Dear Parents and Carers
I do hope that the Easter break for you and your family is going as well as can be expected in these difficult times, and that you are all staying safe and healthy. KCC has remained open for the children of key workers over the Easter holiday, and I am very grateful to the staff who volunteered to give up their time to make this possible.
It is now clear that schools will not be re-opening after the Easter holiday, and the signs are that we have to be prepared for the current situation to continue for some time. So, I wanted to remind you of key information that you might find helpful.
1. Completion of work for Years 7, 8, 9 10 and 12
We were very impressed by the amount of work completed by the majority of students in the first week of the lockdown, especially as this was the last week of term when minds might not have been easily focussed. Given the potential length of the closure, it is vital that students treat next Tuesday as a day of work and quickly realise that they are “at school at home” and not “still on holiday”.
You can help by establishing a clear routine, for example mirroring the school day by making sure that they start work at 9.00 and finish at 3.00. Please contact us if you have an issue with access to IT which makes this impossible.
Teachers will be covering as much of the curriculum as possible. It is very important that students complete as much of the work set as they can and on time so that they do not miss this content, and so that they continue to develop their study skills and habits.
If you have any concerns or questions or want to discuss any aspect of their work, please contact your child’s teacher by email in the first instance.
2. Information for Year 11 and 13 students
I wrote to parents last week to share the information that the government has released on how they will award grades for this year’s GCSE, AS and A level examinations. I have attached the relevant document here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summer-2020.
The two main points are: • schools do not need to send any evidence or get students to complete any more work; • schools are not allowed to share estimated grades with parents, carers or students before submitting them to OFQUAL.
I would be grateful if you do not contact your son/daughter’s teacher about this at present.
Our advice to students of Year 11 and Year 13 is the following: Continuing to engage with study and revise independently will be beneficial for students either wishing to continue with the subject in their next stage of education or for those who think there is the possibility of wishing to re-sit examinations next year. For A level students that are not confident of securing the grades they need for university or apprenticeships this is sound advice. For GCSE students who are not confident they will achieve a grade 4 in English or maths, continuing to study will provide a better foundation for reaching the standard pass grade next academic year, if required.
Therefore, I will be asking the English and maths teams to continue to set appropriate revision for our Year 11 students to assist them with any work they may wish to continue to do at home. This will be generic (grade 4/5 standard) as it is not possible for the teachers to discuss individual grades with students or their families. Looking at the grades achieved throughout the course of the year will be an indicator of how confident you can be that the standard pass of grade 4 will be awarded.
In preparation for the next stage of our Year 11 students’ education all subjects will be asked to set transition work/projects to help them prepare for A level and other level 3 courses. My advice would be to keep as many options open as possible. A large proportion of students change their minds about what they will do in the Sixth Form between April and September. A separate letter will be sent home in the coming weeks with more information about our Sixth Form bridging work.
3. Contacting school
We are following government guidelines in ensuring as many staff as possible can work from home. The school switchboard is being answered remotely. You can also contact us by email email@example.com and a message will be sent to the relevant member of staff to get in touch with you.
4. Support for key workers
The school will continue to be open for the children of key workers. If you need your child to attend who has not been attending up to now please email firstname.lastname@example.org and give us 24 hours’ notice to ensure the necessary staffing is in place.
5. Free School Meals
We will be signposting parents who qualify for this support to the new government e-voucher scheme and will be contacting you by text if this is relevant. Please contact us on the address above if you have any problems with these.
All trips and visits that were planned for the summer term have been cancelled. The Finance staff are in the process of refunding all payments that have already been made.
We are all looking forward to the day when we can resume normal schooling, and in the meantime will do all we can to work with you in maintaining routines and learning as best we can. Thank you for your support, and wishing you all the very best.
Tina Graham Principal