Coronavirus Update – Week 3

Apr 24

Dear parents and carers,

I hope you and your families are well, and that you are managing to stay safe and keep fit whilst we continue to work together as a community to ‘do our bit’ in the fight against coronavirus. One or two members of staff who live in the community have mentioned that they have occasionally seen groups of our students interacting in close proximity in public. I know it’s difficult, and becoming increasingly difficult as the duration of lockdown has been extended, but ensuring we all follow the government guidelines is the fastest way for us all to get back to normal. Please make sure your children keep themselves, and your family safe, by keeping up the expected social distancing. 

We’re at the end of the first week of the summer ‘term’ and it has been the most unusual start to a term ever! Instead of welcoming the staff and students back into the building on Monday morning, we all opened our laptops and started writing and responding to emails. We have changed the expectations of the amount and kind of work that the students should do each day, and the initial feedback from parents and students suggests that this has been well received. Of course, it’s still a work in progress, and we are constantly taking your views into account and refining things as we go. 

We are conscious that, despite all your very best efforts, learning at home just isn’t the same as learning at school, and that some children are adapting better than others. Those of us who are teachers and parents are finding the same in our own homes. 

Rest assured that we are already planning our curriculum to ensure any gaps in knowledge are addressed once things return to normal and your children are back in school, and to make sure no child is left behind because of this disruption to schooling. Parents of year 11 and year 13 students should receive an invitation to purchase a school hoodie today. The cost of this will be £0, and paid for by the school as a small token from us to you. If you have already placed an order, that money will be refunded to you asap. 

We miss seeing all our students, but these two year groups had their last days at school taken from them and we know there are some we perhaps won’t see again… It’s not much, just a little something to say we haven’t forgotten you! And, as promised, when we can do so, we will arrange a get together for those year groups to properly celebrate their time with us. 

We’re trying to make sure that we involve ourselves in the community as much as possible, and this included the delivery of biscuits to some local care homes yesterday. Special thanks to our chef extraordinaire, Denise, and Les and Aaron for delivering them. We hope that we can continue to work closely with parents, business and other stakeholders in the community in the future. I think that one of the positives to come from this situation is the way the whole community has pulled together, and it’s certainly something we’re keen to maintain. 

On Sunday evening the government stated that they would provide ICT equipment and internet access for some families who did not already have such devices and access to online learning. As I’m typing this letter, some further information has been sent through to school and we will soon be contacting selected parents of students across all year groups, with a focus on those in year 10, to gather the information we need to ensure we identify those eligible families. 

Please do keep in touch – we are trying to do all we can to support you, your children and each other through this stressful time. Rest assured we’re working hard to be as efficient and effective as possible, and any advice or suggestions you could give us would be most welcome. 

Most importantly, stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. 

Best wishes,

Neil Rodgers

Executive Headteacher