Further updates for parents – 26/03/2020


The Department for Education has now issued the guidelines and the process for awarding grades in light of the cancellation of examinations this summer.  This is very similar to the guidance I gave two days ago but now we have now received it officially, I would like to pass the most relevant information on to you. 

All schools will submit a calculated grade for each subject, for each student. The examinations regulator (Ofqual) will develop and set out a process that will provide students with a calculated grade which reflects their performance as fairly as possible.  The exam boards will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade they believe students would have received if examinations had gone ahead.  Teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock examinations (PPEs) and non-examination assessment such as class work and coursework and will act upon clear guidance provided by Ofqual on how to do this fairly and robustly. 

Unfortunately, in order to keep the process fair and consistent, we are not able to take into account any additional material or assessments which have been completed since school closure was announced except for on-going coursework tasks completed electronically from home and where exam board rules allow this to happen; in these cases, teachers will advise you of any relevant deadlines. Only some subjects have coursework elements.  All teachers are able to answer email requests you might have, but please direct particular subject requests to the Head of Faculty. These can be found on our website if you are unsure of who to contact. 

We know our students well, so please do not feel the need to email us in order to make the case for a particular grade. Please rest assured that the school  has a robust system for moderating the data we will submit to the exam boards to ensure that all students are treated fairly.  

Ofqual will calculate a final grade for each subject, for each student, based upon the information sent from the school and the prior attainment for each students at KS2. It is anticipated that these grades will be released by the end of July 2020. 

The government is currently suggesting an opportunity to challenge outcomes if students wish and/or be given the opportunity to sit examinations at a later date (at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again or in summer 2021). We have little information about this at the current time. 

Free school meals:

We have now stopped a daily delivery service to families who are in receipt of free school meals. We are now delivering hampers once a week. This is to cut down on unnecessary travel and to allow families to devise their own meals. The hampers will contain fresh food. The first delivery will be tomorrow on Friday 27th March. Parents who are in receipt of free school meals will be contacted with a pick up point close to home.

Home learning:

Teachers are working hard to set and check work for your children. This is being set online through Class Charts and Google Classroom. We have been busily helping parents with logins and other IT requests. We are aware that there is more work being set than some children can complete. Please do not worry about this. We do not intend to cause unnecessary stress to young people or families at this challenging time. It is perfectly acceptable for students to not complete everything, or to have days off. This is expected over the Easter Holiday. The work is there to help, not to make your lives difficult. Similarly, if you want more work, please just ask. 

Thank you as ever for your ongoing support and for the positive messages sent to staff. They are working very hard, sometimes in difficult circumstances themselves from home, and appreciate the comments that you have made. 

Sarah Jones