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Headteacher’s letter 22nd January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

A shorter than usual letter from me this week following Mr Gent’s letter to families on Wednesday and the launch of the 2 minute parent survey. That survey remains live and will help us shape the direction of future provision. Thank you for the 200+ responses so far.

Mass Testing Programme Update

In my letter to you last Friday, I set out details about the mass testing programme and invited families, sixth formers and colleagues to provide consent to be tested.

  • Click here for parents and carers to provide consent for students in Years 7 to 11.
  • Click here for sixth formers to provide their own consent.

Even though the date of our reopening is not yet known, it will be helpful to secure those consent forms as soon as possible (acknowledging that consent may be withdrawn at any time). You will also be aware of further decisions made by the Department for Education regarding lateral flow testing, earlier this week. In summary:

  • We shall continue testing all staff on site twice each week for the foreseeable future.
  • All students who are still in school will be tested twice, 3 to 4 days apart, but will not be asked to undergo weekly tests thereafter.
  • In addition, all (consenting) students (and staff) will be tested twice (3-4 days apart) when they return to school.

Summer 2021 National Consultation

The national consultation is underway regarding the cancelled summer 2021 examinations. Parents, carers and students in Years 11 and 13 will be particularly interested in the outcome and may find this article a very useful summary of the proposals. If the link fails then please copy and paste this address: https://schoolsweek.co.uk/the-2021-summer-exams-plan-everything-you-need-to-know/

As you would expect, all education staff are contributing to that consultation and it is our aim to ensure that the eventual decisions are fair to all students across the country and reward those students who have worked hard throughout their studies; both before and after the national lockdown and closure of schools.

After the initial shock of this second closure of schools, I hope that we are all finding something resembling a rhythm and learning how to navigate through what we hope will be the final hurdle in this strangest of years.

We understand that a really engaging remote school day is the key to so much right now: students’ progress, students’ sense of belonging, students’ overall wellbeing – and a healthy family routine as well. We hope that our revised remote learning strategy is working well towards achieving all of these goals and will work with you to tweak or amend what we do if necessary.

Do have a restful and enjoyable weekend.

Yours faithfully

Mr Doherty

Headteacher

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