Apologies for contacting you so soon after my last letter but things are changing so rapidly that it is difficult to contain all information in one letter. I appreciate also that you will be receiving lots of information from multiple schools if you have children of different ages so I really want to minimise the stress to you. Safe to say that if you have any concerns or questions moving forward then please contact your child’s personal coach directly and we will try to help.
The Department of Education updated their guidance on vocational examinations scheduled to take place in January and February 2021. The updated guidance states that schools should make the decision on whether or not our students should sit the exams. Therefore, we have made the decision that the OCR Health and Social Care, Pearson IGCSE Biology and Pearson BTEC Sport examinations will not take place in January and February 2021. As soon as we receive clarification from the examination boards about the alternative arrangements that will be used to award grades, we will update parents/carers and students.
I wish to reassure you that we have taken this decision in the best interests of the health and safety of our students, their families and the wider school community.
In regard to GCSE examinations in the summer for Year 11 students. We are still waiting for all the details but the recent announcement indicated that they will be teacher assessed. This means that we need as much work as we can get from each student sent back to their teachers as possible that we can mark and assess in order to give them their best grade. This is a great opportunity for all our Year 11 students to reach their full potential if they do the work required.
We are starting live lessons from Monday using google meet, this is part of google classroom that the students are very used to using and we hope that this will complement and enhance the teaching and learning and continue the connection with the academy. I have included with this letter a code of conduct for live lessons and a parents frequently asked questions sheet.
The key thing to be aware is that all lessons will be recorded. This is so we can share the lessons with students unable to attend at that point and for safeguarding purposes. If you do not agree with the recording you can turn your child’s screen off so that they are not recorded or not attend the live lessons.
We have been working hard with your child’s home school to ensure that your child has access to a laptop. These are being distributed on a daily basis to those students identified. In most instances a home school will only deliver one device to a home even if you have multiple children so we understand that this may present challenges. If this is the case we can also provide you with hard copies of work for the times when they cannot get onto a laptop if you let us know.
If we provide you with a laptop a parent will need to collect it from the academy and sign a contract with us before they can take it home.
There are schemes with some internet providers when they will increase your data usage if you contact them. I will put information for this on the parents page of our website for you.
Free School Meals
We understand that food parcels are unpopular and difficult to collect and I have been raising my concerns about this issue. It is looking likely that we may soon move to a voucher system and if this does happen as I would hope, then we will of course inform you. If we do have to continue with the food parcels next week we may be able to sort out some sort of delivery but as a small academy this is quite difficult but if we can, we will let you know. We will be speaking to you in the meantime to make arrangements should we be able to move to the voucher system.