Headteacher Update 9th October 2020

09/10/20

Dear Parent,

I hope this finds you well.

EXAMINATIONS AND ASSESSMENT

We are still to receive official confirmation from OFQUAL regarding 2021 examinations but we are working on the basis that GCSE examinations will start 3 weeks later than usual and take place in the 4 weeks after the Whitsun half term; as soon as we have confirmation of this we will let you know.

Internally, we intend to hold practice examinations for Year 11 in English, English Literature and Mathematics in the week starting November 2nd and repeat these at the start of March. In January we will hold practice examinations in all other subjects.

For Year 7 students we will be holding Cognitive Ability Tests in the week commencing November 2nd; there is no need for any prior preparation for these tests. We have written separately to Year 7 and Year 11 parents today to confirm these details.

TUTOR TIME, ASSEMBLIES AND PASTORAL SUPPORT

I am constantly amazed and very proud of how the school community has worked so hard to make education as normal as possible since we returned in September. Without doubt, the one area we have missed most of all is the time for students to spend with their Form Tutors and the collective worship and ritual and routine of assemblies which are currently delivered remotely. To address this we will suspend Period 1 next Friday 16th October and all students will spend the hour with their Form Tutors. Similarly, after half term we will reintroduce Tutor Periods on Mondays and Wednesdays.

FACE COVERINGS

We continue to be very happy with students’ approach to wearing face coverings. We are finding, however, that washable ones are much more robust than disposable ones. Please do what you can do ensure that your child has a washable face covering.

PARKING

I’m really sorry that we don’t have a solution to this for parents wishing to drop off and pick up their children. All I can do is to continue to urge you to park legally and considerately. I have also been asked by The Willows Veterinary Group to remind you that their car park is for the use of their customers only.

UNIFORM

Just another reminder that school jumpers are available from suppliers with and without school badges. These are navy blue and V-Neck; no alternatives are acceptable.

YEAR 9 SPLIT LESSONS

In our efforts to cut down and even out movement around the school, Year 9 students currently have lessons during periods 2 and 4 split by break and lunch. They have responded in a very mature way to this and, in my conversations with them, they have told me they prefer this if it means that they can have Caritas Canteen and Hall to themselves at break and lunch; their adaptability to this new routine is very impressive.

BELLS

We continue to enjoy life without bells and we will consider this as a potential long term change. Life is calmer without them – so much so that I think we should be awarded the No Bell Peace Prize J.

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland