1st March 2021
Return to school and Update on Summer Grades and Examinations for Year 11
Dear parents, carers and Year 11 students,
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, I am delighted to inform you that students will be returning to school on Monday 8th March as part of a phased reopening. Students in Year 11 will be returning on Monday 8th March at the following times:
|Monday 8th March – Testing Schedule Year 11 and Sanctuary/Orion groups
|Followed by welcome briefing in Main Hall at 10.30am
|Welcome briefing in Main Hall at 11.30am
||Yr7 & 8 Orion
Students of critical workers and those who have been attending school during lockdown will continue to attend as usual on the 8th March but normal lessons will resume. It is vital that students arrive at the allocated time in order for us to safely manage the return to school.
Year 11 students will have their first lateral flow test for Covid on Monday morning and once the results are known (within 20 – 30 minutes of taking the test); they will attend a welcome assembly and briefing from myself before attending lessons on their usual timetable once again. Two further tests will take place for Year 11 on Thursday 11th March and Tuesday 16th March. Testing kits will then be issued for these to be undertaken twice a week at home, up until the Easter break and further instructions and guidance will be issued on this.
Thank you to all those parents who provided consent for the Covid tests at the start of January. If you have not done this, please complete the short form on the link below, to provide consent for this to take place. It is voluntary but of course, the more people that take part in this, the safer our environment will be. I would ask you to complete this by the end of Tuesday 2nd March.
TEACHER ASSESSED GRADES FOR STUDENTS
As you will be aware, the Department for Education announced yesterday that students will be awarded teacher assessed grades for the summer examinations. Grades will be awarded and determined by teachers, based on what they have covered, taking into account the disruption to learning over the last 12 months due to the pandemic. Teachers will be able to draw on a range of evidence when determining grades, including the optional use of questions provided by exam boards, as well as mock exams, coursework, or other work completed as part of the course, such as essays or in-class tests. No algorithm will be used. We are incredibly proud of Chloe and Josiah in Year 11, who were featured on the BBC programme Northwest Tonight, yesterday, giving their response to the announcement about summer exams. Please click the following link to view this: http://www.blaconhighschool.net/blacon-high-school-on-north-west-tonight/
Teachers will submit grades to exam boards by 18th June, allowing as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their assessments.
HOME LEARNING – GOOGLE CLASSROOM
What this means is that every piece of work completed between now and when the grades are submitted by teachers, will count. For all those students who have completed work at home, this will be used as part of the judgement. For all those students who haven’t completed work at home, it is more important than ever, that you attend every day, completing all work set, taking part in additional support during lesson 6 and doing everything you can to demonstrate what you know, understand and can do, based on the content that has been covered.
Next week, from Tuesday 2nd March, there will be no live lessons during lesson 4 and 5 each afternoon, but work will be available for you to complete before your return. Next Tuesday, there will also be an opportunity for you to join a live tutor session with your tutor, to discuss the return to school and to ask any questions that you may have. Please look out for details of this from your tutors and for the Google Classroom code. As always, we will be here to support students and families as we all become accustomed to the routine of being back in school.
Students are expected to be in full school uniform on their return. We understand that some families are struggling to buy shoes at this time and will accept this term, all black trainers (including the sole) with no other colours or logos showing and hope that this will go some way in helping at this time. If any area of the trainer has anything other than black, regardless of how small, they will not be accepted. If anyone has any questions about this, please contact your Progress Leader before purchasing a trainer. A reminder that blazers and ties should also be worn. If anyone is struggling with uniform, please contact a member of the safeguarding team, who will be able to discuss how we can support you.
The guidance has now been updated and students will be expected to wear face coverings throughout the day, in classrooms as well as circulation spaces where it is not possible for them to socially distance. We ask for your support, as it is one of the key measures in place to reduce transmission, to keep everyone safe and to help us to remain open. Students will need to bring a face covering in with them each day, as part of their school uniform and some will be available for students to buy at school, if required.
In the meantime, look out for further updates next week, keep working hard and stay safe. We are still in a lockdown and it is important that everyone follow all of the rules, to keep you and your families safe.
We look forward to welcoming students back into school once more and to all of Year 11 showing their true ability and skills over the coming months, with the support of teachers and staff in school.