Letter to Y11 parents (06/01/21)
I hope you and your family are safe and well.
As a parent of a Year 11 student I write with information which may help to allay some ‘concerns’ in these increasingly uncertain times.
GCSEs and Vocational Examinations
After further clarification today from the Secretary of State for Education we have decided that it is not ‘right for our students’ to sit the vocational examinations this January. We are sensitive to the high levels of infection, locally, and the National lockdown and the associated anxieties and we do not believe it is fair for the students to sit exams now when others do not have to later in the year. The exam boards have promised that students will not be disadvantaged if this option is taken and we will keep you updated with further information about how students will be assessed having not taken the exam. The safety of our students and their families is paramount.
GCSEs will not go ahead. Instead, the Secretary of State has said that there will be a form of teacher assessments, with training provided to ensure consistency. He also talked of trusting teachers and not algorithms, which is reassuring. When we know more about the process, we will update you accordingly.
We were due to hold mocks in early February, but because of the National lockdown these will no longer take place. However, on their return to school, students in Y11 will sit important internal exams when the time is right, which will help form the evidence base for their predicted and final assessment grades.
Parents evening, due to be held on January 14th, is now postponed until a time when we will be able to inform parents of the requirements and precise dates of the internal examinations. This will help you prepare your child to do their very best in exams which will contribute to their predicted and final assessment grades.
All learning is now on-line in a blended approach of face to face ‘Microsoft Teams’ lessons and on-line resources. It is really important that students engage fully with this offer and complete all work required as it will form part of the evidence needed for their predicted and final assessment grades. Students should follow their normal timetable. All access to remote learning is on the ‘Student Zone’ area of the website. There is a webinar recording of our head Prefect taking students through the process of accessing remote lessons so that they can access every aspect of our offer, especially face to face sessions.
We have given out a significant number of laptops recently and still have some available. Please contact Ms Hartshorne by email if your child does not have access to a laptop or to the internet and we will try to support you with this – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the main office 01162703176.
PS16 college applications.
By the end of January at the latest, your child needs to have three applications sent off to different colleges; their favourite and two back-up applications. They must log in and check the status of their applications regularly, at least once a week. There may be messages for your child from the colleges or Miss Hurst with actions for you to take.
Free School Meals
Free school Meals are available in the form of food parcels, sufficient to cover two weeks’ worth. These can be ordered by contacting reception on 01162703176 and can be collected by appointment from Monday 11th onwards. Please note that these food parcels are very heavy and come in three flimsy bags. Please ensure that an adult collects the parcels and that strong bags are provided for transportation. Apologies, because of the lockdown, we have no means of delivering these.
If your child needs any support material, pens, pencils, paper, exercise books or text books, these can be collected from reception by prior appointment.
The school is aiming to make fortnightly welfare calls to ensure that students are safe and well. These will start from Monday 11th January and, after the first one has taken place, can be scheduled for mutual convenience.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the school on 01162703176 and someone will try to get back to you within the working day.
I send you my very best wishes
Anna Fisher (Principal)