This week, year 10 and 12 student will be sitting their Pre-Public Exams (PPE), and the students involved have received timetables and guidance. A small number of students will be coming in to school to sit exams, where listening is the key component – for example Modern Foreign Languages and Music.

Exam papers for all other exams have been sent out and should be returned electronically. This will allow us to minimise the risks involved in handling paper, and staff having to come in to the building to collect paper copies. Working online will involve staff and students using technology in new ways, and there will inevitably be glitches, but, from what we read, we may need to continue to use remote learning techniques after the summer, and for students progressing to further study, they may be a key part of life at college or university. Staff will be on hand in school to support students who encounter difficulties with their exams.

It goes without saying that we hope students will make the most of the opportunities online exams present, by approaching them as they would any other exam they sit in school.

We will not be setting any work for year 10 and 12 during exams week.

Students in years 7 – 9 are continuing with their learning from home. You will see from the school calendar that staff will be completing end of year reports to send home before the end of term. As the last sets of reports we sent home were completed in February and March, we will now be commenting on work students have done since partial closure began, in March. We will focus on two things: student engagement with the work sent home, and the quality of the work produced. If students have not been submitting the work their teachers have asked them to complete, we will have little or no evidence on which to base judgements, so please encourage them to ensure they are up-to-date.

We are hoping to increase the opportunities for students across the school to access their teachers through Google Meetings, having used this successfully with students in year 12.

From June 22nd onwards, we are opening the school to greater numbers of students in years 10 and 12. Following government guidance, we are offering some face-to-face contact to supplement online learning, which remains the core of our provision. We have taken careful note of the guidance, and have devised a timetable that allows up to 25% of the cohort in to school each day. We will have students working in smaller groups than normal, for longer periods of time, to reduce the number of contacts each day. Because we are limited to 25%, any one student is likely to be in school for up to five times before the summer holiday. We have not been able to timetable every class, owing to constraints of time, the numbers involved, and cases where staff are shielding. However, we are covering most of the curriculum, including both core and optional subjects.

Students and their families should have received individualised timetables, showing when they are due in school.

Please be aware that guidance, nationally, changes, and we will adapt our plans, if and when we are called to do so.

Jane Cartwright

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