23 March 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Correspondence 6
There will be no e-newsletters published for the foreseeable future but I do intend to send you regular updates on key issues as they arise.
Can I firstly thank you for the very many positive emails and Facebook messages we have received regarding our handling of the current situation - it has been a real team effort and everyone here has been extremely grateful to receive these comments and for your support for our actions.
Provision for children of critical workers and for vulnerable students
We have had a fantastic response from staff to support this provision and have a list of over 40 staff volunteers. We are following government advice that the best place for everyone currently is to be safely at home and therefore we are using a daily rota system of a small number of staff to support our students in a variety of learning, sporting and social activities. My thanks to all the staff who have volunteered and to all parents of the identified children who have worked with us to ensure we have the capacity for students of key workers who have no other option available to keep their children at home. Everyone here at Collingwood passionately believes in the need for us to support all the key workers as they go about doing their vital work in supporting the Country to get through this unprecedented situation.
Reminder regarding work provided for students working at home
Students should be reminded to look at their emails regularly and complete the work that their teacher sets for them. If they have been unable to set work then they can complete the work that Mrs Wright sent out last week. Students are not expected to do both. Students should email their subject teacher directly (and not Mrs Wright!) if they would like any further guidance on this. Our main priority is that students are safe and well – we will support them with their academic progress when we are all back in College so please tell them not worry about this. Students should be encouraged to communicate with their own teachers so that they can monitor how well they are managing to access the work.
Year 11 and Year 13 - Advice for students studying of exams and terminal assessments
Miss Watling and Mr Webster have contacted all Year 13 and Year 11 students giving details of how the Exam Boards intend to deal with the government’s cancellation of examinations this year. The latest advice we have is that students will still receive GCSEs, A-levels and BTECs, but exam boards will calculate grades based on:
- Teacher judgements on what grade they believe students would have got. Teachers should look at a range of evidence, like mock exams and non-exam assessment;
- Prior attainment data.
We know some students are concerned that predicted grades would be based on only one set of mocks or assessments however we expect that the teacher’s predicted grade is based on their overall assessment of a student’s performance and potential over the entire course. We will do our utmost to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the current situation. The government hopes students will get their calculated grades before the end of July. If students aren't happy with their grades, they'll be able to:
- Appeal, if they feel the correct process hasn't been followed;
- Sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, if they think their grades don't reflect their performance.
Further clarification from Ofqual and the exam boards is expected this week which will be passed on immediately. We ask that parents or students do not communicate directly with subject staff about the awarding of predicted or calculated grades at this stage. We will update parents when we have more information.
Year 9 and 10 exam subjects for this academic year
Year 9 students sitting one-year qualifications and Year 10s studying Religious Studies are advised that exam and assessments have been cancelled for this academic year and that students will likely receive a calculated grade for their subjects based on teacher assessment and prior attainment. At this time, we would suggest students continue working on their other subjects until further clarification is provided.
Year 11 into Year 12
It is expected that calculated grades for each subject will be awarded by the end of July enabling students to progress onto the next stage of their education. We will be sending out offers of conditional places at Collingwood Sixth Form prior to Easter. After Easter, opportunities will be available for all Year 11 students to discuss their Sixth Form choices with us by phone. In these uncertain times, students are likely to be unsure about their future choices and we are committed to providing them with high quality, personalised support in their transition to post-16 education. At Collingwood we will operate a flexible admissions policy drawing on our knowledge of individual student performance and potential to help us make decisions. We also plan on making available subject level transition materials for Year 11s progressing into the Sixth Form.
Parent Communication System
During this closure period I think it imperative that the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) are very aware of any issues that you are concerned about and therefore can I ask you that please use our College On-line Communication System available via the Parent Portal rather than emailing individual departments or staff. Your communication will be directed to the appropriate individual but, crucially, a weekly report will be circulated to the SLT so that we can monitor any problems or trends.
Again my thanks for your support.