Coronavirus Response Update 23/03/2020

Coronavirus Response Update 23/03/2020

You will be pleased to know that I am just sending a brief update letter today to keep you informed of a few additional points further to my communications last week.

  • Learning for Year 11 and Year 13 Students

We are still waiting to receive details as to how the GCSE and A Level certificates will be awarded and we will share that with you as soon as we have it. For now the teaching staff have been asked to ensure that the specification for each course is completed. That may mean that your son / daughter has remote learning continuing in some subjects in line with the instructions sent home last week, whilst in other subjects the course is finished and the teacher is only supplying revision materials.

I spoke to students in Year 11 and Year 13 in assemblies on Friday to make them aware that they MUST keep all exercise books, folders and assessed materials that they have at home safe; and that they should return these to school as and when it is safe to do so. This is because it is our working assumption that the final GCSE and A Level grades will be based on teacher assessment, moderated by data held centrally, and that the government will put in place some kind of random sampling to ensure that there is evidence to support the grade that has been awarded. Once the work is returned to school, each subject teacher will ensure it is kept safe here until after the process is complete.

Currently this is what the government has told us:

The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.

To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.

Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible. More information will be provided as soon as possible.

If you want to see the full detail of what they have said, please follow this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

You will have a right to appeal the exam grade that is awarded by the exam board in each subject. It is likely that any appeal will follow a different route to normal and would involve your son / daughter taking the actual final exams in an attempt to prove that they can do better than the grade awarded by the school. This could happen at some point in the autumn term once it is safe to conduct exams again. If you decide to go down this route in one or more subjects, the school will return your child’s work to you for revision purposes and it will be important that your child has accessed the on-line revision materials that will be made available to them by our remote learning provision.

So, if your child has come home and said “That is it, no more work to do”, they may or may not be right. What you and they need to ensure is:

Has every course that I am taking been completed? If not, then there will still be on-line learning to complete whenever those lessons would normally occur.

And do I think I may want to take an exam later in the Autumn term to challenge the grade/s that I have been given? If there is a chance that you may want to do this (for example, if you know you haven’t worked as hard as you should have done in the last 18 months and you were planning on making a big effort to prep for the exams to improve the grades you had been getting from staff), you should access the revision materials and try to keep yourself up to date with these subjects – at least until you know the grade/s you have been awarded.

School Dinners

Given the small numbers in school today, and expected over the next 2 weeks, and the reduced availability of our staffing, the provision of school dinners between now and Easter will be cold food only. Each child will be able to have a packed lunch but no hot food will be available.

On-Line Remote Learning

At the end of each day we have set up a system which will send out an automated message to parents if your son / daughter has not engaged with one or more of the on-line lessons during that day. Please do not be offended by receipt of this message. We are only making you aware of the situation and asking for your support. None of us know how long the current situation will last but we are preparing for it to be quite a lengthy period of time. In that circumstance, it is important that we work together to keep each child in good habits of study and learning. I am sure that will help you at home as well as helping us when we do eventually manage to all return to school.

If your child has not completed work because they themselves are poorly, please do let us know via the school absence line as you normally would.

I continue to wish you and your family all the very best over the days to come. Please do get in touch if you think the school can provide you further support in any way.

Yours faithfully,

Rob Williams

Headteacher

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