Rossett News Update - 22 May 2020
Dear Students, Parents and Carers,
I hope that you and your families are looking forward to a restful Bank Holiday weekend and a subsequent half term break next week.
I would like to start by thanking you for the fantastic job 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. 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 problems.
After half term – an update on our planning.
I met with the Governing Body here at Rossett School this week to further review the plans for educating our students after half term. Like all secondary schools nationally, we are awaiting further guidance on the opening of secondary schools and confirmation that schools will partially reopen after the government’s ‘five tests’ have been met. We are currently working with our Governors, NYCC, and the DfE checklist for schools to complete a full risk assessments around our plans. Any schedule for return must be approved by our Governing Body before students return to Rossett.
In short, in the week beginning the 1st June 2020, we will only be open for the children of key workers and vulnerable students. All of our contact with other students during this period will continue to be remote and will remain so until we receive clarification from the central guidance documents promised to all secondary schools. Once this has been received we will look to publish our detailed plans of times, dates and outlines of future provision, for the rest of this term.
As I outlined broadly last week, we already have a plan to provide ‘face-to-face’ academic review appointments for Years 10 and 12 in the first instance, either at school, or remotely if necessary. The Teaching and Learning team have been working hard to evaluate your responses to the questionnaires that you have returned and are looking at changes to our online learning provision from after the May half term holiday for Years 7, 8 , 9, 10 and 12. We will continue to collate information from our TEAMs platform so that we know which children are doing well and those who might need extra support.
I hope to be able to update you further, after half term.
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 continuing to work from home who have really specific problems that they have told us about. In some cases we can help directly; ie key workers; 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.
Over the May Bank Holiday and half term a dedicated rota of staff will remain open for the groups outlined above, providing a mixture of formal schooling every morning and also practical sessions. First Aid training, outdoor activities and technical challenges continue to be offered in the afternoons.
I hope that you enjoy reading about our students’ achievements in the newsletter.
Remote Creativity at Rossett
We are delighted to share with you yet more wonderful work that our students are producing, either in response to our remote learning, or activities they are undertaking in their free time at home. This week we include Tomas Isherwood in Year 8 who designed and made some fish as part of his response to the 'Design a Product in a Tin' task; along with Alice Thompson in Year 9 who designed an up-cycled product that would fit in a baked bean tin! Ryan MacDonald in Year 7 designed and built a fantastic pirate ship, and Aiden Totty who gave us an innovative take on the 'Design Your Own Restaurant Challenge'; the children of key workers who remained in school baking with Mrs Brown and Mrs Wood, from English, and in Drama, Joanna Knox (Year 10) impressed her teachers with her monologue based on the Coronavirus pandemic, you can read Joanna's work here.
As we promised last week, we are have once again included a poem by Year 7 English student Jemima Millar about life in lockdown inspired by Grace Nichols' poem 'Island Man'.
In addition to working hard on school projects remotely our students have been busy keeping active: Leon Platt and his Dad have recently acquired some chickens and are constructing a coop together; Maddie Smith is working on the Couch to 5k, with encouragement from her older brother; and Megan Rowlands and her family have taken delivery of a new puppy. Megan is very involved in his training - teaching commands and giving him reward treats. The puppy will eventually become an assistance dog for Megan's sister who has Down's Syndrome.
Rossett Sixth Form Update
Our Sixth Form Team have been working hard keeping students and parents up to date with relevant news and developments. Click here for their latest newsletter.
Scrubs for the NHS
Emily Porter in Year 7 has been spending her free time helping her mum make scrubs for the NHS. So far Emily and her mum have made in excess of 69 sets of scrubs (out of 239 metres of fabric) including hats, masks and laundry bags - each set of scrubs costs £14 to produce.They are working in conjunction with 'Yorkshire Scrubs', 'For the Love of Scrubs' and 'Harrogate Scrubbers' fulfilling orders for local hospitals. The pair are now fundraising to enable them to purchase more fabric.Their original target of £100 has been exceeded with over £600 raised to date but they are still fundraising to carry on with this fantastic community effort. If you, or anyone in your family, requires a set of scrubs please contact Mrs Grabham as Mrs Porter can take orders and we will happily pass on your details. Click the link here if you would like to donate to the cause and enable Emily and her mum to continue this fantastic effort.
Star students this week...
Congratulations to Joe Ashworth, Aimee Hornsby, Josh Liddiard, Connor Mumford and Zack Windsor who are our Year 7 Maths stars this week. Mrs Graham has nominated them for demonstrating great resilience in handing in every task to the very best of their ability.
Flo Bennett, Pip Bennett, Caitlin Hill, Olia Nagirna, Amelia Stoyle have all impressed their Geographer Teacher, Mrs Grimshaw, by producing some great work on settlement and settlement patterns.
GCSE Pod Webinars for parents
You will no doubt be aware of GCSEPod, an online learning tool that we have offered to support our students' learning. This same service now offers tutorials to parents. Taking just an hour, parents can receive a comprehensive tutorial on how GCSEPod can support their child.
To book, just click the link to the right of the webinar. For more information on the webinars that are running (and to view samples of the ones that have ran so far) click here - https://www.gcsepod.com/news-gcse-learning-revision/podup-presents-webinars/
PARENT WEBINAR - Introduction to GCSEPod
May 28, 12:00 PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ic7sPQCWTl-IPUxGICt2tg
Jun 4, 5:00 PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZhgXywxzQ8C4K6yC2VcK1w
Jun 11, 9:30 AM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xp8TItAHREqBv6TWDKR85Q
Jun 15, 12:00 PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gtfa0fuwR8mmyAbsBT_ACw
Jun 23, 5:30 PM - https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u5yd852DRyy1OFCaz9xn3A
Online adult learning classes extended after successful trial
Rossett Adult Learning was forced to adapt its Summer Programme when coronavirus restrictions were imposed, offering sessions virtually rather than in the usual classroom-based way. The courses, which are due to finish this week, have been accessed by 431 students and proved so successful that they are now being extended for a further five weeks after the May half term.
In addition, 18 new courses are being added to the programme, including archaeology, short story writing, mindfulness, relaxation and drawing. There will also be two special free classes running during half term showing people how to make their own face mask, with or without a sewing machine.
The virtual Summer Programme courses will be available during June and July for five days a week at various times, during the day and evening.To enrol for a course or for further information, visit www.rossettadultlearning.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isaac Physics Summer Camp
Congratulations to Luke Hogan in Year 12 who has successfully gained a place on the Isaac Physics Cambridge Summer Camp this year by coming in the top 30-40 students in the country for the number and level of questions he answered in the qualification questions. This free Summer Camp is an intense workout to practise the physics concepts that students will need in order to secure good grades in their A-level examinations. The camps consist of mini-lectures and workshops, with experienced physics teachers and members of the Isaac Physics team on hand throughout to provide small group support. Students will work with 'Mastering Physics' books and extend beyond these questions to develop their confidence in core topics. Well done Luke!
Rossett School Instrumental Tuition
A further reminder that if your child is currently receiving instrumental tuition you will have received an email with detailed information about the delivery of these on-line lessons during the current school closure. We would however, like to remind parents that instrumental tuition fees for the final half term of this academic year are now available to pay on SCOPAY. Please ensure that the fees are paid by Wednesday 27 May 2020 to ensure the continued efficient delivery of these lessons.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Since the school closure, we have shared links to organisations who can provide support for your mental health and wellbeing. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week so we wanted to take this opportunity to provide a more in depth look at the support available.
Young Minds which can be found here provides a dedicated page for young people who are struggling with the effects of lockdown and the spread of Covid-19. You will hear from other young people around the country who are sharing their stories to ensure that if someone is worried about their mental health, they realise that they are not alone. You will also find self help tips and how to navigate the negative news stories that can contribute to a low mood. Importantly, Young Minds recognises that those young people who had existing mental health conditions before the pandemic began, may be experiencing more severe symptoms and provides advice on how to deal with this. We would also recommend that if you are a parent or carer concerns about your child, you have a look at the advice for parents page which is found here
NHS North Yorkshire has also just launched a new website called The Go To which can be found here. The Go To helps to signpost you to the right local support based on your needs. This website is designed for young people, parents, carers and professionals and really does point you in the right direction.
For our Leeds residents, the equivalent is Mindwell which can be found here. The NHS describes this as the 'one-stop' place for mental health support in Leeds.
The focus for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. We have heard so many stories of Rossett students, parents and staff showing incredible acts of kindness during this challenging time. To mark this, we want to create a display wall in school with thank you messages to those who helped you or your family during this time. We hope it will be a reminder of how we all pulled together and supported those who needed it. If you wish to send a thank you message, then please complete the short form below:
Additional useful links:
- 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/
- 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/
If you haven't yet checked-out Padlet have a look this weekend. Mrs Huett, our Learning Resource Manager, has put together a wealth of resources to keep you busy over the half term break. Along with ideas of how to access reading materials you can enter writing competitions, complete puzzles and quizzes and listen to David Walliams read stories aloud and and hear Sir Patrick Stewart read a sonnet.
New to Padlet this week, former England footballer Micah Richards talks about his own experience of mental health issues for Mental Health Awareness Week. Please also click on the link to nominate Rossett School to win £5,000 worth of National Book Tokens in their annual draw. 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.
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
With every best wish for the Bank Holiday weekend and half term week, from all at Rossett.