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Headteacher's update 50

Published on 22/01/21

Good afternoon,

I hope that you and your families are well. Thank you for continuing to support your child with their learning. You should have received a letter we shared this week on behalf of Sheffield City Council to reinforce the ‘stay at home’ advice that is so crucial at this precarious time in the pandemic. Around 90% of our students continue to be educated at home and, while we miss our students and wish we could have them all in school, we support and will work with the important public health advice that students should work at home where this is at all possible.


Accessing and attendance to remote lessons

We have updated our website with more detailed guidance on accessing remote learning, including a video from Mr Gardiner that is designed to support families. It can be accessed here:

This week we began registering student attendance to remote lessons and alerting parents/carers if their child had not logged into remote learning each morning. We are once again trying our best to implement a new system to ensure as many of our students are possible are able to access remote lessons. Taking registers for students learning remotely is far more challenging than registering students in a classroom. It relies on teachers being able to accurately take note of all those students who join live lessons or access remote assignments. Moreover, there have been technical barriers to overcome to ensure teachers working from home have been able to access our electronic registers in school. We will continue to work hard to improve our systems of registering students and flagging non-attendance to parents/carers, and please accept our apologies if we have made errors and you have received messages that your child has not been engaged in remote learning when you know they have. To support us in this process, please note the following:

  • If your child is ill or has a medical appointment, please notify school as you would under normal circumstances, using Weduc or calling the absence line, so that we can make teachers aware that they should expect a child to be absent.
  • Please ensure your child follows their normal timetable each day and accesses the Team for each lesson at the correct time each day. This way they will be marked present for lessons. Up-to-date timetables can be accessed via Weduc.
  • Let us know if your child is having issues accessing remote learning. We are receiving lots of calls from parents/carers and our team in reception have become very competent in guiding families through the process of resetting passwords and logging into Teams.

We have updated our website with more detailed guidance on accessing remote learning, including a video from Mr Gardiner that is designed to support families. It can be accessed here:


Asymptomatic testing in school

Those students who are currently attending school will receive their first ‘Lateral Flow Test’ next week. In our efforts to make school as safe as possible we now routinely test our staff each week, and will implement tests for students in line with Department for Education advice. If your child is currently attending school you will receive a link via Weduc to an electronic consent form that must be completed before your child can access a test in school.


Rewarding exceptional attitudes to learning

We continue to reward students for showing an exceptional attitude to learning in lessons, be they in-school or remote. Every fortnight two students in each year group will receive Amazon vouchers as a recognition of their exceptional attitude. Our Year 7 team are posting home reward certificates today, and we will continue to look for creative ways to celebrate the tremendous efforts of the vast majority of our students.


Thank you so much for your continued excellent support of your child and our school.

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School