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Secondary Update

Posted: January 28, 2022

Dear Secondary Students and Parents

I hope this week has gone as well as possible and thanks for your ongoing support in these changing circumstances. We are determined that all students continue to make progress and have positive learning experiences whilst online.

We have an updated approach for after Chinese New Year when Year 13 will be able to return onsite from Tuesday 8 February onwards for lessons until 2pm each day, whereas Years 7-12 will continue with online learning until Monday 21 February.

Over the past week we have continued to reflect on student and staff experiences whilst online learning happened. It has become clear that there is a need for slightly longer breaks between lessons to enable movement away from the screens. Therefore we have changed timings slightly and the schedule for 7-18 February will be as follows:

We hope that this approach will enable a balance between ensuring we deliver our planned curriculum whilst also being mindful of wellbeing. Zoom links will be updated to reflect these new timings.

We also have some information that is specific to particular year groups and I would be grateful if you could take some time to read through the relevant points:

Year 13 Further Information

Year 13 will complete their online exams as planned on Monday 7 February. They will then return onsite to attend lessons from Tuesday 8 February.

Please note that students will not be able to eat lunch onsite. However, they can bring snacks and access the 1/F cafe as well.

With Year 13 only being allowed onsite until 2pm, it is not possible to deliver all 4 lessons whilst aligning with the schedule for Years 7-12. 

With this in mind, we will take the following approach for Year 13 Block 4 lessons: 

SL groups – Teachers will ensure that any lessons planned for Block 4 will be scheduled as the non-contact lesson.

HL groups – if your lesson is scheduled during Block 4, the teacher will use one of the following approaches:

  • The lesson could be onsite at Discovery College between 1pm and 1.55pm 
  • It may be delivered as an online lesson from 2.30 to 3.30pm. A link will be provided for this as usual.
  • It could be an asynchronous lesson where students complete work independently. This will also provide the opportunity for small group or 1:1 feedback online.

Teachers will inform students at least a day in advance of the intended approach for Block 4.

Year 12 – Extended HL lessons will continue in Block 4, as outlined in the timings above.

Years 7 to 11 Discovery Time – Detailed Information

We will adapt Discovery Time so that it is appropriate for the online context and provides the opportunity for:

  • Ongoing delivery of RSE and CE programmes
  • Extended Learning Team sessions that will enable both 1:1 discussions and ongoing delivery of our wellbeing programmes.
  • Targeted subject-specific support as needed

The overview plan is as follows:

We recognise that it may take some time to get this adapted approach to Discovery Time fully up and running. Please look out for further information.

Thank you for taking the time to read through and digest these points. I hope this achieves a level of clarity for after Chinese New Year. If there are any further updates, we will be in contact as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a prosperous Chinese New Year. 

Kung Hei Fat Choi.

Best wishes

Mark Poulsum
Head of Secondary