Rossett News - 8 May 2020
Welcome to our Friday newsletter.
This is a special week in the nation’s history as we celebrate VE Day. May Day is traditionally held on a Monday every year, but this year it has been put back to Friday 8 May 2020 to help us remember the historic events of May 8th 1945.
VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe. The holiday forms part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events - now largely happening in gardens, streets (with the right amount of social distancing) and online.
We are disappointed that we could not take part in the commemoration at school, but we hope that you will all be marking the occasion at home.
You may wish to capture your celebrations by entering a photograph of your VE event into our competition (see below), or use any images that you have captured during the lovely weather recently to provide an entry.
As we continue to provide remote and school learning for all our students this week, we have been asked to comment on when schools are likely to return; which year groups will be the first to come back. There will be further announcements from the Government and the DfE in the days to come but, in the interim, please find below the latest DfE ‘blog’ update on the stories being published in the national press.
The DfE put out the following statement on Thursday 7th May:
Schools are closed to all but the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. The Secretary of State has been clear that this will remain the case until the scientific advice says it is safe to do otherwise.
Yesterday (6th May) there was speculation that an announcement would be made on reopening schools either today or over the weekend.
The Sun, Telegraph, Guardian, and Mirror all ran pieces about schools reopening.
The DfE’s position remains clear that no date has been set for the reopening of schools to all pupils.
A DfE spokesperson said:
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has not set a date for schools reopening.
Schools will remain closed, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, until the scientific advice indicates it is the right time to re-open and the five tests set out by Government to beat this virus have been met.
We are also working closely with the sector as we consider how to reopen schools, nurseries and colleges and will ensure everyone has sufficient notice to plan and prepare.
We will of course let you know, when we know any more information. At school I continue to work with my deputies and the wider Senior Leadership Team to ensure that we have considered and planned for our return to school.
This week we have been contacting our new Year 6 students and their parents in an unusual and remote way that feels quite alien to our packed programme of summer transition events. Mrs Grabham (Director of Learning for Year 7) has written personally to each student and we look forward to welcoming them and their families to Rossett soon. Year 6 are currently completing online forms to tell us all about themselves and their families.
Many thanks again for the supportive feedback that we have received from you, whether it has been in response to our online lessons, our school provision or our work in sorting out food vouchers and advice. Please remember to contact us with any worries or concerns that you may have; if we don’t know the answer immediately, we will know someone who can help you.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and stay safe this week.
Parent and Student Remote Learning Survey
Many thanks to the 500 plus students and parents who responded to our parent and student remote learning surveys last week. We have been analysing the results this week and making some small tweaks to work set and the frequency of tasks set, where patterns have emerged from your responses. Pastoral teams are also in the process of contacting families where specific issues were raised, and we are doing our best to help resolve any individual questions.
Overall, we were pleased that so many of you (98%) have had no major difficulties in accessing the work our teachers are setting. Furthermore, we are pleased to see from the results of the surveys that we are setting the right amount of work for most students .
Where individual students are finding the amount of work a little too much, we would encourage parents and/or students to contact the year teams through your Director of Learning or Student Support Officer for further help and guidance in managing the workload.
Further to his fantastic fundraising 'Dance-athon' last week we are delighted to inform you that George Papadopoullos (Year 9) has now raised £2090 for the NHS! George had a well-deserved rest after his 12 hour event last Thursday but is now back working hard on his studies. Thank you George and family for this fantastic fundraising effort, you have made everyone at Rossett extremely proud.
Please click here for full details of our photography competition.
A Focus on Year 12: News from the team
Please click here for an update from our Sixth Form Team to our Year 12 students and parents.
Activities in school this week
Our students who remain in school continue to enjoy an array of activities alongside their formal studies. This week they have risen to the challenge of making scones with some fantastic results and they are also making bunting for VE Day.
We also continue to see some excellent results of learning from home and Miss Reynolds would like to congratulate Thierry Castro (Year 7) who has been working hard to apply his knowledge of fact families and negative numbers to answer some challenging calculations.
Mrs Taylor was incredibly impressed by Caitlin Hill's lovely and timely sonnet which explores the idea of what this time means for children of this generation. We have shared her thoughts with you below:
My Sonnet - Caitlin Hill (Year 7)
In January 20 something came
It changed the world, turned us all inside out
Earth kept on turning, nothing stayed the same
Each day brought worry, fear, grief and doubt
Day after day the newspapers were worse
People were told to stay safe and stay home
Isolation was hard so of course they curse
All things were cancelled, forgotten, postponed
Parties were banned, with no school and no sports
No shops and no theatres, cafes or fun
People adjusted they played games, made forts
Home-school, zoom quizzes and a daily run
Everyone had to just listen and wait
With time and kindness, neighbours became friends
Each week they clapped for heroes at 8
As days turn to weeks they hope it will end
The virus it pressed pause for humanity
While nature reclaimed, breathed and was free
Askham Bryan College and University Virtual Open Days
In light of current restrictions Askham Bryan College have arranged a Virtual Open Event Week from Monday 11th May to Friday 15th May. This event, for current Year 11 students, will start with an introduction to the college, they will then host a series of Q and A sessions alongside some pre-recorded presentations highlighting all of their courses and support areas. Students will be able to ask questions about courses and other topics such as transport, accommodation, learning support and applying to study at the setting.
The college are setting up 'Zoom' links for each session and all those interested must book online via their What’s On page: https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/whats-on/virtual-open-event-1.
As part of your booking you will receive a link through to their ‘Find out More’ page: https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/students/apply-now/find-out-more. This is currently being updated with each of the colleges departmental presentations to accompany the course guides and virtual tours. Get in touch with Askham Bryan if you are interested in attending this 'virtual' event.
In addition, there will be a University Centre Virtual Open Event which will take place the following week between Wednesday 20th May – Friday 22nd May. Each day will run from 1pm – 4pm. Again, any student interested in attending this event must book online and will receive a similar schedule with all of the 'Zoom' links for the Q and As sessions running on these days. This will cover all of the universities land-based subject areas as well as our support teams such as transport, accommodation, learning support, employability etc.
The University Centre offers degree programmes in the following 10 subject areas:
- Arboriculture and Horticulture
- Animal Management and Science
- Companion Animal Management
- Veterinary Nursing
- Wildlife and Conservation
- Zoo and Wildlife
- Post Graduate Courses – Zoo Management and Animal Behaviour
You can also access the full university prospectus, an introductory presentation to all of of their degree courses, and presentations on finance and support applicable to anyone considering university, all available via: https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/students/apply-now/find-out-more
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We would like to remind you of the support groups, websites and text-based helplines that exist to help students combat feelings of anxiety that may result from worrying about examinations or the current national coverage of the pandemic.
- Kooth – a free, online counselling service available at kooth.com
- Buzz Us – run by Compass Buzz and specific to young people from North Yorkshire; this is a text messaging service that connects students to a ‘well-being’ advisor on 07520631168 https://www.compass-uk.org/buzz-us/
- Young Minds - https://youngminds.org.uk/
- NHS Every Mind Matters - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/
- Give us a Shout - https://www.giveusashout.org/
- The Mix - https://www.themix.org.uk/
- Nightline - https://www.nightline.ac.uk/
A reminder that Mrs Huett, our Learning Resource Manager, has been working hard in putting all of our reading resources in one easily accessible area. Follow the link to 'Padlet' here for lots of links, reviews and recommendations. Remember to keep checking in on 'Padlet' as news and links will be updated regularly.
This week, Mrs Huett recommends the Mass Observation Archive which will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning. This is the 10th Anniversary of the 12th May Diary project.
In 1937 Mass Observation called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. This was the day of George VI’s Coronation. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.
Tips for home learning
- Where possible have a quiet space away from distractions;
- Be organised - have a routine based around the school day including break and lunchtime;
- Leave your mobile phone in another room and turn off notifications while you are home learning;
- Stay safe on-line - only use trusted websites.
- Remember you can contact your teachers with any queries via Teams and the Network Team with any IT queries. at: studentIThelp@rossettschool.co.uk