Lockdown 3 – Update for Parents and Carers
Dear Parents and Carers
As we approach the half term break, we just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continued support since Christmas.
The demands of providing remote learning, producing assessments, writing reports, making tutor/welfare calls, supervising key worker and vulnerable children, facilitating mass testing, etc. are well known, understood and appreciated. The amazing lengths that our staff have gone to demonstrate our commitment to the children and all their families, and we continue to respond positively to any Government directives. We have received numerous emails and phone calls of thanks from parents and carers, which we truly appreciate. During these challenging times, we won’t always get everything right the first time, but you can be assured of our commitment to strive to provide the best opportunities for our students, during or post-pandemic.
We are keen for staff and students to take a proper and well-earned rest next week, and have asked that staff do not issue any new work for the half term, but to let the students have some time for catch-up and consolidation, should they wish. That is also the case for when teaching resumes after half term. We are mindful of the need to allow students the occasional lesson to be a period of catch-up, reflection, revision, practice and consolidation.
In terms of Teacher Assessments for years 11 and 13, we are awaiting the outcomes from the DfE/Ofqual consultation into this summer’s examinations. The consultation ended on 29 January, and we ought to have some news by the beginning of March as to how year 11 and year 13 students are to be assessed in the summer. Therefore, it is important that we have the most accurate information on our students’ performance in all of their subjects. For this reason, it is essential that they are seen to engage in the remote learning opportunities which are being afforded them by their teachers: there is a combination of live teaching, recorded lessons and individual work on offer. If students do not engage, this will impact upon their teachers’ ability to assess their performance. We remain committed to supporting the students in this regard, and continue to provide laptops and other such devices on a daily basis. Please do let us know if we can support your child in any way.
Free school meal vouchers have been issued for this half term holiday, and we will continue to support those entitled to these in the coming weeks.
Attendance this week
- We have continued to divide year groups in order to avoid too many students in one classroom.
- Upon our return on the 22 February, the school remains open to Key Worker and Vulnerable Children, but we urge you to only send your child into school if you are unable to keep them at home. We are constantly advised by the scientists and medical experts that everyone is a lot safer in their own homes. Therefore, regretfully, please do understand that the fewer students and staff we have in school, the better.
We realise that the current situation is far from ideal, although it has now become the new ‘normal’. We are extremely positive about any eventual full return to school, and await the Government’s advice on this in the coming days or weeks. Until that time, please do be assured of our commitment to support the students in any way we can, within the strict guidelines we are required to follow. We hope you are able to enjoy a little downtime yourselves next week, and at least your children won’t be made to do any school work, unless they choose to!
In closing, we would also like to thank our marvellous Governors and Academy Trust Directors for their dedicated support during recent months. They have proven to be superb allies and critical friends to Harton.
All the very best to you and your loved ones.
Sir Ken Gibson, Executive Headteacher
David Amos, Head of School