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Next session - Secondary - Cut our losses?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by aypi, May 13, 2020.

  1. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    I read two things yesterday furlough is to be extended until the end of October and the implications of what returning would mean for a practical class.
    By putting these two together, the UK government is not expecting normality before the end of October.
    This would mean social distancing in classes until October at least.
    With a Maths class of 30 that would probably mean one in the flesh lesson a week, but still from a distance so not what we are used to, it would not be much better than online.
    PE is mostly practical and you need opponents, how can they do their course? Tech will not be able to do their practical parts. Music cant do their composition, Art cant distribute materials. Can languages be done via video conferencing when even in English the audio is poor?
    We appear to be carrying on as if it is going to be alright, but that is not the signal the UK govt is sending by extending furlough.
    Should we be dropping the subjects that have a high practical element and redeploying those teachers to assist with Maths, English and whatever else is teachable?

    Here is the practical thing I saw:
    Hi, I have summarised the CLEAPSS guidance about practical work in a partially reopened school and sent it to my Head. Just thought it might be useful to have a summary too (but would recommend you take time to read the official document) .

    Advice from CLEAPPS - a summary

    Practical can still happen but many considerations MUST be taken into account:

    - Corridors to classrooms should be marked out when waiting to enter a classroom (2m like a supermarket queuing system)
    - Work out maximum number of pupils in the room. This will need to be measured and judged for each room. In a normal sized room it can usually fit between 7-12 pupils and still maintain the 2m safe zone.
    - For practical environments - make an X with four metre rulers joined in the middle. By using this method and marking benches and the floor you can assign static ‘workstations’ which will then given the total number of pupils for the room.
    - If tables are moveable you can move them around to get a best fit.
    - Most workshops/kitchens etc are equipped for 4 pupils . To follow social distancing rules it would be sensible to allow 1 pupil per bench.
    - Likely work shops will be limited to aprox 8 pupils. (But individual schools will need to measure and look into this)
    - Food rooms - often designed with a number of kitchens each equipped with a sink and cooker. In this type of space it would be best to limit it to one pupil per cooker - however where kitchens are ‘back to back’ this will not be possible so it may not be possible to have all ovens/kitchens in use at one time. (At the moment in our food room this would be a maximum of 5 pupils!!)
    - ICT facilities - computers tend to be less than 1 m apart. These will also need looking at to ensure users of the computer adhere to the 2m social distance advised.
    - If practical lessons take place - the above number of pupils/spaces/workstations should remain the same, however in order to allow a practical to work (and allow pupils to use fixed equipment and machinery for example) teachers should ‘zone’ the room to allow for social distancing.
    - Movement around the room in practical lessons will need planning in advance. (To consider things such as fixed equipment, workstations, ability and space for teacher to supervise effectively, procedures to summon help or for teacher to respond to an emergency)
    - Prep rooms, store rooms should ONLY have 1 person in at any one time.
    - Each pupil should be provided with a personal bottle of sanitizer by the school so they can clean their hands before entering the practical rooms and using the shared equipment and machinery and also for after use too
    - Teachers will need to plan and take into account requirements for individual practical activities and decided whether it can be safely managed. (No group work, no paired work).
    - Use of integrated instruction sheets for shorter task and long and complex multi step practicals should be avoided except with the most experience pupils.
    - Pupils should have THEIR OWN tools and equipment - not share - and this should be possible in most schools if class sizes are reduced. Resources such as ingredients, fabric and wood should be cut and ready before the lesson.
    - Practical tools, equipment etc will need placing in marked out pupil work stations before the lesson following social distancing rules.
    - Time MUST be allocated at the start and the end of the lesson for setting up/clearing up
    - To avoid pupil movement, pupils as far as possible should remain in their work station using the equipment placed in their work station.
    - If pupils do need to move around the room a different seating plan/layout will be needed.
    - Pupils will need to learn to alert the Teacher when they need to move around the room so the social distancing measures can be managed.
    - In food rooms - small work top fridges or quality cool boxes may need to be purchased and left in work stations rather than pupils moving around the room/touching the fridge etc to gather chilled ingredients.
    - Non chilled ingredients should be at the pupil workstation prior to starting the activity.
    - At the end of each practical session all equipment and spare material should be cleared away ‘by the technician (this raises an issue if you don’t have a technician or if the technician is needed in several rooms at the same time to do this) and should be wiped with a suitable cleaner prior to being stored away for future use.
    - Fixed equipment should be wiped down for the next session.
    - Waste material should be removed from the room before the next session
    - Usual demonstrations where pupils ‘gather’ around clearly cannot happen. The use of visualisers, cameras etc will need to be utilised.
    - Teachers must keep their distance when observing pupils during practical activities . However this raised H&S issues around the ability of some pupils to carry out the task without teacher intervention.
    - If a teacher , once assessed feels social distancing cannot happen or they doubt it will succeed they should consider stoppping practical work. (I guess this is reliant also on numbers/class layout etc too)
    - Prep, clearing up will be longer than usual.
    - Setting up can only be done in one room at a time.
    - Social distancing may mean where there are two technicians they cannot work in the same space to prep materials/set up activities.
    - PPE - ALL safety googles etc will need sanitising after EVERY use. (Recommend Milton solution being ready at the end of the lesson and pupils leave in it as they leave and then left to air dry).
    - Shared or department based aprons should be removed from use. (Use disposable?)
    - Socially distancing can be ‘broken’ if a pupil requires immediate first aid, however a kit of disposable gloves, a fluid resistant face mask, a disposable plastic apron and disposable eye protection, plastic bags for contaminated clothing should be available in EVERY room used for practical work."
    sicilypat and bigjimmy2 like this.
  2. MilkyBar Kid

    MilkyBar Kid Occasional commenter

    All subjects are teachable, with or without equipment, we don't want to start dividing depts against each other, every teacher has an important contribution to BGE.

    Your subsequent list of guidance highlights how difficult it will be to truly social distance in school especially with practical subjects though I suspect most of these guidelines will be sacrificed on the altar of expedience. We'll probably be told to take a certain number of pupils in our classroom and get on with it as best as we can.
    Effinbankers likes this.
  3. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    MBK, all subjects are teachable , to an extent. One day a week is not going to cover any SQA practical requirement.
  4. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    This is so incredibly complicated, for adults never mind children.

    What do we do with those children who refuse to cooperate? I would like to think that a hard line would be taken against them after all, such actions endanger life.
    sicilypat likes this.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Aye to be fair all of that is sensible guidance based on current restrictions for regular folks. Teachers and pupils however, according to the guidelines do not need to practice the 2m guidance nor need PPE. In which case you can now open the school to maximum capacity.

    The expected approach is a combination of antibodies and live coronavirus testing should stop infected people from entering the school chain according to the advice. And then if one is found you shut the whole school for 14 days and retest.

    None of this is my opinion I should add. I’m just trying to speculate what political decisions government ministers will make based on scientific and mathematical modelling advice.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    It clearly means there will be no exams in 2021 also imho too. It will be Teacher Assessments.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  7. mousey1394

    mousey1394 New commenter

    The most obvious thing to do would be to remove the assignments. After all, they’ve been a complete waste of time this year, even though I’m sure they would’ve pulled some marks up and allowed some pupils to actually pass. It’ll never happen though.
    Marisha and micgbanks like this.
  8. puppyofdoom

    puppyofdoom New commenter

    Absolutely agree with this. Also (potentially selfishly, as an English teacher) I don't want non-specialists teaching my subject if it can be avoided. We've managed in Scotland to keep the requirement for a degree (or at least part of one) in the subject so far. I know that technically at BGE anyone can teach anything, but let's not make that a target!
  9. alendra

    alendra New commenter

    As a non-English specialist (I'm a scientist), rest assured I don't want to be drafted in to teach English! Or Maths, come to that. One of the things I love about the Scottish system is the requirement for subject specific knowledge. I could probably manage the basics of English and Maths, to a point, and after that it would just become childcare, rather than teaching.
    sicilypat and bigjimmy2 like this.
  10. Scubadt

    Scubadt New commenter

    This has crossed my mind too. Surely it's not possibly to run an exam diet when kids have been out if school for months of the year.

    Don't assess certain units? Needed to be told that by now.
    Same as this year?

    How do we do worthwhile assessmenys when the kids are at home with their notes etc?
    bigjimmy2 and install like this.
  11. install

    install Star commenter


    And seemingly there are supposed to be ‘exam’ opportunities for any Yr11 or Yr13 candidates that are not happy with their results?

    Now then - I wonder how that will happen and where if the pandemic does a 2nd high peak spike with a vengeance.
  12. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  13. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Again, I read a post relating to opening a socially distanced school.

    I have not seen a plan which shows how students can return to school in a socially distanced manner. Denmark et al only have half of the students in just now.

    There will be no socially distanced classes of 30. No classroom of that size exists.

    Has anyone seen a plan to accommodate a whole school opening in August/September?
    alexmurraybrown and bigjimmy2 like this.

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