Curriculum COVID Appendix
Due to the current COVID situation there have been some necessary adjustments made to the delivery of the Art curriculum to students.
Previously we have been able to demonstrate and show examples to students who congregate around a central area. Now, we are using the projector screen and uploading examples (and in some cases filmed demos of processes) to be able to show the KS3 classes. These lessons, PowerPoints and/or demos are available simultaneously on Moodle for those students who are unable to be in school. They are assignments which when complete are uploaded by students to the Moodle submission space within a given time-frame. Marking/feedback will follow.
KS3 students at this time are able to make drawings (and will be able to use some mixed media where packs of materials are distributed for individual use only, and kept in individual folders) using their own equipment. They are not able to work with painting materials, however, for the time being.
KS4 and KS5 students are able to continue their GCSE/A Level work, developing their portfolio as before, as they transport their own equipment and materials to and from the art room, and are independent in their practical work and research tasks. Printmaking materials are unavailable and working with the press is not possible however, at this time. This also applies to modelling with clay and use of the kiln room.
Pearson (Edexcel) have indicated that the requirements for assessment at GCSE and A Level Art will be 100% NEA, for which we will be making the necessary adjustments.
In order to provide a full and varied curriculum, there will be no major changes to the Biology course for all year groups. For Year 10 to 13, students will still have their lessons in labs so that practical work can be carried out. Careful consideration has been taken to ensure that all practical elements of the GCSE and A level course can still be covered whilst following the guidelines from the Government and CLEAPPS.
The practical element of the course for students in Years 7-9 will be slightly different due to their lessons being in classrooms. To ensure that students still cover this part of the curriculum there will be a combination of virtual practicals, videos, demos, 2D practicals and “dry” practicals. Hopefully, these year groups will be able to return to the lab in the Summer Term to carry out any “wet” practicals.
In terms of virtual learning, should that be due to a student self-isolating or another lockdown, all of the required resources will be on Moodle and directions given by their teacher. The resources will cover the work that would have been done in class in the form of videos, animations, PowerPoints and websites that will allow students to work independently. Teachers will inform students of the work that they need to submit and then feedback to them in due course.
The Business department had to adapt to a new way of teaching and learning under a completely new set of unprecedented circumstances during the period end of March to the end of July 2020.
At the beginning of this time students in year 12 were in the middle of an extended project as part of their independent learning and were tasked to finish this for their “homework” allocation during this time.
Work has previously been set by staff and submitted by the pupils via the school VLE – Moodle to prevent any physical work being handed in/out. This will then see timely feedback being issued, electronically. This will continue into the return to school so that all students are aware of where work is set and where it is to be submitted. If they are isolating they will know immediately where to look for the class work – this will be updated for each lesson.
Where texts are used – (digital versions are preferred via students’ own lap tops or phones) they are quarantined and removed from access for a long period of time or pages are scanned and uploaded to Moodle for use by the student for homework.
Schemes of work are updated to reflect the content of the new digital textbooks and the change from group work/resource sharing to individual learning in the classroom.
The classroom is airy and a safe environment in which to learn. Hygiene (hand sanitiser and mask usage) is encouraged regularly. We are creating a new Business as usual.
There are currently no significant changes to the AQA exams for GCSE and A-level Chemistry, therefore students will continue to study the same curriculum for years 10 to 13. Students have the majority of their lessons in labs and these year groups will continue to do experiments, following the guidelines imposed by both the Government and CLEAPSS. There may be variations to the experiments as we are required to meticulously clean equipment between classes. Sixth form students have been issued with safety glasses to minimise disruption to their course.
KS3 students are now taught in classrooms so practical work is limited. Year 7 will study the junior science course, and years 8 and 9 will continue to study the Secondary 1 course. Practical activities will be incorporated into lessons where it is safe in a classroom environment. The vast majority of experiments missed are available in video format and these will be used both in lessons and for self-directed study. Demonstrations will be carried out where appropriate.
The majority of homework will be set via Moodle to minimise the collection of exercise books and paper based tasks. Tests will still be paper based, but quarantined for 72 hours before they are marked. A variety of web based resources will be used for lessons, homework and home learning. Bestchoice, a Chemistry testing website is used throughout all years where appropriate. Kerboodle is available from year 10 upwards for GCSE and A-level resources.
For students who are self-isolating, all digital lesson resources will be available either through Moodle or by instruction from individual teachers. Students are encouraged to supplement their learning by completing additional tasks from the range of digital resources available to them
Computer Science and IT
No changes to the Y7 to Y13 curriculum have been necessary in light of Covid-19 and we are able to teach the GCCSE and A Level Computer Science with minimal disruption. As a department we make significant use of Moodle and much of the work that is submitted is marked electronically. All our department resources are available online. In terms of cleaning, throughout the day we are sanitising equipment between use by different groups.
Students who are self-isolating have access to a range of resources covering the course and will be set work which reflects the work done in class, but which has been tailored for independent study.
Due to the current COVID situation there obviously needs to be a slight change in the way we do things in Technology. This is due to the handling of resources, tools, machinery, and the demonstrations that need to take place to conduct work safely.
Considering this we are proposing that we do as much as we can to meet the governments requirement of a full and varied curriculum but in-line with the guidelines imposed by both the Government and CLEAPSS. We are not doing face-to-face demo’s where students crowd around a desk but are embracing the latest technology in the form of webcams that will stream this to a lesson via our digital projectors. This can also be recorded – should a pupil be isolating – and viewed at any time from Loom (or similar where staff have expertise in its use). The links we create can be easily accessed via a pupil’s home page and their respective class.
We are looking to use the 6th Form Student Ambassadors to record common processes and then these will be extremely useful for the KS4 pupils to learn quickly, thus preventing the need for close teacher assistance, yet still being able to use machines and manufacture quality products. 6th Form students will gain a lot from this too and aid their understanding of the processes.
KS3 has had the curriculum redesigned to allow for a more design-focused initial project, it doesn’t need specialist rooms or tools yet is a great introduction to Design and Technology at Yr7, tests new skills in Yr8 and sees the DT Entrepreneur challenge brought to the front of the year (previously at the end).
All work will be set by staff and submitted by the pupils via the Moodle to prevent any paper/physical work being handed in/out. This will then see timely feedback being issued, electronically, as was demonstrated during the initial lockdown period.
Should a full-lockdown recur then we will be liaising with the exam boards to clarify what the requirements for assessment would be – as yet OFQUAL has not provided any such confirmation for Design and Technology. However, the new criteria; unchanged for Electronics, minor change for Food Nutrition and Preparation and 100% NEA for Art and Design has been carefully considered by all teaching staff.
Meticulous cleaning of all equipment etc. is the key and we have developed a clear departmental strategy to meet this need. Specific chemicals have been sourced and thier use done so in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
We are creating a safe and fun environment that still allows learning to take place, differently from normal, but as good as it can be.
For the start of the academic year 2020-21 we are unable to do fully practical work in lessons. For KS3 lessons we are in a classroom set up so work is more teacher led with class discussions and individual or pair work. We have changed the curriculum for Year 7 so we can start with monologue work. For Year 8 we will be focussing on creative writing of Greek chorus speeches and for Year 9 we are studying a play and focussing on the theory of naturalistic acting based on the practitioner Stanislavski. At KS4 we are focussing on work for the written exam on The Crucible and Live Production essays, watching streamed performances such as Frankenstein as a class. At KS5 we are also focussing on set texts and live productions essays in preparation for written exams. All written work and homework for marking will need to be submitted by Moodle or email. We hope to return to the practical curriculum as soon as is possible.
During the closure of the school, both students and teachers had to adapt quickly in order to develop a new way of working. In economics, the students did this really well and there was no real break in delivery of content. The VLE Moodle was used much more extensively in order to set work, display resources and for students to hand in work and receive feedback. Now that students are back in the classroom, the use of Moodle will continue to allow students who are off school to continue to access the work that is being completed in class, again allowing for continuous learning to occur. Moodle will also be predominantly used to hand in work further reducing the need for physical work to be handed in/out.
There will be no changes to the curriculum for Economics and currently the exam board have made no changes to the subject content that must be delivered. Therefore, all content will be covered during following the present scheme of work. What will change is the method of delivery as some activities will no longer be viable due to the necessary safety measures. Students will have their own textbooks and have access to an online version therefore ensuring that there is no sharing of resources. If mini-whiteboards are used then they will be cleaned and quarantined for the required length of before being used by another class.
Overall, there are no real changes to how Economics will be delivered and students will still be supported fully to achieve their potential in this A level subject.
No significant changes to the curriculum for Years 7 to 10 are necessary: students will engage with largely similar material generically, as guided by their teachers. Some slight adjustments to the teaching order may reflect book stock issues but new texts are available, and Years 10 and above should provide their own copies.
The national lockdown created some gaps, and Year 7 currently seems most affected in terms of focus and behaviour. The department is working to review literacy topics across the lower years and to fine tune materials best suited to remote learning. We will also introduce more mini-tests.
Moodle contains a substantial amount of targeted material for each year group. Video resources on Media Base are being added to regularly. Self-isolating students have for the most part contacted their individual teachers, and we are working to provide a range of materials and loom videos, setting tasks which reflect class work and are practicable as independent study.
If lockdown returns, we may see further exam changes. However, the English Literature GCSE curriculum reduction has already influenced our approach and given more time to work on Paper 2 (a good thing), and at present Year 13 goal-posts remain unmoved.
Despite certain restrictions (and time lags for safety reasons), English teaching and learning, marking and assessment takes place positively, and is as robust as possible.
Very little changed in the overall structure of our taught geography curriculum in responding to Covid-19.
Fieldwork is of course compromised however. At KS5 our independent investigation has been postponed but will still take place in a local area. At KS4 our exam related trips had to be cancelled and will most likely not take place this academic year. Sadly, all non-exam related trips (KS3) will most likely not go ahead this year, but we will endeavour to expose pupils to geographical skills either around the school site or by employing virtual fieldwork.
At KS5 our taught units are all available to pupils. If pupils are required to learn remotely we are prepared and practiced in guiding students through information. Unit tick lists, the course book, the order of our bespoke PowerPoint presentations and the OCR scheme of work are all synchronised so that tracking of where we are in a unit, whether as a class in school, a remote class at home or indeed a mixture of the two, is clear and pupils will not fall behind.
KS4 units are synchronised with the AQA scheme of work. This way, any pupil that needs to self-isolate will be able to access the lesson content with ease.
The KS3 curriculum has been designed to provide a broad range of experiences across a range of units. These are uploaded to pupils as the course progresses and can be accessed from home or school. We are also looking to upload digital text books to support background reading in some areas.
The use of Moodle for HW at all key stages allows for the submission, marking and return of work safely to the pupil.
We have developed Zoom and Loom capabilities in the department to provide for all key stages in the event of a return to remote learning.
Government and Politics
Minimal changes have needed to be applied to teaching and learning tasks. Computer based lessons can be addressed with the use of mobile phones/laptops.
Clearly, as with all subjects, the History curriculum has had to adapt to new circumstances. Fortunately during the lockdown period we were able to provide textbook resources and worksheets via the school Moodle and this was supplemented by Zoom video lessons and guidance videos which allowed almost all of our students to maintain good progress through the summer, and we plan to add to these over the following months. I am pleased to report that all years and all classes returned enthusiastic and well-placed for future success. Additionally, the Year 7s are now embarked upon their exciting new course looking at Britain, Europe and the World from 10,000 BC to the present which we were able to develop and refine in lockdown.
Now we have returned to school some activities have had to be restricted – group work has become exclusively paired work but the results of these debates and discussions can and are still exchanged in class orally and/or via IT. This should mean that the vibrancy of lessons should not be lost. A few activities (such as pottery or object identification, role plays etc.) have had to be suspended as have the rich variety of school trips normally offered – hopefully they will soon return alongside our weekly extra-curricular events.
Some benefits have and will accrue however. The setting of homework on My Home, which is now standard, has given students a greater ability to plan their time and to consult more sources of evidence whilst also receiving greater feedback than the written comments could ever provide. All of which means that students now have access to a rich variety of material on-line whether they are self-isolating, recovering from any illness or merely wishing to review and improve their progress in History.
In order to support our students in maths, all schemes of work for each year group are on Moodle, accessible to pupils and their parents. Each scheme provides a topic by topic guide for the term with hyperlinks to an instructional video, exam standard practice work and a solution sheet
Our departmental practice is that each teacher maintains a weekly diary on Moodle of the classwork and homework for each class from September 2020. Homework is set in the Myclass area on Moodle. Each Myclass area is hyperlinked to the scheme of work for the given year.
All Maths teachers can use Zoom/Loom Moodle, Mymaths, Maths Genie, Corbett Maths and Kerboodle. Useful extras are Dr Frost and Desmos classroom. All of these tools can be used by all maths teachers both from home and in school.
We have clarified to students our methods for assessing their progress. Since we can no longer circulate in lessons and correct/discuss mistakes as they happen we are inserting Q and A episodes into lessons. For the assessment of written work, we are using mini whiteboards and sometimes asking for Moodle uploads. We will not correct each upload, but we will use the uploads we see to prepare subsequent lessons and to provide feedback in class (or via Zoom during a Lockdown). Students can then self-assess during the lesson.
We are planning to mark books physically once every half term. This marking will be of the End of Half term Formal assessment. The half term break will allow us to meet all quarantine precautions but students would not have their books for the half term or end of term holiday
In order not to disadvantage our brightest mathematicians, we have entered all UKMT Maths Challenges and chosen the option that students selected for these sit them online. This will involve significant extra admin contacting parents to explain procedures and rules.
Maths department detentions and Maths support have both been suspended due to the inability to mix bubbles, however we are looking at creative ways in which to re-introduce this support mechanism and how we may be able to make use of our maths ambassadors to support student progress remotely.
Modern Foreign Languages
The nationwide lockdown brought many challenges for education and we, like other departments in the school, had to adapt very quickly to a new way of teaching and learning under a completely new set of circumstances.
We made the most of our time working remotely and we were able to trial a number of digital resources with students during the school lockdown period. This perhaps may not have been possible without the additional time spent in front of computers (when working remotely). We were able to familiarise ourselves fully with the new digital offerings on KS3 Kerboodle and we have already introduced the digital textbooks in lessons this year. During lockdown, both staff and students had the opportunity to practise this new way of working, therefore we are confident that this move towards more digital learning in the classroom will be more commonplace this year. Our digital textbooks also help to alleviate any Covid-related health and safety concerns in lessons (children will not be handling textbooks), so we can be sure that our lessons in MFL are Covid-compliant.
Schemes of work for all languages taught in the department have been updated to reflect the content of the new digital textbooks and they have been adjusted accordingly to consider any gaps in learning due to the school closure. Teachers are fully aware that the range of learning experiences during lockdown will be vast and I am confident that colleagues will be able to differentiate their teaching to support all learners in the classroom.
It is widely agreed that language learning should occur regularly and often, therefore we may have to rethink the KS3 provision in the future. We may consider changing the allocation of French and the second language in Year 7 for the 2021 cohort. This may strike more of a balance between the languages. We could also introduce a choice for a main language earlier on e.g. at the end of Year 8 and then the current 3-3 split would then be 6 hours a fortnight in Year 9. The necessity of this will become more apparent later in the term once we have evaluated our schemes of work and the learning experiences of the children.
The time of lockdown was a challenging time for Music and the arts generally. At Poole Grammar School, the curricular lessons continued through the use of assignments set on Moodle, some of which were simply encouragements to continue playing some music and to enjoying listening to favourite tracks. There were some nice interactions by email regarding the tracks they listened to, and it was great to hear something of their musical aspirations, something that gets lost at times, in a busy classroom.
SoundStorm, our Music Education Agency, funded a full subscription to a number of online learning platforms: “Focus on Sound Pro” (Advanced, GCSE & Y9), “Instruments First” (Y8 & Y7) and again for the higher level students “Noteflight” (notation software) and “Soundtrap” (a Digital Audio Workstation – DAW.) In the case of these latter two, it took some time to get them up and running, but in the event of further lockdown, we will be able to use these easily to give a variety of interesting, challenging activities. Ironically, these opportunities are harder to give in school, where we have just 10 computers for the Music Department.
Of course, the entire Instrumental Music Service here at Poole Grammar, a highly valued institution, ground entirely to a halt, but with the Music Tutors furloughed, at least they continued to have some income. We are now ready (October 2020) to begin lessons again in school, with careful management of risks, and with a back-up of online lessons if we again go into lockdown.
Another hugely important part of our provision is the extracurricular sessions that normally take place every day in the Music Department. When we are finally able to start up again, this will take some effort to rebuild to confidence and skill lost in the lockdown. We were to stage the fantastic show “West Side Story,” but this will now have to wait for some other time in the future. A Joint Schools’ Concert Tour was also lost in the summer.
Back to the classroom, the Music teaching has moved away from any actual music-making (apart form a little activity with keyboards and computers), and without the ability to work collaboratively, things are difficult. We just have to hope and look forward to better times ahead, when we can rebuild the good things we had, and we can lead our students into their exciting musical activities; activities that help give them a rounded view of life and a spiritual uplift that has been undermined
PE and Games
Due to the current COVID situation there obviously needs to be a slight change in the way we do things in PE. This is due to the handling and use of sports/exercise equipment and the expectation to prioritise outside sport.
Considering this we are proposing to do as much as we can to meet the governments requirement of a full and varied curriculum. At the same time, we are following the guidelines and recommendations imposed by the Government, associated NGBs (National Governing Bodies) and AFPE (Association for Physical Education).
Throughout the day we are sanitising equipment during lessons and between use by different individual groups. The school has also made the decision to refrain from using the changing rooms and allowing the students to arrive in school in their kit ready for PE/Games lessons. The wide extra-curricular programme of clubs and fixtures has been put on hold until this type of activity is encouraged.
KS3 and 4 has had the curriculum redesigned to allow for more outdoor teaching. We are avoiding small and enclosed inside areas, such as the weights room, where boys breathe more heavily during exercise. Where necessary there may be occasions, due to inclement weather, when we will deliver theory based lessons in classrooms.
Should a full-lockdown recur then we will be providing students with a selection of appropriate activities and learning opportunities via Moodle.
We will try to create a safe and active environment where the students enjoy and benefit from the many advantages associated with physical activity.
No significant changes to the Physics curriculum for Year 10 to 13 have been necessary: students will still study the same material over the course of the academic year. Students have the majority of their lessons in labs and these year groups will continue to do practicals. There have been adjustments to the teaching order to ensure that the same equipment is not needed by two year group bubbles at the same time, and to ensure that the more practical or conceptually challenging topics are taught in school, holding in reserve those topics that are well suited to remote learning in case of a local lockdown.
Students in Year 7-9 are now taught in classrooms and so less practical work is possible. We are building into the course ‘mini-practicals’ which are safe to conduct either at home or in classrooms. Where possible students are studying the more theoretical topics now, with a view to studying the practical topics later in their study of Physics at Poole Grammar School. We hope that student will have more access to labs later in the academic year when the more senior years are sitting their exams.
Students who are self-isolating have access to a range of computer simulations and explanatory videos covering the course and will be set work which reflects the work done in class, but which has been tailored for independent study.
There are significant changes to the PSHE curriculum from this September on a national scale. Within Poole Grammar, this has meant some changes to how we deliver PSHE to ensure we are meeting the government standards for Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education, whilst also ensuring that other aspects that help our students develop into well-rounded individuals are also covered.
Over the 2020/21 academic year, there will be some additional changes to ensure key aspects of the relationships and sex education programme that were missed due to the lockdown and subsequent school closures are still delivered.
The use of experiments and social surveys within the school can no longer take place. In addition, the use of computers for certain essay challenges cannot take place. However, the department has increased the number of application lessons by asking students to use their mobile phones. In addition, experiments can be undertaken, but with members of the class
Religion and Philosophy
We now offer a fresh focus on individual reflection and paired discussions in class rather than the traditional RP group work and debate. Otherwise, the key elements of this subject (critical thinking, sharing ideas and exploring concept) remain unaffected by the Covid restrictions, and we are able to teach all the RP units and GCSE modules with a minimum of disruption.