Parents Letter 23.03.20

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am writing to update you on our current position on this first day of national school closures. Special provision is in place as a last resort for the children of key workers. Thank you to those of you have completed the online form to request this provision. If there is a change to your response, please notify the school with 24 hours’ notice.

Contacting school

We need to do all we can to support social distancing.

To this end, reception is no longer being physically staffed in the school. You can telephone the school as normal, and your call will be answered remotely, or you can email admin@dartmouthacademy.org.uk

If your child needs IT support with respect to accessing resources or online lessons, select option 9 after dialling the main school number.

Please also refer to the school website for additional information.

Trips and visits

We have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel all trips and visits planned for the rest of this academic year. We appreciate that many of our families will be worried about their finances at the moment, and so ESW have decided that any risk lies with us as an organisation rather than parents. We will refund any payments that you have already made as soon as we possibly can.

Completion of work

Teachers are setting work whilst the school is closed and they are in good health to do so. All work is being set via Show My Homework for secondary pupils and through a weekly emailed timetable for primary pupils.

We expect pupils to complete this work to a high standard, just as they would if they were in school. This maintains a work habit and ensures that pupils are not at a disadvantage when they resume their studies in school in the future. Please encourage and monitor your child(ren) yourselves. We will also be monitoring work completion and will be in touch if we have concerns.

For Year 10, pupils have received the PPE papers they would have been sitting in school this week. They are expected to complete these at home, within the time written on the front of the paper, and hold these safely for when we return.

Year 11 We appreciate the uncertainty being experienced by pupils, and can reassure you that we are confident that the arrangements being put in place are as good and as fair as possible in the circumstances. Although we are awaiting confirmation from exam boards, we expect to be asked for predicted grades for all pupils who were to take external exams this summer. These will be decided using our professional judgement, taking into account everything we know about achievement and attitude to date. Any results achieved in pre-public exams will be taken into account but will be only a part of the judgement. Individual teacher assessments will be moderated across the school, and will be moderated again by exam boards to maintain overall national performance at levels similar to previous years. We know our pupils well, so please do not feel the need to email us in order to make the case for a particular grade. If a pupil is unhappy with the grade finally awarded by the exam board in July, it seems that they will have the opportunity to take an exam next year. We understand that the numbers taking this opportunity are expected to be very small.

We believe that it is good practice for Year 11 to continue to have a routine, and to continue to work to prepare themselves for the next stage of their education. It is the choice of pupils and parents whether to complete this work and the extent to which you wish to be prepared for possible exams next year. To this end:

• Teachers will continue to set work using Show My Homework • They will upload work that is necessary to complete the course, if required • They will also upload tasks that enable pupils to refresh and embed the knowledge they have already covered • In addition, they will signpost reading and work that will help to prepare year 11 pupils who are planning to continue that subject at post-16 level

Year 6

Whilst there is some advice surrounding GCSE examinations, we are waiting for clarification about the Year 6 SATs which will also not be proceeding this year. When we have further information about what this looks like for our current Year 6 and incoming Year 7 pupils, we will notify you.

These are unprecedented times for us all. We will continue to do all we can to support you and your children and please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can be of any help.

Yours sincerely

Tina Graham Principal