Coping with Covid-19 in September

Coping with Covid-19 in September

Schools are receiving daily updates from the Department for Education at the moment and the it is unclear what the levels of infection will be in September, so it is a difficult situation to plan for. 

However, there are a number of things that do seem to be clear:

  • We will open our school both physically and online to students in September
  • We will need to make some sensible, practical adjustments to how we operate to manage risks: even smaller class sizes, reduced mixing of groups
  • We will need to provide an online learning alternative for students who need to self isolate for several weeks or have difficulty with transport as a result of the virus situation

The good news is that we’re very well placed to do all of these things.  Our refurbishment plans are on schedule with the building contractors starting work in a few weeks time and planning to finish during August.  Our ICT contractors are already at work and putting in place all the arrangements we need around communication and cloud-based working, as well as ordering the physical equipment that will be installed in school during August.  All our teachers will be equipped with laptops and the other essentials necessary to work at home if necessary and to deliver online, live and recorded teaching to our students.  The knowledge we have developed about online teaching over the last 3 months is going to prove very useful; we’re very confident that we can deliver high quality live online teaching that fits into the existing school timetable and covers the schemes of work at the same rate as in school.

We will be staffing four classes, at least one of which will be online.  Our curricular plans will be quite structured and specific so that students move at the same pace whether they are in school or learning at home; they will therefore be able to move easily between learning in school one day and at home the next.  In our recent teacher recruitment process we recruited more teachers than we need to deliver the curriculum so even with the extra burden of an online channel we will still have capacity to keep classes small in school.  This, and the relative spaciousness of the Sir Alastair Pilkington building, means that we will be able to teach small classes which are well spaced out.