Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another busy week.  We are well on the way in our preparations to have Year 10 and Year 12 back in school for a day a week from Monday 15th until the end of term, details of which went out yesterday.  Due to a misunderstanding, some information was sent to students before my letter was sent to parents. I apologise for that; it wasn’t the way we had planned it. I hope that parents of year 10 students who received my letter yesterday found our planning reassuring. There will be some similar guidance for Year 12 coming out today.

Year 9 options have gone out this week following an unavoidable delay as we had to turn our attention to the Year 11 and Year 13 grading work. When we changed the options system two years ago we hoped that it would give the majority of students a much better, much more personalised experience during years 10 and 11.  This year 98% of students got all four of their first choices, the best options outcome I have ever known. Many thanks to Mr Butterworth and Mr Taylor for all their work on that.

We are in the final stages of making our recommendations to the exam boards regarding the GCSE, A-level and Btec grades, another very large job. I asked at the start of that process that parents respect the process and our professional judgement and I’d like to thank you for doing exactly that. Your cooperation has made a difficult job a little bit easier.

I would also like to thank you and your children for the work you are doing in your home schools. It’s quite clear that we are going to have a big job to do when we eventually get the school back to normal, filling all the gaps in learning and trying to make sure no one suffers any long term set back from this period.  We are thinking about how we do that and, once we’ve got the Year 10 and 12 school sorted, we’ll be devoting more time to those plans. I’m sure the government will be considering their next steps too. In the meantime, I would advise you to do what you can. These are difficult times for everybody and there will be time to catch up later. For now, from what we’ve seen, you’re doing a great job.

Sports month has got off to a great start. There are lots of suggestions and details about how to participate in the Monday tutor time email from Miss Powell. I’ve come under some pressure from some younger members of staff to compete in the cycling challenge. Thankfully the weather looks like it’s going to save me some embarrassment this weekend.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, enjoy it and stay well.

Andy Hunter