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Remote Working Information (Parents)

Dear Parents,

As the current uncertainty develops, I wanted to let you know how we and your daughters have been working to make sure they continue to receive their education.

Education during absence or school closure

Currently girls absent from School are being set work in Microsoft Teams; even with the recent massive increase in usage internationally, Teams is a robust, secure and versatile platform. The girls are set “Assignments” for each lesson and must “turn in” their work at the end of the lesson. This will continue during term time.

Our key message to students is that their learning will continue in as normal a way as possible.

The girls have been given instructions for both installing and using Teams, and it has proved to be a popular, and intuitive interface.

Students should attend lessons on Teams as per their normal timetable, where an “Assignment” will have been set within their class Team. This will include details of work to be completed, and a method of handing in.

Each lesson may take a different format: some very independent from a student perspective, and others much more interactive, potentially including video conferencing with the teacher. This will depend on the subject, topic, and resources available.

Academic Reports

The preparation, including staff and student training, to roll out this remote working programme has been significant and has meant postponing the release of the planned Checkpoints and Reports at the end of this term. The checkpoints for First to Fourth years, and the Lower Sixth reports are now due for release on Friday 1 May. The Fifth Year reports will be published Friday 3 April. The Upper Sixth parents’ meeting has been cancelled and teachers will email or phone parents instead. Under the current assumption that GCSEs and A Levels will be assessed in some form or another, the teacher comments in the reports will still be relevant information, even if written before the changes in summer exams was announced.

Exams

There is still the possibility of direct assessment of course material, so clearly the right approach at this stage is to continue to prepare as normal for the exam season. We are managing the completion of coursework in School and at home as far as possible and will continue to update you on any changes to the situation.

Student Support

I have included below the most recent information sent to the students, who have also received emails giving them specific instructions for installing and using Teams, and a new StudentInfo website. They have also trialled these activities in lessons, and the provision has worked well. We also wish to continue the pastoral support that we offer, and to enable this we are also setting up tutor group Teams to make that contact straightforward. These will appear automatically for students as they are deployed.

We very much appreciate the difficulty of the situation for parents to support and protect the health of their daughters, while also ensuring access to learning. I am confident that educationally these measures provide an excellent mitigation against the continuing uncertainty.

Best wishes,

Dr Chris Hillman, Deputy Head Academic

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