Headteacher’s letter 23 March 2020

Monday 23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Keeping You Updated
We shall do our very best to strike the right balance between keeping you informed and overwhelming you with information from the school. Our plan is that we shall issue a whole school letter on most days as follows:

Mondays
Letter from Mr Doherty, Headteacher, with general notices and updates.

Wednesdays
Letter from Ms Hancock, Deputy Headteacher, regarding safeguarding and wellbeing.

Thursdays
Letter from Mrs Smart, Assistant SENDCo, to share the many ways in which our parents and carers are managing and structuring family life at this time.

Fridays
Letter from Mr Gent, Assistant Headteacher, regarding our new homework programmes.

Sharing Ideas on Family Life
We are all shaping a very new way of living right now. None of us feel we have found the perfect routine or have any certainty that we are making the right choices about everything from bedtimes, mealtimes, study times and chill times to exercise, reading for pleasure, explaining what is happening in the world and managing all sorts of fears and anxieties about our planet and our loved ones.

In order to share ideas, Mrs Smart (Assistant SENDCo) has agreed to produce a weekly letter for families. She will compile all of the ideas she receives to her email account (wsmart@chipping-norton.oxon.sch.uk) and present them back to families each Thursday. Short summaries of what you are doing in your home, or websites and resources you have found, would be great to share and avoid any of us feeling truly isolated, alone or unsure.

We are certain of two things. Firstly, that there is no ‘right way’ for families to organise these new times we live in today. Secondly, if we share ideas then we can all feel that bit more confident we are making the right decisions.

I saw with interest that Amazon’s Audible is opening up free of charge to children. If, like me, you have a reluctant reader in the house then audio books are a great way to bridge the gap to create a whole new way to become immersed in great books.

Furthermore, I am sure we have all heard that the BBC will be adding more education content to support parents, carers, students and teachers in the near future.

Finally, I heard the wonderful Johnny Ball on the radio the other day and wondered if they would ever just play his old TV shows from the 1980s all over again.
He was one of the reasons why so many of us wanted to become a teacher.

Government Updates on GCSEs and A-levels
Last week, I shared a link to the most up to date information that had been released. Today, I wish to draw your attention to another Department for Education document that was released on Friday. It provides a series of helpful questions and answers. Whilst this is a welcome communication, it is clear that there will be greater detail to come and we shall act upon this as soon as this becomes clear and available. At that point, we shall write to Year 11 and Year 13 families separately.

If you are a student in Year 11 or Year 13, or a parent or carer of a Year 11 or Year 13 student, then I advise you to read the entire document.

In the meantime, our advice to Year 11 and Year 13 students remains the same – continue to complete and submit the work set by your teachers so that they are in a position to provide a predicted grade that is both accurate and favourable.

CNS Learning Hub
All has worked smoothly today. We welcomed a small number of students to our hub and it looks like they enjoyed a somewhat unusual but comfortable day with us. We can see that Show My Homework may be struggling with students uploading their work. We are looking into this but note how many students have managed to get around this by emailing their teachers directly for now.

Keep In Touch
I shall be in school as normal but I do not plan to send any further daily letters to families at this stage. I shall write to you again next Monday but urge you to look out for those letters from Ms Hancock, Mrs Smart and Mr Gent in the week. Please email any one of us but of course my email is always available to all parents and carers should they need to get in touch at any point: head.4010@chipping-norton.oxon.sch.uk.

Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty
Headteacher

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