Reading Girls' School newsletter - 25 september 2020

Principal's message: "Our hybrid classrooms are live"

Connecting school, home and the Middle East!

Year 11 girls in Maths and French this week conducting group work with their classmates at home.

The staff training session on Wednesday afternoon this week was a very surreal and equally enjoyable experience. Picture the scene of 1-2 generations of anxious teachers, learning how to operate technology that the very people they are delivering to, know all about. It’s one of those times whereby age doesn’t necessarily mean experience.

However, we got through it and as you can see the girls have been enjoying group work with their self-isolating classmates through a laptop screen on their tables. The manner in which both the staff embraced the training and our girls embraced the virtual interaction, sums up everything about our very special school community.

Not only were girls at home taking part in this week’s pilot programme but our classrooms extended to the other side of the world. Two of our girls unable to get back to the UK joined their lessons and enjoyed the late start as the time-zone was in their favour.

Midhat joining her class from Pakistan

From Monday 28th September 2020, girls who are self-isolating will be able to join their lessons and interact with their classmates and teachers. It is a step up from the lockdown provision because the whole class will not be online. Only those absences that are filtered through our attendance team and displaying coronavirus symptoms, cannot return to the UK and/or quarantining will be included on our daily list of pupils circulated to teachers. Teachers will use this list to identify who they need to let into their Microsoft TEAMS.

Part of Wednesday’s staff training was learning how we can use our new microphones which means that teachers can move around the classroom as normal and those girls who are on Microsoft TEAMS will still be able to hear them. We are really looking forward to this new era of Reading Girls’ School hybrid classrooms.


There are two changes that I would like to update you about.

(i) Year 7 and 8 staggered break and lunchtimes

We have been monitoring the volume of pupils moving through the canteen area. As a result Year 7 and 8 will now leave lessons 10 minutes before break and lunch instead of the original 15 minutes since the start of term.

(ii) Movement on staircases

To ensure that there is a sense of space as pupils move around the school, we have allocated specific staircases to each year group at the times before school, after break and after lunch. The reason for this amendment is that at those times of the day, the whole school is downstairs and the vast majority of pupils have lessons on one of the upper floors. We began this new movement on Thursday and as always, the girls responded with great maturity and respect for each other.

RGS Pandemic provision

In last week’s newsletter, I said that I would present our full provision this week. We have captured our provision during the pandemic in our Covid Handbook. The link below will take you to this document. Each section has appendices inserted but you will not be able to access them through this format. There are too many and they are too large to attach to the newsletter, however, if you want to read any of them, please feel free to contact me and I will send them separately to you.

Jon Gargan, Principal

Kala Arts' virtual lesson on Monday with Year 8 for their Diwali Project.

Has your lesson been REAL (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning)?

Using REAL tokens students have the opportunity to give instant feedback to staff about their experiences within the lesson.

Students are provided with a token and at the end of the lesson, are asked if their lesson has been R.E.A.L. (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning). Students theen place their token into the 'Yes' or 'No' box, which is in every teaching classroom. Staff then uses this information to make any modification to their delivery of their lesson. These tokens are then collected in at the end of every week and counted.

Results for this week: Monday 21 to Friday 25 September 2020

YES - 2538 tokens

No - 234 tokens

Careers Education Plan

The Careers Education Plan for this year has been drafted, and we welcome your comments. Please email kthomson@readinggirlsschool.net by Wednesday 30 September 2020.

All meals are provided by Chartwells - a school meal consists of a main meal and a dessert for £2.40 a variety of snacks and drinks are also available.

Chartwells operate a cashless till system, operated by cards. The cards are topped up online using a secure website called ParentPay, if your daughter is eligible for free meals, £2.40 is credited to her card each day. Your daughter will be provided with her card and ParentPay login details on her first day at Reading Girls' School. You can find more information about ParentPay on their website http://www.parentpay.com. The school office is also happy to help with any enquiries.

Follow the link for details of the school menu.

Information from Highways England regarding further M4 closures this weekend.

Please read the message below from our uniform supplier Stephensons regarding the latest supply update information.