Friday 9th October 2020
Welcome to the second edition of the Principal’s Newsflash. The aim is to give parents and carers and quick overview of the weekly messages and activity within the academy. All past versions will be stored on our website. Please feel free to pass on any feedback on what you would like to see in the Newsflash information.
Staying safe, staying healthy
It was good to see the Year 8 bubble return last Monday. As it stands we are maintaining full provision for all year groups on site but as we know it is a fluid situation. Our systems remain robust.
I wrote to parents at the end of the summer and again at the start of the year, outlining key guidance for a safe return. One aspect of this was the safe arrival and dropping off of boys by car. Please can I remind parents to drop off away from the main gates and also, specifically, be mindful of making U-turns on a busy road, once dropped off. On a few occasions this week there have been examples of turning cars blocking the road for other cars, and in one incident a pedestrian was nearly reversed into on the pavement!
Please help us ensure the utmost safety in this regard. Thank you.
Attendance Matters – Every day counts
A reminder below about last week’s message regarding absence.
From last week.
It is always a difficult call to make if your child is ill. Are they ill with a cold or flu? Could it be Covid? We feel that you are really supportive of us and when you call us we listen and talk things through. This poster has been produced to help parents when making a decision about symptoms.
We want your son in school as much as possible. Thank you for supporting us by continuing to send him to school and thank you for working with us when we have those moments when we are just being extra safe.
From the 12th October we will be starting our weekly 100% attendance raffle. Every boy who has 100% for the week will be entered in to a raffle for their form class, the winner will receive a £5 Asda voucher. This will run every week and for every year form class.
An update from mathematics about what the boys are focussed on at the moment.
- Year 7 are coming to the end of their introductory block of teaching and will be moving on to using visual representations to help them start to think algebraically.
- Year 8 are applying their knowledge of factors and multiples to help them carry out different calculations involving fractions, including working with mixed numbers.
- Year 9 are forming and creating their own algebraic equations to help them solve some complex problems and model real life situations.
- Year 10 are applying different methods to solve simultaneous equations and find two unknowns
- Year 11 are completing their diagnostic assessments, to identify strengths and areas to improve to focus their learning over the coming months.
From experiences during lock down, you will be aware of how schools have made use of online learning in different ways. Throughout this time schools have been rapidly shifting to more developed systems to support longer term remote learning capacity. This is a national requirement and indeed becomes law later this month.
At DLSA we have been addressing this in earnest. I can announce that after half term we will be introducing Google Classroom as our conduit to support remote learning. Remote learning will be required should a bubble or individual is required to isolate. The boys will be able and are expected to join their teachers and lessons, online at the time that they would normally have that lesson. More information to support the process will come out in the next few weeks.
We chose Google Classroom as it is a very accessible platform, particularly for mobile devices. If any parent has a concern about being able to access remote learning due to lack of suitable devices in the home, please just get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
The ongoing drive for supporting Year 11 students for the summer continues with our third Saturday school tomorrow. We of course still don’t know what this will look like. It is a frustrating time. Our overarching advice to the Year 11 boys (and Year 10), is no matter what happens with exams this year, the most important thing is to keep focussed in every lesson, as all work will be required one way or another.
In addition Year 11 students need to start opening dialogue with their parents and mentors about completing applications for education after DLSA. We would like to encourage all stakeholders involved to aim to complete applications before Christmas. All boys are presently meeting with our careers advisor.
Many thanks to everyone with supporting the academy with our standards around uniform, equipment and all the aspects in relation to being Covid safe.
Last week I raised the issue of face coverings. This week was much improved, thank you! We still have some boys that are still not yet there with it. Please can we reinforce the message as we are at school.
From last week:
Unfortunately, not all boys are remembering their face coverings every day. Please can you ensure that they are equipped with a plain mask, preferably black in keeping with uniform or the standard medical blue coverings. We are looking into purchasing some coverings with the academy logo on, which will be available to purchase in due course.
Homework – Knowledge Organisers
This is a reminder that the central focus for our homework is the study and revision of knowledge organisers for each subject. These organisers cover all of the information in a unit of work. Students are tested on the knowledge every lesson as part of the ‘prepare to learn’ stage at the start of each lesson, in each subject. Please remind your son to be revising from their organisers on daily basis. They will know which subjects they have to focus on.
A reminder from last week about the Safeguarding Resource Hub, which is a one stop shop for a wealth of safeguarding advice for parents.
Specific focus this week is online safety online safety advice for parents by the NSPCC. This is particularly timely and important, given the enhanced use on line learning moving forwards.
The Academy will close for the Half Term Holiday on Friday 23rd October. We reopen again on Monday 2nd November.
Parent Forum 17th November 6pm. Zoom event. Details to follow.
Last day of Autumn term is Friday 18th December 2020. Students return to school on Monday 5th January 2021.
Remember you can follow us on Twitter @DeLaSalleAcad
I would also like to draw your attention to a new series of videos that capture life at DLSA.