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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 36

Monday 22nd June 2020

We are now in week 14 of Lockdown and pleased to hear the government discussing a full return to school for all students and that September is their target.

The face to face elements of each day are a real boost to staff. We miss the contact with our students and look forward to hopefully resuming normal service in September. 

In line with government guidance, a quarter of Year 10 enjoyed a face to face maths lesson today, with English next week and science planned for the week after.

There is also an increase in the number of ‘live’ and pre-recorded lessons being delivered by our teachers. Full details will have been emailed to your child.

In addition, a core team of staff have been working on our school’s ‘recovery curriculum’ - a series of lessons for when students return to school to help support them with re-establishing routines and relationships as well as looking back on their learning during lockdown and building up their knowledge and understanding.

Please can you make sure your child is checking their emails on a daily basis. Form tutors and teachers are using school email to communicate with students every day and a lack of response can raise concern regarding their well being. 

Towards the end of this week, you will be receiving details of the launch of the Kingsway Virtual School.  We appreciate that a number of parents have requested this but upskilling staff, and the technology to a place where we can ensure that this is an effective delivery, has taken thought and consideration.  

Over the next couple of weeks, teachers will continue to trial small groups for online lessons and this will increase so that before the end of term all students will be able to receive a live online lesson in every subject.  This will then supplement the face to face lesson Year 10s are having, and the remote learning offered by class teachers and the enrichment and daily challenges on the Year Group noticeboards. We hope this blended learning approach will be well received and that students will participate fully.

Key Worker provision has been continuing to steadily grow and it has been delightful to see new faces joining us. A reminder that your child needs to be booked on to the system using the booking form which closes on Thursday 25th June at Midday.

Students attending will be provided with access to the computers to complete the remote learning work for their year group and due to social distance requirements may not be in a room with their friends or year group.  

With the numbers increasing, we are beginning to re-establish some of the routines, such as no access to mobile phones during the school day, and being punctual at the beginning of the school day. Students are also reminded that they need to bring a healthy snack/lunch if they do not use the canteen services.  Cans and fizzy/energy drinks are not permitted, as are shared bags or family packets of crisps and sweets.  

Tuesday 23rd June 2020

In school today, we had our biggest cohort of students yet accessing our Key Worker provision with 27 in total.  Because of these increasing numbers and the delivery of the Year 10 maths lessons this week, it is beginning to feel as though the school is coming alive again.  There are increasing numbers of staff in school too as the weeks go by and it has been lovely to see colleagues catching up with each other and admiring each others’ ‘lock down haircuts (all from to two metre distance of course).

In their lesson times, students are also keeping their distance in our ICT suits, where they are able to access their online and remote learning each morning in our computer rooms.  At lunch today, we made the most of the sun and the students went out onto the field to let off some steam.  Once they had completed their learning for the afternoon, the final session of the day was an active one and students once again took to the fields to do some PE with Mr Duffy and Mr Howarth.

Wednesday 24th June 2020

Gosh what a hot day it was today! I hope you managed some time in the sun.

School life carried on in the form of our new ‘normal’ today with around 25 students accessing our Key Worker provision and a further 55 Year 10 students in school for their Maths lesson. 

For students in Year 9, September will see the start of their GCSE courses in most subjects. To supplement their remote learning, Mrs Clarke has put together a helpful document containing key information on each GCSE subject and how students can best prepare themselves before September.

Mr Wood has added some information to Year 7, 8 & 9 students’ Google Classroom about British Red Cross First Aid Champions. Students are invited to complete 4 first aid skills over 4 weeks. What more valuable skills can we have than caring for someone else?

Thursday 25th June 2020

What a scorcher it was today! Another busy day at Kingsway with our key worker and Year 10 students all working hard in the soaring heat. With current restrictions in place, it is important that you send your child into school with their own sun tan cream if they need it as we won’t be able to provide this in school.

We are delighted to inform you that from the week commencing 29th June all year groups will begin to receive live online lessons through the Kingsway Virtual School. Each year group has a separate timetable which, by 6th July, will offer online lessons in every subject area, supplementing the remote learning timetable. It is hoped that this blended learning approach will best prepare your child to return to school in September. Further information and all the details are provided in the specific year group links below. Should you have any questions please contact your child’s Raising Standards Leader in the first instance.

It has been great to see so many of our Year 10 students back in school this week for their Maths lessons and attendance has been excellent. Students should also be praised for their conduct in both their approach to learning and in following the strict social distancing and safety measures that are in place. Their face to face content continues next week with English Super Sessions. Miss Dean has emailed all Year 10 students to confirm their room and time. The session will be concentrating on English Language Paper 1, looking at all questions and skills which need to be covered.

 


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Class Charts – Wellbeing Module

We hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well and that you are managing with todays 'normal'. In school things are feeling and looking very different - however this does not mean that we have forgotten about each individual child and how they may be managing with the ongoing pandemic. 

When your child is in school we are constantly observing, managing and supporting their wellbeing and emotional responses as appropriate. In the current world this is obviously an increasing challenge. For this reason we would like to help you to share any concerns that you may have for your child whilst they are at home so that we can support and advise them and you more effectively. We have now created a new section on our Class Charts facility called 'Wellbeing'. This section will allow you to alert your child's Form Tutor/Pastoral Head of Year to any worries for your child, or indeed if you want to let us know how well they are coping and successes. You may want to let us know for example, if your child is concerned about a return to school, exam stress, sleep/eating routines, friendship issues, online bullying, anxiety or something else. 

There are the 4 easy steps to doing this:

  1. Log in to Class Charts (or the App) and select the Wellbeing tab.
  2. Click on the face icon that most accurately reflects your child's emotions.
  3. Add a description for the wellbeing submission in the box below the icons.
  4. Press send.

Your submission will go directly to your child's Form Tutor and Pastoral Head of Year who can then get back in contact with you to discuss further if needed.

We hope that you will find this new Wellbeing tool helpful and an effective and an easy route to communicate with us. If you have any issues with accessing Class Charts and the App please complete the Class Charts Log in Help form.

Please also remember that you can email individual members of staff if you would prefer.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 35

Monday 15th June 2020

Welcome to the start of a new week, which sees our Year 10 students returning to school over the course of the week.

There were around 60 students in school today, all following the stringent social distancing measures we had put in place. The focus of this week is well-being with the aim for students:

  • to feel supported, safe and reassured
  • to understand the social distancing measures in place in school
  • to learn about plans for the remainder of this term 
  • to share experiences of lockdown and home learning
  • to ask any questions.

Here’s Mr Traynor’s account of the day with 10H:

It was brilliant to see the majority of 10H today in small groups at a time - groups of 8 felt very different to our usual 25. We spent time talking about experiences of home learning; both the positives and negatives. I was pleased that everyone was honest and it was good to reflect on what we can do to improve our motivation when learning from home and how to stay on top of our school work. I am going to inform Dr Holdsworth of the things people said have gone well and not so well. We discussed the changes to the school site and the upcoming Maths, English and Science sessions. It was good to hear about the new skills students are learning, I will be coming to Heidi S when I need some hand made jewellery for a gift and hope one day I will be treated to a delicacy from Will P's kitchen! Pupils asked a lot of sensible questions about Year 11, some of which we don't have the answers to yet and they were all keen to go away and look at post-16 options with the help of an extensive document provided by Mrs Flood. It was great to see positive attitudes and I am pleased to say that no one in 10H has fallen victim to a dodgy home hair cut!

Whilst Year 10 have been in school, similar conversations between students and form tutors in other year groups will be taking place this week via video conferencing or over the phone.

Following these well-being conversations, we will be shifting our focus to the academic progress students have made during lockdown and how teachers can support individuals. 

Remember, each Raising Standards Leader is available to respond to any queries you may have regarding your child’s experience of remote learning.

Tuesday 16th June 2020

Just look at what we do when we come together. This is England 2020”.

These were the words of premier league footballer Marcus Rashford on Twitter this evening, after the prime minister announced that the government would be funding free school meals for eligible students throughout the summer holidays.

That is good news indeed and the right news. Around 20% of our students are eligible for free school meals to support their families who may be facing financial hardship. As well as being eligible for a balanced meal each day, these students are a focus for us in other ways.

As a group, we want to ensure that their parent’s financial position is not a disadvantage to their academic success, we therefore monitor their attendance and progress regularly and put in place additional support to close any gap with their peers.

Now we are in lockdown, we have seen more families face financial hardship, perhaps through redundancy, unemployment or the fullough scheme. Rather than wait for the government’s FSM (free school meal) voucher scheme to become available online, we purchased hundreds of Asda vouchers and posted them out to these families so that they didn’t have to wait for the help they desperately needed.

On a similar note, rather than wait for the arrival of government funded devices to support remote learning, we will be issuing our own school devices so these children don’t fall further behind.

The Raising Standard’s Leader in each year group will also be identifying those children who need more support from their teachers during lockdown and looking at creative ways we can help them catch up.

At The Kingsway School, we are committed to our ethos ‘A posse ad Esse’ - turning potential into reality for every child, including those who are disadvantaged by poverty. 

I am proud of what a 22 year old young man from Wythenshawe has achieved today. I am also proud of the work we are doing and the work that is to come to support these children.

Wednesday 17th June 2020

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago we promoted Cheadle FM as one of the latest community events to be launched.  Today we are excited to announce that Mr Williams, Raising Standards Leader, will be on the show this Friday.  Luke Blakeley, former Kingsway student and Youth Pastor at St Mary’s Church, will be hosting the show and Mr Williams will be sharing insights into life at Kingsway during lockdown and the school’s ongoing commitment to support students no matter what the circumstances.  We hope that you will support Cheadle FM and Mr Williams by tuning in Friday 19th June between 9am and 11am on 87.9FM.

Usually, this time of year we would be buzzing with the imminent arrival of a new year group, but for the Class of 2025 this has been a very different experience. Whilst we have not been able to have as much face to face contact as we would have liked, we have been creative in building the foundations of our relationships with our new (and some existing) families.  Mr Burton of ’Educating Yorkshire’ fame praised the students for their involvement in our ‘Be Awesome Go Big at The Kingsway School’ programme, which has seen students complete weekly lessons.

But today, we shared the disappointing news with these families, via their weekly newsletter, that the transition day planned for Thursday 2nd July would be very different and unable to take place physically in the school environment.  Not to despair though as we have been working hard and will be launching our virtual transition day, via our website and prospective Year 5 parents (Class of 2026) will also be able to access this information. The format will be very flexible to support those families, who may wish to experience it together and students who may or may not have returned to school.  As Headteacher, I will share my welcome and vision for the year group, with Mr Williams (Y7 RSL) conducting an assembly on ‘New Beginnings’.  There will also be guest appearances from the form tutors of this year group.  Other resources will include, a virtual tour and map of the school, sample pre-recorded lessons, a workbook from our EBACC subjects, and a Q&A panel with Mrs Lowe, Mr Williams and one of our Year 7 and Year 10 students.  Whilst we know this won’t replace the face to face experiences, it will still provide students with a clear insight into the school and build strong foundations on which they can start their 5 year Kingsway journey.

Finally, our face to face sessions with Year 10 students continue next week. From 22nd June to 9th July Year 10 students will be in school one day a week from 10am – 12pm for a Maths, English or a Science lesson.  Each week will focus on a different subject.  These face to face lessons will support the remote learning students complete at home.  Information is available on our website and each student has been sent an email to inform them of where to go on their allocated day. If you cannot access the information, please call our school reception - open from 8:30am to 3:00pm every week day to answer your calls (0161 428 7706).

Thursday 18th June 2020

On Thankful Thursday, I am thankful to our dedicated learning support team (or B11 as we know them!). Today our Learning Support Manager, Mr Oldham, shares his experience of school during COVID-19.

How Have Learning Support Assistants risen to the challenge of Lockdown and Home-Schooling?

The closure of the school in March is undoubtedly the most challenging and unique event in my 23 years at Kingsway. Usually, my day consists of managing my team of staff who support the SEND students in their learning and helping support some students myself. Suddenly, there was no lessons, no students and a remote team. The LSAs (Learning Support Assistants) all have a number of key students who they are expected to meet weekly; this process shifted online and throughout the school closure the team have been contacting their key students offering help with their home-learning. We sometimes even get a reply! We can check when students or parents access Class Charts and when there were gaps we have liaised with Form Tutors and Pastoral Staff.

The LSAs, along with the Resourced School staff, have been helping support the Key Worker provision on a daily basis. This has at least given us an element of normality. I have been running the rota, whilst trying to accommodate staff who have had to shield, staff who use public transport and staff who have their own children to home-educate. We are now also supporting the Y10 subject weeks. Needless to say, the spreadsheet got very complicated. However, no-one has complained and staff have been very flexible and adaptable.

The LSAs have also taken the chance to carry out a lot of online CPD (Continuous Professional Development), so far completing 466 CPD hours on a wide range of SEND and Pastoral topics. This is far and above what they were asked to do and I know the whole team are looking forward to returning to normality and putting these skills into practice.

Mr A Oldham
LSA Manager

Mrs Maxey (Assistant Headteacher) has sent out some information to parents about how Class Charts can be used to help school track the emotional wellbeing of your child.

A message from our School Business Manager, Mrs Heard:

Free School Meals Reminder

Further to the wonderful efforts by local lad Marcus Rashford in raising awareness about Free School Meals, I would like to urge any parent that is unsure if they qualify to register on our eligibility checker https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/sims. In most cases, you will get an instant reply. Those in receipt of free school meals will be able to claim food vouchers now and over the summer. This also unlocks extra money for school to help towards resources for disadvantaged families.

Our students are continuing to impress us with their commitments and dedication to their work and both Ms Hulance and Ms Bowers were particularly impressed with the extra TIF (Take It Further) work produced by Eliyah in 7S. Last week, History set several optional activities around Black Lives Matter. Eliyah not only completed every single one but bowled us over with the thought she had put into the question: what people,  that we currently do not study, would you like to see within our history curriculum?  Well done Eliyah.

We are also very very proud of Olivia-Rose in 7K who has been asked to train with the world athletes at Rising Stars. This will be preparation for her to join the world team when she comes of age next summer. To keep her on track and maintain her fitness levels, she is currently completing her virtual training every week.  We hope that she continues to build on this success and we will be supporting and following her every step of the way.

Friday 19th June 2020

Happy Friday everyone!

I thought I would share with you the experiences of our staff during the lockdown. Here’s an account from our School Business Manager, Mrs Heard.

A day in the life of a virtual school Business Manager:

My day starts early with a hot cup of coffee whilst I log into my emails - 45 new messages overnight! I read through and then begin to respond to queries. I am helping staff to place orders for materials in September, sorting out a Data Access Request, checking our catering invoices and a query about someone’s pension.

I start working on the first of the jobs on my “to do” list. Our Year 8 trip to Paris has been cancelled and I work with our finance officer Mrs Lockett and to develop a system to ensure the families receive their refunds quickly. Leaving Mrs Lockett to start to process the ParentPay refunds, I check up on where our travel insurance claim is up to.

My daughter stumbles out of bed so I grab us both some breakfast and we talk about her home schooling plan for today. I leave her with her sister’s laptop to get on with her assignments.

My next task is to review our guidance and risk assessments for COVID. Most of the work on this has already been done but Mr Knott has made a few small changes, which we discuss, working remotely on a google document that we can both edit “live”.

Mrs Earnshaw, our other finance officer, sends me a payment batch to authorise, using Adobe e-sign instead of the traditional signature. We talk about how we could continue this in the future, as it reduces movement around school by teachers.

I then continue to work on our budget for September 2020 onwards.  I need to make sure there is enough money in each cost centre pot to pay for energy, school supplies, free school meals, IT and building maintenance as well as the wages for all of our staff- around 160 people in total! When Mrs Lowe and I are happy with the figures I will send a report to governors and upload the figures to the DFE for approval.

This afternoon, I will meet with the rest of the Leadership Team as we do each week, to update one another on our progress. This week, some of our team has been working on a new virtual school strategy which I am very excited about. I will need to make sure our network manager Mr Humphreys has all the software and settings in place for any changes we make.

My professional development continues later, with a webinar by ASCL on school finance. I will need to find out if there are any changes to our income next year.

Finally, I am holding a remote meeting with Mr Cross, our facilities manager, who has been working really hard with his team to get the premises ready for reopening with signage and barriers, but we now need to plan what essential maintenance projects we need to get on with over the summer closedown. I will be encouraging him to take a few days’ annual leave first to re-energise!

And now off to check on how my daughter is getting on with her work…

Some news from Mrs Flood

Colleges are all extremely busy planning for the next academic year and what this will look like.  This is a new situation for them as well as our students who will be starting with them later this year.  College's  are actively trying to ensure they stay engaged with their future students via email and we continue to post information on the message boards which gives students lots of opportunities to find out more, have a virtual look around the campus and ask questions.

Year 10 students have also missed out on opportunities to visit colleges and as we don't know when this will change, we are also trying to encourage our year 10 students to actively engage and look at the college information we are posting on their message board.  Due to the cancellation of our Post 16 Evening, we have produced a booklet giving a brief introduction to our local colleges and their websites, which hopefully will enable our students to start researching and making some decisions - this has been emailed to all students.  We hope these measures will ease any worries/concerns a little.  Advice is still available to our students but in a more limited format to what we are familiar with.

Let Kingsway entertain you!

Come & join 'Lockdown with The Kingsway School's Performing Arts department. There are lots of events taking place over the next few weeks for your child to get involved in.  There is something for everyone!

The first event is The Kingsway School Performing Arts Fest 2020: An online Performing Arts Festival.  Pupils can submit a short film of them performing either dance, drama, verse and prose, singing or playing a musical instrument.  There are PA badges and certificates available for all entries and short clips of each performer will be put together as a montage for parents and carers to watch.  

Tutorials by dance professionals & friends The Kingsway School, Bryn and Rhona are available on google classroom.  Information and material to use are also posted there. Code c6ppa2o

Dance online workshop

Talking of Dance, Rhona will be holding an online Dance workshop on Monday 22nd June at 3pm on Google Meet. All welcome - code available from Miss McSheffrey 

Community Choir

For all our Kingsway staff and pupils - come and join the Lockdown Choir!! You don't have to be a great singer - we just need you to come and share in our community event!  Information on how to get involved coming soon

Speech and Drama

For the budding thespians:  join us for Lockdown Lamda. Fancy working on your use of voice or your other acting skills?  Want to help develop your oracy & literacy skills?  Join Miss McSheffrey and Mr Lawton for Lockdown Lamda sessions to start week beginning 29th June 2020.  Get in touch with Miss McSheffrey for a code to the Lamda Google Classroom

Playwrights

For the budding writers:  If you enjoy writing, send us your short monologues to j.mcsheffrey@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk. We want to make a writer's corner for people to read

Arts Award

Arts Award Bronze is a short course that young people from the age of 11 can participate in.  It celebrates achievement in the Arts.  We are lucky at Kingsway to have two teachers trained to deliver all the Arts Award courses.  This is something we will be introducing to Kingsway next academic year, however, there are some elements that interested pupils could be working on at home.  Please get in touch with j.mcsheffrey@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk if you would like your child to have more information.

Help from parents for Lockdown with the Professionals

We need your help Parents and Carers of The Kingsway School!  We want to inspire our young people and make them aware of all the various careers that come under the umbrella of the Creative and Media Industries.  If you work in this industry or have family and friends that do and can spare a little time, please get in touch with Miss McSheffrey at j.mcsheffrey@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk.  

Get practising this weekend! Have a good one,

Mrs Lowe


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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French Trip June 2020 Update

17th June 2020

The finance department has begun to refund payments made for the Paris trip. Each individual payment has to be refunded separately, so refunds will arrive in a few installments. Please don't be concerned if you have only received a partial refund so far, we estimate that these will take around a week to complete.

Thank you for your patience.

5th June 2020

As you know we have been waiting for our trip to be cancelled by PGL in order to try and acquire refunds for the deposits we've paid. On Monday we received confirmation from PGL that as government advice on travel has not been lifted, our trip has been officially cancelled from their end. We are incredibly disappointed to say that despite this, they are refusing to refund deposits.  We realise that many families may have financial concerns at this time and therefore the school is going to provide refunds to our parents/carers and claim the money back from the school's insurance. We are confident that we can reclaim all the money paid so far. 

We are currently working with ParentPay in order to make this happen as soon as possible. We will be in touch again when we have details of the date on which you should expect a full refund of all payments made towards the trip. 

Thank you so much for your patience whilst we have been sorting this. 

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Year 10 School Re-opening FAQs

Will the classes be with their usual teacher and students?
Class groups will not be the same as they were before the pandemic. They will consist of 8 students per class. The sessions will be taught by subject specialist teachers, who may be the same as before the pandemic but not necessarily.

In the Pastoral session students will be in groups from within their tutor group led by their form tutor. For the maths session students will be in groups according to the set they are in.

What will be taught in the sessions?
They will be taught by subject specialists who will gauge the progress students have made over the last few weeks. Errors and misconceptions will be addressed and new material delivered according to the progress made by the students. 

Will the content of the sessions be online too?
Yes. The materials used will reflect the remote learning content for that week. 

Will students wear uniform?
To help students back into the routine and culture of school they will wear a modified school uniform – school trousers/skirt and school shirt/blouse. They will not be required to wear school jumpers, blazers or ties. 

What protection methods are in place to prevent COVID-19?
The Government released COVID-19 protective measures for schools and these have been implemented in school. They include an emphasis on handwashing and hygiene. Hand sanitiser has now been located throughout the school, including entrances and exits. Each of the 12 socially distanced classrooms will have a dedicated hand sanitiser.

The cleaning routine in school has been enhanced. There will be more regular cleaning during the day and a focus on frequently touched surfaces.  A full bleach clean will happen at the end of the day.

What equipment will students need to bring?
Students will need their own stationery – pen, pencil ruler etc – and a calculator for maths and science sessions.

It is important that students only use their own equipment and do not share equipment with others.

They should bring with them the relevant books for each session.

Where are the entry and exit points to the buildings?
On Broadway students will enter school via the art corridor and use the exit via the gate by food technology.

On Foxland students will enter using the main entrance, and they will exit either by the gate under the “bridge” or at the exit at the bottom of the maths tower.

A map will be sent showing the one-way system and entrances/exits before students are due to be in school.

Can students bring their own hand sanitiser?
Yes. We would recommend students bring their own supply of hand sanitiser and tissues, although these will be available in classrooms.

How will families and students declare they are symptom free?
If a student or member of the household has symptoms of COVID-19 then the student is not allowed in school. In this situation families must phone the school reception and record the absence as COVID-19. School has to notify Public Health England of instances of COVID-19.

We will be reliant on the civil duty of families to inform the school.

On entering school, all students will again be asked if they, or a member of their household, has COVID-19 symptoms.

Do students have to attend?
These sessions are not compulsory and students will not be made to attend. Families and students will not be penalised for non-attendance.

How will you monitor if a student is symptomatic?
Teachers and students are aware of the main symptoms of COVID-19 as per the government guidance.

Both our welfare assistants are trained ex-nurses and will be in school each day to help assess any people showing suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Will students need to line up socially distancing by 2m?
Social distancing will be applied in school. Indicative 2m markers have been placed at those areas where students are likely to queue, e.g. entrances and outside classrooms.

Why are longer sessions not being organised?
The government  have advised that only a quarter of Year 10 are allowed in school on one day, classrooms must be socially distanced, students are not allowed to mix groups during the day, and am/pm rotas are not permitted.

We have adopted this model because we believe it provides an appropriate balance between what can be delivered and the level of risk that may produce. We will continue to review our offer throughout the summer term and as government guidance changes.

What about the key worker provision, will it continue?
The Key worker provision will continue. It is very important that families complete the Key worker provision booking form the week prior to it being needed. This is so that the capacity can be managed to maintain social distancing and staffing ratios.

Key worker parents of Year 10 students must understand that their child cannot attend the Key worker provision and the Year 10 school provision on the same day. These cohorts have to be kept entirely separate according to the government guidelines.

Will students have their temperature taken and need to wear masks?
The current government guidance is that temperatures of students do not need to be taken in school, and we will not be checking temperatures on entry.

Students and staff will be free to wear masks, but at this stage we are not insisting upon this.

This will be under constant review.

How will teachers assess and fill gaps in learning for Year 10 ready for the GCSEs?
On this issue Government and the exam boards recognise the difficulties of this issue, and are currently considering possible solutions. Further information will be released by them as soon as possible, and they have indicated this should be available before the summer holidays. As yet Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulations) has not released information regarding any proposed changes to how the summer 2021 GCSEs will be assessed. 

With no clear information at this stage we are assuming that there are no changes. Therefore, we are currently:

  • providing teachers with a range of assessment strategies to be used during face to face lessons and remotely to establish the gaps than students have developed since the lockdown began
  • supporting Heads of Departments in reviewing their year 11 curriculum plans to ensure that students are taught key concepts which will support them in being able to make connections in their knowledge and understanding.

Will the pupils who have been completing the remote learning be held back by those who haven’t?
No. Teachers will use  arrange of assessment methods to identify the progress made by students during the pandemic. Gaps in learning will be pinpointed and ways for students to address these identified.

Does the school expect student grades to drop?
The government has not yet decided about the examination season for 2021, how these will be assessed and whether any changes are needed in the courses. It is therefore difficult to predict what the grading system will look like. We maintain regular communication with the professional organisations to ensure that we are up to date with current thinking; but much is to be finalised by them at this time.

What will the school put in place to support those who have fallen behind?
Heads of departments will be considering which learning in their syllabus is most critical and ensuring that those students who need it, get the support in gaining this key knowledge. 

Will English and maths be prioritised?
For the summer term face to face sessions, English, Maths and Science will be the initial focus along with support for students' in managing their well-being in respect of the losses they have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

Why are Year 10 only back for 2 hours a day?
In our provision we have followed the guidelines and recommendations from the government and Public Health England. The safety of staff and students is our priority. As a school we will be taking small steps in our wider opening to ensure that we are not risking any increase in the transmission of the virus. We will be constantly reviewing our plans to look at how we can increase the learning but not at the risk of increasing the spread of the virus to our community.

How will school feedback to parents because there has not been a parents evening and, in particular, Year 10 are concerned about GCSEs?
We will be addressing this issue during this term. Students will have received monitoring information prior to the closure of school. Following the first wave of face to face sessions, there will be communication with parents, particularly in terms of what their child can be doing at home (inc. during the summer holidays) to help them with their learning.

Will GCSE students be able to appeal their GCSE grades if they are not happy with them?
Ofqual has released the following statement to schools:

Under the circumstances, the normal arrangements for reviews of marking and appeals will not apply We are considering what arrangements might be put in place to allow an effective appeal and will consult on proposals shortly. Centres should expect the possible grounds of appeal to be relatively narrow and based on the application of the process.

Students who feel that their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the autumn series or summer 2021.

The autumn series is currently under discussion between the DfE, Ofqual and exam boards.

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