Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your support in these hugely challenging times for us all.
This area of the website aims to contain all the information you need to help navigate any future periods of online learning with your child and to outline the provision from the School. It includes details of the academic provision, guidelines for maintaining a sensible balance and routine to their daily lives during the period of closure and some useful links for pupils’ wellbeing. You might also like to look at www.parentinfo.org.uk as a helpful starting point.
In terms of what you can do to help your children with their studies, you don’t need to be an expert in any subject to support your child at home but encouragement and awareness of what they are studying is invaluable. There are some small practical ways in which you can involve yourselves and support them without having to watch over them all day long:
- Take an interest in what your child is working on. Be curious, ask them to teach you about something, ask questions, such as:
- Can you explain that to me?
- Can you give me some evidence for that?
- What do you mean when you say…?
- Offer praise and encouragement. Acknowledging the hard work your child puts in is really important and can keep them going. Children really value this from their parents – even if they don’t tell you that!
- Make sure your child has a good routine in place for completing work. It might help to have specific times for using technology, going outside, reading, and completing schoolwork. Children are used to the routine of the school day so it’s helpful to have this at home too.
- Ensure your child has a suitable and comfortable space where they can work, free from distractions.
- Ensure they have breaks, eat and drink healthily, read books, take exercise and enjoy some fresh air.
As a School, we will focus our attention on ensuring the following:
- Ashford School remains tightly connected as a community at all times
- The standards for education continue for all pupils at Ashford School
- Understanding that parents may continue to work, including teaching and administrative staff, and will be required to manage the logistics of supervising children either while at home or elsewhere
The community at Ashford School will do our utmost to support these challenges and will ensure we are flexible, patient and tolerant during these times.
Mr Michael Hall
How the School will communicate with you:
- Relevant iSAMS mailings will be emailed as and when required. We will be sending weekly updates through this channel to keep you updated as the situation progresses.
- All personal, academic and pastoral matters will be communicated to you directly by your child’s Form Tutor or the relative member of staff.
- Regular newsletters.
- Social media. You can follow our posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram where we have introduced the hashtag #AshfordSchOnline.
How you can communicate with the School:
- Please contact your child’s Form Tutor in the first instance for any learning or pastoral concerns. The form tutor will be able to answer any queries or redirect your email if appropriate.
- You can show us what your children are up to and how they are engaging in the lessons by sharing photos and videos on social media, using the hashtag #AshfordSchOnline.
- For area-specific questions, please see the key contacts throughout this booklet.
While online learning is live, pupils must work from home or where there is good internet access and in a safe location known and approved by their parent or guardian. Pupils are expected to be dressed and presented appropriately in any live online sessions.
Teachers will plan lessons and activities that relate as closely as possible to curriculum content on the current programme of study. The activities will reinforce existing understanding or introduce new content as planned in the scheme of work. Regular school hours will be reduced, and we expect that the older a pupil is, the more independently they should be able to carry out the tasks assigned by teachers, including access to materials online.
Lessons and activities will be posted for timetabled lessons daily, from Monday to Friday, and the normal school timetable for periods 1-7 will be followed. The Prep School will continue to teach using Seesaw and Showbie, whilst the Senior School will teach predominately via Teams and OneNote.
The majority of lessons will be delivered live in real time. For example, the teacher will talk to pupils live as though in a physical classroom and will deliver the lesson by sharing a power point or lesson resource live on their screen and talking to pupils at the same time, either on or off camera. For those lessons that are not delivered this way, a voiceover power point will be shared with pupils. Teachers will be contactable in every lesson as per your child’s usual timetable and available to answer questions via live chat in Teams or by email. Teachers will share all learning resources with pupils as necessary and half termly reports will be released as per the normal School Reporting Schedule.
If pupils receive Music and/or Speech and Drama tuition, online lessons will be arranged directly with them.
All pupils’ communication with teachers should be via their school (@ashpupil.co.uk) email address or Microsoft Teams – teachers will not provide personal mobile numbers or email addresses to pupils or parents.
Pupils must engage with each lesson and the tasks set, as well as the homework (which will be submitted, marked and fed back electronically).
Pupils should access subject pages on Teams for a range of academic enrichment activities and wider learning suggestions.
Academic Scholars will continue to be supported this term by Mr Tom Vafidis, the Head of High Potential Learners and Academic Scholars ([email protected]).
Learning Support lessons will take place in teams. Learning Support Assistants provide both support in lessons and 1:1 sessions. For more information on Learning Support provision, please contact Mrs Sharon Thompson ([email protected]).
General academic queries
Ms Jennie Denton, Director of Years 7-8 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr John Curry, Director of Years 9-11 [email protected]
Mrs Claire Miller, Director of Sixth Form [email protected]
Ms Joanne Russell, Deputy Head (Academic) [email protected]
Expected online behaviour
Pupils are expected to behave online as they would in the classroom: politely and sensibly. It is vital that all pupils listen carefully to instructions from teachers and to wait for an explanation about the task in hand. It is also important to listen with respect and patience when other pupils express their ideas in lessons, and to use appropriate language at all times.
When pupils join Teams, they need to ensure that their video and audio is turned off and only activated when the teacher requests them to do so (relevant to Senior School pupils only).
During online learning from home, the School’s homework timetables remain in place, except:
- Years 7 and 8 will receive homework tasks in English, Maths, Science and language learning only. For those children who wish to receive extension work in other subjects, please contact your son’s/daughter’s teacher.
Where possible, homework will involve activities that are not entirely dependent on the use of a screen. Each teacher will indicate whether the work is to be self–assessed or submitted electronically for marking.
Registration and reporting absences
Your child’s tutor will register the pupils at 08:30 every morning, and at 13:50 every afternoon via Teams. We check pupils’ attendance and also their engagement in the online learning provision.
We will, of course, take into account the time differences for pupils in other countries. It is, however, imperative that international pupils are in attendance, registered and engaging fully with the online provision to ensure that visas remain valid.
If your child will be/is absent for any reason, parents must email their child’s tutor and their Head of House so that we are aware of the absence. Heads of House are shown below.
Who can pupils talk to? We are all still here for them!
- Pupils’ main school contacts – to be contacted via school email or Microsoft Teams
Head of House
- Franklins Mr Langford [email protected]
- Knights Mr Stew [email protected] (Ms Spires in Mr Stew’s absence: [email protected])
- Merchants Miss Saville [email protected]
- Pilgrims Mrs Diamond [email protected]
- Squires Miss Loughlin [email protected]
- Yeomen Mrs Walsh [email protected]
Head of Section
- Years 7+8 Ms Denton [email protected]
- Year 9-11 Mr Curry [email protected]
- Years 12+13 Mrs Miller [email protected]
Deputy Head Pastoral
- Mrs Timms [email protected]
- Lisa Ellis and Holly Webb [email protected]
Mental Health First Aiders
External Support and Advice
Online, on the phone, anytime
Wellbeing and enrichment
It is more important than ever for pupils to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle even during the period of school closure. Please encourage your children to keep to a regular routine (by following the school timetable), eat healthily and take exercise – in the fresh air if possible, provided it is safe to do so and remembering the social distancing requirements.
Pupils will not be able to meet up with their friends and will no doubt miss their company; please encourage your children to keep in contact virtually. Please also encourage your children to be creative and imaginative with their spare time: read books, take exercise, play music, cook, write a blog, be helpful around the house...
There are a number of online interesting and cultural experiences available and we will email ideas to pupils weekly. Some examples may include the BBC’s “Culture in Quarantine” festival, live streams from the National Theatre and various museums which have launched virtual tours, including the Tate Modern, the Guggenheim and the Musée d’Orsay.
It is important to remember to look after their mental health and wellbeing now more than ever.
Here are some useful links:
The Wellbeing Team have also put together a plan to support our children and their families over the coming weeks. Below is an overview of the Wellbeing Team’s Services for Senior School pupils during school closure:
- All students at the Senior School can access Time4Me – the lunch time drop-in service. This service is operating remotely, and students can request contact with the Team via email – [email protected]. The service offers emotional and mental health support to all students across the Senior School.
- One-to-one Wellbeing Support is running remotely for Senior School Students. Parents of children accessing this service will receive an invitation to regular ‘check-in’ meetings.
- Parent Consultation Services are continuing remotely. Parents wishing to talk through concerns regarding their child’s wellbeing can request an appointment via email – [email protected], and will be allocated an appointment which will be facilitated via Teams or via Telephone.
- The Wellbeing Team are running an 8-week Mindfulness for Life Programme for Sixth Form students. Mindfulness offers a way to bring stability and calm to the mind and can offer students a way to regain mastery of themselves, rather than becoming overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts, promoting autonomy as well as physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Our School Chaplain, Rev Bellamy, is also available to offer spiritual guidance to students.
E-safety and safeguarding
We are doing all we can to ensure your child stays safe online, but we ask that you support us in this by being aware of what they are doing whilst online. We understand that you cannot be expected to sit with them throughout the day due to your own work commitments, but we advise that, when possible, you take time to discuss their online learning and activities.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s safeguarding, please do not hesitate to contact the School’s Designated Safeguarding Lead as below:
Nicola Timms, Senior Deputy Head and Designated Safeguarding Lead (Senior): [email protected]
Staying active is so important for maintaining both your physical and mental health. Pupils in Years 7-9 are expected to log into Teams during their allocated PE lessons as sports staff have planned sessions for them to complete. During your allocated games lessons, all students should check out their Teams page for activity suggestions and live fitness sessions. Included on your Teams page, you will find sport specific drills for you to complete and fitness challenges. You may wish to take on a personal challenge such as the following 30 day challenges:
- Couch to 5K
- Plank challenge
- Sit up challenge
- Press up challenge
As always, please keep checking the School Sports social media accounts (@ashfordschsport) on Twitter and Instagram for daily updates and virtual challenges.
Senior School timetable
|08.00||Reception and Learning Resource Centre open|
|08:30 to 08:35||Registration|
|08:40 to 09:20||Period 1|
|09:30 to 10:10||Period 2|
|10:20 to 11:00||Period 3|
|11:00 to 11:25||BREAK|
|11:25 to 12:05||Period 4|
|12:15 to 12:55||Period 5|
|12:55 to 14:00||LUNCH|
|14:00 to 14:15||Registration / Extended registration / Assembly|
|14:15 to 14:55||Period 6|
|15:05 to 15:45||Period 7|
Pupils can complete homework in the time allocated to co-curricular.
Please encourage your children to use the gaps between lessons to have a short break from looking at a screen, and to move around, stretch their legs, neck, shoulders, etc.
Our technology underpins the online teaching and learning environment and is robust, secure and sustainable for the future. Our teachers have been trained in using these platforms over the past few years along with our pupils, who possess the digital literacy skills to use it confidently and in a competent manner.
All pupils have access to Teams and the Office 365 suite of applications. Through these systems, teachers will deliver their lessons and offer feedback on completed work and assignments. Additional technology such as Kahoot, Padlet, Quizlet, Memorise and Whiteboard can be used for review of material in lessons.
All pupils will have access to their classes via Teams. Live, or synchronous, lessons will be scheduled through scheduled Team Meetings or Meet Now invites. Pupils will be able to view these invites on their Calendar within Teams. All posts within the Team will be recorded and are stored in our systems. It is expected that online behaviour and language must mirror the expectations of a classroom.
Through use of online flipped learning pedagogical practices, pupils will have access to their pre-recorded (voice-over) or asynchronous lessons. Our teachers will ensure that they are available during lesson time and provide live feedback for their pupils via a personalised approach of annotated, audio or video feedback. All tasks and homework will be set in Teams.
For our live lessons to work smoothly, we ask all pupils to keep their microphones mute when they first join the lesson and to turn it on when asked to answer a question. If a pupil turns on their microphone to talk, they must remember to turn it off afterwards. This is similar with the use of video in their lessons.
Pupils can use the chat features to ask questions or make relevant comments, but we also ask our pupils to use it sensibly. If pupils have a question, they should type it in within the conversation box and wait for a reply. If teachers are not able to respond promptly, it may be that a teacher is responding to another child.
Pupils from Years 7-11 each have a Surface Go device and will have access to a range of Microsoft Office products, which are locally installed on their devices. Alternatively, they can also login with their school username and password on their home device. This is accessible at www.office.com.
If you wish to get in touch regarding the use of technology and e-learning practices at Ashford, please contact Dr Parmar on [email protected].
Should your child have difficulties accessing the online learning platforms, then please do contact our IT support department by emailing [email protected].