Dear BBEC Staff

Happy New Year and Happy New Term!!

I hope that you have all had a relaxing, peaceful and healthy holiday and feel ready to face the challenges of this term. Again, I fear that this term will be like no other. The government has recently re-defined the role of secondary schools, but if anyone can rise to the demands of teaching in-school and remotely, delivering free school meals and keeping everyone safe and sane whilst running a mass testing site the BBEC family can. More information is coming into school daily and we have a week to absorb it and to make decisions about the practicalities involved.

This bulletin therefore is just to update you on opening tomorrow and running the first couple of weeks with the information we have now, sorry it is so long! Click here for a copy of the letter that has been sent to parents/carers today so that you can see what we have said to them. We will update you as the term continues.

Start of term Tuesday 5 January 2021

As stated previously all staff should attend school as normal and should wear professional attire. School will look very different for at least the next two weeks, but our role is still to educate the students of BBEC whether they are in school or not.

Vulnerable children/children of critical workers will be in school from tomorrow. We have asked parents to register their children for a place so we have some idea of numbers, but in the meantime Richard has timetabled 2 classes per year group. He has been in touch with achievement leaders regarding staffing. These students should be completing work from the SOL; this is not childcare as it was in the summer.

Connect and Bridge: Lessons for Connect and Bridge will be as normal – these students are expected to attend school.

Remote learning: Teaching staff should follow their teaching timetable as far as is possible and plan and set work for their classes. As we will have more classrooms free, it should be possible for you to base yourself in a personal working space if you are not teaching vulnerable/key worker children. They should be available to respond to students’ queries and monitor the work completed. There is now a statutory requirement under the COVID act that all secondary students should receive at least 4 hours education per day.

We were expecting to have Year 11 in school this week and this has now changed. It is important that they have quality remote learning this week. Gavin Williamson clearly said that these groups should receive full lesson entitlement remotely, as if in class, from 4th January. As an expectation we would like to try to ensure that students have either some ‘live’ input from their teacher at their usual lesson time or that a stream is available for students to watch. In both cases the teacher should be available on Teams to respond to questions from students in the ‘posts’ section. We wouldn’t expect live teaching for 50 minutes but maybe 10 minutes input at the start. Protocols and risk assessment are available for this.

Other staff should refer to their line-manager or to SLT for their roles – there will be plenty for everyone to do eg

  • Remote learning support
  • Examination preparation
  • Delivery of laptops
  • Welfare phone calls
  • Support of vulnerable and critical worker children
  • Support FSM parcel delivery
  • Display refurbishment
  • Training for testing (while not all staff will be expected to test we would want to engage as many as possible with the process as then we have a base understanding and can provide reassurance to students and families)
  • I am sure we’ll think of other things too as the week moves forwardJ

Duties

Please attend your duty points tomorrow as normal. Mark will amend the rota once we can see how many students we have in. As our critical worker/vulnerable students will still be in bubbles, we will still need quite a number of staff to supervise them.

Assessments Y7 and 8

These will not happen in the weeks indicated in the calendar. We do not think it will be a positive experience for students to try to do assessments remotely. Richard will email with new dates for these which will mean new dates for the data collections and parents’ evenings.

Year 9 Parents Evening on 7th January

This will go ahead as planned remotely as did the year 11 one. The reports have already been sent home. Information about protocols will be sent out with more specific information on this before the evening, but teachers of Year 9 will be expected to be in school as before.

CPD

Is in the diary for the 11 January. This session will run. It had been ear-marked for behaviour training, however we might need it to change this in light of mass testing requirements – we will let you know.

Mass Testing

The government’s rhetoric seems to have changed from, ’if you could do some testing that would be lovely’ before Christmas to ‘there is an expectation that you will do mass testing’ now. In fact, we have received our first test kits and PPE in school today.

Information, guidance and webinars are being released on a daily basis. SLT will be spending this week working out how it all can work safely. I know that you probably have questions about this and we will update you as we know more.

Questions and Queries

SLT will be available all day to try to answer any questions you have. Please do not hesitate to speak to one of us if you have any concerns.

I think that’s all for now, I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Enjoy the last evening of your holiday.

Take care

Ruth