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05/05/2020

Letter from Mr Mirams - 5th May 2020

5th May 2020

 

Dear Parents

I hope this email finds you all well and once again may I congratulate all of you on the wonderful job you are all doing with your children at this most unprecedented time.  I am aware that some of you have been extremely ill and are still recovering and I would like to extend my best wishes to those who have been or who are still going through such a difficult time. 

It is the oddest of feelings trying to keep everything going and holding it all together in our own homes for such an extended time but most of you are reporting that you have coped well under these extreme pressures.  We will continue as a school to support the best way we can over this continuing period and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support in what have been very testing times for all.

We all need to be aware that despite the reports of declining cases of Covid 19 there are still a number of people in our community who remain unwell and recovery continues to be long and troublesome.  Once again our thoughts and prayers go out to all and we hold you in our thoughts currently.

There remain the usual communication email hotlines available to contact if you need any support and these will remain active for the long term to support where we can.  I would like to thank the staff who have been answering queries throughout the time we have had away from the school.

I would like to draw your attention to a number of key points and hopefully answer some of the general questions that we have had come in over the last week.

EXAM GRADINGS

We have received some positive news today that pupils in Year 9 and 10 who have been entered for examinations will receive a grade this summer.  I believe that this is an extremely positive move for all and I would like to thank those staff that have joined me in lobbying for this decision over the last few weeks.

You will be aware that schools are being asked to give grades for pupils who were due to sit exams this summer to the Examination Boards.  The work of the school is only a small part of this and I need to reiterate a number of points that are now being made very clear to all education institutions.  We will not be able to give any indication of grades until these are released by exam boards later in the summer.  Please refrain from emailing or contacting the school telling us what grades your child needs.  Please rest assured we will do the best we can for your child but following the strict protocols and evidence available to us.  Our staff know the children extremely well so we can provide very accurate grades, however, the Exam Boards will use their own data to then formulate final grades.  We will be ignoring any pressure from anyone emailing in demanding certain grades for children.  You can imagine the staff are under enough pressure currently without this being added to.

A more detailed examination letter will follow shortly.

NEW INTAKES and SIXTH FORM

Many of you will have younger children starting the school in Year R and Year 7 in September.  We are currently putting information together to support your child with transition in these ever changing times.  We hope to have this information with you in the next few weeks and I hope this will reduce some anxieties.

Our Sixth Form Team are already putting together plans for next year and they are already indicating to many of you about places in our Sixth Form.  The vast majority of you will have been reassured about your place at the school and further information will be coming to you in the coming weeks. 

SCHOOL REOPENING

There has been much speculation over the last week about the reopening of schools and we all await the Government announcements in the next few days.  For many this may come as a real positive but it is unlikely that there will be a full reopening of the school immediately.  Everyone needs to be prepared for a phased type return and this will obviously create many issues for us in regard to co-ordination of both sites.  It would be wrong to speculate prior to the announcement but I would like to reiterate that any return, of whatever size, will be dependent on available staffing and social distancing advice.  I am also aware that many of you will have huge anxieties over the children returning and therefore, once we are informed of any changes we will be in touch to outline our plans.

It is likely that we will have to continue with our online service for those who may remain at home. As you can imagine the whole situation is going to be a logistical nightmare and so please be prepared that there is unlikely to be a simple solution and we may have to accommodate a wide range of needs, groups and demands.  We will do our best.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Our next steps into a partial lifting of the lockdown will create all of us many issues but it will be a move towards a little more normality. I am happy to admit that the last few weeks have had a major impact on many of us and the next stage will be even more challenging for those in schools.  These challenges will be mirrored across all our society and there will be a need for even more patience as we gradually work our way through.  I would like to thank all those connected to our school for your continued support, your entertainment and your courage.  There are many amongst us who have found themselves in some very troubling places and continue to battle with health and other issues.  My only hope is that all our community return eventually to a healthy normality, where we can embrace each other and realise that in simple terms we have arrived in this place all ok.

As always we will continue to do what we can despite the uncertainties.

God Bless All of You.

Mr Mirams