Headteacher Update 13th November 2020

13/11/20

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that you and your families are well and coping with the second national lockdown. At school this feels very different to the first lockdown as we have all of our students with us – thankfully! Hopefully, the excellent news this week relating to a vaccine will prove to be effective in the not too distant future.

CURRICULUM AND EXAMINATION CATCH-UP

We are currently collating the marking from the Year 11 practice examinations last week amidst news from Wales that there will be no GCSE examinations in 2021. My understanding of the situation in Wales is that there will still be externally set and externally marked assessments; that sounds like examinations to me!

In England it remains the intention for GCSE and A Level examinations to take place in the summer of 2021 and we continue to prepare our students accordingly. Regarding catch up all students missed 14 weeks of face to face teaching last academic year and for Year 11 we are catching up as follows:

  • On-line lessons from March to July last year – if students completed all work set they are not currently behind at all!
  • 1 week made up in school in June/July last year.
  • At least 5-6 weeks made up via period 6 over the course of this year.
  • 3-4 weeks made up because of reduced content in subjects such as English Literature, History, Geography, MFL and Art
  • 2 weeks made up as exams are later this year

Given that we usually finish all GCSE courses by February half term, I hope you will understand why we are very pleased with the progress we have made with catching up curriculum content so far and that we are confident that sufficient coverage will not be an issue. The real unfairness (a lottery aspect of the system this year) is that some students nationally will be asked to self-isolate on several occasions throughout the year and will miss more face to face contact than others. We have a small number of Year 11 students in that position following a positive case this week. We will continue to give these students our full support.

We are also aware that all students in Years 7 – 10 missed 14 weeks of time in school and we are addressing that shortfall accordingly.

EXTRA CURRICULAR PROVISION FROM MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER

We were very disappointed that the government guidelines initially suggested that we could not continue with extra-curricular activities during the current lockdown. The advice now appears to have changed and it is our intention to reintroduce these activities from Monday 23rd November – not from next week as this is our designated staff well-being week for this term; I am sure you will understand the reason for this decision.

PARENT GOVERNOR CANDIDATES

Finally I would like to remind all parents that the window for proposals for the Parent Governor election remains open until Friday 20th November at 2pm.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland