Dear Parent / Guardian,
Just a short post to inform you that school I have decided to make Thursday and Friday of this week 'Consolidation days'. This means that on both days, I expect pupils to consolidate their learning, by revising over what they have done thus far in Google classroom and by committing it to memory. Pupils would have undertaken this process as part of the revision programme that they would have gone through with end of term exams, so in the absence of exams, these days will give them an opportunity to embed knowledge into long-term memory. It is our aim that pupils retain the work that they have covered so that next year, they can progress with a firm foundation as far as possible.
I have met regularly with our School Improvement and Leadership Team to discuss arrangements for learning and more recently, to begin to look at the shape of next year. We have examined possible scenarios, but the outworking of plans will largely depend on advice given from the Department of Education. As always, we will take our time to ensure that the best possible arrangements are in place to both safeguard your child’s education and their wellbeing.
Our return to school will be a blended learning approach – that is to say, that pupils will as far as possible, access the full curriculum through a mixture or face-to-face contact in school and online learning at home, through our e-learning programme. But due to social distancing guidelines, it will not be possible to have all pupils in the building at the one time. Therefore, a simple timetabling arrangement will be in place so that pupils know when they are to come in. More details will follow in light of the imminent advice from the Department of Education. As you can imagine, the logistics and outworking of plans is not straightforward, however, we aim to make things as manageable as possible for all those involved – pupils and parents included.
We hope to launch the new school website this week. A section of the website has been devoted to new Year 8 pupils and it is packed full of school information, as well as videos about our routines and standards. It is hoped that when new pupils watch the videos that they will have a clear idea of how we do things in LJHS!
Equally though, I would advise all continuing pupils and parents to have a look at the information, as some changes to our routines have been made – particularly around corridor behaviour and entering and exiting classrooms. Pupils in Years 8 & 9 currently, will benefit from watching the videos and reading the information. Furthermore, time will be spent in August/September getting fully conversant with these routines and making sure that all pupils are aware of the very high expectations and aspirations that we set for all the pupils in our care.
I am delighted to report that the artwork displayed on our Facebook page as part of the NHS Mural competition has now featured in the Controlled Schools’ Support Council webpage. Please follow the link on the Facebook page to access the full story. I am hopeful that the artwork will also feature in the Lurgan Mail in due course.
I am also pleased to inform you that Mrs McCrory has had a paper, written by her, published in an academic journal. Her paper, which was a scoping review, maps existing literature that has published evidence about highly visual social media – specifically the psychological impact on young people. Conducting this scoping review has provided a strong research-based foundation to Mrs McCrory’s doctoral thesis and has also contributed to the wider academic research field.
As you know from my last blog, (when I informed you of the exciting work that we have undertaken in the area of Retrieval practice with author, Kate Jones), we value educational research very much here in LJHS, and I am a firm believer that we should not be involved in educational fads/gimmicks that have no research basis or proof that they improve pupils’ results/outcomes/learning experiences. So, it is wonderful to know that we have our very own published research staff in school.
In the meantime, thank you all again for your continued support and your many kind messages. We remain determined to do our best for all of the children in our care and to ensure that they get the best possible education from us.
With best regards,