Start of Summer Term parent letter 14.04.20

Dear Parent/Carer,

I do hope that the Easter break for you and your family has been as well as can be expected in these difficult times and that you are all staying safe and healthy. Dartmouth 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 and 10

We were very impressed by the amount of work completed by the majority of pupils 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 pupils treat tomorrow, Tuesday 14th April, 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 pupils 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 pupils

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 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 pupils to complete any more work; • schools are not allowed to share estimated grades with parents, carers or pupils 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 pupils of year 11 is the following:

Continuing to engage with study and revise independently will be beneficial for pupils 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 resit examinations next year. For GCSE pupils 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 pupils 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 pupils 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. However, I must stress it is possible that even if your child achieved the standard pass in their PPEs this is not a guarantee that this will be the grade awarded after the final moderation by OFQUAL in the summer.

In preparation for the next stage of our year 11 pupils’ 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 pupils change their minds about what they will do in the Sixth Form between April and September.


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 admin@dartmouthacademy.org.uk 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 admin@dartmouthacademy.org.uk and give us 24 hours’ notice to ensure we have the necessary staffing 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.


6. Trips

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.

Yours sincerely

Tina Graham Principal