if appropriate and, where possible will set work which does not involve screen time.

Students in the Sixth Form: Lessons will be no more than 50 minutes in length, with no more than 10 minutes to follow up any unfinished tasks independently. Homework will be set as normal.

May I also take the opportunity to stress the need for pupils and students to take regular breaks from the screen, to stay hydrated and enjoy some daily exercise.

Finally, it has come to light that quite a lot of pupils are logging onto their live lessons via the email link. This allows them to join the lesson but doesn’t register their attendance. Please can I ask you to remind your son/daughter that they MUST join the lessons via the link in Teams or they will not be given a mark. This will avoid the need for us to interrupt you with a follow-up attendance call.

Headlines

Free Data Access to BBC Bitesize

As you may have heard in the News, customers using BT Mobile, EE or Plusnet can access the BBC Bitesize provision from the end of January without incurring data charges. BBC Bitesize is an excellent offer and provides a wide variety of useful resources. Please click on the link below for further details:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55616959

Year 8 Parents’ Evening

Thank you to everyone who embraced the new School Cloud online system for last night’s Year 8 Parents’ Evening, and for your forbearance at the start when we encountered some technical problems, which were beyond our control. Notwithstanding those problems, we have had a lot of positive feedback about this model and will be using it going forward for other year groups over the coming weeks.

Stop Swap Go (SSG)

Stop Swap Go is a new initiative set up by Essex County Council to get the people of Essex more active in their journeys. An important part of this is the 60 Day Challenge, setting the task for anyone aged 13 or over to log the walking and cycling trips they make on the SSG app. As well as challenging people to be as active as possible, the more journeys you make the greater chance you have of winning Love2Shop e-vouchers, Amazon e-gift cards and even the chance to win a bike and cycling or walking accessories to the value of £1,000. Please do click on the link if you would like to get involved.

https://www.stopswapgo.co.uk/60-day-challenge/

Library News

Every week a popular children’s author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads through the National Oak Academy’s Virtual Library, starting with the popular, Jacqueline Wilson. You can find out more here:

https://library.thenational.academy/

A reminder too, that you can access a wide variety of eBooks and audible books through Essex Libraries

https://libraries.essex.gov.uk/e-books-e-audio-e-magazines-and-book-groups/

Authorfy also provide free access to author masterclasses and their 10 minute daily challenges are fun to take part in!

https://authorfy.com/

Book of the Week

A KIND OF SPARK
by Elle McNicholl

“The story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown.

Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers.

Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard?”

A story about friendship, courage and self-belief  and what it means to be different.

The 25th of January is Burns Night!

Try out a typical Burns Night Menu …
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/burns-night

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