COVID-19: Better than expected start to this term
Around 30 pupils are self-isolating at home as a result of COVID-19, including 5 pupils who are following quarantine rules after travel abroad. Five members of staff are also absent from work due to COVID-19. All class teachers are working in school. This is much better than we anticipated and is something of a relief!
One class teacher from each age-group has started 'hybrid' teaching using Microsoft Teams. This is for those pupils who are at home as a result of self-isolation rules and are well enough to join lessons by video call. Pupils at home join a class for a 'live' lesson during the school day. The teacher wears an audio headset so that they can hear and talk to pupils at home while also teaching the class in school. This is a new way of working. Sometimes the teacher might show new things using Teams and applications, other times they might show a live video of themselves teaching. They might set an assignment using Teams or might ask children at home to work in a different way. We are experimenting to find the best and most practical ways of 'hybrid' teaching. We must all cherish, respect and look after our teachers while they are working in this new way. Some feel very public and exposed. They would welcome any warm and constructive feedback.
Over the next 3-5 weeks, each teacher in each age group will take turns to try the 'hybrid' teaching style. Pupils at home may or may not see their own class teacher during this period. If rates of infection increase, we may move pupils between different classes so that the hybrid teacher has fewer (or no) pupils in school and can focus more on those self-isolating at home. This gives us the flexibility to adjust to needs.
From around half-term, we anticipate each teacher working in the hybrid style for their own class, whether they are self-isolating at home or learning in school.
Hybrid teaching is demanding and challenging for each class teacher. The government tells us that we must provide learning for those pupils who are self-isolating at home as a result of public health rules. Therefore, only those pupils should join the hybrid lesson on Teams. If pupils are absent from school for other reasons or parents have not told us about COVID isolation, teachers will remove pupils from the hybrid lesson.
Uncertainty around COVID-19 remains. Things may change and we might need to adjust our arrangements, including sending classes home. This is a last resort. We want as many pupils to learn in school as possible for as long as possible. Find out more by clicking on the link below: