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Headteacher’s letter 20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Years 11 and Year 13 Celebration Day
It is too early to compose anything vaguely coherent about today. Our Year 11s were just brilliant – stoic and happy to have had a day to celebrate their school lives together. We do not quite know how or when, but we shall definitely have a proper results day for them and also reschedule their prom for September or maybe a Christmas ball – who knows, but it will happen. Similarly, the Year 13s were fabulous and decided to dress up for the day and go out in style. Nordy the Pig appears to have joined their ‘after party’, but will no doubt come back to us at some point!

Government Updates on GCSE and A-level Grades
Just as the Year 11s were having their final assembly with Mrs Jackson, further details on exams and grades were announced by the Department for Education. The document is there to be read but the key message appears to be, “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.”

This describes a process that most schools anticipated. It would appear logical to assume that the work completed by Year 11 and 13 students between now and the point that teachers are asked to submit that data should, and will, influence and edge-up those grades. In other words, every little bit of work that Year 11 and Year 13 students complete at home will help improve their final grades. I can assure you that we would not urge this if we did not believe this to be true.

CNS Learning Hub
Everything is now ready to welcome in those students who are the children of key workers. In order to fight the COVID-19 outbreak we shall remain open every day so that these parents and carers can keep the country moving and get us all back to full health.

The Government extended the list of key worker occupations this morning. You will be aware that the Government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, all of them should be. Please see the relevant document provided by the Department for Education.

Thank you to those key worker parents and carers who have been in touch – you will receive a letter from me this evening. If you have not had time to contact us, then don’t worry – just email the relevant Head/s of Year and we can guide you through the rest of what we have in place.

Free School Meals
Earlier today, Ms Hancock wrote to all our families whose children are entitled to a free school meal. Her letter described how lunch will be provided. If you have not received this letter but believe your children are entitled, or you wish to apply for a free school meal, then please email Ms Hancock on [email protected] Applying for this is fairly straight forward, but right now we’ll just get those lunches to you and worry about eligibility and paperwork another day!

Jeans for Beans Day
Firstly, a big thank you to Mr Thomas (Head of PE) for this idea that was really well received and hugely successful.
All of the items will be collected or delivered very shortly, even the packets of loo paper – remember those from the olden days?
Perhaps we shall make this a thing we do every 20th March from now on?

Local Food Banks
As you probably know, we have been working closely with St Mary’s Church to ensure that our community knows about the help that is out there right now for families. If you require a food voucher, or you need support to access the food bank, please contact Jodie Green, our Family Support Worker, on 07776 020897 or [email protected] We can have the vouchers posted out to you without any fuss. Jodie can explain what is available and how to access various items, fresh produce and family meals that can go straight into an oven.

Alternatively, please consider contributing financially towards St. Mary’s inspiring work. Their details are as follows: CAF Bank / St Mary’s Church Chipping Norton PCC / Sort Code 40-52-40 / Account Number 00027882.

Well, that’s it for another quiet week in education. We could all do with a pause at the weekend before we go again next week. So much has happened in the past few days and we are all still taking stock of it all. I imagine it will be the children who adapt most rapidly. A new normal will emerge on Monday and as we get used to things we’ll been in touch with you to update you as necessary, share ideas and generally remember that this school is not a building, it is a community.

Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty

PS Contrary to one Year 7 boy’s understanding today, we do not expect your children to wear full school uniform whilst at home between 8:40am and 3:05pm. I think his tutor may have been joking

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