Headteacher Update 8th January 2021

08/01/21

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you are well in what I know has been a challenging week for everyone. School has been open this week for a limited number of our students and all members of staff have been working from school.

REMOTE LEARNING

I must start by saying how pleased we are with the excellent engagement with work from students. We continue to tweak our remote learning approach and would encourage parents to ask what their children have been doing lesson by lesson. Miss Pena will send out separate weekly emails regarding remote learning and I would also refer you to the school website for more information.

Please contact us if your child needs a device to work more effectively from home. We know that this lockdown will last at least until mid-February and the data regarding infections suggests it could be longer than that; so it is essential that remote learning is effective from a school and a home perspective.

YEAR 11 ASSESSMENT

We now know that there will be no GCSE examinations this summer. What we do not yet know, is what the process will be for awarding grades – apart from that they will be teacher assessed. What I can say is that Year 11 students still have two terms to complete their GCSE courses, enjoy their learning and work hard. We will welcome you back to school as soon as we are able and students simply need to concentrate on producing their very best work during online lessons and internal assessments and examinations which will allow us to provide the evidence base for their teacher assessed grades. As soon as the government gives us more information about the process for grading we will share it with you. Please be assured that we will work with students and families to ensure the most appropriate next steps in their education and that at all times we will engage with any process with integrity.

YEARS 7 – 10

With the vaccine rolling out rapidly over the next couple of months we are very hopeful that school will be back to a semblance of normality by April. In the meantime, apart from remote learning, all key events on the calendar will continue. We know that we can hold online Parents’ Evenings successfully and we will take a view regarding how we are best able to carry out the Year 9 Options process. More details on this will follow in February.

MASS TESTING

We are now set up to carry out mass testing in school and we will start this with staff and the students we have in school from next week. When all students are due to return we will let you know how and when they will be tested (on an optional basis) before they return. I am very proud of the fact that my colleagues have so ably turned themselves to yet another alien task so proficiently! Thank you to the many parents who signed up to be volunteer testers – we will be in touch when the mass testing of whole year groups begins.

Finally for this week, please remember that we only exist as a school because of the community and families we serve. If you have any concerns, we remain at the end of a phone or email.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland