Posted on: 27/11/2020
How Hampton High has changed because of CovidThis week’s opinion piece is about how Hampton High has changed because of Covid
By Molly G, School Prefect
Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a massive overhaul and shift regarding all aspects of life. One of the most notable for us students is the complete change in almost every part of our typical school life. From struggling with slow, unresponsive Microsoft Teams lessons, to a total shift in the timetabling and schedule of our school day; it is fair to say that the current school year has taken some adjusting to for pretty much everybody.
For one, online learning has definitively become a staple diet of 2020. After schools closed in March, many primary and secondary schools were forced to transition to online platforms, such as Satchel (Show My Homework) or Microsoft Teams in order to keep vital learning going. An online survey completed between April and May of this year, including 4,000 parents, found that “Primary and Secondary pupils were each spending about 5 hours a day on average on home learning”, as reported by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. However, while many students were able to comfortably access these online platforms and resources, it is essential to remember that these conditions did cause disadvantage to some; the same report found that students from lower income families were likely to spend much less time online learning due to a multitude of reasons – many could not or did not have access to the internet or a workable device to carry out work on, or there were other responsibilities preventing them, such as taking care of siblings.
While all of this has proved significant to students throughout the country, how did it impact on Hampton specifically? Well there has been a great deal of change. Recently, the rule of wearing face masks in the communal areas of the school has been introduced in an attempt to lessen the chance of transmission. Each year group now has its own “bubble” and must stay in their designated area of the school for the duration of the school day – which was admittedly a strange sight and sound during lunch for the first week or so, and a stark contrast to the packed hustle and bustle of the canteen that now seems a lifetime ago!
Overall, it seems fair to say that so far this year has been startlingly unique, and although it has been unpredictable, stressful at times, and very new at some point, things will return to some semblance of normal, even if we are unsure when. Education in general has seen a huge shift and we can only look to the future and see what happens next, while not forgetting the huge impacts that this crisis has had on everybody.
Posted on: 20/11/2020
What’s happening in Australia?This week’s opinion piece is a global piece:
By Lucy J, School Prefect
It may not seem relevant for me to be talking about Australia; however, it is more important than ever today for us to have a global mindset and keep up to date with worldwide issues, such as the Coronavirus, as it has left a detrimental impact on all of us across the whole wide world.
Australia has been affected by the pandemic very differently from the UK as a result of having different restrictions and policies in place. The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, initially closed all Australian borders to non-residents on the 20th March 2020. This had a positive result as there was no constant stream of people travelling with the virus into the country. This, plus a nationwide lockdown, made the cases relatively low compared to the rest of the world, particularly at a first glance.
However, there has been a second wave of infections, which surged in Melbourne back in June, which resulted in a strict lockdown. Australia’s approach was often praised by the media as they acted quickly to tackle the infection. Yet it is important to remember, when comparing Australia to the UK, that the UK has nearly three times the population of Australia, so numerically our virus cases appear to be larger.
Australia has suffered turbulence this year, despite the pandemic, facing multiple protests throughout the year. One of the biggest protests, causing the greatest disruption, was the anti-lockdown protests. Some Australians were demanding that the lockdown restrictions were lifted, feeling their liberty and freedom have been taken away. In Melbourne, the Covid restrictions were extremely harsh, resulting in unrest amongst its people. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter Protests earlier in the year after the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May were prominent in Australia.
Overall, Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on nearly every single person’s life from across the world. We are all interconnected. It is therefore always important to remain in touch with global current affairs and to remember we are all in this together.
Posted on: 13/11/2020
Staying entertained during LockdownThis week’s prefect topic is about staying entertained during Lockdown
By Mozamel S, School Prefect
During lockdown we weren’t allowed to leave our homes for five months due to COVID-19. It was bound to become exhausting and tiresome, doing nothing at home, and it was made even worse by the fact you could not see your friends to pass those dull, mundane hours quicker. So, I thought, how could I get myself out of this situation – I needed to make this time stimulating and memorable to avoid feeling anxious.
My salvation turned out to be a classic: Netflix. When one world becomes uneventful and spiritless, why not escape into another? Into a more exciting, diverting world? Netflix is a video streaming service, famous worldwide for the wide range of films and TV programmes it offers on subscription. Trust me when I say it’s worth it!
During lockdown, watching films and TV series was my saving grace. There are so many films out there to choose from; it would suit everyone’s diverse tastes. My personal favourites, which I would highly recommend, included:
-The Vampire Diaries
-Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Netflix was my coping mechanism. It gave me the space to switch off from the stress of the pandemic and to be sucked into an exciting world of fiction and adventure. What is your way of coping?
Posted on: 6/11/2020
What is happening in the UK?New Covid-19 Rules and Protests
By Hannah G, School Prefect
As we have all noticed, the world has been flipped upside down this year. Many legends and icons have passed away, police brutality is rising in multiple countries, and a deadly virus has been travelling around the globe.
It is hard for us to keep up with the Covid rules as they have kept chopping and changing, but at this moment in time we have entered another national lockdown. This can be a very daunting time for young people and their families, especially those with loved ones who have underlying health conditions.
School may also become more overwhelming and confusing for students, especially for those in Year 11 who are faced with the added pressure of exams, so make sure you support one another. If you are not able to do this in person, you can always do it virtually. This is our chance to prove we are resilient and can get our education back on track, even during the toughest of times. Our teachers are here to guide and support us and hopefully we will all make it through with great exam results! Remember to stay determined and to encourage each other to push yourself past your limit: we can only get smarter and better!
If you want to keep up-to-date with the changing government rules, here are some of the rules as they currently stand:
you must not socialise in groups indoors or outdoors. You may meet with one person from another household outside of the home
businesses and venues have to close if they are deemed as ‘non-essential’; however, essential business can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner the restaurant business can only operate through a ‘take-away’ only system as customers are no longer allowed to eat inside their venues
nurseries, schools, colleges and universities remain open but children over the age of 11 must wear face masks to protect themselves and staff
households are encouraged to take part in daily exercise to improve their health, during the national lockdown
in households where someone is living on their own, they are allowed to form a ‘social bubble’ with one other household during the month-long lockdown
parents are allowed to continue to have informal childcare support.
members of the public must: wear a face covering in those areas where this is mandated
You should continue to:
follow social distancing rules, if you have to go into the workplace
work from home where you can effectively do so
when travelling, plan or avoid busy times and routes; walk or cycle if you can
Another way of staying on top of the virus and in control is by keeping up-to-date with current affairs. Here are some links to recent news articles on the Coronavirus outbreak:
A vaccine update: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13023540/coronavirus-uk-news-tier-3-lockdown-vaccine-tests-live/
UK quarantine rules: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-quarantine-idUSKBN27A0G
There have also been many protests happening for several reasons, mostly due to world conflict and political injustice. Get educated on these and do your part to help the world!
End Sars protests: How can you help people in Nigeria from the UK?
UK: Virus cases climb as protesters march in London
UK High Commission shuts down visa centres in Nigeria due to #EndSARS protests
We, at Hampton High, do our best to stay up to date with the world, to stay in line with government rules and regulations, and to take part in various charities. Make sure you stay safe and follow the rules so we can get through this together. #ENDSARS BY DOING YOUR PART!
Posted on: 3/11/2020
Proposal to start a Specialist Resource Provision at Hampton High from September 2021We were thrilled to be approached by AfC (Achieving for Children) about setting up a Specialist Resource Provision for students with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and mild to moderate learning difficulties.
AfC approached us in Summer 2019, following our Good Ofsted judgement, and we had planned to progress with this from September 2020. We viewed this as an excellent opportunity to really live out our values as an inclusive school. We also recognise from our previous collective leadership experience in different schools, that such a provision can have a really positive impact on the entire school community and the outcomes for all students, as teaching and learning is immeasurably enhanced.
Covid19 prevented us moving forward with this for September 2020. However, we are firmly committed to setting this provision up for September 2021 and are now consulting widely about this. The information for this can be found below:
Since a review of its local provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in 2017, Richmond Council’s children’s services provider, Achieving for Children (AfC), has worked with a number of mainstream primary and secondary schools in the borough to establish a new or expand an existing ‘specialist resource provision’.
A specialist resource provision (SRP) can be defined as ‘a mainstream school teaching space where places are reserved for children who have a specific type of SEND which requires an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), and who are taught mainly within mainstream classes, but require a base and some specialist facilities within, the school concerned’. Several other mainstream schools, primary as well as secondary, in the borough already successfully operate SRPs, for children and young people with a variety of different needs.
Hampton High, at the request of AfC, is proposing to open, in September 2021, a specialist resource provision for up to for 20 pupils with Social Communication Needs including Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Mild to Moderate Learning Difficulties. Pupils will have an EHCP or, rarely, will be undergoing statutory assessment for an EHCP.
The capital funding required to convert some of the school’s existing accommodation for this purpose will be entirely provided from an allocation of funding which the Council has received from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and which must be spent on providing new places or resources for children and young people SEND.
The Council will also provide revenue funding to pay for the costs of staffing and resourcing the SRP. A Teacher-in-Charge will be recruited to lead the staff of the SRP.
The SRP will build up its pupil numbers over a three- or four-year period, up to its capacity of 20. Those children will be admitted onto the school’s roll in addition to the planned intake of 180 children per year.
In order for the proposal to go ahead, a business case need to be submitted to, and approved by, the ESFA. In making the business case, we have to demonstrate that we have undertaken consultation with parents/carers and other stakeholders in our community. I would therefore be grateful if you could complete the survey here by Tuesday 1 December 2020.