Letter from Mr Jackson 1st April

I hope you and your family are all well and coping with the difficult situation we all find ourselves in at the moment.

I just wanted to update you on the situation over the Easter break. The school will be open over the next two weeks, in what would have been the Easter holidays, to ensure we can continue to support our most vulnerable students and the children of key workers. I really appreciate that all these families have tried their very best to arrange their own childcare, and have only sent their children to school where there has been no appropriate alternative. Our staff have willingly volunteered to work both Good Friday and Easter Monday, too, and I am very grateful for their support.

There will be no work set over the next two weeks and this will allow students time to catch up on work they feel they need to complete, browse the resources on our website (and others) to carry out some independent work, read a book, spend time relaxing or undertaking other activities in relation to their own interests.  For the students who attend school over this period there will be a more relaxed atmosphere, with faculties providing a range of enrichment activities.  This will provide a break from the academic work set by their teachers, that students are currently completing in classrooms.

I have received a number of emails from parents concerned that their child is worrying about the amount of work they are expected to complete.  Please see below an extract from the letter I emailed to parents last Friday:

We have received a number of emails from parents asking about how much work their children should be doing.  As you can appreciate, setting work in these circumstances is a very difficult task, bearing in mind that all students will work at different rates for a whole variety of reasons. The general expectation is that for students who are fit and well, they would complete the same amount of work as they would in a normal school week.  What we definitely don’t want is students worrying that they are ‘getting behind with their work’.  All members of staff are fully aware how difficult this is and will be very understanding if students are genuinely struggling.   Going forward a number of subjects will set longer blocks of work so that students are able to work through this at their own pace.  If any parent is genuinely concerned, then please email the Curriculum Leader rather than individual teachers.

Whilst it is important that students do complete an appropriate amount of work each week, the last thing we want to do is to cause any undue worry and stress for students; I am very mindful that our students do not feel overloaded.  As long as they are completing approximately the amount of time described above, then all teachers will be happy that the students are doing the best that they can in these difficult circumstances.  I will be providing more information about the work set for after Easter nearer the time.

I am still awaiting the guidance from Ofqual about the process for awarding GCSE and A Level grades this summer.