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Dear Parents

As another week of lockdown draws to a close, I wanted to write to you to update you a few matters.  As you will appreciate, many aspects of life continue to change and alter as the Government review the steps necessary to try and bring the virus under control. Schools and education are no different, so I am to a degree fearful of sending out such a summary as there is a danger that the situation will change as soon as the message has been sent!

  • 6th Form Open Evening. On Thursday 21st January 2021, we launched our virtual 6th Form Open Evening.  Although this is targeted at Year 11 students as they start to plan their next steps in education, can I recommend it as an interesting resource for students of all Year Groups to view.  It may help to remind everyone of what all their hard work and current online study are heading towards.
  • Parents Evenings. Last week we hosted the latest online Parents Evenings with our Year 13 students. Sadly, we experienced a temporary failure in the software we use to provide the meetings.  Whilst we have been assured by the provider that this will not happen again, it is perhaps worth flagging up ahead of the Year 11 Parents Evening on Friday, 4th February 2021, the backup option that we quickly made use of with the Year 13 students was via Microsoft Office Teams.  We hope it all runs smoothly – but be at the ready to switch!
  • The planned early closure that was scheduled for Thursday, 28th January 2021 will no longer take place. Lessons will continue to include Period 5 on that day.  With the current removal of face to face teaching it has been necessary for us to amend some of the timings of our reporting and assessments, we will reinstate the earlier conclusion to a day’s study, later in the year to best facilitate the staff coordination of the reporting.  We will update you of this, in due course.
  • GCSE, A Level and BTEC examinations. As you may well be aware the Government have launched the consultation on their suggestions as to how grades might be awarded.  Please can I encourage you to engage in the process.  Parents, students and teachers are all encouraged to express their views on the potential plans.  I will be responding on behalf of the school and appreciate that considering the sixty-eight questions, is a lengthy process but also believe it essential that the views of the students, parents and teaching professionals must be heard as part of the Government’s planning.
  • Rapid testing. There has been much discussion in the press about this, but Gavin Williamson has this week restated the Government’s expectation that schools continue to test the staff and students who are still attending school on a weekly basis to help identify anyone who is asymptomatic.  I would like to thank the growing team of volunteers from the parent body who have helped the school to deliver this program.  Your support has been outstanding and very much appreciated.  The vast majority of you are quite rightly keeping your children at home, but it would help us greatly if ahead of their return to school, we collect all of the required consent forms for the rapid testing.  Other colleagues will be in contact with those of you from whom we have not yet received a consent form to get this organised well ahead of time.  If there are other parents who would like to join the team of volunteers who have been helping to conduct the tests please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will provide you with the appropriate links.

Finally, can I wish you all well, as each of us continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.  I am very conscious that within our school community there are many who have been sadly bereaved as a result of COVID, all those families are very much within our thoughts and prayers.  Let’s all remain vigilant and careful, whilst also trying to remain upbeat and focused on better times that are surely ahead.

Yours faithfully

 

Phil Grundy

Principal

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