At the end of a very different week for us all, we are delighted to be able to report to you that our shift to online learning has been as seamless as we could have hoped under the circumstances. From a school population of over 900 we only have 24 students not engaging at all with online learning through Show My Homework, all of whom have been contacted by staff. This means that with around 97% engagement, we have above the national school attendance target of 95%. Given the extreme situation we find ourselves in, this is something that the community of Bewdley should be rightly proud of. The more we can pull together and keep learning about our world, the better we will cope with the coming weeks and months.

With this in mind, our next step is to attempt to improve significantly the engagement of students with live lessons. All teachers are offering at least one live lesson per week to their classes through Microsoft Teams. This is an opportunity to discuss work and get feedback, and for students to clarify any misunderstandings. Teachers are reporting that on average, there are around 7 from 25 students engaging in the lesson in a typical class. Since Teams allows the teacher to see who is logged in, the absent students are not sitting quietly in the background; they are not there at all. This is a massive missed opportunity and a study habit that it is vital is developed early during this close-down. Senior staff will therefore be dropping into live lessons during the course of this week and reporting back to parents those not present.

As you will know from our earlier updates, we are working closely with Bewdley Primary School to manage provision for the children of key workers. This provision will extend through the Easter holidays, as will Free School Meal vouchers. We are therefore making an appeal to any organisation that normally works with young people, and will probably have a series of cancelled bookings, for help during this period. If you run or work in a business which normally works with children in the 4 to 14 age range, have full DBS and other necessary paperwork in place and are willing to donate some time, we would love to hear from you.

Our students have adjusted amazingly to online learning and we would like to offer both Primary and Secondary students a wider range of activities over the holidays. If you feel that your business model is adaptable to social distancing and that you might be able to help, please contact us on .

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine, stay safe and stay home as much as possible.