Headteacher Update 26th February 2021

26/02/21

Dear Parent/Carer,

We are now in a position to give you more information regarding the full return to school for students.

RETURN TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY MARCH 8TH

We expect all students to return to school on Monday 8th March at the start of the school day. Students will need to go straight to their zones on arrival and they will then be calmly released and allowed to go to lessons. Monday 8th March is Week 2 on our timetable.

MASS TESTING

The reason we are able to have a full student return to school on March 8th is because we intend to carry out Covid-19 testing of all students between Wednesday 3rd and Friday 5th March. In a separate email you will receive notification of the process for facilitating this. Thank you to the vast majority of parents who have completed the consent forms. We will need to contact parents directly if you have not completed this.

In the week of March 8th, every student will be tested twice more in school; this is a government requirement and will mean that some lessons are disrupted – we will do whatever we can to keep this disruption to a minimum. From the week of March 15th students will be given tests to complete at home.

FACE COVERINGS AND UNIFORM

Another change to the guidance for student return is that all students will need to wear face coverings in classrooms unless they have a medical exemption (this is to be reviewed at Easter). To simplify things as far as possible we have decided that students must wear face coverings whenever they are inside a building (except when they are eating in the canteen). We really need the help of parents with ensuring that children have a face covering at all times through constant daily reminders that the response to Covid-19 is the responsibility of all of us. I had thought initially that this would also apply to teachers in classrooms but the fine detail of the guidance makes it clear that teachers do not have to wear face coverings if they are within their exclusion zone in a classroom.

Apart from the changes regarding face coverings, school will be as it was last term. It may be a number of weeks since your child last wore their school uniform – please have a look and see that everything fits! Once again I will take the opportunity to ask for your support in ensuring that students are in correct school uniform and wearing enough layers. One of our control factors regarding Covid-19 is that classroom windows will remain open for ventilation even on colder days. So students should wear a T-shirt, school shirt, school jumper and blazer. As we move into the slightly better March weather this will be sufficient to remain warm.

ASSESSMENT AND CRUs THIS TERM

We have taken the decision to move assessments for this half term into the weeks of March 15th and March 22nd. This will mean that they can be completed face to face in classrooms and will be more consistently and reliably carried out. The knock-on effect of this will be that the publication of CRUs will be delayed – possibly until just after Easter. More details to follow. The purpose of these assessments is to gauge students’ level of knowledge and understanding of the topics taught (mainly) remotely. Teachers will prioritise the marking of this test, using this feedback to plan our future curriculum delivery for the rest of the academic year. 

YEAR 11 GRADING 2021

We have also received details this week of the process schools should follow in awarding GCSE and other grades to students this summer. We will work through the detail of this and communicate with families and students. We have plenty of time left in the school year for students to continue to work hard and ensure they achieve the best possible grades. Results will be available to students on Thursday 12th August.

We have taken the decision that Period 6 will no longer take place. However, this does not mean that students will not receive support. Support will be focused on any student in any subject that we feel is in need of support. We are very sorry for any upset this may cause Year 11 students.

A lot for us all to digest this week; but the key thing is that our students will be back at school very soon and we are very much looking forward to seeing them.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland