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Tuesday 18th May 2021

Dear parents / guardians,

Although recent weather has not felt like the start of a summer term, we are approaching the “business” end of the academic year and are working hard on formal qualifications as well as considering how we support students with the crucial transitions, which they will need to make successfully in order to be ready for success in September.  All of this and with some new Coronavirus guidance in place from Monday 17th May.  We do hope that students, parents and families will be able to enjoy some of the relaxations in the guidance as well as ensuring that we keep ourselves and each other as safe as possible.

Revised COVID19 Guidance from 17th May 2021

You are likely to be aware that there are some changes in national COVID19 guidance, full details of which can be found here:

We have followed the national guidance meticulously throughout the course of the pandemic. As part of wider relaxations, there are some limited but significant national changes for school operations, and I will detail below how we will implement these in practice, as well as indicating what will not change.

Qualifications 2021

Parents of students in Years 11 and 13 will already be aware of the plans for the awarding of qualifications this year and we appreciate how hard students have been working to produce a range of evidence to inform our grading decisions. We are now into the final days of this process and although we are missing the formal exams season, there has been a great sense of purpose and focus as students complete their courses.

This is of course new to all of us, and although we are meticulous in following all of the technical guidance, I am aware that these documents can make for dense reading for parents and students. Helpfully, Ofqual have now published a useful guide for students regarding the entire process – and this brings together numerous pieces of guidance in an easily digestible form. The link to the document is here and I hope that this makes the national process as clear as possible.

Qualifications 2022

Although, of course, it is completely impossible to make predictions about next year, it is right that the Government are currently giving consideration to how students currently in Years 10 and 12 can be supported to achieve the qualifications which they deserve, despite the disruption of the pandemic. You may be aware that various options are under consideration – but crucially the assumption is that a formal exam series will run next summer, although perhaps with some modifications. The important message for the time being is that students in Years 10 and 12 should continue to work as hard as possible on the planned content and assessments, and teachers will continue to deliver all programmes of study as originally scheduled. We will keep parents and students up to date with any national decisions, but these are not expected to be finalised until next year.

Key Events for this Academic Year

Our half term break is fast approaching and runs for one week from Monday 31st May. Students return to school on Monday 7th June. Other key dates are listed below. Please check our website and social media feeds for regular updates.

Year 10 examinations                            From Monday 7th June

Year 12 examinations                            From Monday 7th June

Year 7 examinations                              Monday 21st June

Year 8 parents’ evening                         Wednesday 16th June – Thursday 17th June

Year 10 parents’ evening                        Wednesday 30th June – Thursday 1st July

Year 12 parents’ evening                       Wednesday 7th July – Thursday 8th July

Year 7 parents’ evening                         Wednesday 14th July – Thursday 15th July

Final day of the summer term               Friday 16th July

Please note that the parents’ evenings listed above will be taking place online and that appointments will be available for parents over two evenings. Full details will be sent out in advance of each event.

Thank you as always for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Woods