Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 126 total)
  • Reopening schools question.
  • Premier Icon oldfart
    Subscriber

    Not that it impacts me ours are long gone. Is there a reason why in these extraordinary times they can’t scrap the traditional Summer break and maybe all start back at the beginning of August?

    sharkbait
    Member

    Good question that I’d considered.
    Only thing I can think of is that some teachers have been in all the time.
    But as you said – extraordinary times.

    I don’t understand the primary school thing though.
    Surely the priority are those that are taking GCSEs and A levels next year?
    Plus they are the ones that should be easier to control re social distancing.

    Premier Icon RichT
    Subscriber

    The reason not to go back early is that teachers and their unions will not do it and quite rightly in my view. Most have worked over Easter preparing remote learning and have been working hard delivering lessons remotely this term. Furthermore, lots of primary teachers have been in school with children of key workers.

    I think the reason for getting primary age pupils in is that parents can then get back to work and get the economy moving. If you have primary age children, working at home is not easy! Teenagers can be left to get on with things more easily (?)

    Furthermore, lots of primary teachers have been in school with children of key workers.

    And secondary, I will be in next week too.

    z1ppy
    Member

    Tbh i agree, but it doubt it will happen. Forget the teachers the ancillary staff (that all the back office admin staff, TA’s & kitchen staff) are only paid for the hours they work, so where will the councils get the cash to pay them? Schools are deep cleaned during the summer break & major maintenance scheduled, for stuff they simply cant do while the school is open. I work (currently furloughed) for an IT support company in schools & we run major projects over the summer, that would disrupt day to day lessons. Its not as simple as you may think

    also all the staff have to have childcare available all summer, my sons school cant do the before and after school clubs so both of us teachers cant work.

    Premier Icon RichT
    Subscriber

    anagallis – true, sorry for the oversight. Thanks for giving up your half-term to support children!

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    As well as the teachers needing a break, my kids would like a holiday. They’re spending a goodly portion of each day working.

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    Yep, teachers have been in this whole time, including Easter and now half-term.
    I’ll be in next week for a couple of days, and the days I’m not in I’ll be checking and setting online work.
    There’s also all the behind the scenes planning for the full(ish) return to school that will be happening sooner or later.

    Teenagers can be left to get on with things more easily (?)

    Well you say that, I’ve had work from approx 40% of my Yr7-10 students.
    Tutors are contacting students who aren’t engaging, but I know we’ve been getting a lot of responses along the lines of ‘he/she doesn’t want to work, and I can’t make him.”

    I’m a Yr11 tutor, and we’re still trying to contact home, check they’re ok, getting ready for college next year, etc.
    Mostly positive responses, but a couple have just put the phone down on me!

    Premier Icon boomerlives
    Subscriber

    I’ll be checking and setting online work.

    Good effort; much more than the teachers of my kids have been doing.

    “Here’s a picture of a page of some maths questions. Crack on”

    It’s like extended homework. Some teaching would be useful.

    My three kids at two separate schools have had no contact from any teachers whatsoever. It appears they are having a huge sabbatical.

    Spin
    Member

    As well as the teachers needing a break, my kids would like a holiday. They’re spending a goodly portion of each day working.

    I hear people talking about schools running through the holidays as if it was just an obvious solution like a production line running longer to meet an order. Unfortunately that’s not how education works.

    The reality is that for the cost of doing it the returns would be tiny. Attendance would be very poor and the pupils you’d really want to reach wouldn’t attend. Even many supportive parents like yourself vinneyeh would probably be against it.

    Scottish schools are returning a week early from the summer hols which I think is a reasonable compromise on this.

    Spin
    Member

    Well you say that, I’ve had work from approx 40% of my Yr7-10 students.
    Tutors are contacting students who aren’t engaging, but I know we’ve been getting a lot of responses along the lines of ‘he/she doesn’t want to work, and I can’t make him.”

    I’m similar and our school/authority has very much taken a softly softly approach on chasing up work. In terms of the amount of work set the school has had complaints ranging from far too much to far too little.

    Online learning is not an easy thing to get right especially at the drop of a hat!

    It’s like extended homework. Some teaching would be useful.

    What would you expect?

    I’m similar and our school/authority has very much taken a softly softly approach on chasing up work. In terms of the amount of work set the school has had complaints ranging from far too much to far too little.

    Same here.

    My three kids at two separate schools have had no contact from any teachers whatsoever.

    What sort of contact are you expecting?

    It appears they are having a huge sabbatical.

    Do you think all the childcare planning and planning for a socially distance return and planning and setting of work for pupils is just doing itself, meanwhile many teachers have children at home who need looking after too.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    My three kids at two separate schools have had no contact from any teachers whatsoever. It appears they are having a huge sabbatical.

    I find that hard to believe, though I don’t know what the situation with primary age kids is.

    My Year 8 daughter gets a week’s work for all subjects on a Monday with deadlines for completion and return. Year 12 son gets pretty much regular daily sessions either set on line, video lessons, and now experimenting with MS Teams.

    MrsMC chases up the vulnerable kids who aren’t engaging – a few claiming to have had no contact from school are simply ignoring it.

    Spin
    Member

    Do you think all the childcare planning and planning for a socially distance return and planning and setting of work for pupils is just doing itself, meanwhile many teachers have children at home who need looking after too.

    There have been some really unrealistic expectations and a lack of understanding about the challenges from some quarters.

    yetidave
    Member

    What sort of contact are you expecting?

    my S1 child is able to message questions to the teachers on questions she doesnt understand and i won’t help ;-). so most of the teachers are basically available to discuss issues all day everyday when they are meant to as well as setting all the work, not all of them mind, the english teacher appears to have disappeared. but most of them are doing a great job.

    I love threads like these. They really do show the HUGE gulf in understanding regarding how schools support young people and the wider community.

    Also, if the logic of opening up schools during the Summer holds true, then surely it should be applied to other industries. Ya know, cuz all those hospitality staff, all those retail staff, all those working in maufacturing and construction, all those designers, all those agri and fisheries employees, all those….. in fact anyone who has been either sacked, furloughed, made redundant or WORKING FROM HOME, have actually just been on an extended government paid holiday for the last 9 weeks.

    Surely, all staff (who are still alive) and are able to return after this LIFE CHANGING KILLER GLOBAL PANDEMIC should be made to forfeit their holiday entitlement cuz they have been doing nothing but sipping Pimms on the lawn for the last 9 weeks.

    Also, love the idea that its easier to get Secondary age kids to socially distance in school! LOL Ever taught Year 9, 10 and 11 boys? Ever had to deal with “weaponised coughing”

    not all of them mind, the english teacher appears to have disappeared. but most of them are doing a great job.

    Could be in intensive care with covid for all we know so maybe best not to judge.
    I only check messages every 2-3hours or so otherwise I’d go mad!!

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    Also, love the idea that its easier to get Secondary age kids to socially distance in school! LOL Ever taught Year 9, 10 and 11 boys? Ever had to deal with “weaponised coughing

    😆 Or loud ‘sneezing’ as soon as you try and say anything.

    “What sir? You can’t tell me off for having a cold. It’s my human right…blah, blah, etc.”

    We had one Yr11 boy who a couple of days before schools shut was running around the school, coughing into people’s faces, licking (I’m not making this up!) door handles, and forcibly kissing other male students on the mouth.

    He was excluded for the remaining 2 days #pointlessexercise

    I find that hard to believe, though I don’t know what the situation with primary age kids is.
    My Year 8 daughter gets a week’s work for all subjects on a Monday with deadlines for completion and return. Year 12 son gets pretty much regular daily sessions either set on line, video lessons, and now experimenting with MS Teams.
    MrsMC chases up the vulnerable kids who aren’t engaging – a few claiming to have had no contact from school are simply ignoring it.

    As above. They were given some sheets of paper with some questions on and a bunch of web links that should have some relevant content. No deadlines for submission, no direct contact in 10 weeks or however long its been. No feedback as nothing has to be submitted for review. Nothing.

    This is for year 1, year 6 and year 7.

    They were given some sheets of paper with some questions on

    So they have had contact?

    What do you want phone calls? I’ve called a few vulnerable pupils but I cant do it in school and in normal times we are told not to call homes from private phones.
    We have also been told no video/zoom type stuff due to child protection.
    We have also found that deadlines and expectations of doing all work is causing too much stress for kids and parents who have reduced access to a computer etc so we cannot push too much.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Every teacher has set no/too much/too little work. Fact.

    In Scotland we are being asked to return as staff sometime in June, with various conditions to be met regarding safety. Then pushing for a blended picture after that. All return 11th August (which cuts holiday short). We’ve been told for our dept that it’ll be max 8 kids per lesson which will mean some classes being split into 3 (chem/practical lessons have a max of 20 in Scotland). What we need to figure out is how 2-3 times more classes will work and how we stagger classes to reduce crowding in pinch points and how we cleans between lessons. Also been told that there will be no ppe and ALL doors and windows will be propped open. So that’s toilets(pupil and staff) and pe changing rooms.
    Interesting times.

    Yup….. Well that was interesting. Between sipping Pimms on the lawn, I’ve been making phone calls to students and their parents.

    Turns out the kid in my Yr 8 Tutor who had a “bad cough” in January……. definitely did have COVID-19.

    Wonder where I got it from eh?

    Safe to go back to school? Yeah, dont make me laugh.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    I can hear a teacher upstairs, on the phone to pupils again, same as every day. That’s primary school age though.

    in normal times we are told not to call homes from private phones

    Caller ID blocking is essential for teachers in these abnormal times.

    He was excluded for the remaining 2 days #pointlessexercise

    On the last week the schools had normal attendance, my 13 year old was washing spit off himself, as other kids knew he was higher risk and were making the most of the feeling of power their disgusting behaviour was giving them thanks to concerns about this virus. When teachers talk about the realities of hygiene measures in schools, they should be listened to.

    Every teacher has set no/too much/too little work. Fact.

    I’ve been impressed with the work set, and support provided, by the secondary school here. Enough to stress the boy a bit, but zero stress homework is never a real expectation in normal times anyway. Turns out lots of teens don’t want to do maths work… who knew?!?

    Yes Kelvin… but most people dont pick up when they see a “caller withheld” number. Also, how does paying for calls actually work?

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    Teacher bares the cost. These are not normal times, and teachers are making sacrifices. Might have to order in some Pimms.

    Oh, pupils need advance warning of when their call is likely to be, so they know to pick up. They need that warning anyway, to prompt them to think about anything they want to ask.

    Reception age boy here, we have had calls from his teachers and work on tapestry.
    Plus we have been uploading some stuff like writing etc as pictures to let them know how he is getting on.
    I wouldn’t want to be a teacher in this situation as I can only imagine it is stressful now,let alone when they all go back and will be nuts as they haven’t seen their friends in months. Our boy isn’t going back until Sept though, thankfully both our work groups are fully supportive of having him with us

    LOL Kelvin…. LOL You are great!

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    Sorry you got caught up with the infection. You okay now?

    Yeah….. had to pay for my own test, had to pay for an ambulance to hospital, had to pay for my own ventilator, had to pay for life-saving drugs, had to pay for a cover teacher while I was in hospital dying and had to pay to have my house fummagated…..

    but you know…… “These are not normal times and teachers are making sacrifices.”

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’ve been impressed with the work set, and support provided, by the secondary school here. Enough to stress the boy a bit, but zero stress homework is never a real expectation in normal times anyway. Turns out lots of teens don’t want to do maths work… who knew?!?

    My Y9 and Y12 daughters have been given pretty much the right amount too.

    I’ve asked my Y12 students for feedback on how much I’m giving them. Last time 13% said too much and 87% said about right, which makes me think I could be setting them a bit more 🙂

    My secondary have pushed re opening back from 3rd to 8th June now

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    had to pay for an ambulance to hospital, had to pay for my own ventilator, had to pay for life-saving drugs, had to pay for a cover teacher while I was in hospital dying

    Blimey. What country are you in Simon? Sounds as bad as the USA.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Just had an excellent email from my lads 6th form college. Looking at potentially a cautious reopening from 15th June, starting with kids who need to be in college (for a variety of reasons) being offered individual study areas, then face to face (with screens) meetings offered to all kids who want to come in for it rather than have it done online.

    All subject to conditions being “right”

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    We had a call today.  Our school is a single form school and out of all Years, only 16 of Year 6 will be attending by choice.   They will go back as 2 classes of 8 for Two days per week with Wednesday used for a deep clean.  They will be socially distanced, must bring a lunch box and in/out is in a single direction.  There will be no lunch playtime as such just a short break hence the day has been condensed to 9:15 – 14:15 with 10 minute spaced Allocated pickup times for parents at each end.

    Obviously the small numbers help but I have to thank the teachers and school for the effort here.

    I have bought an extra mobile and SIM to do home contacts – out my own pocket, which is not a hardship in my case as the phone was £10 new from Ebay and the SIM £6 a month. Not withholding the number and being able to use text have had a huge impact on engagement. We are finding regular contact with home is much appreciated, however, I have a caseload of 275 pupils, so only the identified most vulnerable are getting “regular contact”, and the remainder are on a “as required” basis. I’d love to be able to contact every family, even once every 2 weeks, but there simply isn’t the time. Along with setting work, liaising with colleagues (which is now way more inefficient/timeconsuming) I have email + whatsapp + 2 phones + Google Classroom notifications going near enough constantly throughout the day, plus intermittently through the night.

    We have had pupils saying teachers don’t respond to them, but the send a message at 2.36am, and by 8.30am, it’s mixed with the rest of the flow.

    We are (Scotland) due to return on 11 August now, whereas we were planning to go back on 18 August. Our union and LA are consulting on whether to get the time back at the start of this summer, or the start of next. I am all for the start of next, when, fingers crossed, it will be useable. Some of my colleagues are desperate for it this summer, as they are very close to burn out.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    Today’s published Sage advise doesn’t really support increasing on site teaching week after next, does it. Aiming for anything but a very limited return before July is looking counter productive to me. High stress and confusion without significant numbers of children benefiting.

    I know it’ll be hard on teachers, but a phased return from mid August (in England) is looking more and more likely to me. Perhaps extend the Christmas break a week or two to stop the winter term becoming too long (and teachers burning out)? Summer is as good as cancelled anyway.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    We do a mid August start anyway and that long term is absolutely knackering, even in a cushy sixth form college. Primary and secondary just won’t manage it – the teachers or the kids.

    I think we’re going to have more lockdowns and disruption over the next school year, so maybe work on a two week October half term and a three week Christmas break?

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