Updated Information Regarding Teams, Tutor Time and Learning

Dear parents, carers and students,

Thank you so much for the overwhelming response to our learning provision this week.  We have learned a lot from the last lockdown and continue to learn new ways of engaging our learners. 

We have also had a lot of lovely feedback from parents regarding the tutorial session.  It is a short session of only 20 minutes but tutors and tutees are valuing the opportunity for a quick chat / catch up and a chance to identify any concerns about accessing work materials and about wellbeing.  There will be assembly topics and the quiz to participate in as we get to grips with the forum.  We do appreciate that not everyone has the ability to access these sessions if there are a number of siblings in the family and for other reasons, however, it is an important part of our safeguarding duty to check in on young people.  Don’t forget that the Teams app can be downloaded on a phone or tablet for this purpose.

If you know that your child cannot access the tutor session, please contact the tutor direct by email.  If you do not know your child’s tutor, please contact office@coombedean.co.uk and we can connect you.   If your child is sick, please can you notify us using the usual sickness absence procedures, calling 01752 504152.  We will be running a check on attendance and will be in contact with you if we have not seen your child or if your child has not accessed the online learning resources by the end of the week. 

As you might expect, it has not been totally plain sailing as there have been a number of technical issues to overcome.  Here is where we need your help.  If you are aware of a family (or student) that cannot access the platforms for some reason, please encourage them to be in contact with us either via email to ict@coombedean.co.uk for school email/Teams, media@coombedean.co.uk for ClassCharts or by phone or office@coombedean.co.uk for general inquiries, parents are providing wonderful support for each other on the Facebook group too.  Even though there may not be a Receptionist on site, we are constantly checking messages.  It is our usual contact number of 01752 406961.  Please leave a short message with a contact number.

Teams has been massively utilised this week, meaning it has been a little inconsistent in terms of its functions and access but we are noticing improvements all the time.  Students were understandably excited by the use of Teams and most engaged well with the facility.  However, sadly we had to take the decision to disable the chat and post facilities today as we were concerned about some isolated cases where inappropriate material and comments were being made, and publicly.  We will enable this again from Monday 11th January as it is a valuable teaching tool for those without microphones or webcams at home.  Please can you note that any inappropriate content will be dealt with by our Behaviour Team and may result in a referral to the Police if the material is offensive.  It is crucial that students understand the nature of public posting and their responsibilities thereon.  We really appreciate your support in getting this message across to your children.

Please keep giving us feedback – especially positive! – about your child’s experience.  We are constantly evolving our understanding and we are monitoring the learning materials but we are relying on your support to ensure that students are engaging and uploading work for teachers to respond to and feedback on.

Many thanks for your continued support. 

M Dennis

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