Staff at Felpham Community College are coping with a classroom crisis.
A rota of teachers has been set up by headteacher Mark Anstiss to enable students still attending to use the online support available to pupils kept at home by their parents in line with coronavirus prevention advice from the government.
Mr Anstiss said an overwhelming response greeted his request for staff volunteers to supervise the timetable in school. “We now have a rota in place so that we have enough teachers in school, with the rest of school being shut to maximise the safety of our school community,” he said.
“We currently have around 12-15 students accessing this on-site provision.
“The timetable is run in three close areas of the school, centralised, with other buildings being shut.
“Speaking with other headteachers, they are operating with similar-sized groups. Although it is not a lot, the school staff are happy to support our critical workers and vulnerable students at this exceptional time.
“I am pleased that parents are following the government’s advice and choosing to keep their children at home whenever possible because this is the safest option for them.
“It is a strange and surreal time in schools and for those working in education currently. I am fortunate to have an outstanding staff team at Felpham and have been humbled by staff volunteering to help out and do what they can to support our children in school during this crisis.”
The Felpham Way college of some 1,500 pupils officially shut last Friday as a response to a government requirement to limit the spread of the fatal virus.
It is only open to children of critical care workers and those who are considered to be vulnerable.
“The school is currently operating daily from 8.30am-3.30pm, from Monday-Friday. We plan to stay open for as long as possible, including the Easter break if required,” said Mr Anstiss.
Those pupils present rotate around activities completing the work set by their teachers. They can also take part in other activities such as art and sports.
Each year group has been set a timetable for online learning. Year 9 students, for example, have maths, science and English on Mondays, and maths, languages and art on Tuesdays.
He said: “Each day is different and it is suggested that they complete at least three hours of work a day if at Key Stage 3, about four hours per day for Key Stage 4 and five hours per day if in Year 12.
“We have suggested students work through a routine each day, for example, completing school work 10am-mid-day and then 1pm-3pm. We have also stressed the importance of exercise and healthy lifestyles.”
All school work was set using Microsoft Teams, where assignments can be set, deadlines given, and students can complete and submit work.
Teachers were also able to provide feedback or comments online, added Mr Anstiss.