1st March 2021
Dear Parents and Carers.
I hope this communication finds you well.
Following a period of relative quiet, the Prime Minister’s announcement that confirmed that schools will begin to re-open from Monday 8th March 2021 has provided hope that a return to some sense of normality is not too far away.
For our Primary Schools, all pupils will return to school on Monday 8th March whilst our secondary school pupils and sixth-form students will have a phased return that week due to the requirement to test pupils on site, for whom consent has been given. For secondary pupils and sixth-form students where consent has been given, they will have three tests in total, spaced between 3 and 5 days apart, so that they can become familiar with the testing process before being given lateral flow device kits to test at home. Further details will be provided by our secondary school headteachers regarding all return to school arrangements. Whilst testing for secondary pupils is not compulsory, we do encourage our parents and carers to support the national effort to control transmission of the virus by providing consent for their child to be tested.
Another significant development, as we look forward to re-opening our schools, is that all secondary pupils and sixthform students are now expected to wear face-masks in classrooms, in addition to wearing them whilst moving around the school buildings. Further information will be provided by our secondary schools about this.
For our Primary School pupils, the Department for Education has confirmed that Statutory Key Stage 1 and 2 tests and teacher assessments planned for summer 2021 are cancelled. Schools will continue to use assessment during the summer term to: inform teaching; give you information about your child’s attainment in their annual report; support your child’s transition to secondary school if they are in Year 6
For Year 11 pupils and Year 13 students, schools are slowly receiving more information about how grades will be awarded this year following the cancellation of the summer GCSE, A-level and Vocational exam series. Ofqual and the Department for Education have confirmed that Students taking GCSE, AS and A levels, will receive grades based on teacher assessment. The exam boards will support teachers to reach their judgements by providing guidance and training. Once more, further information will be provided by our secondary schools and sixth-form regarding what we will be doing to ensure that our pupils and students achieve the grades that they deserve in the summer.
We are very excited about welcoming your child(ren) back to school. We want them to return to a calm, caring and encouraging environment which is sensitive to their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We would like you to support us in encouraging your child(ren) to get involved in creative, sporting and social activities so that they can once more feel part of our safe, inclusive, happy and inspiring school communities. We will also be doing everything we can to sensitively identify any gaps in knowledge that may have been acquired during lockdown and any new learning and progress that has been achieved.
May I conclude by thanking you for your continued support and I wish you and your families ongoing good health and happiness.