Coronavirus Update - 20:30 - 25/3/20

Dear Parents,

We are now in the middle of our first week of closure and it has been a whirlwind of a week; with new guidance for us all to adhere to as well as lots of closures to businesses. We hope that in this testing time you are all safe and well?
As promised, this letter is to provide you with an update with what we are doing in relation to school as well as sharing some reminders.

As you can imagine, setting work remotely has been a learning curve for us all; a totally different ball game to setting work for a few snow days. However we are finding our feet in these new ways of learning.

From our students point of view, we have already found that some of our very conscientious students are spending more time on school work than they do in a typical school week! And of course the converse is true too – some students think the Easter holidays have come early. It would be good if you could have a chat with your child just to assure them that a steady pace is best and that their routine needs to be sustainable as unfortunately this situation could be quite long term. Helpful videos can be found on the website for support with google classroom if needed.

Please see the attached posters from the World Health Organisation that might be useful during this time

As a reminder, if students are ill and are unable to complete work please let us know by emailing so that we are not chasing the completion of work.

For Year 8: The Pathways process is continuing behind the scenes and we are working through the process to ensure that as many students as possible can study their chosen subjects next year. If we need to, we will be in contact.

For Year 10: We have had a few queries about whether the experience of a workplace visits in June will still go ahead. The situation will be reviewed early in the Summer term and we will update you by the end of May. We know you have been looking forward to getting a taste of the world of work and you would be very disappointed if these are cancelled, especially after all the hard work you have all put into organising your placements. Similarly, plans for college taster days are still being made, and we will let you know if these need to change.

For Year 11: There is nothing new here so far. The Government has advised us that we will calculate grades taking into account a range of evidence including non-exam assessments and practice exam results. We are told that the approach will be standardised between schools and colleges. We are awaiting further information and instruction on how the process will work and then we will be in touch. On another note, Mrs Lea is contacting St Marys regarding our Prom and what their thoughts are. Once we know more, we will again be in contact.

Finally this week, we have been providing care for the children of our critical workers and for our vulnerable children.The number requiring this support has increased as the week has gone on based largely on many of our parents now needing to be on the front-line within the NHS; we hope that this supervision takes away one worry whilst they go about this incredible work.

We keep hearing that we are in 'unprecedented times’. Be that as it may, we remain your school - one community of parents, staff and students who must now all do our bit to prevent the spread of this invisible disease. We have had communication from concerned members of the community about some of our students meeting up together and not observing government guidance. I implore you to please stay at home if at all possible, remember to remain two metres apart from anyone you encounter whilst taking outdoor exercise and keep on washing your hands as per the guidance; the safety of everyone is at stake.

I will be in touch next week with further updates, in the meantime, I hope that you all remain safe and well.

Best wishes

Ceri Oakley