Headteacher Update

January 2021

Yesterday evening marked yet another defining moment in such a difficult and tumultuous 10 months. The decision to place England into a national lockdown will again have a significant impact on young people and we will do all that we can to minimise this impact by supporting you and your child through this challenging period. Here is a little taster of what you can expect…

Free School Meals

The Local Authority will be supplying food hampers to all families who have a child eligible for free school meals.  These are initially delivered to school and our staff will then distribute them to families, which is quite a considerable task as we have nearly 300! We will text families on the morning that the hampers are due to be delivered. As things stand, we expect this to continue until the end of lockdown and there has been no indication of a return to the voucher scheme.

Remote Learning

We have now distributed over 100 laptops to students so that they can effectively access remote learning. Please do contact the school office if you require a device and please note that if you have more than one child you can have more than one device if there is no other suitable access in the house. Your child will really struggle to learn effectively only using their phone. As mentioned in previous updates and the remote learning bulletin shared this morning, your child should log onto Google Classroom and follow their normal school timetable throughout the day. Teachers will be online throughout each lesson to offer, advice, help and feedback on the work. Things have run pretty smoothly today and hopefully we have now responded to the significant number of password resets!

Welfare Calls

You can expect a member of staff to make contact with you on a weekly basis either by phone to check in to see how things are and address any problems with remote learning. This will be either your child’s form tutor, Head of Year, Learning Mentor or key worker. The school office is open daily from 8am to 4pm so please do get in touch if you have concerns at any time and they will find someone to help.

On site provision

This provision is now up and running for vulnerable students and children of critical workers. Students follow the remote learning package in school and are supervised by support staff. We are only able to offer places to children who fall into one of these categories.

Year 11 Summer Exams

The other big announcement last night was a review of examinations for Year 11 in the summer. It is important to note that the Prime Minister did not say that exams were cancelled so we will continue to deliver the curriculum as planned and students should continue to work in preparation for some kind of examination at the end of their courses. This will be hugely disappointing for some students who have worked so hard and will feel that they are missing out on a rite of passage, so please do encourage your child to speak to staff if they are feeling a little adrift as a result of the announcement. As soon as we know any more detail we will let you know, but I do not expect this to be very soon.

You will have received a bombardment of messages in the last couple of days so you will be relieved to hear that I will revert to my regular Friday Headteacher update from now so please do keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, as we adapt back to life under lockdown, I wish you and your families my very best wishes.

Stay Safe