Headteacher COVID-19 Update – 6th January 2021

What a difference a day (24 little hours) makes!

Like me, I am sure many of you will have watched the government announcement last night regarding the concerning increase in cases of Coronavirus and the subsequent impact on schools. Including:

Year 11 examinations are currently planned to go ahead for those students sitting OCR exams next week in Health and Sport. For all other summer GCSE exams, we await further guidance but know that 'not all' exams will be going ahead as had previously been intended. What this does not mean, is that students should feel that preparing for the GCSEs is pointless - instead it is a time to continue to work hard and apply themselves in the knowledge that an assessment of some sorts will be required at the end of the academic year. Whatever the system, tool or algorithm used - I am confident that each student will be awarded the grades he/she deserves and will support them in their future pathway.

Remote education will now be in place for the vast majority of students (including Year 11) until February half term, with only vulnerable students and children of critical workers accessing provision in school. Our remote learning provision will be of a high standard and will provide a continuity of education during this lockdown. If your child is having issues accessing their remote learning, support can be received via the Home Learning page. If you have any queries about your child's remote education, email their class teacher or raising standards leader.

Student wellbeing remains a priority during lockdown. It is critical that they attend their timetabled lessons, including form time, so staff can support them with any struggles they may be having. If you are worried about your child and would like some help or advice, please email their pastoral head of year or form tutor.

Mass testing has now been put on hold for all students and staff. We will be carrying out testing of the small number of consenting students and staff who are in school using the LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests which were delivered yesterday. This will help us to prepare for mass testing when all students return, with a fully trained testing workforce but also ensure we are minimising the risk of the spread of the virus in school.

I will continue to communicate with our families as further information comes to light. These are tough times for us all, and it is crucial that whilst at home our students follow the tier 4 restrictions which apply to us all. My advice to all our young people is to stay home, stay learning, stay safe!

Mrs J. Lowe

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