Frequently asked questions from parents and answers:
Is the way children are going to be distance learning changing?
Yes. As we start the Summer term we have reshaped our distance Learning package based on our experience and on feedback from parents.
Developing a good daily routine for working at home is important and we hope that this, along the resources available on this part of our website and information we have sent home, will help your child structure their day and minimise the disruption to their learning over the coming weeks / months.
We hope that having all the information here will provide you with clarity on what we can and cannot provide for your child during this exceptional time. We fully appreciate how challenging this is for all families: we understand that for many juggling work, childcare and now supporting your child’s learning is extremely difficult. We are also aware that you may well be dealing with poorly or vulnerable relatives, you may be poorly yourself and on top of this you may have serious financial concerns. We have stated previously that your family's wellbeing must come first, we can then all work together to support your child in continuing to access education to the absolute best of their ability. I think we all now accept that finding a workable routine and a sense of purpose are going to be incredibly important over the coming weeks and months and this is what our amended distance learning offer aims to support.
We are all in this together – we must all be realistic. Family comes first for everyone.
Please also be aware, with the best will in the world our distance learning offer:
- cannot provide a school away from school, it will feel quite different to learning in school.
- cannot effectively teach students new content remotely – the majority of work provided will be ‘extra’ curricular or provide opportunity to recap prior learning and deepen their understanding.
We hope the information on the website will help you understand the resources being provided for your child and enable you to support them as best you possibly can.
Why should we keep up a ‘school-like’ routine at home?
Keeping a daily routine, maintaining some form of exercise, and making time for reading, all have significant benefits to mental health and wellbeing. We would strongly encourage you to set up and stick to a daily schedule, and where possible, work alongside your child. For example, if you are working from home then set up a desk or table where you can both work independently but together.
To support this routine, we have offered a number of options on our website. The suggestions include:
- A CHS preferred routine suggested for each Year group.
- A breakdown of priority subjects if the amount of work is too much.
- Alternative routine options available if the preferred routine does not work for your child or family – and we completely understand if this is the case.
Please see our website and click on the CHS Distance Learning tab for more information about this.
How will work be set for my child?
Work for English, Maths and Science will be set using on Microsoft Office 365 and all passwords for accessing this have been sent out in the post to all students. If you have any concerns / haven’t received these passwords by Monday, 20th April, please email the school MicrosoftHelp@chorltonhigh.manchester.sch.uk
Work for all other subjects will be set via Doddle as it has previously been done. Over the course of the first few weeks of the summer term this will also move over to Microsoft 365 and we will inform parents and students as and when this happens.
Will my child be expected to learn the curriculum themselves?
No. Realistically teaching students new content remotely is not as effective as having teachers explain and address misconceptions in the classroom. For this reason, a proportion of the work being provided will either help broaden their knowledge and understanding of a topic or it will help them recap something covered previously.
Where there is still new content to be delivered, especially for Year 10 students, departments will do their utmost to provide effective teaching of this new content using the platforms available.
For Year 11 students even though there are not formal examinations, teachers will still be required to submit accurate predicted grades and students must ensure they have the base knowledge to take them forwards next year.
Will my child be given feedback on their work?
It is unrealistic for all students to receive individual feedback on work they complete. Staff will prioritise the students who are closest to their external exams. We will continue to review this and any changes will be communicated with you beforehand.
Where possible, during normal school hours, staff will be available to communicate with students in Year 10 via the following department email accounts:
What if school is closed for a very long period of time?
We firmly believe it is important that all students are supported and encouraged to keep up their studies but appreciate that this will become increasingly challenging the longer the period out of school is. The best way to maintain it in the medium to long term is to introduce a daily schedule from day one so that this becomes your family’s ‘new normal’.
We are continually reviewing the situation and will provide updates for parents and students as and when the guidance we are being given by the government changes.
My child was due to sit GCSE or A-Level exams this summer, what is going to happen?
Please follow this link to a letter to students from Ofqual; the government department who award grades in all subjects. This information is new and we are awaiting further guidance from exam boards in the next few weeks. Ofqual’s advice to schools is very clear stating that staff cannot communicate with students and parents around grading.
We will be in touch after the Easter holidays with more information relating to grading at CHS. Please see the link to student guidance document below:
How will school keep lines of communication open with my child?
The school aim to keep in as much contact as possible and most of the ways we plan to do that are below, however there will be other ways introduced as we move forward and things evolve.
- Happy part of the website where, weekly assemblies can be found.
- Weekly phone calls home.
- Weekly student letter that will be attached to the parent letter on SchoolComms.
- Students can contact department areas via email, as specified above.
- Through Microsoft 365.
- Our Youtube and Instagram pages also have a lot of information.
How can I motivate my child?
The truth is, it is going to be very difficult; and as it continues it may get harder at times. But, as this happens, it only becomes increasingly more important for them to focus and engage with their learning on a daily basis.
Try to find ways of rewarding them. Find their “carrot” for your “stick”. It’s going to be difficult but there is bound to be something that you can find to help motivate them even if it’s only small. It may be using the routine to build in rewards or free time, X amount of minutes of time watching TV or an activity allowed after each 30-minute chunk of time working.
If they produce a piece of work they are proud of, please encourage them to email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @chorltonhighschool in the pictures on Instagram, using the hashtag #ProudCHS.
Encourage them to work collaboratively, online with their friends so that they can keep up as many peer interactions as they can.
We will try and provide some motivation and a familiar face each week on our virtual Year group notice board. This can be found on our website by clicking on the CHS distance learning tab and then Happy.
I am incredibly proud of my child, they have really risen to the challenge, what can I do?
Let us know! We want to hear about all the positives so that we can share them amongst our community, including on social media. This is an excellent way of motivating them. You can also email it to email@example.com or tag us @chorltonhighschool in the pictures on Instagram, using the hashtag #ProudCHS.
My child is going to really struggle with being isolated from their friends how can I help them with this?
It is going to be very difficult for them. Try to encourage them to spend some time each day chatting to their friends on the phone or via a social media app (Zoom for example). They could also arrange to do their daily reading together – read first independently and then get together online to discuss/debate. Alternatively, they could ‘mark’ each other’s work – do a set of maths questions, photograph them and send them to their friend for marking and visa, versa.
My child has special educational needs; how will they be supported?
If your child has an EHCP, then we will have made contact with you directly to find out whether you would like to continue sending your child into school each day.
For all other students with special educational needs, the learning support department are working hard on modifying the subject work being set for the students – they will do their best to do this so that your child can access the work. However, as I am sure you will appreciate, it is not easy to support the students remotely and at times, due to personal circumstances, they may not be available to do this. Your child will need additional support from you or another adult / older sibling so that they can access the work.
We have also compiled a list of tips for different learning needs on our website that can be found by clicking on the CHS distance learning tab, Happy and it is a section of this part of the website. This can be found by clicking on the CHS Distance Learning tab, then Happy. In here there is a section called SEND support for parents.
What is the school expectation of me as a parent when it comes to distance learning?
No expectation. We would like our families to do their best in this difficult time to encourage students to continue to learn at a distance and as a school our weekly phone calls to students will reiterate this message. However, we strongly believe that health and wellbeing comes first and are reluctant to place any expectation on you at this time. Everything we are offering is about giving access to students to continue to learn as we obviously think this is important. It is about offering guidance and support. It is not an expectation.
What will be the impact of my child not completing distance learning?
The honest answer is that it is impossible to know or measure. We are dealing with a situation that has no relevant comparison to help us make judgements on the impact. As a school, we hope all students complete distance learning as much as they can and access the priority subjects as a minimum. Measuring the impact of students who don’t complete distance learning is not something we can do until we return to normal schooling. We will, of course, have plans to address gaps and differentiate for our students on their return to school.