Message from Mr Jackson – 11th January (Year 11 Parents’ Evening)

This will be the strangest Year 11 parents evening I have been involved with over the past 36 years!  Given the announcement that students will not sit GCSE exams this summer, I am sure there are many questions you want to ask your son/daughter’s teachers regarding the GCSE grade they will achieve in summer. I hope you understand why it is not possible for them to speculate on the specifics at Wednesday’s parents evening. This is not because we want to withhold information from you, but because we have been given no indication as yet, as to what this process will look like. It is likely that Year 11 students will be back in school again this term and there will be opportunities for them to demonstrate their learning in assessments within each subject. It is therefore important that students engage as well as they can with the online learning and try their very best for the remainder of their time in Year 11.

Conversations at parents evening are likely to be about how students have worked this year; how they are coping with the move to online learning; how can their teachers, and school in general, support them to make this learning as effective as possible; what students need to do between now and the end of the school year; the appropriateness of studying these or related courses in the sixth form; and advise them on where to access additional support.

I have had a number of conversations with the parents of Year 11 students since the start of the new term and feel confident that everyone understands how difficult this situation is and that we don’t have answers to many of the questions they raised. I am happy to discuss any issues relating the awarding of GCSE grades this summer if you have any concerns, prior to, or following the parents evening.  Could I respectfully ask that parents and students refrain from emailing members of staff directly at this time, to ask about the current situation regarding exams.

In order to be as transparent as possible, I have shared with you a document I have provided to the teaching staff to help them provide you with as much information as they are able to on Wednesday, as they too, have been raising questions with me about the process for awarding GCSE grades.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark Jackson