Parent Letter 5th January
Tuesday 5th January 2020
I hope that you have enjoyed a break over the Christmas holiday despite the challenges national and local restrictions brought upon us all. I am sure you will have seen the national announcements yesterday about changes in education so I write to update you on our plans.
In line with the government announcement all pupils will now learn remotely until February half term as part of the national lockdown. Our virtual school is now up and running for all year groups (despite some teething problems with our internet provider on the first day!) All pupils receive a programme of ‘live lessons’ every day and assignments will also be set and need to completed. All the information and links you need can be found at https://www.barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/virtual-school/ including a personalised timetable for your child. Attendance to the virtual tutor groups and live lessons on the first day was excellent with almost all pupils taking part. It’s critical that students continue to engage and learn throughout this lockdown period, I am sure you will agree that we cannot afford for pupils to miss another block of learning. If there are any barriers stopping your child from taking part please talk to us straight away and we will work with you to find solutions.
The school site remains open for vulnerable students and children of critical key workers only. If your child is eligible for a place as a vulnerable student we will contact you directly and we would encourage them to take up the place so we can support their learning. If you would like to request a place for your child as a key worker or are unsure if your child is eligible please contact your child’s Hub.
If you have any issues, queries or questions about the virtual school or provision on site for vulnerable students and the children of key workers please contact your child’s Hub in the first instance.
The Bridge – Mrs Hayer (email@example.com)
Year 8/9 – Mr Barrett (Barrett.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Year 10/11 – Miss Wright (email@example.com)
P16 Select – Mr Michael (Michael.A@barrshill.coventry.sch.uk)
Year 11 & 13 Exams:
As part of yesterday’s announcement the Prime Minister said:
“We recognize that this lockdown means it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal. The education secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements”.
Schools have not been told any additional information beyond this headline and this announcement was a surprise to us. It is very challenging for Year 11 and 13 students and to you, as parents, who will be feeling very uncertain. As soon as we know anything we will let you know. It is crucial to note that we will still be teaching Year 11 & 13 students the remainder of their exam courses with all the same pace and expectations. Whatever the alternative is, and it may be that some exams do go ahead, students will need to have learnt their subjects and be able to demonstrate their proficiency to secure grades. (Either via formal external exams, or internally to their teachers via trial exams and assessments to justify centre assessed grades.) On top of this, the content and skills in GCSE courses are designed to prepare students for further study in P16 such as A-levels, which further help and support pupils to get into university regardless of the assessment system used. Year 11 trial exams will now not take place until Year 11 return to school and we know more about government plans.
Year 12 Vocational Exams
Year 12 vocational exams this week are going ahead as planned as per the government’s announcement. This is important as the pupils have worked extremely hard for these
Access to Virtual Learning
If your child is struggling to access remote learning please contact your child’s Hub Director. We have bought a small number of laptops that we are happy to loan out to families and we will of course be available to help with any technical issues if we can.
Free School Meals:
All pupils eligible for Free School Meals who are asked to learn remotely will be issued with voucher codes each week to replace the Free School Meal they would normally receive in school. If you are unsure or think your contact details are not correct then please contact your child’s Hub team as soon as possible. If any parents have had a change of circumstances and think that they may be eligible for Free School Meals then please let us know as we can help you apply.
A reminder that we will continue to do everything we possibly can to help anyone in our school community. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please do contact us. If we can help, we will.
Mr C Jupp