I am just writing a short update to you about our first week of lockdown. You will know that over the Christmas holidays there was a huge amount of talk about testing in schools and whether the return to school was going to happen. However, you will also know that the government was constantly stating that we would be back as planned: Year 11 on 11th and rest of the school 18th Jan. On our additional Inset day (Jan 4th), we planned the programme for the testing of the whole school...for it all to change that evening.
This lockdown is different from the last one; we have moved to online teaching at the start of the Spring term and we will be returning to face-to-face teaching after half-term (all being well) with much of the academic year still to take place. Coronavirus is very much present within our community this time - several families and several of our staff are quite poorly at the moment. We send our very best wishes to everyone who is being affected and hope that everyone comes out the other side safe and recovered. Please keep us informed of any changing circumstances in order we can support you and your child(ren) through this difficult time. Also, if your child(ren) is/are ill and cannot complete the on-line work, let us know so that we can let staff know.
Last lockdown we cancelled our parents evenings; this time we feel that as we have completed some remote evenings last term successfully, we are in a very different place. We will therefore complete all scheduled parents evenings remotely, lockdown or not. We know that you would appreciate a conversation with your child(ren)'s teachers. Hopefully, this will work as well as it did last term.Â
Year 11 GCSE exams
You will have seen on the news that this summer's GCSE exams have been cancelled. Mrs Cowan sent out a letter to all Year 11 parents/students last week encouraging all students to engage in their work and do their very best in order that we have the evidence required for what they can achieve. In The Times today (this is where we often learn what is coming) it is suggesting that students will be given assessments/mini-exams to do by exam boards. Once we know the exact details of what is required for students to achieve their GCSE qualifications, we will be in touch with Year 11 parents/students; there are lots of rumours so please try to avoid worrying about what these mean until we confirm details based on DfE/exam board information.Â
We will start the testing programme this week for our key worker students and staff. We have been lucky enough to be able to make up our testing team for this cohort from volunteers from across the school - this has been hugely appreciated. We also have a great deal of volunteers from our community which we may need to use should we have to test the whole school once lockdown is lifted.
Finally, I want to thank you all for your support in what was a mammoth week last week. We had a huge amount of positive emails and feedback from you which took us into the weekend with a spring in our step. As Bill Richardson states, â€˜We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.â€™Â
Until next time, please stay safe, hopeful and optimistic