Month: March 2020

What should I be doing now?

So, you’re doing lessons from home, you’re stuck inside for hours on end and you’re watching the same old stuff on the TV. Talk about boring. But don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of tips and advice to keep you going until you’re back in school.

As you work from home and the school closes, we urge you to follow Government advice to protect yourself and those around you from Coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that, if possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. You should only leave the house for exercise, and even then, you should keep a safe distance from others. The Government recommend maintaining a space of around two metres between yourself and others as you head outside for your exercise.

If you leave the house it is important that you remember to wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before you leave and as you come back inside. If you have a cough, you should use a tissue to cough into and then bin the tissue, after this wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.

These measures are in place to protect you and others, especially those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Please remember to think of others and follow the Governement’s advice.

These can be extreme measures which could result in schoolwork getting boring and you feeling lonely. You may have no one who really knows how to help with your work or someone in your house to keep you entertained. We know this can be hard and so we’ve put together some tips to stay motivated and progressing with your schoolwork while you work from home:

  • Set goals, if you don’t have a target to work towards it’s very hard to get started. Set some short, easy goals to start yourself off and add more as time goes on to keep on track.
  • Timetables, map out slots for when you’re going to do your revision. You don’t need to do a full day of revision or cover every subject in a day. Space out your work slots, just like lessons, and make sure you give yourself plenty of breaks in between topics to really digest the information.
  • Practice papers and questions, these can help you to understand your subjects better by giving you scenarios to use your new knowledge. Questions and example scenarios can also help you to see where you’re struggling on a subject so you can ask for further help for that topic.
  • Study groups, even if you are in isolation, video calling or phoning your friends who are in the same class as you can be a great help. Get advice and help your friends when you’re stuck on something or can’t remember how to get the right answer. You may be able to help each other out and fill in bits of knowledge between you, plus you’ll get to interact with your friends!
  • Mix it up, if you’re finding that schoolwork is getting boring and hard to focus on add a bit of variety to how you go through your notes and resources. Colours are a great way to make boring words stand out and look appealing, putting key points of information onto posters, post-it notes or even create a podcast to help make home learning a fun and motivating experience.

Don’t forget you should be using all our handy distance learning tools to support your education while you’re not able to come into school. These include Microsoft Teams, GCSEPod, Hegarty Maths and Educake. Need help getting access to these tools? We have some handy guides for you to use here.

You can also use this link to find a range of helpful links for exercise advice and videos, helping to keep you active while you’re social distancing and in self-isolation.

Changes are happening, but we’ve got you covered

As the current climate across the UK, and worldwide, continues to change at a daily rate, we have ensured that we are prepared for the situation we now find ourselves in. Now the schools have closed, rest assured we have put processes in place to ensure you, our students, continue to be supported through your education via online and home learning.

While these are not ideal circumstances, it is our responsibility to continue to provide you with an education. This is our main focus and we will continue to determine the best practices for you, as our students to keep learning while remaining at home.

Our precautionary measures are already in place and ready for you to start the experience of remote learning. We have set up a variety of programs for you to use, these are:

Microsoft Teams

To use this software, the Microsoft Teams app will need to be downloaded and can work on Windows, Mac, iOS or android devices. To sign in you will be asked for your full school email address, you will then be redirected to the CET login page to enter your normal school login details. Under the ‘Teams’ tab, you will be able to access a section for each of your classes, in these class sections you can send messages, access resources provided by your teacher in the file section and complete assignments set by your teacher by a set time. This will mean that your lessons can continue from home.

Read our guide on accessing Microsoft Teams here.

Hegarty Maths

Go to the student login section under ‘Existing User’. Here you can login with your school name and then input your details to be able to create a login password, remember to keep this safe as you’ll need it to log in again, your Maths planner may be the best place. Once logged in you will be able to see if your teacher has set you any homework under ‘My Tasks’. You can also choose lessons and learn new maths skills. If you have no tasks, you can always request more from your teacher. Hegarty Maths is best suited to a PC, Mac or even a tablet. Hegarty Maths cannot be used with Firefox.

Read our guide on accessing Hegarty Maths here.

Educake

You can access this portal through a browser such as Chrome or Safari. All you need to do is enter the username and password your teacher gave you, it’s best to keep this information in a safe place so you don’t lose it. Educake is there to provide tests which are made up from short questions. The questions are designed to improve your knowledge and understanding. Homework can also be set up through Educake and you can also set yourself revision tests to improve your knowledge.

Read our guide on using Educake here.

GCSEPod

Getting access to GCSEPod is easy, simply head to their website and follow the instructions under ‘New here? Get started’, make sure you select ‘Student’. This is a great education tool that offers expert knowledge, offering short bursts of information to help reinforce and consolidate key GSCE topics covered in lessons. You can watch online or offline, go through ‘favourite’ topics, create a personalised playlist and complete quizzes, so you know you’ve retained the information you just learned.

Read our guide on using GCSEPod here.

While you will be undergoing lessons from home, your teachers and support staff will still be there for you in this difficult and confusing time. Through these portals, especially Microsoft Teams, you will still be able to communicate with your teachers and classmates to reduce the feelings of isolation as you reduce your contact with the outside world.

Please remember that current government advice does recommend exercise outside, however, you should maintain a distance of two metres from anyone else around. Make sure you continue to wash your hands, particularly as you leave and enter your home for this short period of exercise.

If you need more guidance and support, the full range of guides for these learning tools can be found on our website here.

GCSE’s 2020 Information

GCSE Examinations Summer 2020

 

The Department for Education have released some information regarding how they intend to award GCSE grades this summer.

 

To summarise the key points:

Exams have been cancelled for this summer. No GCSE exam papers will be completed.

The awarding bodies will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead

 

To produce the above, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment

 

The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in

 

Calculated grades will aim to be provided to students before the end of July

 

If students do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis

 

We are yet to receive specific details of what information the awarding bodies will accept as evidence for grading. We are also still awaiting how awarding bodies will ensure that the grades achieved are accurate. As soon as we receive more information, we will ensure that this is shared with you.

 

In the meantime, Year 11 students should continue to work in order to ensure that they are prepared for their next steps. This could include completing any work set by their teachers, reading the specification for their post 16 course, or completing wider reading on areas of interest.

 

For full details of the cancellation of GCSEs, please see the guidance from the Department for Education:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020#contents

INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THISTLEY HOUGH ACADEMY

Dear Parent/Carer

INDEFINITE CLOSURE OF THISTLEY HOUGH ACADEMY

As you are aware, the Academy will be closed for an indefinite period to most students as instructed by the Department for Education. We are however open to the children of those identified by the government as ‘KEY WORKERS’.

Please note that the very strong advice from the government is that as many students as possible should be cared for at home throughout the period of closure.

The full definition of a key worker is available on the Cabinet Office website. In summary it is defined as those who work in:

Health and social care
Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare
Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.

Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.

Transport
Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, communication and financial service
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

If you fall into any of the categories identified above, provision will be available for your child during the school hours listed below, from Monday 23rd March until Friday 3rd April.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 8:15am to 3:15pm
  • Wednesday – 8:15am to 2:00pm

In order to support the smooth running of any provision, and to ensure safeguarding procedures are followed, all parents/carers who fall under any of the key worker categories above, must complete the registration form on the website at www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk/medical-conditions by 5:00pm on Sunday 22nd March.  

All staff at Thistley Hough Academy are keen to ensure that the education and needs for all students are met, as best as possible, during this difficult time. Staff have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to ensure that all students have access to work, with supporting resources, for the weeks leading up to and including the Easter break.  Arrangements for remote learning at home has been provided to all students and we would urge you to encourage that home learning takes place.

As you can imagine the closure of schools is the first of a range of steps being taken by the government to try to address the challenges that COVID-19 poses and I ask for your patience and ongoing support as we navigate our way through this unprecedented time.

I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your families well, and to thank you for your cooperation during these difficult times for us all.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jayne Schofield
Principal

School Closure

From Monday 23 March Thistley Hough Academy will be closed to most pupils until further notice.

 

Clarification is expected this afternoon regarding the children for whom the school will remain open.
We will update all stakeholders with this information immediately it becomes available
We aim to confirm which pupils should come to school on Monday in the next 24 hours.

 

Arrangements are being made for the continuity of education for all pupils in and out of school. You will receive notice of these in advance of Monday.