We are delighted that we will soon be welcoming your child back to school to work with them face-to-face. I want to acknowledge the invaluable support that you, their parents, have given them. Their success has most certainly relied on your ongoing, sustained support.
Whilst online distance learning has been instrumental in enabling us to continue to teach your child, it has amplified important aspects of learning, which aren’t conducive to remote working. These include interpersonal skills and relationship building, social interaction, opportunities to work in groups and of course, hands-on practical subjects. I can assure you that once we have your child back at school, we’re going to make the most of it.
One of the first actions we took to maximise face-to-face learning time, was to move the ESF Continuous Professional Learning (CPD) day on 5 October outside of school hours. This means that 5 October will be a normal school day for students and teachers in the classroom. Once we’re back at school, all CPD days will be held outside of school hours; taking every opportunity to maximise the time teachers and students are together in the classroom.
We also considered moving the mid-term break in October to later in the year. Having decided to continue with the mid-term break as originally planned, I want to explain the thinking behind our decision. We weighed up the fact that the first term is exceptionally long with the fact that students have been fully engaged in learning since early August. Students will have completed 10 weeks of learning, seven weeks online and three weeks in school, before the mid-term break.
The reason for a mid-term break in term one is that it is difficult to sustain the focus in learning over such a long period without students and their teachers taking a proper break. If we worked through the mid-term break, the first term would become a staggering 18 weeks long, which is simply not conducive to productive learning.
Whilst there are two public holidays at the start of October, we believe that continuing with the planned mid-term October break is necessary to ensure that your child’s learning throughout term one, and in particular the second part of the term, is productive and enjoyable.
Our commitment to the continuous learning and well-being of your child remains our top priority. I have to say, the start of the year has been exceptionally tough but we have all pulled together to make it work. We confidently look ahead over the coming year, focused on getting the very best out of education. My promise to you is this, we will work tirelessly to navigate these challenging times, always putting your child first.
Thank you for your ongoing support. We can’t wait to welcome your child back to school very soon.
Chief Executive Officer
English Schools Foundation