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Principal's Blog - 15/01/2021

Dear Parents/Carers,


Firstly, I would like to thank you for all your continued support, communication and understanding through this very difficult time in education. We acknowledge that the situation we find ourselves in is causing some level of worry and concern, and given the most recent announcements from the government this may have created a situation where students feel a little lost and are uncertain about the coming weeks.


I want to give some reassurances that we are responding to the current situation as quickly as possible to ensure that your child receives the best learning, support and guidance that will aid their progression. It is in these trying times when we see a real collaboration and collectiveness to overcome obstacles and barriers that may impact the progression and opportunities of our students.


I would like to reassure you that the teaching and support staff are working extremely hard to support your child through virtual learning; there is not a more important time to ensure that the collaboration of working with staff and students is effective, consistent, and purposeful. Engagement in remote virtual learning is very much purposeful and will contribute to forming the basis of judgements made for student outcomes. It is imperative that students fully engage with their live lessons, assignments and any assessments that will take place. It is vital that students' perceptions and mindsets continue with the same level of vigour and determination to succeed in achieving the best outcomes for their future progression. We know how turbulent the term has been, yet we feel that both the students and staff, given their previous experiences of lockdowns, are in a stronger position than previously to ensure that teaching and learning can continue to support our students’ future progression. There has been a slight change of policy related to students being on camera during 'live' lessons. This is now allowed, providing that students obscure their background or choose a 'fake' background. It is not compulsory however, and students may continue to remain off camera. Some staff may be trying this out as a way of connecting students with each other and 'seeing' each other for the first time. Please contact Mrs Bennett if you have any questions ([email protected]) or Mr Costello if your child is suffering from anxiety related to 'live' lessons ([email protected]).


Parents’ Evening

It is our intention that the Year 11 and Sixth Form Parents’ Evening will go ahead as planned this half term. The Parents Evening will operate differently, and parents will make appointments to speak with their childs’ teacher via an online system. Further details about parents’ evening will follow shortly.


Testing

On Monday we successfully tested 87 students and staff, this has taken a lot of time to set up but we are really pleased with how our first day went. We will be testing students and staff who are on site each week. A special thanks to Mrs Mahoney who organised and coordinated the testing programme. If you have not completed a consent form for your child, please send this to Mrs Green [email protected] as we will need this ready for when we open again for more students. We have created a short video of the process to demonstrate to students/parents how it will work, and we hope you find this helpful. https://youtu.be/2J0A8T3BQ1I



FSM Vouchers

We are still waiting for the voucher scheme information, I know this is frustrating for some parents so while we wait for the national voucher scheme we will be setting up our own vouchers. . A direct letter from Mrs Mahoney has been sent to those families regarding the arrangements. [email protected]


Exams

As mentioned last week, we decided to run exams this week for our Year 12 and 13 students as I felt that they should be given this opportunity as they have worked so hard. I was really pleased to see the majority come on site to sit an exam in a range of subjects. We are still waiting for the consultation to be shared regarding summer exams but when we get any clarification I will of course share this with you.


Wellbeing

I shared further information regarding wellbeing last week, however just to clarify that all students should now have had one phone call from a member of staff. The member of staff may be calling from a withheld number so please do answer. If you have not had a wellbeing call please let Miss Goodfellow know. [email protected]



Feedback

Thank you for your continued support and generous emails/comments on social media. They mean so much to staff and it has been a real pleasure sharing these with them. Staff are working so hard to deliver high quality lessons within this difficult period of time. If you have two minutes please complete the below survey as I am interested to know what is going well and what can be improved. https://forms.gle/KS9fKdSAqGqptmb77


Please continue to stay safe and as always we are here to support you in any way we can.


Thank you.


Emma Baker

Principal


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