Update from the Government about awarding of GCSEs and A levels
The Government have now published more information about How GCSEs, AS & A levels will be awarded in summer 2020. You can learn more about their information for parents, students and schools on their website page GCSEs, AS and A level awarding: summer 2020.
Ridgewood School Bulletin 3
Thursday 2 April 2020
We hope that you and your families remain safe and well. Thank you for supporting the school and the community by staying at home, and keeping your children at home whenever possible.
- After the Easter holidays, all work for students in Years 7 to 10 will be in the form of fortnightly projects. These will be available in the Learning from home section of the school website. Students will not be required to log in to the VLE. Students in Year 12 will continue to be set work in the form of lessons which will be put on the VLE. Please see our updated FAQs and Parents – Project Guidance document.
- In response to students getting in touch with us about the continuity of their learning in preparation for exams, after the Easter holidays we are allowing students in Year 10 and Year 12 to contact their teachers via email if they have questions about their work or have got stuck. We cannot extend this to offering feedback on work because of how the school is currently functioning and the work that teachers are doing from home, but students in Year 10 and Year 12 can email their teachers if they have a question that they think their teacher could help with. Full details of how this will work are covered in our guidance document Y10 and Y12 Emailing Teachers.
- After Easter, students in Year 11 will be set work that helps them prepare for their post-16 studies. This will take the form of pre-induction tasks for the A level subjects they wish to study. As with the projects, each task should take a fortnight to complete. We are currently exploring the most effective ways to set work for Year 11 students after the completion of the pre-induction tasks, and will keep you informed.
- We will share more information about how grades will be calculated and what will happen with non-exam assessed elements (coursework) when the Government publish more information. We cannot advise further on completion of coursework until we know more. Different courses have different requirements in terms of how, where and when coursework should be completed, so we cannot give subject-specific guidance until the Government and the exam boards have released more information.
- We strongly recommend that students and parents take a break from home learning over Easter. We will not be setting any work for students to complete during the Easter holidays. Please respect our staff having a break too, and save any emails or queries that are not urgent for after Easter. Teachers will not be expected to respond to email queries during the holidays. If you do need to get in touch with school urgently, please phone 07423 474622, or use the Contact Us facility.
- The school will remain open over the period of the Easter holidays for the children of critical workers only. Thank you to all parents who have been helping us maintain this provision by being considerate and communicating regularly with us about their needs.
- We are delighted to let you know that the school recently donated some personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS to support frontline workers fighting the coronavirus. The materials were given directly to staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Sixth Form Students
- Sixth form students should keep checking the Sixth Form Updates page of the school website. When we know more about UCAS, exams and other decisions related to sixth form students, we will publish updates on the website.
- As detailed above, after Easter Year 12 students should keep accessing work on the VLE and email their teachers if they have any questions.
Safeguarding and student support
- We are offering students and staff the opportunity to access counselling by telephone from Mr Dobson (school counsellor). These appointments are for anyone with any difficulties being experienced whilst at home during the school closures and lockdown. Please read our Phone Counselling Guidance document for details of how to book an appointment.
- Full details of how our safeguarding practices are continuing when students and staff are working at home are available in the Safeguarding section of the Remote Learning area of our website. Please follow the guidance if you wish to raise a safeguarding concern.
- While the school remains closed, students can still access support and guidance from our careers team. If your child would like to find out more about how to make an appointment with a careers advisor, please read our CareersInc Info During School Closures document.
- Whilst students and staff are working from home, we would like to remind you about the Acceptable Usage Policy for IT; you can find this in the Policies section of our website. This details how students should use the VLE and other online platforms.
- While schools are closed, online safety is more important than ever. Please visit the website www.internetmatters.org for advice about monitoring screen time, age limits for websites and apps, and safe use of social media.
Thank you for continuing to support our school community during the school closures. We wish you and your families a restful Easter holiday, and hope you all remain in good health.
Friday 27 March
Sixth Form students: please see our Sixth Form Updates page for information about UCAS applications and vocational assignments.
Ridgewood School Bulletin 2
Thursday 26 March 2020
We hope that you and your families are all well and staying indoors. We have put a lot of information in this bulletin, but we ask that you read it carefully because it includes important details for you and your family.
Teamwork is one of our key values at Ridgewood. As a team we can minimise the effects of the virus spread in our community and beyond by rigorously following the measures prescribed.
Please follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing, as well as the advice on regular, thorough handwashing.
Key messages for parents
- We hope you find this bulletin helpful and that it supports you and your family to continue to access learning from home during our school closure. By sending you these regular updates we hope to give you some perspective on how learning at home is very different from normal school life and how you can support your child to adapt to a new pace and style of learning.
- The current situation will provide many opportunities as we go forward that many of us are not aware of yet, as well as many challenges. Working as a school community and supporting each other, we can make the best of the situation that we all find ourselves in.
- We want to thank you sincerely for your patience and understanding during this very difficult time.
- We do understand that you are facing many different circumstances as you support your child’s learning at home. Some of you are working from home and are very busy trying to do your own job while your child is completing their lessons independently. Some of you are able to spend lots of time with your child and are seeking lots of work to do with them to ensure their learning continues. At the moment, there is no right and wrong way of approaching home learning. Whatever you have the time, capacity and confidence to do is fine, and we are grateful for all that you are able to do from home. The period of school closures is likely to last for a substantial period, and approaches to home learning may change. We will continue to do our best for our students and their families.
- Please continue to find your own way in what works for you and your household in terms of home learning. We all need to be patient with, and understanding of, each other as we all learn how to operate in this new environment. Thank you to those parents who are continuing to be supportive, positive and polite in their communication with the school and our wider community.
- Staying in touch with other people is crucial during this period of school closures and social distancing, especially as it looks likely to last for a sustained period. To promote positive mental health, keeping talking (via phone, Skype and other electronic methods) is highly recommended. We are hearing about parents and students sharing ‘online lunches’ via Skype, Zoom and other platforms, and highly encourage this kind of interaction. Please continue to encourage your children to stay in touch with friends virtually, whilst limiting any physical social contact.
- There are currently many people and organisations offering support, both locally and nationally. You have no doubt come across these online and in your own community, and many of you will be providing this support yourselves. We will continue to populate the Support page of our website with details of what is available to children and their families in our local community. Please let us know if you would like us to add anything else that you think would be of interest.
Update on how the school is operating:
As a virtual school
- At present Ridgewood is operating as a virtual school for the vast majority of students and staff. This means that there are very few staff in school. When staff work from home, they are also adapting to new circumstances and new demands. The staff working from home are continuing to build our virtual provision, whilst adapting to their own changed home circumstances.
- Thank you to those students who are working hard and completing the work set on the VLE. A number of students and parents are getting in touch to say that students do not know or have forgotten their VLE username/password. Login details are the same as those students use to log on to a computer at school.
- If a student has forgotten their password and you get in touch with school to request it, please be patient while you wait for us to get back to you. We have successfully dealt with the vast majority of these enquiries, but some take longer than others. Please be aware that we are working on these as fast as we can. We are currently prioritising the easy to fix problems to get as many people online as possible. We then move on to the more difficult to solve issues. We will contact you to tell you when your issue has been resolved.
- If your child is unable to find the resources on the VLE, please check the document Accessing Remote Learning Resources on the VLE. We politely request that you read this document before you contact school to say there is no work on the VLE for your child.
- If you are awaiting details from school to enable your child to follow the lessons on the VLE, please remember that there are lots of useful educational websites detailed in the Curriculum subject pages of our website. There are also lots of other educational opportunities being made freely available – please see the document at the bottom of this page for ideas.
- After the Easter holidays, we will be setting project-based work for students in Years 7-10. This will be work that students can do independently, and it will feed into future learning. All this work will be available on the website and will not require a VLE login. Please be patient with our staff while they prepare this work.
- Students in Year 11 will be provided with transition work. This will allow students to prepare for the courses they may wish to study at post-16. If students are not planning on following A level courses, they may conduct their own independent work which they feel best prepares them for their chosen study path.
- Students in Year 12 will continue to have work set on the VLE in the form of lessons.
- The Government have issued some information about their plans for assessing students in Year 11 and Y13 in light of the cancellation of exams. This information does not yet provide detail of exactly how grades will be generated, and schools do not know any more than was given in this article. As soon as we know more about how grades will be calculated, including for vocational subjects, we will let you know.
- We are continuing to manage a difficult and regularly changing situation and are doing our best to provide work and support for all our students, both those at home and those off site. Please remember that all our staff, like you, are under pressure and are juggling things both in work and at home. We ask you to continue to be respectful of our school community during this time, and thank those of you who are continuing to be understanding and thoughtful.
As a school supporting the families of critical workers who cannot keep their children safely at home
- Schools across the country remain closed other than for the children of critical workers. However, the government advice remains to keep all children at home whenever possible to reduce the spread of infection. We are very grateful to those parents who are heeding this advice and supporting the school and the critical services by doing this.
- We are trying to keep the numbers of students in school very low to keep the children and our staff as safe as possible. This helps in a situation when almost everyone else is at home to prevent the spread of infection and crucially, to prevent infection travelling back into the homes of our critical workers.
Safety of the school site while closed
- Due to the current situation, we are not able to allow any students or parents on to the school site for any reason other than the very small number of children attending school. This means that unfortunately we are not able to let students collect books, folders, textbooks etc. We understand that this is frustrating for many students, and we will update you if this changes in the future and we can release any books/coursework. All coursework is currently safe in school. Thank you for your understanding.
- Please continue to check our website regularly. All our updates and important information will be added to our Remote Learning area.
Thank you for continuing to support our school community during the school closures.
Monday 23 March 2020
Updates from the government regarding students in schools during the school closure. Please read these and think extremely carefully before sending your child in to school. The best way to prevent the spread of infection is to keep your child at home.
Ridgewood School Bulletin 1
Friday 20 March 2020
- We are grateful for your incredible support during the school closure. It has helped us run the school as normally as possible for students in Years 7, 11 and 13, and to plan for full closure from today.
- The Performing Arts assessment scheduled for today will now not take place. This information has come to us directly from the exam board.
- Regarding a grading system for exams, we have no further information other than what has been shared in the media. More details are due to be announced today by the Government. When there is a clear picture about how achievement will be assessed, we will provide information to support your child.
- Communication, both from school to parents and vice versa, is more important than ever at this time. We will be sending a regular bulletin to parents to update you on how student learning can continue, and how students can stay safe and well. Please let us know if you have any questions that we can try to address in our bulletin.
- We also ask that you download the app ‘School News’ and ensure that you are registered with Ridgewood.
- We now have a dedicated area on our website with information about the current situation, advice and resources for students and parents, and useful links. It is called Remote Learning and can be found in the Our Learning section. It will be populated as and when information is available.
- If you would like to get in touch with us, please continue to telephone school on the usual number, and to use the Contact Us facility on the website.
Year 10 and Year 12
- We know many of you are worried about missing learning and are keen to keep studying while you are at home. The government have not yet said what the impact of the current situation will be on your qualifications, but as soon as we know we will tell you.
- At the moment, we are working on a plan for how we can share relevant learning and resources, and how you will be able to collect books etc. that are currently at school. As soon as this is finalised, we will let you know. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work on the best solution for you.
Learning from home
- Work for students is now available on the VLE. This work is designed to enable all students to continue their learning up to the Easter holidays.
- The new section of our website Learning from home answers the questions you may have about how to support your child as they learn from home over the coming weeks.
- We will let you know in due course about the format student learning will take place after the Easter holidays.
- Full details of how our safeguarding practices will continue when students and staff are working at home are available in the Safeguarding section of our new Remote Learning area of our website.
- The well-being and physical and mental health of our students and wider school community is extremely important to us. The Support section of our Remote Learning area will be populated with advice and guidance about maintaining good mental health during the closure of schools.
We hope you and your families stay safe and thank you for your understanding and support.