6th November 2020
I am delighted to welcome staff and students back after the half-term holiday. As you will be aware due to self isolation affecting staffing, I had to make the difficult decision to ask two year groups to work from home during the course of this week.
I am very pleased to announce that we are able to have all year groups back in school for face to face learning from Monday, 9th November, once more.
Year 11 students, parents and carers will be aware that Year 11 assessments have been delayed due to COVID-19 and will begin on Monday, 9th November. It is very important that students attend school so that we can complete the assessments and the following analysis to ensure that departments can support student progress ahead of summer GCSE examinations.
Students will be provided with equipment and their own exam desk that they will use throughout the assessments.
It is with great sadness that following DfE guidance given to schools on Wednesday, that we can no longer provide activities outside of school time even in bubble groups. We hope to resume these vital activities as soon as we are able to do so.
The government sent out updated guidance on the 5th November for schools. We are already complying with these requirements which is reassuring. It is essential that our students wear a face covering, unless they are exempt, including to and from school if they are using public transport. It is also important that students remain in their bubble groups and wash their hands or sanitise often to reduce transmission. Please can parents and carers continue to reinforce this at home.
In addition, all schools have been asked to ensure adequate ventilation. This has meant students wearing PE hoodies or coats around school, when windows have been latched open. Thank you for your support with this, I appreciate it is an unusual situation.
As you know, schools are not part of the national four week lockdown but we must be prepared that students might need to work from home remotely during the pandemic at certain points, and this has already occurred in some year groups.
As a school we are devoted in ensuring the best possible educational experience for students. In the first instance, to support the remote learning strategy, we have uploaded work onto Class Charts and the website, going forward we want to expand this provision.
In phase two, we are training staff and students to access remote learning via Microsoft 365. This training will take place during next week and parent/carer guidelines will also be available on the website. This kind of training will support a proportion of `live lessons’ in the event of a partial or full closure and will ensure our curriculum delivery can be as effective as possible. Staff have been contacting parents and carers this week to check whether students have access to Wi-Fi and devices and we will be supporting student’s learning at home through a triage system, providing devices if necessary in a priority order.
I appreciate that this is a challenging time for us all, but your support is so gratefully received. It has been heart-warming to receive so many positive phone calls and emails from parents and carers, and I would like to express my thanks for the supportive feedback.
Despite everything going on in the world around us, we are committed to providing the best possible support for our students, and as a community rest assured that we will continue to ensure the well-being and education of your children is at the forefront of everyone’s efforts.
Ms A Denholm