News - Sixth Form

Headmasters Weekly Update for Parents
03/04/2020

Dear Parent,

Welcome to the second of my weekly updates for parents.

I do hope that you and your family are well and that you are adapting successfully to a new way of living. For many this will present challenges and difficulties but for some, and hopefully a large number of you, the opportunity to spend time together, to be able to slow down and appreciate the onset of spring and the joy of God’s creation will bring its own benefits. In his last interview the playwright Dennis Potter spoke movingly about this time of year and of his piercing observation, brought about by being bed bound, of seeing blossom from his bedroom window in a new way: ‘the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be'.

"I do hope that you too are able to see and look in a manner which allows you to celebrate the wonder of life in all its fullness."

John 10:10 

Thank you for your ongoing and often fulsome support for our teachers as they navigate their way around the demands of online teaching. As we approach the end of Week 2 we are grateful for your feedback and for drawing our attention to one or two things that we can do better. As a result I have requested that staff:

  • Continue to set all work on Synergy in order that you have a clear overview, even when the work is to be completed through other means such as Teams;
  • Avoid setting deadlines of ‘the next day’;
  • Understand that there may be legitimate reasons for delays in the completion of work and that reminders to pupils about missed deadlines should be phrased with this in mind. We will however contact you if we think that there is a persistent and unexplained failure to engage and complete work;
  • Acknowledge work of a particularly high standard with the awarding of Synergy Credits.

Thank you also for your support in providing your son/daughter with a suitable space to work, access to a computer and helpful reminders of the importance of establishing a structure and clear routines. Accompanying this update is a booklet produced by Lancashire County Council (click here to download) which offers parents tips and guidance for successful home schooling. Much of it is common sense and you may think that it has the whiff of teaching grandmother to suck eggs, some however may find it useful and it is offered in that spirit.

As children spend more time online it is important to understand the risks associated with this sort of interaction. There are a number of web sites which offer sensible advice for parents, including one from the National Crime Agency and one from the NSPCC. Do please access these if you have any concerns or just seek reassurance that your own instincts as parents are correct.

During the Easter break you can expect teachers to set work equivalent to that requested during a typical school holiday. This is likely to result in a reduction in the number and scale of tasks requested for the next two weeks. Normal online service will recommence from Monday 20th April as we commence the summer term.

In addition to more formal academic studies the PE department have launched the first pupil challenge. This week the aim is to complete as many alternate ‘foot keepy ups’ as possible. Videos can then be posted by tagging @StChris_PEdept. As I write, and with six days to go, the current record is 62, which I’m sure can be beaten!

I am grateful to Miss Davies for the second Prayer Bulletin and also to Mr Pountain for the first edition of ‘Faith at Home’. Both come highly recommended and will continue to be published during the Easter holiday. What better way to share our distinctive responsive to the current situation than in sharing the Good News?

We are keen to maintain regular contact with you. Please alert us to any changes to your email address or telephone contact.

In challenging times let us remind ourselves of the hope offered at Easter.

R D Jones

Headmaster

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...”

1 Peter 1:3