HeadTeacher's Blog 3rd April 2020Posted on: 3rd Apr
Headteacher’s Blog – 3 April 2020
I do hope this blog finds you well and I would like to once again thank you for your ongoing support in these unprecedented times. We have all had to make significant adjustments to our lives and I recognise the changes you will have had to make working with us to ensure we provide the best possible education for your son and/or daughter during this partial closure.
As promised, I have attached a letter from Ofqual which provides information on how they intend to calculate the grades for GCSE and A level. In addition to this they have also stated that ‘Special consideration requests will not apply this summer. Instead judgements should reflect how the students would have performed under ordinary circumstances. Where illness or other personal circumstances might have affected performance in mocks exams, centres should bear that in mind when making their judgements’.
I am quite reassured about what they have said, because it endorses the approach we have taken since the decision to cancel exams was made. I now feel confident that my staff are in a strong position to provide fair and accurate projections (grades), which will not disadvantage them.
I am aware how incredibly hard students have been working and wanted to congratulate them on what they have achieved so far. For a small number, I would ask that they ensure they follow the full range of subjects as per their timetable and remember to submit their work when asked.
As for the future, it is about continuing to do what we have always done well, working collaboratively so that we do the best we can in this difficult situation. I understand how households approach this period is likely to vary depending on circumstance and students will be living and working in very different environments. As is to be expected some are coping better with the situation than others and as a school we understand what can be achieved may vary over time, depending on how the impact of the virus unfolds. We recognise that the normal curriculum cannot be followed in the usual way and instead want to provide yourselves with activities, guidance and support that will help everyone to do the best they can.
The key is to take this opportunity to allow the students to become more independent learners, to grow in confidence with a sense of sustained achievement, remembering this will be a marathon and not a sprint. Inevitably, this will mean that students will be working more online and accessing different sites. It is, therefore, crucial that we make sure that they are being safe online. It is important to be aware of what they are being asked to do online, including the sites they will asked to access and be clear who they are going to be interacting with online, from school.
You may choose to supplement the school online offer with support from online companies and in some cases individual tutors. When doing this please make sure you secure online support from a reputable organisation/individual who can provide evidence that they are safe and can be trusted to have access to children. Further support to keep your children safe online includes:
Internet matters - for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
London Grid for Learning - for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
Net-aware - for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC
Parent info - for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
Thinkuknow - for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online
UK Safer Internet Centre - advice for parents and carers
It is a very strange feeling today, because normally we would all be looking forward to the welcome beginning of the Easter break – but at the moment I am not quite sure what to expect. However, what I am sure of is that now we must get some time emotionally and mentally to regroup after these anxiety-filled weeks. Because tougher times still lie ahead, and we’ll need to be ready for them. To this end, I have told my amazing team of staff that over the Easter break the only expectation is that they set homework, where they think it is appropriate.
I wish you all a very safe Easter.