Friday 20th March

Dear Parents and Carers, 

Thank you to everyone who has responded about the limited provision we will be putting on next week. Once we’ve got that up and running, our most pressing outstanding query is about whether Year 11 and Year 13 should continue to work on their courses or do something else.  My instinct is to say they should complete their courses because they have a right to that knowledge. There is work set online which will enable them to do that. Revision is looking increasingly as if it isn’t going to be a helpful way to spend time. Instead, focusing on background research and reading for the courses they intend to begin in September might be more helpful. When we have any detail on qualifications confirmed, if it turns out to be the case that GCSE work is now done and dusted, we will start to provide work in preparation for A-level courses. 

Students in Year 11 who are wishing they had sorted out a sixth form place before now, contact to talk about that. We are and will remain open for applications. Students in Year 13 could look at the careers page on our website for a lot of helpful information.  In the meantime, future learn have many free and academically challenging courses in all sorts of subjects - 

A key challenge for all of us over the coming weeks is going to be stopping every day from turning into the equivalent of a wet Sunday afternoon. The key is going to be keeping busy and keeping some routine. There is an excellent guide here and some more suggestions below 

It is going to be difficult to stay physically active whilst observing the social distancing advice. Mr Sari will be live streaming a fifteen-minute workout every morning at 9.00 on our you tube channel. He did it this morning with 63 viewers. He’ll be a you tube star by this time next week. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, the Canadian Airforce Five Basic Exercises are designed to tone you up in ten minutes a day. Harder than you’d think. 

Downdog, an excellent yoga app, is offering free access to all teachers and students until July 1st. You need to register here, then create an account in the app. 

Another challenge is going to be staying upbeat and positive in a world filled with a lot of bad news. Young Minds has some excellent advice for all of us - 

The Anna Freud Centre, a world-renowned centre for mental health and wellbeing, also offers some helpful videos for parents and for young people 

If young people want some more one to one support they can visit to speak to trained counsellors. 

You might also find some support through mindfulness or meditation apps. There are many available but Insight Timer is excellent and free - 

An excellent way to fill some time would be to follow the advice of Age UK and write a letter or postcard to an elderly or vulnerable person who is likely to be finding social isolation difficult. You can put it through the door to avoid unnecessary contact.  

Ever fancied learning a new language? Duolingo is free and includes a huge range of languages. When we can all go on holiday again it might come in useful. You can find it in the relevant app store. 

If that has whetted your appetite, you can find literally hundreds more links at this excellent webpage - 

As each department generates their own lists of useful links we’ll put them on the website. This letter will be on the website too, for future reference.  

Normal service will resume as soon as it possibly can. I will write weekly bulletins to keep you up to date. In

the meantime, stay well everyone.  

Andy Hunter