I hope this letter finds you safe and well. I have no doubt that the last few months have been extremely difficult for everyone; it has certainly been an extremely challenging time in school. The last two weeks have been genuinely heart-warming as we have welcomed Year 10 and Year 12 back into school, albeit on a limited basis, and have greatly valued the opportunity to have face to face contact with our students again. There is no doubt that all members of staff have been delighted to see them and I think sometimes secretly they have been equally delighted to see us! They have all conducted themselves in an exemplary manner, especially given that the arrangements in school have been far from normal or ideal.
We are all genuinely looking forward to September, when we expect to see all our students once more. I am still not clear how this will look, and hopefully the guidance from the government, which is expected later this week will make things clearer. However, I am sure there will be significant challenges ahead but ones which we can overcome so that we can welcome students back to school safely. I will write to you again once we have plans in place for the new school year.
The government has updated their guidance for parents about what they need to know about schools during the Covid-19 outbreak and this can be found here.
Students in Years 11 and 13 have faced an especially difficult and uncertain time over recent months, and we look forward to seeing them again to receive their GCSE and A Level results. These ‘centre assessed grades’ have been moderated at each stage of a rigorous process and then again at a national level by Ofqual (the regulatory body responsible for exams in England). I am sure these results will reflect the tremendous amount of hard work put in by staff and students throughout last few years. Ofqual have decided to proceed with a full suite of A level and GCSE examinations in October and November, so students who are disappointed with any grade they receive, will have the opportunity to re-sit. Ofqual’s proposals are here. We are looking forward to seeing a significant number of our Year 11 students back in our sixth form in September.
I am very pleased that the government have agreed to extend free school meal provision over the six-week holiday period. We will endeavour to arrange for the vouchers to be sent to parents to cover this period for all students, including those in Year 11 and Year 13, before the end of term.
I would just like to remind you that if your child requires any items of school uniform, please refer to my letter of 14 June.
Finally, I am very proud of a piece of work our Head of Drama and two of our students have produced recently. Due to the reputation of our drama department, we were contacted by Lancashire County Council to create a video for all secondary schools across Lancashire to provide some reassurance to students about returning to school. We were given a very tight turnaround and I am absolutely delighted with what Mr Anderson, Ella and Alfie put together. I hope you enjoy watching this video and it provides reassurance, if required, about any proposed return.
As always, I really appreciate the support both to myself and the school, that parents have consistently shown over recent months; it is greatly valued and appreciated.