18 May 2020


18th May - Parental Update from the headteacher

I know that there has been a great deal of comment in the national press around schools "reopening" with effect from 1st June for some primary schools and then afterwards for secondary schools for Year 10.  I also know that this has understandably caused great anxiety for some parents, young people and school staff.  We all want to ensure that any move to have groups of children in school is safe.  The purpose of this update is to let you know the current position and what will happen next.  Also some general updates.

The current position

> School has of course been open throughout this situation.  All Werneth staff have been working from home on a variety of matters and attending virtual meetings.  Teachers have been setting and marking work, contacting students and ringing those who need a daily check.  In addition to this, Werneth staff have been in school on a rota to work with the 25ish students who have been attending school throughout.  We continue to offer free school meal vouchers weekly, and continue to deliver fortnightly hampers to those most in need.  None of this will change in the near future.

> I have an online meeting every week with all of the other secondary headteachers in Stockport.  This is to check that we are all following the same guidelines, and working together moving forward to ensure we work collaboratively.  We want to get our school life back to "normal" as quickly as we can following safe guidelines.  We are making decisions together for the benefit of our students.

> We have made some preliminary plans for Year 10s initially coming back into school before the summer.  These cannot yet be circulated or confirmed because there is much information from other sources yet to come.  At last week's meeting, we decided that we would wait at this stage before confirming any plans.  We need to hear the full advice from the government, unions and other bodies before we know what this return for Year 10 looks like.  We anticipate we will start to firm up plans from week commencing 1st June, and start to roll out plans to parents from week commencing 8th June.  Safety is our prime concern.

> We don’t have any clarity at all yet around when or if pupils in Years 7 to 9 will return before the summer break.

> Primary schools in Stockport will be open for some children from 10th June, and secondaries anticipate to be later than this.  The government has not yet issued guidance for secondary schools.

What will happen next

> Please read the attached letter, which summarises Stockport Education Authority's view on where we are at with regard to Covid-19, and the next steps for schools.

> I will continue to work with the local authority and other secondary headteachers and keep you updated.  There won't be any further clarification on Year 10 returning to school until after 8th June.  We will provide a full and detailed summary of what will happen when we can: what we do know is that it will be a different format of school when they do return, to conform to social distancing and safety regulations.

> In the meantime, Year 10 will be receiving more contact with effect from this week. Teachers have been communicating with school leaders on the excellent work from many of our Year 10s, and the less excellent production of work from some.  Year 10 are of course currently missing GCSE time and it is therefore essential they are completing work from home.  That's our push moving forward.

> School leaders are considering how we can make changes for Year 10 as they move into Year 11, to give them more time and focus.  Making up for the time they have missed.

Other matters for parents:

> Just a reminder that next week ( week commencing 25th May ) is half term week.  No work will be set online that week but we will still provide free school meal vouchers.

> You may have heard of the "laptops for Year 10 vulnerable children" initiative.  We still haven't received any I am afraid but we are expecting a limited number soon.  We hope to receive a small number this week to distribute.

> We are looking to increase the online content for our students, with the introduction of new "video style" lessons in every subject.  Look out for more information to come.

> We are also launching a new mental wellbeing course for our students called "I can, I am".  You will also be receiving information about this.

> We are hopeful that we can have some of our new Year 6 into Year 7 students in school for a brief taster in July, though this won't be all together unfortunately.  Parental briefings may need to - at this stage - be moved to September.

> Mr Bennett has asked me to remind parents of Year 7 that we have unfortunately had to cancel Year 7 Summer School this year.  This is only the second time in 20 years that it has not operated.  Money is being refunded via Paypal.  We are looking at the feasibility of offering it to our current Year 7s at some stage next year, but obviously we can’t confirm anything at this stage.

> I have had many teachers sharing excellent work with me that our students have produced, and I am now starting to respond by sending individual emails to congratulate students on their work from home.  Look out for them.  I am sending 20 today!

Reminder - Email addresses:

ineedhelp@wernethschool.com   - workpacks, passwords and any other help
fsm@wernethschool.com   - queries about free school meals vouchers
transition@wernethschool.com   - queries from year 6 parents/carers re. transition to Werneth in September.

You can access staff emails from the "contact us" tab on the website, and select "Teaching Staff"

Click here to read letter from LA

Posted by cmurphy

Category: Headteacher's Blog