Rossett News Update - 12 June 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope that you and your families are looking forward to a restful weekend after a hectic week of lockdown changes. This week the national news has discussed the possibility of summer school provision; the various preferred methods of September opening; examination seasons for next year; and a mooted decrease in the two-metre rule. Schools receive the information from central government at the same time as the general public and as a leadership team at Rossett we are ensuring that we are up-to-date with the daily changes in policy, advice and guidance. When there are definite news items and confirmed dates to share, we will write to you with this information.
The major task this week for us at school was the final stage of the collation, consolidation and moderation of grades and data for final GCSE, BTEC and A Level results in respect of Years 10, 11, 12 and 13. Through the dedicated work from staff, and as a result of the timely ‘remote’ moderation by middle and senior leaders, the examinations’ team – led by Mrs J Jones – have been able to submit all data well in advance of the deadline. My thanks to everyone involved in this process which required a huge effort in completing an internal school practice from their remote locations.
I would like to thank you again for the work that you are continuing to do at home in supporting your child/children’s well-being and learning during the continuation of the lockdown. As many of the staff here are parents also, we empathise with you in meeting the challenges of answering questions about the unknown future, whilst trying to keep optimistic and focused on the remote learning packages from school. Each family is managing the continuation of the ‘study at home’ programme slightly differently, but we know how hard you are working to keep your children motivated. We have worked hard to vary the type of online lessons in the coming weeks to help increase student engagement; some students will have already had ‘live’ lessons or events and we are rolling this provision out to further year groups to supplement the majority of online instruction.
It is really important that students continue to access and complete work online to ensure that they are fully prepared for their return to school – please use our well-established pastoral link systems to contact the school if there are any barriers to learning that we can help to remove.
Week beginning 15 June: Week One
Next week sees the start of our ‘face-to-face’ individual academic review appointments for Years 10 and 12 either in person at school, or through remote ‘face-to-face’ meetings online. We are really looking forward to seeing our students back at school during this week and have thoroughly prepared for the experience, through risk assessment planning and site preparation.
The school site has been cleaned rigorously, in line with the instructions for non-healthcare settings, contained in the documents from the Government (COVID-19 publications) series.
Please find further details of the live lesson schedules in the news below.
Weeks beginning 22 June: Weeks Two to Five (22 June to 17 July 2020).
In the final four weeks of term there will be a programme of supplementary classes for Years 10 and 12 in school. These lessons will focus on the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, MFL and Humanities for Year 10. The offer for Year 12 is based on each student’s selected subjects for A Level and other post-16 qualifications. Parents, Carers and students were emailed individually to collate numbers for the supplementary classes: the timetable is ready for 22 June. The lessons will take place in our usual ‘longer morning’ sessions with students offsite by 1.45 p.m. each day.
Further details for students, including the Health and Safety information for the site, will follow next week – we are really looking forward to seeing them in school.
Pastoral support for families
As greater numbers of parents return to work, we have seen an increase in our onsite numbers. I have also received emails from parents who are either continuing to work from home, or who are on changed hours at work, who have really specific problems that they have told us about. In some cases we can help directly; the school is open to students who have parents who are key workers; to some vulnerable students; and for some students whose families just need practical solutions to individual situations. If we can support you and your family in any other way – let us know. We have given advice, links to support services, listening ears and telephone welfare calls to many of you in the last few weeks and will continue to do so until schools return fully to delivering on-site education.
Please contact either your respective DoL (Director of Learning) for your child’s year group, the SSO (Student Support Officer) for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 or 12) or:
Mr P Saunders Associate Deputy Headteacher (lower school): email@example.com
Or Mr D Royles Associate Deputy Headteacher (upper school): firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Mr B Foley Associate Assistant Headteacher (Head of Sixth Form): email@example.com
I hope that you enjoy reading about our students’ achievements in the newsletter. The very best of Rossett is exemplified in our inspirational young people, our resilient and hard-working teachers and the wider school teams who have kept the school open and functioning since the end of March.
I am very proud of everyone who has been taking part in our remote learning programme, including our adult education students who have taken to internet learning with great aplomb. I would also like to thank again the unseen heroes of our site support, finance, and administration teams who have been in school or working remotely to manage any additional tasks before our wider opening on Monday.
With every best wish for a happy weekend.
Live Lessons/Live Events
Further to my previous updates to parents, starting this week, 8 June, students in all year groups have begun to experience a mixture of regular live sessions (not always full one hour lessons) via Microsoft Teams in all subjects, alongside work set in Team assignments as before.
The 'live' lesson launch has been staggered, with Year 12 having experienced their first 'live' lessons this week. Our expectation is that Year 12 students will continue to receive at least one ‘live’ lesson per week, for each subject they study before the end of term.
From next week, 15 June, Year 10 remote learning will be supplemented with ‘live learning' events in English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, French and Spanish. These will be delivered once a week at a specific time for the whole cohort. (See timetable below):
Timetable of ‘live events’ for core/ large Year 10 option groups:
P3 (11.25 – 12.25)
French & Spanish
P1 (09.05 – 10.05)
P1 (09.05 – 10.05)
History & Geography*
P1 (09.05 – 10.05)
P1 (09.05 – 10.05)
*NB: Where the student studies both History and Geography, they will be directed to attend one. ** Where the ‘live event’ does not fall within the usual timetabled slot, the student will not be assigned any remote learning from their usual subject during that period.
For the remaining Year 10 option subjects, the expectation is that individual subject teachers deliver one live session per week, per class, starting from the week commencing the 22 June 2020. Finally, our expectation is that between, 22 June –17 July, Year 7-9 will receive at least one live lesson in each subject they study.
Whilst we will endeavour to offer the students 'live' lessons as outlined above, we understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that mean it is not possible for an individual teacher to deliver a ‘live’ lesson. In these cases, students will be offered a suitable alternative e.g. a pre-recorded lesson supplemented with live questions using the chat function or directing students to attend a colleague’s live lesson.
Please keep an eye out for an email outlining the 'live' lessons/events in more detail. The email will include details of the key protocols and responsibilities we expect staff and students to follow (e.g. Attendance, Behaviour, GDPR, Safeguarding etc.) as well as a 'Student-How to guide' that explains how access the 'live' lesson event.
We would like to remind students and parents to get in contact with their teachers using the Teams Chat function, or Year Teams via e-mail, if you have any concerns with the work set and particularly if your child is struggling with the amount of work to complete.
Seeking New Head Boy/Girl and Deputy Head Boy/Girl
On Wednesday this week, Mr Foley held an online assembly with Year 12 students and set-out the process of election of a new Head Boy/Girl and Deputy Head Boy/Girl for the next academic year:
- Excellent organisational and interpersonal skills;
- Confident public speaker who can present to parents, teachers and peers;
- Good listener and willing to take feedback from students;
- Good time management skills to manage the role and academic studies;
- A good track record of behaviour, attendance and progress;
- Able to lead a team of senior prefects.
Process and key dates
- Friday 12 June - Register interest in applying by emailing Mr. Foley.
- Tuesday 16 June –Process explained to candidates and application forms issued.
- Mon 22 June – Application deadline followed by virtual Interview week.
- Wednesday 1 July – Election Date (Year 12 and Staff).
- Friday 4 July – Closing Date for Senior Prefect applications to be received.
Activities at School
Last week, the students in school made bread over a period of two days, a process they thoroughly enjoyed. The students were encouraged to let the bread rise twice and learnt about the kneading process. This resulted in some superbly smooth bread. The students then chose how they wanted to bake their bread - roll, baton, mini rolls - we had some very impressive plaits and even a dinosaur!
Home learning activities
Over the half-term break, Alice Bristow (Year 10) and her mum took part in a bake-off with Miss Reynolds. Both teams had to use their knowledge of scaling recipes proportionally to achieve the best chocolate eclairs. Although Miss Reynolds was confident that she did the mathematics correctly, Alice and her mum won hands down. Miss Reynolds' eclairs are pictured left and Alice's winning pastries are on the right.
Will Parkinson (Year 9) has been keeping busy doing all sorts of practical projects at home. So far Will has made a bird feeder and a bird table and this week he is designing and installing a pond. He has cooked a meal each week independently and has baked something sweet every week - well done Will! Keeping with the outdoor theme, Stan Whieldon (Year 8) rose to the challenge to undertake an activity for Earth Day. Stan used up-cycled pots to grow some plants from seed and has been delighted with the results so far.
Bianka Racz (Year 8) has impressed her Form Tutor, Miss Ramiro Fernandez, by focusing learning new skills during her time at home. Bianka has produced some brilliant artwork and is teaching herself how to play volleyball and how to roller skate.
If students would like to get in touch to let us know what new activities they have been doing, please get in touch with your Year Team.
Mrs Grainger would like to congratulate Tom Bentley, Tom Acaster, Isabella Sharpin and Harry Rayner (all Year 7) as they have been working extremely hard on their Mathematics remote learning. Their pride in presentation has been excellent, and they always attempt the challenge questions. We are very proud of the hard work from every Year 7 student each week.
We have been incredibly impressed by a number of Rossett students who have put their time in 'lockdown' to excellent use by undertaking activities to raise money for charity. This week we highlight Morgan Glazier and Jasmine Moran who are both in Year 13.
Morgan's incredible month-long challenge started by running one mile on day one - the 1 June - two miles on day two- the 2 June - continuing each day and culminating in a 30 mile run on 30th June - at total of 465 miles! Morgan is currently on day 12 of his challenge and is raising funds for the mental health charity MIND, a charity close to his heart. We will keep you up-to-date over the coming weeks on Morgan's progress - he says the worst part at the moment are the ice baths after each run! Morgan is aiming to raise £2,500 and has currently raised £850 - we are sure his total will increase along with the miles. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/morgan-glazier
Jasmine is walking 100 miles over two weeks to raise money for the 'Bail Project'. Moved by recent events in America and the Black Lives Matter Campaign, Jasmine wanted to show her support and will undertake her challenge to support this charity who provide bail for those who appear to be wrongly convicted. Jasmine is walking an average of 10 miles each day around the local area and occasionally local reservoirs accompanied by her Dad.
Year 6 Transition - Challenge 1
As part of our changed transition activities for our Year 6 students, Mrs Grabham (Director of Learning, Year 7), is setting regular challenges for the students to complete. This week students were asked to share photographs of the many and varied activities they have been up to whilst spending time at home. This week's winner will be announced in next week's Rossett News.
PE Challenge - Virtual 'Race to Wembley'
Mr O' Sullivan this week challenged two Rossett School sports' teams to a virtual race to Wembley Stadium. The Year 10 Boys' Football Team along with Mr Fell are competing against the Year 10/11 Girls' Netball Team and Miss Fairbairn to race the 201 miles to England's national stadium in London.
The students (and Mr Fell and Miss Fairbairn) can choose to walk, jog or cycle any distance to contribute to the overall total for each team. How they do it or the time they take isn't important, they just need to demonstrate they have completed a distance (using any App they choose). Mr O'Sullivan has been keeping everyone up-to-date via Twitter and the Year 10/11 girls were victorious and got to Wembley within three days with an impressive 174 in one day on Wednesday!
Star performers included Casey-Leigh Pycock (Year 10) who completed 20 miles of walking; Chloe Verity (Year 11) with 19 miles accumulated on her bike and Jess Street (Year 10) who completed 18 miles on her indoor bike. Some of the girls completed the school sponsored walk route and added 15 miles each. Well done to everyone who took part.
Keep on Cycling
We are delighted to include Katherine Bucknell's (Year 8) personal account of how she has continued her training with Otley Cycling Club during the current restrictions:
'Before lockdown, as a member of Otley Cycling Club Race Team, I was training and racing all the time (around 5 or 6 times per week). Due to Covid-19, racing has stopped and training looks very different. Instead of training in a group I’ve had to get used to training on my own.
Everyone has been training differently, I know of people riding more and people riding less. I’ve been doing a mixture of indoor and outdoor riding. i have been using the time usually spent on the bus to ride outside, but my rides are rarely more than 30 miles so they are not as long as usual.
I have been using Zwift, this is a virtual platform for people from all over the world, to do organised indoor training sessions.
To keep the social aspect of cycling I have been participating in a rollers session on Zoom every Monday night and we do a quiz at the end to keep our spirits up. To keep a bit of competition, Otley Cycling Club have been organising a Strava challenge to compare times and speeds on segments.Even though we can’t train together like we used to, I have still managed to keep training and enjoying cycling during lockdown.'
If any student would like to share how their normal extra-curricular activities have altered during this period we would love to hear from them via their Year Team.
Duke of Edinburgh Success
We were incredibly proud last week to hear that Rossett School students undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award at all levels contributed over 962 hours of voluntary service in our local community. The social value of these hours is over £4180 and we would like to congratulate all of our Duke of Edinburgh students for this amazing effort which will have made a real difference to many people in Harrogate and Leeds.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award continues to be a very important part of our co-curricular offer at Rossett and we look forward to resuming our expeditions when the current restrictions allow. Contact Mr Eaton if you want more information about the scheme, or just register a future interest.
Rossett Member of Staff wins local competition
Mr McKenzie (Teaching Assistant) recently took part in an online talent show for Harrogate and District where 55 people entered. Mr McKenzie had to upload three videos for each of the three rounds. Voting took place via a Facebook page and Mr McKenzie achieved the most 'likes' to win the competition. Well done Mr McKenzie!
This week on Padlet, check out the 'Amazing Authors' tab which features author Anthony Horowitz - join Anthony as he writes a new Diamond Brothers book and be the first to read each new chapter. Anthony is the author of the Alex Rider books, 'Granny', 'The Power of Five' and many more, so it is sure to be a good read!
Also new to Padlet this week, and in recognition that June is Pride month, if you're looking for LGBTQ+ book recommendations, the Stonewall website is a great place to start. You may also be able to access related books from our on-line library.
As you will now know Padlet is a great on-line resource curated by our Learning Resource Centre Manager, Mrs Huett, 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.
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 school 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/
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