12 February 2021
Friday, February 12, 2021
I hope you are all well and safe. This week’s updates include:
Returning to school and changes to our remote learning offer
The government will announce on Monday 22nd February when pupils will be returning to school. The earliest any year group could return is Monday 8th March, two weeks after half-term. I can’t envisage all pupils coming back at once and they may stagger the return of year groups. In anticipation of this, and in response to your feedback from the survey, we are changing our remote learning offer after half-term. All pupils will follow their normal timetable, Week A & B, which is on their ClassCharts, but we will stay with the current start times to lessons: 9am, 10am, 11.15am, 1pm and 2pm. A minimum of 55% of their lessons over the two weeks will be live lessons hosted by their teachers on Teams. Your child/ren will also have some ‘Catch Up’ lessons built into their timetable to give them the time to complete their work and submit it. This will start when we return on Monday 22nd February, which is a Week B.
We had nearly 600 pupil responses and 200 responses from parents. Thank you for taking the time and for your support and constructive feedback. We have tweaked our remote learning offer in response to the feedback. Pupils seem to favour pre-recorded lessons or lessons on Streams, and parents favoured more live lessons. I feel that our approach after half term should encapsulate the best of both. Both pupil and parent surveys valued the ‘Catch Up’ lessons to enable the children to keep on top of their work.
Year 11 and Sixth Form Parents’ Evenings
On Monday you will receive information about how to book in for our virtual parents’ evening. We are using the School Cloud system and you will have the opportunity to have a face-to-face parents evening with your child’s teachers. The dates and times are as follows:
Year 12 & 13: Thursday 25th February 3 – 6pm
Year 11: Thursday 4th March 3 – 6pm
Year 11: Sixth Form/FE/Apprenticeship Applications
If your child has not completed the survey/application form on the website, could you please encourage them to do so (it is in the Sixth Form Applications box on the front page). This is not just for pupils coming back into Sixth Form, we would like all Year 11 pupils to complete it so that we can support them with applications to college or apprenticeships as well. If they are planning to come back into the Sixth Form, by completing the form, we can plan for the qualifications they want to take next year. Many have already completed the form and as a result we will now be running A Levels in Computer Science, Drama and French. Those pupils who have applied to Sixth Form will receive their acceptance letters next week.
Year 11 and Sixth Form: GCSE / A Level and Vocational Qualifications (Summer 2021)
We have had no new updates on how the government plans to award grades for those pupils who were due to sit exams at GCSE / A Level and in vocational qualifications this summer. The consultation period is over, and we hope to hear what their plans will be during the week beginning Monday 22nd February. As soon as I know what the plans are I’ll write to you. Hopefully, we will know before the parents’ evenings. In the meantime, pupils must focus on preparing for their mocks when they return to school and, if they are doing vocational qualifications, provide the evidence that their teachers ask for.
Year 8 Options
I’m very conscious that pupils in Year 8 have missed so much of their Key Stage 3 and they haven’t had enough time to fully experience some subjects. I will write to all year 8 parents and pupils after half term with our plans for options in Year 9.
Years 10-13 have all received their reports through the MyEd app. Years 7-9 will receive their reports in the next half term.
National surveys have highlighted the need to have the right device to get the most from remote learning. Please contact your child’s Progress Leader by email if they do not have access to the internet or a laptop that supports the Teams App and learning from home. We have loaned out over 50 laptops since January (150 since last May). We still have a few laptops available to loan out.
Thank you for your patience and perseverance in supporting your child/ren at home. I know that this has been a very difficult time for a lot of our families with illness and bereavements. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. If you need us at any time, please contact us and we will do all we can to help.
Take care and best wishes,
Posted by Jenny Leonowicz
Category: Headteacher's Letter