Time continues to pass in a flash, half-way to half term! In last weeks ‘Whistle’ I acknowledged a school outside of our Trust partially closing to a year group due to a positive case of Covid-19; this week the inevitable happened for us. Thankfully we only needed to collapse a small ‘bubble’ in one of the Trust’s schools and, due to the great planning and preventative approach taken, there has been little disruption to those students’ timetabled lessons. As such I extend a heartfelt thank you to all colleagues for your detailed planning, proactive approach and determined efforts to keep our schools open and maintain purposeful learning.
This naturally leads to the strategic priority I want to highlight in the Whistle this week - Curriculum and Opportunity. A key focus, right now, for this crucial thread is remote learning. I take this opportunity to thank Jimmy Edwards from Hele’s School for leading a super training session on Microsoft Teams earlier this week. I am delighted that so many colleagues from various WeST schools joined in to benefit from this developmental training. Our ability to be fluent, confident and effective in our use of MS Teams is without doubt a vital foundation in embedding our remote learning provision.
As our country continues in its attempts to suppress the spread of Coronavirus, I think it is pretty much certain that we will see further partial school closures. Over the coming weeks we will further review equity of access for students and staff and the digital resources we have available across the Trust to support remote learning. Another key deliverable within the short term is reviewing our curriculum construction, ensuring it meets our aspirations in terms of continuous improvement and strengthening our journey towards excellence for our children.
1. Remote learning:
Further develop MS Teams
Equity of access – students/staff
Take care best wishes,
Rob Haring – CEO
We are delighted to inform you that there are a number of exciting career opportunities within our Trust as follows:-
Dunstone Primary School - Are you looking for your first move into a leadership post? If so, a secondment opportunity is on the horizon for a phase leader (Y5 and 6) with science lead responsibility for maternity cover from January 2021 - For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Please note this opportunity is for internal applicants only! Please express your interest by Wednesday 30 September - thank you.
Woodford Primary School are looking for a Teaching Assistant on a FTC until 20 July 2021 (New Grade C5 £19,312 - £20,092 FTE - 25 hours per week, 8:50am to 1:50pm daily, Term Time/39 weeks per year). For more information please visit the School's website: https://www.woodfordprimary.co.uk/vacancies/
Chaddlewood Primary have a vacancy for a Clerk to Governors for 2 hours per week. For more information please contact Sarah King at: email@example.com
Supporting Pupils with SEND – it is the responsibility of all of us!
Many classroom-based colleagues will be familiar with the work of the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) and the Research School Network. The EEF series of evidence-informed guides to best practice, alongside the now well-known EEF Toolkit, are a great source of information and useful yardstick when considering effective approaches.
In March the EEF has produced a guidance report on supporting pupils with SEND. Click here to view.
This is aimed at all teachers and school leaders, not just SENCOs and would be well worth a read! I am sure some of you will have read this when it was released, for others it will have been lost amidst our response to the pandemic. Perhaps now, as we return to school, we can re-engage with this important topic.
As usual the EEF has produced a summary poster (illustration below) of the five main strands, which is a useful starting point if pressed for time. Click here for the full size document.
Updates from the HR team:
Medigold Occupational Health - The Process Explained
Paperless Booking Process
If you have been seen by Medigold Health [formerly known as IMASS] before you may have received an appointment letter. Medigold are moving the process online which saves paper, and also means that Medigold can confirm your appointment sooner.
What happens when you have been given an Occupational Health appointment?
If you have provided a mobile phone number to your school/unit, this will be used in your referral information. You will initially receive a text and email when Medigold confirm your appointment. The text will direct you to the email, where you will see a few details of your appointment. The email will provide a link to the portal, as you log into the link it will prompt a passcode to be sent to you via text to your mobile which you will need to access the system. As an employee you will need to access the online portal to complete the consent form and accept the appointment – the Trust are unable to action this for you as it concerns your personal information and appointment details. Your appointment is not confirmed unless you review the portal for the propose of consent and accepting the appointment.
Can’t attend your appointment?
On the appointment portal, next to "Accept" you will see a ‘?’ button. Click this and you will see instructions of what to do if you are unable to accept the appointment.
If you are struggling with any of the above, please contact Medigold Customer Services on 01604 870 888 Option 7 and one of their team will be able to assist. Alternatively, if you have any questions about your appointment you can speak to a member of the HR Team on 01752 891754 ext 1765 or HR@westst.org.uk
Cycle to Work:
As highlighted in previous editions of the Whistle, WeST have been exploring the possibility of working with the provider Cyclescheme to offer Trust employees the opportunity to benefit from a Cycle to Work scheme. Thank you to all of you who have completed the short survey so far. We will be in touch after the close date.
If you think you may be interested in taking part in this scheme and have not completed the survey yet please read the FAQ document and complete the short form available here or via the QR code. The form will be available for you to complete until 30th September 2020 so you have one more week to express your interest and let us have your thoughts.
This does not commit you to participating in the scheme but it will help us to gauge interest and take the right steps to make this scheme a success for you should you ultimately decide to take part.
Further information about the scheme is available on the Cyclescheme website. The HR Team are also available at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Every Mind Matters
The NHS / PHE has recently begun a new publicity campaign entitled Every Mind Matters aimed at supporting parents and young people through coronavirus – perhaps you have heard some of the radio advertising or come across their social media posts.
I would encourage all school PSHE leads and those responsible for websites, social media to sign post this campaign, using the ready-made media resources, to parents/carers and pupils through local channels.
Free school equipment for a good home....
Chaddlewood Primary are giving away their wooden, interlocking staging (originally used for KS1 productions. It all works perfectly but they now have new staging and so it has become redundant). They also have 3 Lapcaddy laptop trolleys.