26th February 2021
Dear parents and carers
I am delighted to write to you today confirming the return of our young people back into school from Monday the 8th March. I would again like to extend my heartfelt thanks for the support you have given the children and staff at Heworth Grange over the past weeks with remote learning. Your kind messages and words of encouragement have meant so much to us and it has certainly made the job easier knowing you have all been behind us.
In this letter I would like to give you an update regarding the return to school and the testing arrangements we will be putting into place. I will also update Year 11 and 13 parents and carers on the arrangements for teacher assessed grades that was released yesterday. The teacher assessed grades will replace examinations this year.
Lateral Flow Testing and Return to School
As you will be aware the Government have announced the return of all students from Monday 8th March. As part of that phased return, the Government have also said that all students will be offered the opportunity to take a series of 3 COVID (lateral flow) tests during the first 2 weeks of their return.
They have further announced that these tests can begin in the week commencing Monday 1st March in order to make the transition back into school a smoother one. The tests are voluntary, but we would strongly encourage all students to have one. The test is a swab of the back of the throat and nose, and is a relatively quick process, full details of the test are on the school website in the COVID section. The main supervision of the test will be undertaken by school staff who fully trained and are familiar to the students.
In order that we can welcome students back into school as quickly and smoothly as possible we will begin the testing of students from Monday 1st March and the timetable is set out below. During the week of the 1st to the 5th March, all students invited in for testing will be able to have their test and leave immediately.
During the week of the return to school between Monday 8th and Friday 12th March, students will remain in school after they have taken their test.
|Date||Test number||SCHOOL START DATE|
|Monday 1st March||1|
|Tuesday 2nd March||1||1|
|Wednesday 3rd March||1||1||1|
|Thursday 4th March||2||2||2|
|Friday 5th March||2||2||2|
|Monday 8th March||3||YEAR 7 (After test 3)|
|Tuesday 9th March||3||3||3||YEARS 10, 11 and 13 (After test 3)|
|Wednesday 10th March||3||3||YEARS 8 and 9 (After Test 3)|
|Thursday 11th March|
|Friday 12th March|
Full details, consent forms and specific times to come into school will be sent out to students in each year group and these must be completed and brought into school when students come in for the first test. Additionally, a further letter will be sent out before Monday 8th March with full details of the routines for students once they are back in school. COVID restrictions and specific requirements such as the wearing of facemasks, except for students who are exempt, in classrooms will be put in place and remain until the Government reviews the guidelines as we approach the Easter break. We know this will not be easy and certainly not what any of us would wish, but I ask that you support us with the guidelines set out by the DfE and encourage students to be ready to do this once they come back. Our students have always been extremely good about wearing their masks but obviously now the government expects them to wear them at all times within the school building to protect themselves and others.
Remote Learning and Advisory 1st – 5th March
To facilitate the testing arrangements next week all lessons will be on ClassCharts, there will be no live lessons next week for any year group but we do expect students to fully engage with the work set on line as normal. All students will also be expected to log on for live advisory each morning unless they have been asked to come into school for testing at that time.
Returning to School
The SEND and Safeguarding team have been busy contacting parents and carers to support the return of students who might be anxious about coming back into school. If you have not been contacted and you are concerned that your child is going to struggle with the return please can you contact Mrs Mitchell our SENDCo and she can work with you to ensure that your child can return in a calm and well-managed way. As always, we want to ensure the well-being of all our young people when they return to school and we will be arranging some special lessons to support students with any well-being concerns when they return.
As ever, the guidelines are being updated on a regular basis and we cannot guarantee that we won’t have to change plans again, even at short notice. We will update everyone as soon as there are any changes and communicate all our plans and arrangements to you in as much detail as possible.
Teacher Assessed Grades Year 11 and 13
On Thursday the 25th March the Education Secretary announced that ‘students will receive grades awarded and determined by their teachers, with students only being assessed on what they have been taught.’
The school will submit grades to the examination boards by Friday the 18th June to allow as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their final assessments. This means it is so important that students come back to school and fully engage with their lessons so that we can support all our students to achieve the best possible grades for them. We will be working very closely with the Consilium Trust and the exam boards to ensure we award grades that fairly reflect the progress made by each individual student across all their subjects.
Results Days A level and GCSE
The results days for GCSE and A Levels will take place the week beginning the 9th August which is earlier than previously advertised. This is to ensure that any appeals that need to be completed can be made in time for Year 13 students reliant on grades have the best chance of accessing their university place, although we hope this will not be needed.
As I receive more information I will keep you up to date, but as always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact school.
Have a lovely weekend.