Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope everyone has had a happy, safe and restful Christmas break. Many thanks for all the kind messages of support at the end of last term, they were much appreciated and I look forward to sharing some of the positive sentiments expressed with staff when we return to school on Monday.

Please accept my apologies for interrupting you at this time of year but I thought it would be helpful to briefly remind families of the arrangements for the start of term and how we will be managing the changes announced by the Secretary of State for Education yesterday.

Whilst we were very much looking forward to welcoming all students back in to school after the Christmas break, this is not currently possible given the national picture.  All schools have been working hard to have contingency plans in place should a situation like this arise. We will provide further detail on Monday but at this point the key information families should know is outlined below:

Student return date and how they will access learning

Students in Year 11 and Year 13 who were expected back in school on Tuesday 5th January will now return to school on Monday 11th January. Students in these year groups will instead receive live online teaching next week in line with their timetable.

Students in Year 10 and Year 12 who were expected back in school on Monday 11th January will now return to school on Monday 18th January. Students in these year groups will instead receive live online teaching for these two weeks in line with their timetable.

Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 who were expected back in school on Monday 11th January will now return to school on Monday 18th January. Students in these year groups will access their work on Google Classroom in line with their timetable, either through pre-recorded or narrated resources. Teachers will also be available online during the lesson to answer any questions and support learning.

This means that only students who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers will be in school for face to face education from Tuesday 5th January. These students will be working in IT classrooms and will access the work provided on Google Classroom in exactly the same way as those working at home. If you would like to request a place in school please do so via the electronic form that can be accessed either by the link below or via the school website.

Examinations in vocational subjects for Year 12 and 13 students will go ahead as currently planned. Students sitting these exams will receive contact from the Post-16 team early next week.

Further information for those accessing learning at home

Access to an electronic device – As a school we have worked extremely hard over the last year to ensure that students can access learning from home. During the lockdown before summer we were able to loan out a large number of devices to families and since this time have prioritised the use of our Catch-up funding to further support this provision for families. If you need further support in this regard please contact school on Monday.

Documentation already received
Prior to Christmas we wrote to all families with information in terms of our expectations around online learning as well as our Google Meet code of responsibility and parent and student guidance around how to access and use Google Classroom.

  • CLICK HERE to read the updated version of the Google Guide for Parents and Students – KS3, 4 and 5.
  • CLICK HERE to read our Google Meet Code of Responsibility that all students must follow

Expectations for students working from home

In order to support students with their learning and to help with their Wellbeing, all students must follow a ‘normal school day’.  We have produced a document (CLICK HERE to read) that explains the timetable students must follow.  This includes activities that need to be completed before lessons start at 8.50am.  We would like to thank parents/carers for their support in ensuring their children have routines and structure to their day that will long term help them best.

  • CLICK HERE to read the latest guidance on expectations for students who are working from home.

Additional support
As well as the daily ‘Head of Year’ notices each student who will be working from home for more than one week (not Y11 and Y13) will receive a keeping in touch phone call from their form tutor at some point during this time.

  1. Further information for those students who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers and who will be in school
    – These students will come to school at the normal time each day, wearing full school uniform and with all their usual equipment for a normal school day.
    – Students will be greeted on arrival at school and directed to the computer room where they will be completing their Google Classroom work. Their Head of Year and Pastoral Support Worker will be there to welcome them.
    – Arrangements for breaks and lunchtimes will be as normal for each year group. Food will be available but families might consider bringing a packed lunch.

Monday 5th January is a staff training day so if families have any questions or require any additional support please do contact school and we will be glad to help. I will write again on Monday with additional information including an update on testing in schools but in the meantime I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, I know I’m much more hopeful for the year ahead.

Kind Regards

Andrew Daly