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COVID-19 UPDATES & SCHOOL NOTICES

Letters to parents..........
Date News
11/01/22 Safe Travel Guidance from TFGM
06/01/22 Letter to Parents re start of Spring Term / Start of Term Arrangements
20/12/21 Letter to Parents regarding return to school on 10th January and the testing requirements for all students.
30/09/21 Trafford Update on Covid
28/08/21 Covid Risk Assessment
31/08/21 Return to School September 2021 / Start of Term Information September 2021 / AGSB Form Groups 2021-22 
05/07/21 End of Term Activities
16/06/21 Continued Testing
14/05/21 AGSB Covid 19 Risk Assessment - updated May 2021
16/04/21 Return to school - Summer Term 
31/03/21 Home testing during Easter Break
15/03/21 Testing at Home / Privacy Notice
03/03/21 AGSB Covid Risk Assessment - March 2021
03/03/21 LFD Procedures Rota for testing in school from 5th March 
25/02/21 Reopening of school - March 2021
03/02/21 Lateral Flow Testing  
06/01/21 GCSE & A Level Exams 2021
20/11/20 AGSB Covid 19 Risk Assessment - updated November 2020
13/11/20 Covid Update
15/11/20 Remote Learning
13/10/20 Confirmed Positive case
24/09/20 Procedures in the event of a positive COVID test in School
24/09/20
24/08/20 Return to School arrangements for September / Covid 19 Risk Assessment for return to School in September
24/08/20 Sodexo Covid Letter / Safe Return Flyer
16/07/20 Updates for return in September
03/07/20 Arrangements for end of Summer Term
03/07/20 Bridging the Gap - Y10 & Y12 students
11/06/20 Y10 Parents regarding the reopening of school on 15th June
08/06/20 AGSB - Covid 19 Risk Assessment / Trafford Risk Assessment for the Re-opening of Schools
05/06/20 Remote Learning Provision at AGSB
01/06/20 Y12 Face to Face Education - Wider Reopening
21/06/20 Letter from Trafford Council regarding the reopening of schools
12/05/20

Dear Parents/Carers

Prime Minister’s update:

The statements by the Prime Minister on Sunday and Monday outlined the steps to when schools might be open. Although there will be further details from the government later this week, the impact is:

  • The current arrangements for AGSB remain in place – the school remains open to vulnerable pupils and children of key workers.
  • Sometime between June 1st and the end of the school year, Year 10 and 12 will be expected back in school (the explicit detail of this phased return remains unclear).
  • The mechanics of this return are being planned for at School, Trust and local authority level, but these are reliant upon further guidelines from the government.
  • It is likely that any return to school will involve some sort of modified timetable in order to maintain safe operations.
  • I do not expect other year groups to be required to return to school until September 2020.

Yours faithfully

G.A Wright
Head Master

11/05/20

Dear Parents/Carers

Feedback from the Remote Learning Survey to Parents/Carers and Students 

Thank you to all Parents/Carers and students who completed our Remote Learning survey. The huge number of constructive comments was very encouraging, and your feedback is important to us.

We had over 800 responses from pupils and parents after the first four weeks of remote teaching. This has provided us with a solid evidence base to evolve our strategy. We are grateful for feedback as we seek to establish sustainable processes for the weeks ahead both for boys and staff.

The key outcomes from the parental and student surveys were very positive about all aspects of our Remote learning strategy. It is clear from the comments that both pupils and parents are very appreciative of the hard work and dedication of the teaching staff, especially at short notice when school closure was announced. They especially appreciate the thought and planning that has gone into developing work that can be completed independently.

Some key themes:

  • Teachers are approachable: 100% of pupils said that they know how to seek help from their teachers if they need it.
  • The school has communicated well: As far as home school communication was concerned the picture was very positive. 72% reported home school communication as good in terms of its timeliness, less than 1% rating this as poor. 94% rated both the school’s guidance and plans to support home learning as either satisfactory or good.
  • Access to on-line work set: All students have been able to find the work, understood what has been set and have been able to contact staff. They are therefore clear on where to go to find work and, in the main, on what to do.
  • Some pupils have felt a bit overwhelmed at times: A number of pupils and parents (predominantly in Years 7, 8 and 9) were more likely to say that school is setting too much rather than too little work. Students also commented on the structure of work being set and a number of our younger students suggested that large pieces of work were difficult to tackle.
  • Feedback on work: Most students were receiving regular and instructive feedback on their work. A number of students, however, had received little regular feedback, particularly students in Y8.
  • Lack of interactive methods of teaching: Pupils had received a range of responsive teaching methods such as Loom videos and live teaching via the O365 Teams system. They found these more interactive methods very beneficial and a significant number commented that they would like to see an increase in their use across a greater range of subjects.   

In the light of all three surveys responses we have:

  • Asked teachers to reduce the amount of work set at KS3; the emphasis will be to reduce the amount of new content and consolidate the material already delivered to ensure understanding.
  • Asked staff to provide more regular feedback to students at Key Stage 3; two pieces of work per subject will be marked during this term and these marks (along with the pupil’s performance throughout the year) will be used to inform the end of year grade sheet.
  • Sent out a planning tool to students to help structure their working day and plan for a good balance between work and relaxation (an editable version is attached to this ParentComms).
  • We have also provided training on developing the use of Teams and Loom presentations to increase the interactivity that pupils experience. Staff have adjusted very quickly to the new demands of teaching remotely and we will continue to encourage staff members to develop their IT skills. May I stress, however, it is at the discretion of the teacher should they wish to teach in this way. Many of our teachers have young children, and/or other pressures on their home lives and it may be more appropriate for them to teach via fixed resource on Show my Homework, and in this we ask for your support and understanding.

The updated Home studies during school closure: Guidance for students in Years 7 to 10 can be found here.

May I remind all parents and students of this advice from Mr Hall (Deputy Headmaster) and his Head of Year team:

  • Use the documents attached to help with work and organisation. They have been designed to tackle some of the most common issues being reported.
  • Boys are to regularly check Show my Homework and their School email address so that they keep on top of all communications.
  • Remember too that in school, boys would be working in pairs or groups on classroom activities, so if you are struggling, don't hesitate to seek to work collaboratively on class tasks. Discuss problems, look to learn how others have sought to go about tackling difficult problems. Where did they seek to start? What questions did they think worth asking first? How much detail did they go into?
  • Do not forget to get your daily bout of exercise, eat healthily and enjoy time with your family.
  • The Heads of Year and Mr Hall are available at all times for correspondence with any student who is struggling. Don’t think you are alone, don’t suffer in silence, contact us straight away. We also have a mentoring system up and running that offers subject specific support for students with a 6th Form Mentor.

Yours faithfully

G.A Wright
Head Master

24/04/20

Dear Parents/Carers

Feedback from the Remote Learning Survey to Parents/Carers and Students 

Thank you to all Parents/Carers and students who completed our Remote Learning survey. The huge number of constructive comments was very encouraging, and your feedback is important to us.

We had over 800 responses from pupils and parents after the first four weeks of remote teaching. This has provided us with a solid evidence base to evolve our strategy. We are grateful for feedback as we seek to establish sustainable processes for the weeks ahead both for boys and staff.

The key outcomes from the parental and student surveys were very positive about all aspects of our Remote learning strategy. It is clear from the comments that both pupils and parents are very appreciative of the hard work and dedication of the teaching staff, especially at short notice when school closure was announced. They especially appreciate the thought and planning that has gone into developing work that can be completed independently.

Some key themes:

  • Teachers are approachable: 100% of pupils said that they know how to seek help from their teachers if they need it.
  • The school has communicated well: As far as home school communication was concerned the picture was very positive. 72% reported home school communication as good in terms of its timeliness, less than 1% rating this as poor. 94% rated both the school’s guidance and plans to support home learning as either satisfactory or good.
  • Access to on-line work set: All students have been able to find the work, understood what has been set and have been able to contact staff. They are therefore clear on where to go to find work and, in the main, on what to do.
  • Some pupils have felt a bit overwhelmed at times: A number of pupils and parents (predominantly in Years 7, 8 and 9) were more likely to say that school is setting too much rather than too little work. Students also commented on the structure of work being set and a number of our younger students suggested that large pieces of work were difficult to tackle.
  • Feedback on work: Most students were receiving regular and instructive feedback on their work. A number of students, however, had received little regular feedback, particularly students in Y8.
  • Lack of interactive methods of teaching: Pupils had received a range of responsive teaching methods such as Loom videos and live teaching via the O365 Teams system. They found these more interactive methods very beneficial and a significant number commented that they would like to see an increase in their use across a greater range of subjects.   

In the light of all three surveys responses we have:

  • Asked teachers to reduce the amount of work set at KS3; the emphasis will be to reduce the amount of new content and consolidate the material already delivered to ensure understanding.
  • Asked staff to provide more regular feedback to students at Key Stage 3; two pieces of work per subject will be marked during this term and these marks (along with the pupil’s performance throughout the year) will be used to inform the end of year grade sheet.
  • Sent out a planning tool to students to help structure their working day and plan for a good balance between work and relaxation (an editable version is attached to this ParentComms).
  • We have also provided training on developing the use of Teams and Loom presentations to increase the interactivity that pupils experience. Staff have adjusted very quickly to the new demands of teaching remotely and we will continue to encourage staff members to develop their IT skills. May I stress, however, it is at the discretion of the teacher should they wish to teach in this way. Many of our teachers have young children, and/or other pressures on their home lives and it may be more appropriate for them to teach via fixed resource on Show my Homework, and in this we ask for your support and understanding.

The updated Home studies during school closure: Guidance for students in Years 7 to 10 can be found here.

May I remind all parents and students of this advice from Mr Hall (Deputy Headmaster) and his Head of Year team:

  • Use the documents attached to help with work and organisation. They have been designed to tackle some of the most common issues being reported.
  • Boys are to regularly check Show my Homework and their School email address so that they keep on top of all communications.
  • Remember too that in school, boys would be working in pairs or groups on classroom activities, so if you are struggling, don't hesitate to seek to work collaboratively on class tasks. Discuss problems, look to learn how others have sought to go about tackling difficult problems. Where did they seek to start? What questions did they think worth asking first? How much detail did they go into?
  • Do not forget to get your daily bout of exercise, eat healthily and enjoy time with your family.
  • The Heads of Year and Mr Hall are available at all times for correspondence with any student who is struggling. Don’t think you are alone, don’t suffer in silence, contact us straight away. We also have a mentoring system up and running that offers subject specific support for students with a 6th Form Mentor.

Yours faithfully

G.A Wright
Head Master

24/04/20

Dear Parents/Carers

As we approach the end of the fifth week of the lockdown and the end of the third week of School closure. I would like to pay a huge thank you to all staff, parents, students, and governors for your continuing support.  Throughout the closure I will be writing to you with updates at the end of each week.

I know that for students and staff, there are huge challenges in adapting to remote learning. We do know that the vast majority of students are accessing their work via Show my Homework and working hard to establish routines.  As a School, however, we are always looking at ways to improve. To that end, we will be sending out a Remote Learning Survey on Office 365 to staff, parents and students on Friday 1st May to assess what is working well and what areas may be improved.

Updates:

Careers:
Thank you to Dr Thomas (Assistant Head) for organising Careers advice for Years 11, 12 and 13 (students - please check your emails).

Dr Harris Duvnjak, an Old Boy of the school, delivered an excellent and in-depth seminar on applying to Medical school last Wednesday, 22nd April. 31 of our Year 12 students participated in the online Zoom conference which included a very informative question and answer session.

Remote Peer Mentoring:
This week we launched our new on-line homework support resource for Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils to which they have access through Microsoft Teams in School Office 365. Thirty Year 12 homework mentors are available to help with work in English, Maths, Science, Computer Programming, Languages, Geography and History. Your son has been sent an email and a message on Show my Homework with information on how to join this Team. Pupils can ask our Year 12 homework mentors for help any time they need it. Thank you to Dr Hepden and Mr Carr for setting up this excellent initiative.

House Competition:
Mr Soulsby (Assistant Head) has organised a House Photography and Creative Writing Competition.

The theme for this competition is about:

  1. Being positive in times of sadness
  2. Being thankful in times of hardship
  3. Being resourceful in times of challenge
  4. Being optimistic in times of adversity                                                             

This House event is open to boys from all year groups. Please check SMH for more information but please note, the DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY 6TH MAY @ 5PM.

English Shakespeare Competition:
The English Department's 'Share Your Shakespeare Competition' had some great creative entries this week. The results are in:

2nd place goes to Adham S in Year 11 and joint 1st place goes to Gautham R and Jacob R, both in Year 9. Well done to all who applied and thank you to Ms Hildage and Ms Mahony for organising.

The production of PPE to support the NHS:
Thanks again to Mr Baker and all staff in the AGSB D&T Department for volunteering to help supply vital PPE equipment for the NHS workers. Hundreds of visors have been produced and delivered to the North West Hub for distribution.

A correction from my last letter: I will be writing early next week (week beginning 27th April) to Parents/Carers of Year 11 and Year 13 students with an update on GCSE and A Level grades for the Summer 2020.

I hope everyone stays safe and looks after each other. Thank you again for all of your patience and support. 
Mr G. A. Wright
Head Master 

13/04/20

Making the most of Remote Learning – Guidance for Parents and Pupils

Specific guidance about what you can expect from school with regards to remote learning can be found on the Homepage of the school website ‘Home studies guidance for Years 7-10 / 11-13’.

This document offers suggestions for how Pupils and Parents can make the most of the learning opportunities on offer whilst school is closed.

Remote learning accepts that teachers and pupils will need to adapt to a different way of working together and develop new methods to provide important dissemination of knowledge, discussion and timely feedback. This plan also includes provision to ensure that the important pastoral care that takes place between pupils, tutors and Heads of Year is continued. While the physical classroom cannot be replicated, teachers are working hard to ensure that they can design and deliver good learning opportunities to pupils. The process that is being followed aims to ensure that pupils can still have authentic learning opportunities, have engaging activities, receive feedback and encouragement, and be given a structure to work around that also enables the flexibility that will be required during this challenging period.

Guidelines for Parents 
School will communicate with home via the use of email, phone, ParentComms as appropriate and in the normal way. Please set expectations for your son (s) for remote learning, including establishing a space or location where your children will work, and encouraging them to be dressed appropriately for a day of school. A suggested schedule is below. Pupils may find the transition to remote learning and the new-found independence required very challenging. Please check in with them regularly to ensure that they are coping. If possible, monitor the screen time/ social media use of your child. Remind them of the need to be polite and respectful in their use of this new way of working.

A buzzing or vibrating phone is most often a big distraction (unless a lesson requires a specific app). We recommend boys leave their phone in a different room for the duration of any lesson; keeping up with the demands of remote learning will require focus and resilience so keeping phones out of reach will replicate the conditions of a classroom setting. We also advise against listening to music whilst doing any school work, as most evidence points to it having a negative effect on concentration and learning for all but some creative tasks.

Guidelines for Pupils
Ensure that you get out of bed, wash, dress, eat breakfast at a regular time (and agree when is the latest this will be). Remember that this is not a holiday and you are still at school. A suggested schedule is below. Establish a daily routine for engaging in the learning opportunities e.g. a 9 am start. Identify a comfortable working space where you can work effectively and successfully. Communications with school that involve video links should not take place from your bedroom. Ensure that you are appropriately dressed for lessons (does not have to be uniform). Regularly monitor Show My Homework/email for any feedback or tasks that have been set (at least three times daily). Complete all work and assignments to the best of your ability. Do your best to meet deadlines set by staff. Be proactive and communicate any issues with deadlines to your teacher, as you would in School. Ask questions when you need to. Remember your teacher may not be able to respond immediately. Respectful communication with all members of your community is vital. Remember online etiquette. It is vital that you are kind to each other and interact with your peers and teachers on-line with the same respect and courtesy that you should in lessons. We are here to support you throughout a period of remote learning. Your Tutor remains your primary point of contact for any pastoral issues, you should email your Tutor, Head of Year or any teacher if you have any issues or concerns that you need to discuss. Report welfare or safeguarding concerns to Mr Hall, your Head of Year or your form Tutor.

Guidelines for Pupils and Parents to Create a Good Daily Routine
Pupils should endeavour to study the subjects that are on their usual school timetable each day though the timing of the study may be different. Students have their timetable. Thus, if a student has five 60- minute lessons in a normal school day they should design their routine that covers these subjects. This ensures that Pupils still have a broad and varied curriculum. Pupils should spend time each morning designing their day, familiarising themselves with the study to be completed and consider what will be the outcomes for a successful day of remote learning.

In everybody’s timetable is the provision for Sport/PE. Our PE department will be providing suggested exercise and training programmes. We will also continue to provide on-line PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) and Careers education. 

Pupils also have an excellent opportunity to research areas of interest, read a book, watch documentaries of interest, learn to code, etc. Pupils should also take breaks between their lesson to move around, drink water to hydrate, just as they do at school and should engage in regular exercise. They need to stay focused when working by finding a quiet place without the distraction of music, social media and television. The social perspective of being in school each day with friends cannot be underestimated and Pupils should try and schedule catch-ups with their friends where they can, even if this is in a virtual way.

A possible day might look as follows:

TIMING TASKS
30 mins Plan routine and work for the day
60 mins Lesson 1
10 mins  Break
60 mins Lesson 2
30 mins Break - relax, exercise, snack
60 mins Lesson 3
60 mins Lunch, exercise, relax
60 mins Lesson 4
10 mins Break
60 mins Lesson 5
Weekends/Evenings Read for pleasure; Watch a documentary; Play a game with a sibling or parent; Be active; Explore personal interests/passions; Engage in a co-curricular opportunity.

What e-safety advice can I give my son? 
Your son is likely to be communicating with his friends through apps such as WhatsApp, Facetime, or other messaging apps. While we are away from School, it is important that the boys keep in touch and socialise but they must be careful to keep these conversations positive for everyone. We do suggest you monitor your son’s social media use.

We would like to suggest you talk to your son if they are using WhatsApp or another group messaging app:

  • Make sure that you have set the privacy settings so that only your contacts can see your status.
  • Keep groups small but don’t exclude others. Remember excluding someone is just as hurtful as saying something unkind.
  • Remember everyone in the group will see your comments. 
  • Do not be rude to others in the group and don’t post any photos or material that will upset someone.
  • Remember you are in control and can leave the group at any time.

How can my son get involved in physical activity?
In line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation, the AGSB Physical Education Department believe that all boys should accumulate at least 45 minutes of moderate-to vigorous physical activity daily. This activity can include general play, games, sport, recreation or planned exercise.

With this in mind the PE department will be posting (on twitter @AGSB sport and Instagram @AGSB SPORT) age-appropriate activities that will be suitable for inside and outside the house. The aim will be to give all boys accessible, varied and enjoyable exercise options. Department members will also be available, via email and other school systems, to answer any questions or give advice around exercise, athletic development, nutrition and wellbeing.

IT Support During School Building Closure

In order for IT support to continue to function effectively the following communications channels need to be observed: If a student forgets their school password. Please ask their parent or guardian to email spiceworks@agsb.co.uk from their parent portal email address. Parents with a general IT enquiry should email spiceworks@agsb.co.uk Please be aware that there is likely to be a greater volume of support required by Pupils, teachers and parents and the IT support team will respond as quickly as possible but this will in, most cases, not be immediate.

How do I communicate with the School? Please use email as your primary source of communicating with school. If your son is unable to attend lessons please contact the AGSB Attendance Officer: Mrs Jolly agsbadmin@agsb.co.uk .

10/04/20

Pastoral Care 

If any of our parents, carers or students would like any support or advice during the closure please do not hesitate to contact one of the following:

School Counsellor      Wey Goodman  wgoodman@agsb.co.uk
Deputy Head / Head of Pastoral  Mr Hall ehall@agsb.co.uk
School Nurses Team Telephone 0161 912 2340


06/04/20

 

Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy during Covid-19
25/03/20

Dear Parent/Carers,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We have been able to adhere to the Government’s advice about social distancing, because students were only sent into school when it was necessary.  We appreciate your support this.  We have been able to provide safe care and support for the most vulnerable pupils and the children of the critical frontline workers during their heroic efforts in the national fight against Coronavirus.

We are investigating the requirement for emergency childcare over the Easter Holidays. If BOTH parents are Key workers and are CRITICAL to the COVID-19 response (or ONE in a single parent family) we are hoping to support you as best we can.

*N.B. Easter holiday provision will only be for families directly impacted and affected by the COVID-19 national response. It will not be for ‘Vulnerable’ children (FSM, PP, LAC, EHC’s) – This support will restart on the 14th April.

Please consider carefully if you can safely keep your child(ren) at home so that we are only bringing the fewest number of people together in the school. If you are unsure if this applies to you please e-mail msoulsby@agsb.co.uk.

The childcare provision is between 9:30 and 3pm weekdays. Unfortunately, we cannot cater for pupils onsite. We are hoping to also provide childcare on Good Friday and Easter Monday.