News - Sixth Form

Headmasters Update for Parents: November 2020
20/11/2020

Dear Parent,

Flourishing

This week’s theme for form worship is the idea of Flourishing, an idea that many of us are struggling to associate with at the present time and yet despite everything we continue to have so much to thank God for. It is important that we maintain a sense of perspective and continue to encourage pupils (and staff) to feed those parts of their lives that they want to grow, devoting less time on those things which take away joy, sap energy and make one fearful. God has beautiful and transformative things to say about who we are and who we can become. When we know who we really are, we flourish.

Father God, today may we choose life. May we choose to follow you and obey Your Word so that our lives can truly flourish. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


COVID-19

News of vaccines and a reduction in rates of coronavirus in most of East Lancashire brings good news. We are thankful that of the forty or so positive cases from our school community the vast majority of students have exhibited few if any serious symptoms. We do however remain vigilant! For each positive case we typically ask 20-30 other pupils to self-isolate as we adhere to government guidelines and requirements. For most pupils attendance at school has been as for any other year but we are aware that for others there has been significant and persistent disruption caused by a third or even fourth instruction to work from home.

You can support school.

  • Please continue to reinforce the key message of HANDS, FACE, SPACE
  • If your child has:
    • a high temperature or,
    • a new continuous cough, or
    • a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
  • please keep them off school and book a test
  • If you or someone in your household has COVID symptoms, the whole household must isolate whilst a test is taken, and the result received. Your child should remain at home during this time.
  • If the result is negative, then the pupil can return to school. If it is positive, please contact school at the earliest opportunity.


Remote Learning

All lessons, in all year groups now have work provided on School Synergy in order that pupils who are having to self-isolate but who are well, can access work in a way which is as close to the classroom experience as possible. We are however under no allusion that working alone on a laptop or tablet, in a living room, kitchen or bedroom is no substitute for being in school. This is one reason why we have resisted the temptation of sending an entire year group to work at home. An approach of this sort would allow teachers to devote more time to remote learning and increase the proportion of live lessons but I continue to prioritise school attendance for as many as possible for as long as possible.

Before a student is sent home to isolate we check that they have access to a computer and the internet. Please let us know if you anticipate a problem with accessing remote learning. The Department for Education has provided us with a number of laptops for this purpose and we are keen for them to be put to good use.

A pupil who is having to self-isolate must follow the school day as closely as possible. Please share these guidelines with your son/daughter:

  • Log-on to Synergy at 8.45am and check the Student Bulletin and watch/think/pray using the form time worship resources.
  • At 9.10am, click onto the Classwork tab where the work from all lessons will be displayed. Begin with Period 1, access the work and complete it to the best of your ability. Do not rush! Contact your teacher if there is a problem and use the Dialogue box if the lesson is coming to you live.
  • Repeat for Period 2 and then have a twenty minute break at 11.10am.
  • Complete the work for Periods 3 & 4 and then stop for lunch.
  • Finish the day at 3.15pm having completed your fifth period.
  • When you would have PE take the opportunity to do some exercise. Joe Wicks workouts are popular but alternatives are available.

If you find yourself having completed work there are still things to do:

  • Make sure that all work is well presented, accurate and completed in full
  • Search ‘Oak Academy’ and look at their online lessons. Some of them are first rate!
  • Do the same for BBC Bitesize
  • Find a book and read!

We have a responsibility to provide work and support but you too have a responsibility to work conscientiously and to the best of your ability.

Remote learning will not be without its difficulties. There will be glitches and so please be patient but likewise do get in-touch if we can help to make a difficult situation better.


Year 11 and Year 13

Parents will be anxious about arrangements for next year’s public examinations. The Department for Education’s last update was released on 13th October and regardless of the recent announcement from the Welsh government, the guidance for England remains:

  • A-level and GCSE exams will continue to take place but will be held three weeks later. The start date for almost all exams will be 7th June and end on 2nd July.
  • Results days are Tuesday 24th August for A-level and Friday 27th August for GCSE.
  • Consideration is being given to a range of scenarios which might impact students’ ability to sit exams and develop contingencies.

Our plans for mock exams remain in place with GCSE scheduled for early January and Year 13 in February.


Thank you for your ongoing support.

R D Jones

Headmaster