Headmaster's Update for Parents: January 2021

Dear Parent,

Remote Learning

As we reach the end of Lockdown Week 3, allow me to say thank you on behalf of all our teachers for the interest that you are clearly showing in home schooling. Many of our teachers are parents themselves and so can confirm that the monitoring of work completed, the answering of tricky subject based questions and the cajoling and chivvying needed during this period are time consuming and testing, but also well worth it.

I hope that you have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of remote learning when compared to last year. We are determined that pupils will have every opportunity to achieve and progress during the coming weeks (months?) and we are convinced that this is only possible through as much live learning as possible. Teachers have been instructed to include a live element in every lesson and we hope that the sound of a familiar voice will help focus our pupils and allow them the opportunity to contribute to lessons and to feel part of our school community.

The school website now contains a special section devoted to COVID and this period of enforced closure. Information about safeguarding, wellbeing, expectations and the availability of additional learning resources can all be found here or by clicking on the pop-out box on the Home Page.

Please continue to use Synergy to offer any feedback. We want to get this right and so your comments and suggestions are always well received.

Wellbeing catch-up

One initiative from the last Lockdown that is worth repeating is the form teacher phone calls. These will take place next Thursday and Friday and Mrs Parkinson will be in touch early next week to confirm arrangements. These calls are for pupils – to check on their mental wellbeing, progress with work and to answer any questions not covered during lesson time. During these two days teachers will not be delivering live lessons but will set work or encourage pupils to draw breath, catch-up and consolidate work already completed.

Years 11 and 13

I wrote to the pupils and students in year groups 11 and 13 last week sharing what little we know about arrangements for the awarding of this year’s GCSE and A-level qualifications. Since then it has been announced that Ofqual have started a period of consultation on this topic. The consultation closes next Friday and I would encourage you to contribute your thoughts in order to inform the process. Please follow this link to take part.

With my best wishes,

R D Jones