Now we have settled into our online curriculum, there are a number of consequences to the current situation for schools across the country, which we will continue to update you with as further information emerges.
Year 6 Induction for new students
This would ordinarily take place in July, and whilst this still may happen it currently seems unlikely. If we are unable to return until September, we will put arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school for our new Year 7 intake. This is likely to include a staggered start for year groups and all of the things we would normally do in July. We have email addresses for all but 65 of our new parents, so support staff will be contacting those people during the course of this week to obtain an email address. As the school office is closed and no paperwork is going out, we will email all induction information to parents. For those who do not use email, we will also be creating a special area within the students section of the COVID-19 GUIDANCE on our website for Year 6 induction, containing all useful information.
Year 11 and 13 Exams and leaving
We are still awaiting further information from the exam boards (expected this week), and as soon as we have this we will be touch with students and parents with the timeline and process for awarding grades. It is important that all Year 11 and 13 students and parents maintain their point of contact with the school, as whilst the course delivery has now been cut off, the assessment process is far from complete. In terms of saying goodbye to our students, we are postponing rather than cancelling our Year 11 and 13 proms, in the hope of being able to hold them later in the year.
Free School Meals Arrangements
There have been a lot of questions asked about the voucher scheme for students entitled to Free School Meals, particularly over the Easter holidays. The Government are in the process of issuing further guidance to schools about a national voucher scheme and we will let those affected know as soon as the details have been released to schools.
As you will all be aware, the school is running an extensive online curriculum. Whilst engagement with Show My Homework is generally good, the engagement of students with live lessons and chats through Microsoft Teams is much more variable, with often only around a quarter of students participating. We will be monitoring this on an ongoing basis and contacting students and their parents where engagement is poor. In a number of instances this has been through technical problems with access to equipment or the internet, and we have been able to help a significant proportion to resolve these problems. It is crucial that students keep on top of their studies, as so many are, or when we return after what may be an extended closedown, students who have not engaged may be months behind in their learning.
There will be a final update on Friday before the Easter break, and in the meantime please stay safe and well.