COVID-19 Update 03-07-2020
Re-opening schools in September, supporting learning, Ofqual examinations consultation summer 2021, Year 11 and 13 August results days, Year 6 to 7 transition, laptops for disadvantaged students, Planned building works, House fundraising, Virtual Sports Day & Full School Assembly, Mental Health Hub Community Champion voting
I hope that my weekly letter finds you well. This week has been incredibly busy as you will read below. We have seen the overwhelming majority of our students in Years 10 and 12 return to the Academy. As the end of the week approaches, I feel that this has proved successful, both in terms of attendance and the chance to see so many smiling faces around the place. Hopefully, you will also have seen my message from yesterday with reference to the latest published guidance for the return to school in September: more about that below.
Re-opening schools in September
Yesterday, as the government published its guidance on the planned mandatory return to school in September for all year groups, I shared the links to the guidance and the accompanying parental guidance. I have also met with the Lincolnshire County Council Health Protection Team today.
In short, there is much to ascertain, much to discuss and much to agree. In particular, there are areas to clarify with the DfE around ‘bubbles’ of year groups. At the time of writing and with my building layout in mind, bubbles are inconceivable. We are one of the ten largest schools in the county of Lincolnshire. Smaller schools with smaller year groups may face fewer challenges with this, but our size and success hamper us here. With this in mind, we will ensure we improvise, adapt and overcome but I don’t have the answers for you today. In the coming fortnight we have a monumental task to report back to you before the end of term with our plans. Be assured, we will fully meet the needs of our youngsters and community. I will ensure we do our level best to follow this guidance but I will also craft my own local guidelines to ensure we do not get this wrong. Your children are our children so I will be pulling out all of the stops on this issue.
I have another meeting scheduled for 4pm on Monday with the LA and another with the Health Protection Team next week prior to writing to you again. I will ensure I have an updated risk assessment to you before the end of term once I have met with the Full Governing Body to outline my plans. I will also update the FAQs on the website to reflect our most up to date approach.
All curriculum arrangements will remain in place in line with the guidelines we have published. All curriculum plans will be published on the website by 9am on a Monday morning. All of our face to face learning is also complimented by this and this will all continue.
If there are any other queries regarding the curriculum work, then please contact the assigned member of staff on the curriculum documents.
Ofqual examinations consultation summer 2021
I would like to draw your attention to this open consultation which proposes a number of ways forward for next summer’s GCSE and A level examination series, including what in-year assessment may look like. It considers whether to put examinations back to after May half term, for example, and asks parents for their contributions up until 16 July.
The consultation proposal can be found here:
Ofqual has also updated their guidance on Summer 2020 grades for GCSE, AS and A level, Extended Project Qualification and Advanced Extension Award in maths to reflect the autumn 2020 consultation decision outcomes.
Year 11 and 13 August results days
As mentioned in my last communication, Mrs Gilbert has now contacted all Year 11 parents to ask whether they would like their child to have a socially distanced appointment to collect their results on results day or receive an email at 9am on the morning. If there are cases where pupils need support with regards to sixth form applications, staff will be on hand to take calls or, where required, hold an appointment in school with one of the sixth form team.
With regards to Year 13, so that all students receive their results to enable them to access UCAS clearing arrangements or to confirm accommodation, emails will be sent at 9am on results day. As with Year 11, our UCAS coordinator and sixth form team will be on hand to take calls or, where required, hold an appointment in school with one of the sixth form team.
Year 6 to 7 transition
In an effort to support our new Year 7 September cohort, we have been working hard to create a Transition box for each student. These boxes have been out on the road today and have already been delivered to some of our feeder primary schools. Early next week, we will be continuing to deliver these across the county to ensure each and every one of our new Year 7 students receives their personalised box. Inside each box students will find a host of activities and resources to support them through what has been a very new and unfamiliar transition process for us all. Be sure to check the Academy’s social media pages for more information on these exciting transition boxes.
Laptops for disadvantaged students
We will be contacting eligible families early next week with regard to sending these out. So far only half of our order has arrived so we will be communicating over the course of the next week with families to arrange collection.
Planned building works
I am delighted to inform you that we have secured £1.5 million to replace the rest of the flat roofing around the site as well as all external security fencing and CCTV cameras. This is a 30 week project which will commence over the summer. While it must be acknowledged that there will be some minor disruption next academic year, it will be worth it in the end to ensure our estate is fully fit for purpose. I am very pleased to have secured such a handsome sum of money, especially at such challenging times financially. This is not part of the government’s pledge for school buildings moving forwards. I will be placing more bids this next academic year too.
I have always been proud of our community links and feel that it is our responsibility to ensure we support wherever we can. With this in mind I have been staggered at the outpouring of support from youngsters, their families and the general public in support of our five House charities. I certainly didn’t expect us to achieve or exceed our targets in such challenging times but I have been pleasantly surprised. The JustGiving links can be found on the website under the Our Curriculum tab, House fundraising challenge. Great work everyone!
Virtual Sports Day and Full School Assembly
Next week we are holding Virtual Sports Day. The links can be found on Frog but, for all those sporty people, please get involved and earn some House points for your Houses. Let’s see if the other Houses can topple the might of Windsor this year!
We also want to finish off the year with a full school assembly. This will, of course, be virtual too but will allow our Heads of each House to share a brief video and to give out the customary awards. I will also be awarding colours ties by video. Please keep your nominations coming in.
Mental Health Hub Community Champion voting
The Lincolnshire Coop Community Champion Awards are in full swing for voting and our mental health hub is in the running. Coop dividend card holders can vote. Please see our social media channels for more details. We hope to be able to count on you.
As usual, I will keep you updated on developments via the Academy website and parent email. I will also ensure that our social media channels are updated accordingly. If you have any further questions with regard to whole school arrangements, please email the Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will close today with a quote from Barack Obama who said “if you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” The next couple of weeks are going to be testing. I know many of you will have a plethora of questions and queries. Please bear with me as I navigate this time. I promise to write again next week.
Take care and I will stay in touch.
Mr D Hardy