25th June 2020

Dear Parent(s)/Carer(s),

SNS Home Learning Week 11

I hope this letter finds you well on this beautiful hot day. This week we welcomed groups of Year 10 and Year 12 students back on to school site. It has been so lovely seeing them and hearing our teachers teaching again – it is a small, but hugely important step to returning to normal. Our Student Hub for the children of key workers continues to be busy. We also launched our live teaching sessions from Monday. Thanks for bearing with some initial glitches and I am pleased to hear positive feedback from parents and staff alike. It certainly has been a very busy week and I am very grateful to our staff for all their hard work and good spirits at this difficult time.

Thank you to all the parents/carers who attended our parent forums this week for SEND, BAME and Year 10 parents. Each of these sessions has provided a space for valuable discussion, and hearing about your individual and collective experiences has been immensely valuable. We are listening.

This chapter in our lives is one which is exceptional, and it needs the community to come together to think creatively and resourcefully to enable all of us to feel secure at a time where there is much uncertainty. Whilst it is always good to receive positive feedback, we also welcome hearing from you when things do not quite work. We are ambitious for our young people and we want the very best for them, so please do keep the feedback coming. A reminder of the parent survey developed in collaboration with a group of parents can be found here. Please complete by midnight on Monday 29th June 2020. Next week our parent forums continue with the BAME Parents Forum on Wednesday 1st July at 7pm and Year 12 Parents Forum on Thursday 2nd July at 7pm. We will post notes from these meetings on our website.

The Governing Body has established a Return to School (RTS) Working Group that meets every Saturday morning to discuss, evaluate and support the leadership as we prepare for the new academic year. I would like to take this opportunity to note my sincere gratitude to the Governing Body for all their energy, support and challenge at this time. In recent meetings we heard from groups of Year 10 and Year 12 students. Their feedback was hugely helpful in further understanding how best to meet our young people’s needs.

I am hopeful the government will make an announcement soon and we will communicate our plans for reopening to you as soon as this guidance is received. Heads of Department are leading their teams in planning schemes of work which take into account this period of home learning. We understand that students will have engaged with the online platform to greater and lesser degrees. We also appreciate that home learning presents many challenges for parents too and again are constantly tweaking our provision to make it as accessible and glitch free as possible.

We are mindful that sadly some in our community have been greatly affected by the virus.

It is important that students do their very best to engage and establish a routine in readiness for our return. Our young people have shown immense resilience and understanding at this time and as “lockdown” rules are relaxed we can start to become more hopeful. It is crucial we our positive and encourage all our young people to give their very best and think big for the future.

SNS Summer School

I am pleased to inform you we are planning a 3-week Summer School for Year 10 and Year 12. A significant number of teachers have volunteered to come in during the summer holidays to work with the examination year groups. We hope to send out more information on this next week.

SNS Home Learning

As mentioned above we now have timetabled live sessions as part of our provision across the students. I understand this is a new way of working for our students in Year 7 to Year 10, but I must remind our students that they are to respect the platform and not behave in a way that discredits them or the School. The chat facility must only be used as directed by the teacher. We know students have missed being with each other, unfortunately there have been a couple of occasions students were talking amongst themselves without a teacher present, using inappropriate and unacceptable language which was then audible in other students’ homes. Please do discuss proper online etiquette with your child so they can continue to benefit from the provision. I am afraid any student who abuses the system going forward will be banned from the Team online sessions. I trust I have your support in this matter and as always thank you for your support and understanding in making this virtual space free from poor behaviour.

This week our theme is integrity and I end this week’s letter with this quote from Brene Brown:

Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.

Once again thank you for your support, kindness and encouragement for me personally and for all the staff.

With all good wishes. Stay safe.

Zehra Jaffer