I hope you have all had a great Christmas and New Year. Once more it looks like we have a period of uncertainty ahead which I am sure we will all work through successfully, and then hopefully see things start to change more positively.
I am posting this message just in case it has not yet been passed on to you by your Headteacher. Below is a letter Jill Larner (Head of Hampshire Music Service) sent out on New Years Eve in response to the government plans for schools reopening in January. It outlines Hampshire Music Service's teaching strategy for the first fortnight - please do get in touch if you have any questions - email@example.com
Just below the letter from Jill is a PDF file (England Supplement 21 Dec 20) with an update from Music Mark , that interprets the DfE guidance musically for schools in tiers 3 and 4.
I look forward to catching up with everyone across the spring term and hope that everyone has as smooth a start as possible to the new term.
From: Hampshire Music Service Sent: 31 December 2020 14:57 Subject: HMS Provision, January 2021
Happy New Year!
I hope you had a chance to switch off for at least some of the Christmas break, before having to get stuck in to planning for the changing landscape ahead!
I'm sorry to interrupt your holiday but I thought it would be useful to let you know what we think is best in terms of HMS provision at the start of the Spring term.
I've attached an update from Music Mark, that interprets the DfE guidance musically for schools in tiers 3 and 4. I'm really pleased to see that music is still high on the agenda for a broad and balanced curriculum and that visiting music teachers are encouraged to continue supporting all pupils in schools at this time. Thank you again for your sustained recognition of the importance of enabling your pupils to access music in school.
In response to the staggered start to the Spring term we are proposing the following:
1. Primary Schools
For primary schools, lessons can continue as usual. As you'll remember from last term, HMS has a whole-staff CPD day on Monday 4 January, so teaching will begin on Tuesday the 5th. Our professional day is on reinforcing the options for online teaching, for instrumental/vocal and class/L2M teaching, should this become necessary again during the term.
2. Secondary Schools
Before Christmas we wrote to schools to say the first week of term will be PPA time for HMS teachers. We now think it's best to start teaching in schools from Monday 18 January and for us to refund you for the week beginning 11 January.
This enables Covid testing and remote/in-school curriculum teaching to take place without any musical disruption.
Our staff do have the facility to teach online and some of this may be possible from 11 to 15 January, but this can be arranged between the teacher and parents if there is a specific need, such as preparation for a grade/stage assessment or GCSE exam. With our staff following their usual timetables in primary schools there will not be time available for all secondary pupils to have online teaching and we know from previous lockdowns that not all pupils want, or are able to access this.
If any music lessons happen online for secondary pupils in the week of 11 to 15 January these will not be charged for, to the school or parents. All maintained secondary schools will be fully refunded for this week, at the end of the Spring term and secondary academy invoices will be discounted when issued.
We hope this is the cleanest possible solution to the challenges you are facing and we have all fingers crossed that the situation will be resolved from Monday 18 January, when all schools will be back to full capacity.
HMS teachers will be so pleased to see you and their pupils then, and hopefully this gap of a maximum of two weeks will not impact too badly. If you are able, please, to tell all your HMS pupils to blow the dust off their instruments after the Christmas break then they can be practising hard during this time and will be ready to show off their talents in week three!
3. HMS Ensembles
Unfortunately, tier 4 means we cannot resume any face to face ensembles yet, but we will be ready, willing and raring to go, as soon as the guidelines allow this. Until then, online rehearsals can continue as before.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time and very best wishes for all that you are dealing with.
Happy New Year!
Head of Hampshire Music Service