Thought for the Day

Each morning a topical Thought for the Day is broadcast on BBC radio 4.
You can listen to the latest episode here

Daily Briefing Links – Today’s update will be posted here

Good afternoon

This week’s Monday briefing covers four items:

    • School reopening
    • Centre assessed grades
    • Supporting students who have suffered a bereavement.
    • General updates

School Reopening

As you will have seen, there have been a number of discussions and debates around the reopening of schools over the last week. These debates and discussions have been held both on a national and regional scale, leaving us in the middle to try and work out what is the best approach to take at ASFA.

Taking all of the noise out of this, I see the facts of the situation are as follows:

    • The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education have asked schools to prepare to reopen from 1st June 2020.
    • School will only be asked to open on June 1st if the national “R” number is such that it is deemed safe to open.
    • Individual schools must only open if it is safe for staff and students
    • 11-16 schools are only expected to open for year 10 students to return to school for “face to face” contact.
    • Face to face contact should supplement their remote learning and not be a return to normal class teaching.
    • The Department for Education has released guidance on how to safely open schools.
    • The local situation is that Liverpool City Council have said that secondary schools shouldn’t start back for “face to face” provision until June 15th.
    • Our Joint unions only want schools to return if it is safe for staff and students, a position I fully support.

This is the current situation and is subject to change.

As a senior team we met last week and decided upon the philosophy behind a return to school. This then helped us to consider what the provision might look like.

It was decided that any face to face provision should meet the following aims:

Pastoral Perspective –

  1. To carry out our safeguarding and welfare function with the students
  2. Ascertaining any additional pastoral /social care needs given
  3. To remind students of our core values and working practices
  4. To provide a motivational input
  5. To assess the mental health and wellbeing needs of the students

Academic Perspective –

  1. To review engagement with the work set so far
  2. To target set catch up work
  3. To provide work packs
  4. To provide support with online content
  5. To provide a place to work
  6. To provide subject specific face to face input
  7. To provide direction for summer holiday work.
  8. To assess a curriculum starting point for full school return

In designing any provision, we have also taken into consideration the following points:

  • Ensuring any opening reduces the impact on the health of staff and students, to the best of our ability
  • Ensuring that we can stick to all PHE/DfE advice
  • Ensuring that any travel to school is essential and doesn’t add burden on the public transport system
  • Bringing staff into school doesn’t add undue burden on the primary sector through creating more key worker spaces, too early in the primary school reopening programme.
  • Remote learning can continue to take place for all year groups.

In conclusion, we feel that a phased approach means we can meet all of the above needs. A phased approach would also provide flexibility to expand or contract a specific phase based on the situation we find ourselves in.

Phase 1 – To start on June 15th 2020, this would last for at least 2 weeks – No end date set, only when it safe and possible to start phase 2.

  • Phase 1 will be based on a face to face, 1-2-1, meetings between a students and a member of staff
  • Question will be based around the above academic and pastoral factors
  • Meetings will be planned to ensure social distancing takes place
  • Deep cleaning of spaces will occur after they are used.
  • Students will receive a grab bag of food for lunch on that day, regardless of the time of their meeting
  • This provision would also be opened up to vulnerable and EHCP students from all year groups, who to date have failed to engage with the ASFA provision
  • There would be some form of follow up and escalation procedure for students who don’t attend, through our normal pastoral process
  • We would continue with the 5-week work cycle for all year groups
  • Unless completely impossible, this would be staffed by leadership and staff volunteers
  • Whilst I am yet to finalise how staffing would look, it appears we would need around 5 members of staff per day over a 4-day week.

Phase 2 – No start date set, only when it is safe to do so.

  • This would be based on focused sessions with small groups. In line with all PHE and DfE guidance
  • The actions in phase 2 would be determined by the findings of phase 1
  • Staffing would be more rota based than volunteer based.
  • This again would include vulnerable and EHCP children

Further phases would include wider opening, but this is not yet in the planning stage and will be reported when necessary.

In reality phase 2 won’t start, if at all, until at least 29th June. This means a full return for year 10 before September is unlikely, but not impossible. All of this is only accurate at the point of me sending the email and is subject to change.

I will send out details about the days and request volunteers in the coming weeks.

Centre assessed grades

We have received all of your CAGs. Thank you for this huge effort whilst working at home. The aim was to QA these last week, but unfortunately the school reopening process took over for me.

Hopefully you have all started to think about ranking, if you haven’t already started the process. Once we have finally QAd and statistically tested these you may need to alter some grades, as directed by your HoD. The ranking activity will help with this as you will have indicated who is at the top end, and bottom end, of each grade. Whilst in reality I know it isn’t quite this straight forward, it is a starting point.

Timeline for week.

  • Ranking activity to take place by Wednesday 20th May on SIMS
  • We will QA all CAGs (looking at progress and attainment) by Thursday of this week
  • HoD Zoom Thursday 21st May @ 1pm
  • Friday individual HoD follow up meetings, if necessary.

This means the process should be finalised by Friday of this week. I can then present the process and outcomes to governors next week. This gives us plenty of time to upload them to the exam boards from June 1st.

Thank you for all of your support and hard work with this process.

Supporting students who have suffered a bereavement

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we would set up a number of year group meetings. One of the aims of these was to share sensitive information regarding students who have suffered a bereavement. These meetings have now taken place and a procedure to support students remotely has been created.

I am aware that some staff are contacting home to chase work etc. To support you in this I will add student names to the version of this document that is stored on the staff section of the school website.

Student Year Family member
Abdul Alawi 11 Dad
Mayah Tai 9 Mum
Mustafa Sarwari 7 Dad
Guide Gapare 7 Dad & older sister
Jamila Saeed 8 Dad
Tamara Gunarova 11 Mum

General update

Thank you for your continued work on the remote learning pack and contacting home.

Next week would be half term. The building will be closed on Monday and Tuesday next week and then only open for limited activities the other days. I would suggest coming this week if you need to collect anything.

Finally, we appointed an RE teacher last week to cover Suaad’s maternity leave. Joanne Hartnett will join us to cover the maternity, this was our first Zoom interview. Thank you to all of those involved.

Have a great week


School Closure Contact Information

During the school closure if you need any support please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of the senior team to talk through any concerns.



A guide to putting work online is HERE

If you need help or want a link to a page creating for students email Gareth M Jones

CPD 1: Zoom virtual meeting platform and Hippo video training video can be found HERE