Ready To Learn: Adapting for COVID 19

How We Keep Your Children Safe in School

 

Choosing the right school for your child has never been more important than now.  Parents will not only be seeking a school that can guarantee a quality education for their child, but one in which they can be confident about the safety of their child during these extra challenging times.

Globally, every single education system and school has reviewed their  plans for school operations. Parents can be reassured that at TSPS we follow and adhere strictly to all authority regulations. Additionally, the school is committed to providing the highest quality educational provision possible with some flexible options for parents. The happiness and wellbeing of our students will remain a key focus of this provision.

At TSPS, we are excited about embracing the ‘new normal’ that schools now experience. Considerable strategic planning has taken place involving the whole school community to ensure that this ‘new normal’ is safe, provides high-quality learning experiences and remains personalised to meet your child’s and family’s needs. Our provision builds on the lessons that TSPS and its staff learned from managing distance learning during the final term of last academic year and other best practices that can be brought in from elsewhere. The school mission remains to provide learning opportunities for your child ‘to be the best that they can be’ in a High Performance Learning environment.

 

What will the teaching week look like?

At TSPS we recognise the value of a blended learning model, as a means to facilitating an increase in knowledge and to support the development of students’ subject specific skills while in school and not in school. Blended learning models allows us to use several learning approaches to enhance the effectiveness of teaching as well as meeting those individual needs. Class sizes are no more than 15 students based on a seating plan that will keep a social distance of 1.5 meters between students. In FS and Year 1, class sizes are no more than 10. These smaller class sizes, alongside the blended learning approach, enables greater personalisation supporting a variety of learning styles.

In general, our approach uses the rotational model where students rotate between a fixed schedule of classroom learning and one that is online. Practically this means that 50% of the cohort (group A) will attend school and 50% (Group B) will learn online. This then rotates allowing for all children to attend school over a two week rotational period unless of course your child is ‘shielding’.

Distance learning tasks take into account the sensitivity and increased challenges for students completing screen time tasks. Our teachers make these tasks as practical as possible and accessible enough so that adults at home can support if required. Of course our teaching staff are also be available to contact online to help support.

 

Foundation Stage:

 We have divided all FS1 and FS2 classes into two groups (Group A and Group B). We have created these two groups to ensure a mix of nationality, English language level, gender, and emotional/academic maturity in each group. The two groups share a qualified Early Years Teacher and Teaching Assistant. When the school is allowed to return to full capacity in each classroom, we will merge the two groups for permanent in-school teaching. During the duration of social distancing requirements, the two groups are taught separately and remain separate.

Sunday and Monday – Group A attend school, and Group B receive distance learning tasks to complete at home.

Tuesday – Group A and B  remain at home and receive live Zoom lessons.

Wednesday and Thursday – Group B attend school, and Group A receive distance learning tasks to complete at home.

This form of ‘blended learning’ provides small in-school classes (maximum 10 students) allowing close personal teaching and support from the Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant when your child is in school and ensure social distancing in the classroom.

Distance learning tasks take into account the sensitivity and increased challenges of younger children completing screen time tasks. Teachers make these tasks as practical as possible and accessible enough so that adults at home can support your child if required.

A full programme of activities and lessons are provided each week to enable your child to make progress with the Early Learning Goals for Foundation age children and successfully complete and graduate into the next stage of their educational development.

 

Primary (Years 1 to 6):

 We have divided all Year 1 to Year 6 classes into two groups (Group A and Group B). We have created these two groups to ensure a mix of nationality, English language level, gender, and emotional/academic maturity in each group. The two groups share a qualified Primary Teacher and Teaching Assistant. When school is allowed to return to full capacity in each classroom, we will merge the two groups for permanent in-school teaching. During the duration of social distancing requirements, the two groups are taught separately and remain separate.

We provide continuous learning for all Primary classes, following the normal weekly curriculum lessons and their objectives for that year group. Groups  either receive lessons in-school or by distance learning. The daily distance learning tasks reflect those carried out in school during that day. Groups A and B rotate weekly as to whether they are taught in school or at home through distance learning.

Each group has a maximum of 15 students (10 in Year 1), which allow close personal teaching and support to be provided by the Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant when your child is in school and ensure social distancing in the classroom.

The continuous learning provision in Primary ensures that all learning objectives within the English National Curriculum are delivered to your child and that they successfully complete and graduate into the next stage of their educational development.

 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9):

 To limit the transition around school these students remain in a fixed classroom setting with a fixed group of children ‘bubble’. The groups of children have been divided based on staff knowledge and recommendations and will remain consistent. Students remain in their classroom in allocated seats for all lessons during the school day and do not to share any equipment.

 

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11):

Groups either receive lessons in-school or by distance learning as per our rotational model but the difference now is that in school the children need to transition between option subjects. To limit this transition and the size of the ‘bubble’ this is limited to 4 classrooms. Again, no equipment is shared to help support reducing the risk of cross infection. There is an increased responsibility for our Key Stage 4 students to support the safety of the school community and they set a wonderful example.

 

Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)

 The students of Year 12 are  divided into two groups (Group A & B) while following the rotational period of two weeks. The whole cohort of Year 13 attends school regularly as each subject block has a minimal number of students. They are allocated into 4 designated classrooms. The students who are free in a particular option block are allotted to a specific area in the common room based on a seating plan that will keep a social distance of 1.5 meters between students. Students are advised to bring their own laptops and are not allowed to share to reduce the risk of cross infection. Sixth Form students are responsible for restricting their movement across the corridor and must stay in their designated rooms.

 

Will the timing of the school day change?

Drop-off and Pick-up times will be slightly staggered for year groups to reduce congestion at the school gate and assist in social distancing.

 

What will be the technology used by teachers for distance learning?

Parents can already be confident in the school’s ability to provide quality e-learning for students working from home. In the recent KDHA evaluation of e-learning provision across Dubai schools, TSPS received a ‘developed’ accreditation (the highest level).  All TSPS teachers and curriculum managers are experienced in providing high quality and student accessible on-line learning tasks.

FS1 and FS2 Parents and children receive tasks via the highly praised Tapestry platform. This platform allows students and parents to receive a variety of tasks on-line and for parents to post any student responses back to the teacher which can then be kept as evidence of achievement on the student’s profile. All FS1 and FS2 students receive Zoom lessons on Tuesday, which allows both groups A and B to come together for whole-class activities.

Primary students benefit from one of the best e-learning platform available to schools. The Sheffield Private School has invested in Schoology for its Primary students, and this is the same platform used by our Secondary students. Schoology is a premier virtual learning environment that allows our distance learning provision at Sheffield Primary to be among the best in the city. Instruction is be given to parents and students on how to use this platform. Parents have visibility on what is being posted for their child, their child’s responses to the tasks, and the teacher’s feedback.

The same platform used by our Secondary students last year is being used this year, Schoology.

Research conducted worldwide has shown that this blended learning approach (mix of face-to-face learning and e-learning) can support mastery learning, student engagement, and personalisation for a diverse student population. We are confident that with the technology that we are using, the training and quality of our teachers, and the experience that we already have of delivering a blended learning programme, our educational provision in the Foundation Stage and Primary Years will be among the best available to parents in Dubai.

 

How will the school ensure the safety of my child while in school?

All safety procedures in school adhere to local DHA and KHDA regulations and recommendations.  These are primarily based on strategies to ensure social distancing and prevent groups of students from mixing to reduce potential cross-infection if it were to occur.

Students and staff are trained and regularly reminded of the general daily health and safety precautions that should be carried out. Covid-19 safety education forms part of PSHE lessons that take place each week as part of students’ health education.

Students or staff with any symptom of infectious disease or illness are not permitted to attend school.

All students and staff are be temperature checked and observed for signs of illness on entry to the school. Younger children have their temperature re-checked mid-morning.

Members of the Senior Leadership Team oversee the arrival of all students. Bus students, Secondary, Primary, and Foundation Stage students enter the school through their own designated entrances.

Any child who develops symptoms of illness during the day will be immediately sent to the school clinic for examination. If an elevated temperature or other respiratory symptom is recorded by the clinic team, the respective parents will be asked to collect their child and have them Covid-19 tested before returning them to school. The remaining class will be kept in isolation until the school receives the test results.

 

How will the school ensure the safety of my child on the School Bus?

We are confident in the excellent health and safety procedures our bus provider has put in place.

Students have their temperature taken before boarding the bus.

Students have an allocated seat on the bus that is only be used by them. All students sit beside an empty seat to ensure social distancing, and buses operate at no more than 50% capacity.

Students wear masks on the bus and are not be allowed to eat or drink.

Bus drivers and bus attendants have all received extensive safety training to ensure Covid-19 health precautions are understood and adhered to.

The bus is thoroughly cleaned between each use.

We recommend that parents send their children to school by bus, to save congestion at the front gate in the mornings and better ensure a safe entry and exit from school for your child.

 

How will other school provisions change?

Sport and PE activities take place each week for all students with adapted programmes to ensure social distancing and reduce the sharing of equipment.

All subject lessons provide differentiated activities to ensure that those children gifted in certain subjects continue to be extended while those who require additional support continue to receive the help that they need, both in face-to-face teaching and e-learning.

ECA activities that allow social distancing or can be completed on-line or independently will continue to operate to ensure the school continues to provide an enhanced curriculum to students.

Leadership and House activities are fully operational with adapted plans.

Breaktimes and lunchtimes continue with staggered timings to reduce the mixing of students. Students must bring their own school lunch and eating utensils to reduce cross-infection possibilities.

 

What flexibility will parents have in deciding how they wish their child to be taught?

Parents who do not wish their child to attend school, but want them to receive full-time e-learning each week may take this option. Parents may decide to take this as a temporary or long-term option.

Parents who do not wish their child to take the school bus may make private arrangements to bring and collect their child from school.

 

In Summary

We very much look forward to new families joining the school during this term and welcoming them to our Sheffield community.

If prospective parents would like to discuss any questions in person before registering their child, then they are welcome to make an appointment to meet the Head of Primary or Head of Secondary by contacting:

admissions@sheffield-school.com