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Headteacher’s letter March 19th 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Year 11 and Year 13 Grades

As the days progress, more information and clarification around how final grades will be determined is emerging. Mr Trainer and Mrs Armistead will be writing to all Year 11 and Year 13 students and families in two weeks’ time to set out the finer details. However, following a meeting with Mr Trainer and Mrs Armistead a few days ago, we wish to summarise a few key messages today:

  • We shall devote as much lesson time as possible to subject content (both new and revisited) until Easter at the very earliest (rather than commence testing and assessments). This ensures that all students will complete as much of their courses as possible and therefore be more fully prepared for post GCSE and A level courses.
  • Each GCSE and A level subject will set at least two assessments across the six weeks of Term 5 (i.e. between Easter and Whitsun). All of these assessments will be limited to 45 minutes in length and all access arrangements will be in place as well. All such assessments will be in normal classrooms, but under usual examination conditions.
  • These assessments will be spread-out over the six-week period of Term 5 – and this means that students will average three assessments per week. The date of each assessment will be known about in advance and very likely to include preparatory lessons from teachers.
  • All students in Years 11 and 13 will be set assessment preparation tasks over the Easter break from each subject. These tasks will be thorough and challenging, but also very constructive and manageable. Each subject’s task will feed directly into the first assessment students will take in that subject in those weeks after the Easter break.

Extra Time is Back!

It is a pleasure to confirm that we have now launched the summer term’s Extra Time clubs with students this week. The flier opposite provides a sense of what is on offer but do follow this link to the dedicated section of our website.

If you have any additional questions then do get in touch with our Community Learning Lead, Mrs Sarah Fisher: [email protected].

After School Clubs Up and Running (Literally)

This week also witnessed the resumption of our after school clubs and activities. First out of the blocks were the PE team with activities that included dodgeball, badminton, netball and football. It may be some time before inter-school competitions resume but when they do we shall be ready. Thank you to those colleagues who have been so eager to get started on this again!

From School to Home Testing

The school based testing is now complete and will allow us to reclaim the traditional use of the main hall space. These images may provide families with a sense of the project and the various stages that became very familiar to us all: queuing, registering, swabbing and testing. The programme has run remarkably smoothly due to the combination of a student, staff and volunteer spirit that has been so striking.

We are pleased to report that there were no positive cases of COVID-19 arising from our testing programme, based on 95% participation. Whilst official data is not yet available, I understand that this is a very similar picture across local schools and adds further confidence that the timing of the reopening of schools has been the right one. Nonetheless, we shall all stay very vigilant and expect that home testing will now provide a longer term monitoring of local rates of infection and enable schools to be advised accordingly. All good news.

Comic Relief

Both Comic Relief and International World Happiness Day (tomorrow) form part of our return to school. This includes Smiley Postcards, a Happy Dance and a compilation of ‘Bad Dad Jokes’ videos (by staff) coordinated by sixth former Beth Blackwell. Students have also been invited to dress down today so that we could support worthy causes at home and abroad. More on this in the Easter edition of the CNSNewsletter!

Reminder About Home Testing

Sunday will be the first day when all staff and students are invited to carry out home tests for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. Please upload the result to the NHS test and trace service and then our own school record that can be found here.

That is it for this week. Have a great weekend!

Yours faithfully

Mr Doherty


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