10 June 2020
Reopening of Schools
Given the significant range of views across the country on the subject of the reopening of schools I have to admit that I published our plans last week with some unease that there would be a significant amount of feedback sent to me!
In reality, I have received nothing but support for our plans and unanimous agreement on our decision to put the safety of students, staff and the community as our overriding priority.
Parents who have accessed the various scientific reports and government guidelines for Years 10 and 12 students have been able to read the conflicting evidence on the safety of students returning to school as well as the restrictions placed on the College in terms of social distancing, the percentage of students allowed on the College site on any one day and, crucially, the fact that small ‘bubbles’ of students cannot mix with other ‘bubbles’ making appropriate provision for specific subjects and option subjects impossible.
I would like to thank all of you for your support and your trust in our decision making. I can assure you that a huge amount of research, discussion and planning has gone into these decisions and we have looked at many scenarios before arriving at the plan which we think best reflects our context and provides the very best provision for all of our students. Your continued support during these unprecedented circumstances is very much appreciated.
Next week I will be able to share with you details of our Risk Assessment and plans for the small groups of Year 10 and Year 12 students who we are going to invite into College.
The one question I can’t answer at the moment is ‘What will happen in September?’ - we all wait for further government guidance and I will share this with you as soon as it is received!
Year 10 and 12 Exams next year
I was in a videoconference meeting with Mr Gove, Surrey Heath MP and member of the government, last Wednesday. The Head Teachers of local Secondary Schools made it very clear that there is considerable anxiety from students, parents and schools on how the current situation will impact on the examination season next year and that an early announcement from the government and exam boards on how they will ensure no student is disadvantaged would significantly help. Mr Gove assured us he would raise this issue with Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, at his earliest opportunity.
Well-being and Engagement Days for Years 7-12
Next week on Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th and Friday 19th June we will be suspending our remote education provision in order for all students, and parents if available, to take part in a 20-minute discussion with a member of staff. The focus of the meetings will be your child’s wellbeing, engagement and progress in remote learning, IT access and anything further the College can do to support at this time. All students will receive a TEAMS invite from a member of staff and the parent/carer will receive an email with the time of the call before the 17th June. On the day students will receive a voice call via Teams and, providing the parent/carer can be present and that all parties agree, the call can be switched to a face to face video call.
We believe that these individual discussions are an important aspect of our support for students and will help to ensure all students are engaging in the remote education provision and making the appropriate progress. Following these meetings, and after further discussions with subject and pastoral staff, we will then invite a small number of students into College for further support.
Black Lives Matter
The College community has been saddened by events reported in both the British and American media, causing us to reflect upon the life experiences and opportunities of all of our students. We continue to be committed to challenging racism wherever it may be found and promoting high expectations for all of our students.
Communications with College
Can I ask you all to please use our dedicated communication system to contact staff? Please access the On-line communication system available on the Parent Portal to send any communications or click on the following link:
Your communication will be forwarded to the appropriate member of staff but, crucially, will also be viewed by SLT which allows us to monitor any issues and to make sure they are resolved quickly and efficiently. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Year 10 student Kian - An Eagle Radio Breakfast Hero
Two weeks ago, I informed you of the fantastic endeavours of one of our students, Kian, in making visors for local hospitals and his fund-raising activities. Since then he has appeared on Michael Gove’s’ Facebook page and has been made an Eagle Radio Breakfast Hero. Well done Kian!
Take care and I hope you and your families continue to keep well.