Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are writing to update you on the developments regarding the live lessons that are being provided for students this week. There has been, and will continue to be, a substantial amount of staff time and effort going in to planning, resourcing and delivering lessons via Microsoft Teams to ensure that our students are getting a quality education within the constraints of the current circumstances. Whilst the feedback from many students has been very positive regarding the live lessons, due to the increased level of guidance, support and feedback that they provide, there have been some issues that need addressing.
Unfortunately, a number of lessons have been disrupted by a minority of students. Whilst the school has adapted student permissions on Teams to remove the chat function from lessons (which in itself reduces some of the interactivity in lessons) so inappropriate comments cannot be made and so students cannot take control of teacher presentations or mute each other, there remains an issue with a number of lessons being affected by students accessing them without a teacher being present. We, as a school, cannot address this issue as the invites to lessons sent out via Teams allow students to access the lesson meeting at any time. This is something that the Teams package cannot stop. As clearly communicated previously, students should not be using the school subject Teams pages as a social media platform and we need to reiterate that any students found accessing lessons for the purpose of discussing anything other than subject content, face being banned from live lessons and the Microsoft package going forward.
The vast majority of our students have behaved impeccably on the live lessons thus far and have taken a lot from them. We are aware and share the frustration raised from some parents and students, relating to interruptions and disruption to some of the lessons delivered via Teams. We fully sympathise with this as an enormous amount of work has gone into providing live lessons and addressing any technical issues with the Teams platform to make it work for educational purposes. Our staff are fully committed to providing quality learning resources for students and we do not want the vast majority of our students, who want to engage with the learning opportunities, having this spoiled by the actions of a few.
We appreciate that the majority of our parental body already do this but we need parents to further help the school by monitoring your child’s use of Teams during the school day and to ensure that you regularly check in with your child whilst they are accessing the live lessons, to ensure they are using Teams in an appropriate manner. Please speak to your child about appropriate conduct regarding the use of Teams and explain the importance of participating in those lesson to support their progress. We know that the majority of our students only use Teams for the correct educational purposes, but as previously outlined, at present, a small number are ruining things for others which is simply not acceptable and we are really disappointed in that conduct. Please rest assured that any behaviour contravening the expectations shared with parents and students over the past fortnight, is being addressed via the school behaviour policy.
If issues continue to take place, the school may have no other choice but to revert back to lessons on the VLE with recorded input.
We thank you in advance for your support in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr C Cuomo (Executive Head Teacher)
Mrs L Johnson (Deputy Head Teacher)
Mr C Hutchinson (Assistant Head Teacher for Teaching and Learning)

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Last modified by Emson.M on 10/07/2020