Update on Academy learning from home procedures
I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well. Firstly, I would like to thank you for your support and patience over the first couple of weeks of the Academy closure. This unique set of circumstances has presented a number of challenges for everyone both at school and at home. Although our physical school may be closed for the vast majority, we continue to work hard to ensure we provide the best possible support and educational provision for all of our students.
Over recent weeks we have been in contact with a number of parents as we gather valuable feedback on our approach to home learning and the use of Firefly to deliver tasks to our students. Moving our teaching to these mediums in such a short space of time was never going to be without its challenges and although we are aware that there are still some small technical issues, we are reassured that most of these initial glitches do appear to have been resolved – and we thank you for your patience with this.
We are however very mindful that although the continuation of learning is extremely important, the new teaching methods we have adopted, along with the change in routine for many of our students, have caused some additional stress and anxiety, and we are keen to ensure that we support not only our students’ academic progress but their emotional and mental wellbeing as we move forward.
With this in mind, we write to you to provide an update on how we are continuing to develop and refine our learning provision to students as we move towards Easter and beyond.
We have taken the decision that as of Monday 6 April there will be no new tasks set by teachers on Firefly for students until the end of our official Easter holiday. This will provide students with time to catch up on any learning tasks set by their teachers and submit any outstanding work. No learning tasks (apart from reading for Years 7 & 8) will be set by teachers over the Easter holiday to also allow time for students to rest and recuperate ahead of the Summer Term. Home learning will then recommence on Monday 27 April.
We will also be working with our teachers to further streamline the setting of tasks on Firefly so that only learning activities appear within each student’s Tasks To Do list, with our extra-curricular offering now appearing as Recommendations in a separate area of the Firefly dashboard. This small change is intended to make the management of tasks much easier for students.
We have created a short video which explains all of the above and we would be grateful if you would watch this along with your child. The video can be viewed on Firefly, within the Coronavirus latest section of our Academy website www.saintwilfrids.co.uk or via the St Wilfrid’s YouTube channel.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a safe, restful and relaxing Easter. We continue to pray for every member of our St Wilfrid’s family and although there are undoubtedly still many challenges ahead, we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with you to best support your child.
We are aware of the continued issues with Firefly this morning and have spoken to them directly.
They are in the process of upgrading their servers and as a result, the service may not fully resume back to normal for another hour or so. There still seems to be some errors with the site. We are in constant contact with them and the service will hopefully be resumed soon.
We advise students to wait until 9:30am before trying to access their accounts, and then, to please be patient when doing so. Keep trying if unsuccessful but if you do manage to get on, screenshot some tasks and then leave the site and try again a bit later on to get some more tasks.
Thank you for your patience during this time!