Update from the Headteacher

Thank you again for all for the work that you are doing to keep your children engaged with their learning. The amount of work being completed and the contact that teachers have had from students has been really encouraging. I hope that you feel well supported by the learning activities and feedback set by your child’s subject teachers and by the regular contact from your child’s tutor with your family.

I have been wanting to write to you for over a week to explain the Government’s plans for schools to return, but the guidance so far has been about primary schools. We are expecting a document to come out this week that sets out the expectation for secondary schools and then we may need to adapt our initial planning to fit this detailed guidance.

Years 7-9

What is clear from the government guidance is that the majority of our students will be learning online for many months to come; for our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 they will not return to lessons at school for the remainder of this academic year. To help us prepare for this longer period of online learning, we will be asking you and your children to complete surveys about the lessons so far. This has been new to all of us and we will need to adapt our approaches to support your child to learn new content and new skills over the next half term.

Key Worker Families

We continue to open the school for the children of Key Workers and for students with Education & Health Care Plans. The students in school do the same online work as the students at home, guided by a small number of staff, with some additional practical learning. If you (or your partner) is a Key Worker returning to work after 1st June and need to send your child to school, please contact us at [email protected] as soon as possible to register your child and so that we can factor your child’s attendance into our staffing planning . If your child is struggling to work at home but doesn’t have an Education Health Care Plan and you do not have a Key Worker in your household, we may still be able to offer more help. Please contact your child’s Head of House so we can work out how we can offer further support to you.

Year 10

If you have a child in Year 10 you may have seen that the government wants us to offer ‘face-to-face time with a teacher on a limited basis’ for your child before the summer holiday. We are devising a plan based upon the information that we currently have available and are conducting a thorough risk assessment at school to ensure that we can provide a safe working environment for your children and for staff. Our Governing Body are holding an extraordinary meeting on 3rd June during which they will review our risk assessment and plans for delivering some lessons to year 10 students on site during the summer term.

As group sizes will need to be very small, we will wait until after half term to make this decision so that we can be informed by the government’s most recent advice at the end of the current 3-week period of lockdown measures at the end of May. The earliest possible date that we will be inviting Year 10 students back to school for lessons will be Monday 8th June, but it could be later than that, depending on the outcome of the update of our risk assessment after half term. We will only be able to offer part time attendance at school for Year 10 students alongside their online learning done at home.

We really miss seeing your children at school every day; please be assured that we want to be able to teach your children on site at school as soon as it is safe to do so.

Thank you, as always, for your support throughout this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

Nys Hardingham