Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, to all our mums, Happy Mothering Sunday. I know this will be a very strange one, but I hope that you are still able to enjoy it.
School is Closed
As you will now know, school is closed. At this time, we have no idea when it will reopen. Schools have had to react very quickly on several fronts over recent weeks. We have had as little warning and information as yourselves. For example, the list of key workers was published in the early hours of Friday morning. I woke up to newspaper reports of it before I had even received the information from the government. We will do our best to answer your questions and concerns but please bear with us at the moment. This is a new ‘normal’ for all of us. Inevitably there will be some adjusting to do as students work from home with our support being ‘remote’ or ‘virtual’. Schools are not really set up for this, and we have had to put this together in a very short time with very limited resources.
Please bear with us if there are some glitches and hiccups to start with.
Key Worker and Vulnerable student provision
School will be operating on a minimal skeleton staffing for the foreseeable future. This is to ensure our staff are not placed at any unnecessary risk, and we do our part to reduce the spread of Covid19. Thank you to the key workers who have contacted us to ask for provision.
We have made arrangements directly with our most vulnerable students. We will be in regular contact with key worker parents, but can I please emphasise that this needs to be a provision of absolute last resort. Where students can be left at home, either alone, with an older sibling or other parent/carer then this should be happening. Year 11 students, unless deemed vulnerable, should be at home. The need for Social Distancing is paramount if we are to reduce the spread of the virus. We need to reduce the numbers of staff and students to an absolute minimum to protect their wellbeing.
Very late on Friday guidance on how grades will be awarded for Year 11 were published. I attach the full document below. In summary, grades will be determined by a combination of teacher assessment, prior attainment and course work where this is available. Once results are published in August, there will be an opportunity for students to sit an exam if they wish to challenge any of these grades. Under these very difficult circumstances this appears to be a very sensible approach. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus–covid–19–cancellation–of–gcses–as–and–alevels–in–2020/coronavirus–covid–19–cancellation–of–gcses–as–and–a–levels–in–2020
Summer Results Days
At present we are planning to celebrate with students at the usual times in August when results are published. We appreciate that for Year 11, the abrupt end to their schooling is both unsettling and very upsetting. However, I hope that we have some good news. Although we have had to cancel the Prom later this year due to the uncertainty, we are hoping that the situation will have improved significantly by July or August. We have therefore put planning in place to try and make sure we have a prom/reunion, so students can have the celebration that they all deserve. It may have to be a bit different to what was planned and it may have to take place at school, but we will do all we can to arrange something special.
I attach below the government guidance on social distancing, which I suggest you all read and adhere to the advice. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid–19–guidance–on–social–distancing–and–forvulnerable–people/guidance–on–social–distancing–for–everyone–in–the–uk–and–protecting–olderpeople–and–vulnerable–adults
As I have previously assured you, it is our aim to communicate with you as often as we can. We will contact you as and when I receive information which I believe would be helpful.
Stay safe and look after each other. It’s going to be a difficult few weeks.
Mr M Bennett