School community praisedPosted: 1st April 2020
Our school community has been praised for going above and beyond to keep students safe, happy and learning during the Coronavirus shutdown.
Since the school closures, Royal Docks Academy has been catering for up to five students each day whose parents are key workers.
Teaching, site and office staff have made themselves available to keep the school operating on a rota system.
But, according to associate headteacher Matt Carter, he has been inundated with offers of help from his team.
He said: “In terms of staff support for each other and for the school, I have never seen anything like it. From the word go, staff have been sending me messages telling me they are available and that they will come into school whenever they are needed. That has been from all over the school; from all departments. Everyone is saying they just want to help out.
“Our teachers have a real appreciation of how hard this will be for students, especially for Year 11 whose education just ended suddenly. They have a real appreciation of our school and our community. Everyone has just helped each other.
“This is a moment of realisation just how much everyone needs each other, particularly our students. We have a lot of vulnerable people in our society and everyone is realising the amount of solace and support they get from our school.”
In the run-up to Easter, students have been given work to do from home, with plans to step up the provision after the break with the introduction of virtual lessons.
Mr Carter said: “As soon as we realised there was the potential for a school shutdown, we ensured all of our resources were uploaded to the school website. We did that early to make sure every year group had easy access to material for every subject. We felt that would make it easier for parents, too, as it is tough for them as they are not used to educating at home.
“We were quite proactive to get Microsoft Teams communication and collaboration platform set up which means teachers can upload specific resources to their classes. Our IT and tech-savvy teachers have been proactively contacting students to get them set up on the system, to organise group chats and audio learning. It has forced us to embrace learning in a different way.
“Even if we are back in school sooner than predicted, this has set us up for the future to promote more independent learning from home, different ways of revising and supporting students outside of class.
“We have managed to cope really well.”
Students attending school are working on numeracy and literacy through specialisms such as science and taking part in exercises to keep active.