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School Update - The Virtual Pastoral System: Wednesday 1st April 2020

Please click here to access HOME SCHOOL WORK resources 

How to access subject resources on Microsoft Teams

Mr Veal's Virtual Assembly - Thursday 2nd April


Friday 3rd April 2020, 3.30pm

Dear Parents, Carers and Students. 

We’d like to share some further information with you all at the end of term. 

Students of Key workers: A reminder that if, as key workers, your young person needs to come to school in the holidays then contact us in advance via admin@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk email if you have not already done so, as per the details we’ve already sent out 

Start of term September 2020: We know it’s a long way off but wanted to just let you know the 2020/21 academic year starts for Hounsdown Students on Monday 7th September 2020. Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th September 2020 are on the Hampshire school calendar but are INSET days for us. We’ll confirm other INSET days for next year before the end of this academic year. Thursday 24th September 2020 will be an early closure for our annual Open Evening.  

The curriculum for after Easter y7 to 10: We’ll send an updated plan to you all next week of how we intend to set and mark/assess work for this coming summer term. Rather than just try and follow the normal timetable, we’ll be asking for students to do around 12-15 hours of schoolwork as a minimum a week; and include within that work to be marked and assessed. If students have a good working routine already, there will be no need to change, we’re just trying to establish what is reasonable minimum to aim for for all to access/do from home. 

Year 11: There is a letter for year 11 from Ms Hibberd coming shortly.  We appreciate the shock of the last few weeks takes some processing and are still advising that a routine of some academic work, particularly focused on transition to College and coursework is healthy, but are also aware that government direction isn’t fully clear to us yet on what is expected for GCSEs. We are hearing today that there is a cut off time for work done in year 11 that can ‘count’ for GCSE grading but haven’t confirmed details. We’ll keep you posted. 

Languages learning: A reminder from The Languages department that the work on Teams is to be completed as a priority over anything done on Kerboodle. The Teams work is the core work to help you keep up in your languages lessons when we get you back in school! 

GCSE Pod: We very recently bought a subscription to GCSE Pod to help us provide work for you to do at home. We are setting up the system and are asking students to trial logging on and accessing resources, see details from below. We’ll look to set work from this in due course, but in the meantime, please try to log on and have a go:

" Students should search for “GCSE Pod” and then proceed to login. As it is the first time they will have logged in, they should click the “New Here? Get started” button. It will then ask you to put in their details such as first name, surname, date of birth. Their names must be as they recorded on SIMS. They will also be asked to create a username and password.

Once logged in, students can take a tour and the site will show them key elements of the platform. Assignments, quizzes, playlists and videos are but a few of the ways in which students can support their learning.

At this time, assignments may not have been set for students in certain subjects but this should not stop your son/daughter from exploring the site to see what is available for them to use and access to ensure learning continues to take place."

Finally, thank you all for your words of support and positivity. You are a great community to be part of. Regards 

Mr Veal, Mrs Turvey and the Hounsdown School Staff 

Wednesday 1st April 2020 3.30pm: Tutors staying in touch, a new system for students. 

Dear Parents and Carers
To continue to try and support all students as we would do normally, we are rolling out a virtual pastoral system. Our intention is that your young person's normal tutor has email contact (or call if they are in school) with them once per fortnight over and above any other contact with the school or setting of work that class teachers may be doing already.
Probably the most important part of all of this will simply be to establish contact, to make sure that all students have a member of staff they feel confident to contact and that such basic student - teacher communication is kept open for the duration. There are likely to be problems we can't fix but we'll be a virtual listening ear, for all the issues we would usually deal with in school, in-school hours. You as parents and carers are clearly taking the lead on care and learning at present and so it will be a natural next step to communicate with you if there are significant pastoral issues raised. 
Can we ask that you share this information with your young person at home and ask them to follow the instructions below. Any questions from parents and carers can be directed to admin@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk, any questions from students should go to the email addresses below or their normal tutor's email address.
Dear Hounsdown Students 
  • To make sure the school stays in contact with you and help to check how you are we are asking you to answer these questions and email them back to your normal tutor. Please do this over the the next two weeks. Your tutor will then reply, usually by email, and pick up any issues related to learning or looking out for you in normal school hours. Your tutor will only use a school email account (ending in @hounsdown.hants.sch.uk). If a different teacher instead of your tutor replies, they will explain why and make sure your tutor is copied in to the reply to you. If you have questions or you do NOT get a reply from your tutor, or you do not know your tutor's email address send your answers to one of these: 
  • State your name and normal tutor group in any email you send.
  • QUESTIONS to answer and email back to your tutor please:
  • 1. Have your family been able to receive Parent Mail updates?
  1. 2. Have your family been able to check the school Website for latest news and information?
  2. 3. Have you been able to access school work using Microsoft Teams?
  3. 4. Do you have a daily routine that is helping you to 
    1. a) Do some school work
    2. b) Do some exercise
    3. c) Help you to feel well/ok?
  1. 5. Could you briefly describe a day last week that felt like a good day for you?
  2. 6. Have you been in contact with any teachers? If so who?
  3. 7. Do you have any questions about school work that we haven't been able to answer?
  4. 8. Do you have any worries or concerns that you would normally talk to a teacher in school about?

This is only designed to help and stay in touch. Teachers will try their best to respond during normal school hours. If you have serious worries at any other time talk to a trusted adult at home, or if that is not possible, email safeguarding@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk at any time. You should get a response within 24hours. Other help is available, look on the website for guidance.


The Hounsdown School staff


Wednesday 25th March 2020, 3.30pm

School in operation today as yesterday. Details on how we intend to try to further support learning and checking in with students not in school will follow in the days to come. There are solutions for operating Microsoft Teams via Apple devices now. Email the IT support account, address sent earlier today by ParentMail. 

Mr Veal

Tuesday 24th March 2020, 4pm

Dear Parents/carers

  • We have run another school day with skeleton staffing supporting students/families most in demand or need at present. Thank you for your understanding in only sending targeted students to school when you have no other childcare. We are working to establish some kind of routine and continue this support for the future. Keeping student numbers in school to a minimum helps us do this, as our staffing is also stretched at present. Any advance notice possible of when you need this over the coming days/weeks helps us to plan.
  • Thank you for the feedback on the ‘virtual assembly’ via the website, we hope there will be another one coming before the end of the week!
  • We continue to recommend students at home follow their normal timetable as best they can using the online resources.

There is now an email you can use to send IT/Technical queries to directly, it has been sent out to you via Parent Mail

  • There ARE problems with Microsoft Teams and Apple devices, please see the advice below:

We have been investigating the problems that you have been experiencing with Microsoft Teams and are currently in conversation with support outside of school to resolve the issue.

If you have a Windows based device at home that can be used then that is less likely to run into issues and we are more likely to be able to resolve them in-house.

If you do not have access to such a device, a selection of resources are available on the Hounsdown School website. In school we also use a variety of online sites such as Hegarty Maths, Kerboodle, Accelerated Reader and Active Learn that your child can engage with.

We hope to have a resolution to the problems experienced with Apple devices soon and will keep you informed of any updates.

Kind regards,  IT Support Team

  • PE with Joe (Joe Wicks) has been recommended by one family as a great way to start the school day at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v-a_dpwhro.
  • We will be looking at how we support feedback on tasks set and how we establish some kind of remote pastoral check in during school hours over the coming week.
  • A reminder please that school staff will only be accessed via their school email address, always ending @hounsdown.hants.sch.uk and during normal school hours.
  • Any questions can also continue to come to admin@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk

Finally today, please see below an update on Peripatetic Music lessons from Mr Morgan


Mr Veal

  • Peripatetic Music Lessons

There is now a folder on ‘Teams’ under the ‘Music’ Subject area called ‘Instrumental Lessons.’ In this folder students can find the name of their Peripatetic Music Teacher and will be able to access personalised targets for work they should be completing. Their teachers have currently provided 4 weeks’ worth of work; the exception to this is Mr Streather (Drum Kit) who has emailed his work directly.

Billing: As HMS are not aware of the timescale for return to school, they cannot confirm at this time what the position will be on billing and refunds. HMS have asked both schools and parents “to bear with” them while they work things through and HMS will be in touch about this as soon as they are able.

Virtual Learning Environment: The HMS website will soon have a Virtual Learning Environment up and running and once we have been informed that it is working then I will send further communication with how to access. For the time being, all work will be shared on ‘Teams.’

Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any further queries: m.morgan@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk

Kind regards, Mr Morgan

Monday 23rd March 2020, 9pm 

Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday evening this is an important reminder that students should now only be in school IF they are in the categories previously identified by the government AND they are unable to be supervised at home. This is for everyone's safety.  Mr Veal

GCSE examinations  - Year 10 and Year 11

We are currently waiting on information from the Exam boards on GCSE's. A link to the latest information we have from the Government about this years GCSE examinations is on the Hounsdown School website under the exams information tab, and below:


If your young person has outstanding coursework we would recommend, as per the messages they were given last week, that this is completed and emailed to their class teacher for marking. Marks from this is likely to be needed to support in the awarding of grades. 

For Year 10 students if your child was due to sit early entry GCSE exams this summer we are seeking advice from exam boards on this and will update you when we are able to. 

Hegarty Website (Maths)

We are aware that there have been a number of issues accessing Hegarty maths and understand how frustrating this will have been. Hegarty maths has been experiencing a high volume of traffic and is struggling with this at the current moment, although it is attempting to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. If you keep trying you will eventually get on but we would suggest searching for the topic area listed in the guidance document on 'Teams' in a search engine and then looking at the results there: BBC bitesize, Corbett Maths, Dr Frost, and Mr Barton, are all very good.

Accessing books (Years 7-11) and Accelerated Reader (Years 7 and 8) when offsite - Hounsdown’s eBook and Audiobook Platform

At Hounsdown we offer an eBook platform that is accessible 24/7 via the ePlatform app. Your child can register for the service by going to https://hounsdown.wheelers.co/ clicking Sign In and then Register. A notification will then be sent to me so that I can approve the registration.

The new ePlatform app is your ticket to unlock the world of eBooks and Audiobooks.

It's quick, simple and free to set up. Within minutes you'll be able to read or listen to your library titles anywhere, any time, on most devices. Even if you're offline, the ePlatform app is the quickest and easiest way to borrow and read eBooks as well as listen to Audiobooks on your iPad, Galaxy, Windows tablet or other tablet/mobile device - without downloading any additional software. Just log in once and begin reading or listening; when you exit, your place is automatically book-marked and you can begin where you stopped with just one click.

The ePlatform houses hundreds of books, including those on the Year 7 and 8 Accelerated Reader scheme and is a great way to access literature from home. We hope that you find these tools useful to assist you in staying up to date with your child’s reading progress whilst away from the physical space of the school library. Please encourage your child to quiz on books they have read via the usual link found within FROG. All restrictions have been lifted so that they may quiz outside of school - at any time, day and date until further notice.


The Hounsdown School staff

Updates from Sunday 22nd March:

We apologise for any confusion caused in the letters that were sent yesterday. It has been a very busy few days and we are trying to put in place very quickly schooling both for those at home, and in school for those who the government have identified should be offered education in school. We have had too many emails and queries to have been able to respond personally, so some of the answers and information has had to go out to everyone so that parents and carers can decide what they need to do.
We are also aware from our Parentmail company that national demand for messages has been so great that there has been a delay in hours in you receiving them. The system stopped completely for a few hours late one evening last week. If we have to keep messages very short to help keep the system running, we'll put the detail on the website.
For clarification of our recent messages see below:
Key Workers and Requests for education at school (Hounsdown)
The letter sent on Friday regarding Key Workers Requests for schooling, was sent to all parents/carers as we could not respond to each parent/carer individually. 
The letter was intended to be acted on by ONLY those parents/carers that are key workers (under the government eligibility criteria). 
If you are a Key Worker and you have not contacted us yet, education at Hounsdown can still be put in place for your child/children. Either send your child/children in on Monday for an 8.35am start or contact us by phone only Monday to speak to us.
A Parentmail letter has been sent to individual parents/carers regarding schooling for EHCP/children in care, post looked after children or other government eligible vulnerable children.
It was late in getting to you due to the national problems with Parentmail. If your young person is in one of these groups, and would like schooling at Hounsdown for them, please send them in when you would like them to be at school. You do not need to wait until you contact us.
Please remember that you should only send your child or children in if they are well enough to be in school, and because you are unable to support them at home. 
This provision at school is not compulsory.
We hope this clarifies any confusion.

Mrs Turvey and  Mr Veal
Previous updates from Friday 20th March:

We have added the link below for you to access and read regarding the government’s latest advice for parents of school age children.


Continue to full Hounsdown School website