21 April 2021
It has been a good start to the term, and it’s great to have all our staff and students back in College! There is a palpable sense of positivity and a feeling that this is going to be a very good term!
Welcome to Mr Charman, who joins us as a teacher of Psychology and replaces Mr Anderson who left us to move to Mexico at the end of last term.
It was very encouraging to see that over 150 students attended the 30 subject courses over the Easter holiday. Feedback was positive, and we hope that the time invested by students and staff will reap dividends as we approach the final assessment period for the awarding of grades this year.
Face Coverings - Government Announcement
The government guidance is that face coverings will continue to be worn in secondary school and college classrooms as a precautionary measure. This cautious approach will help limit the risk of transmission and enable continued monitoring of the effect of school and college returns, as twice weekly testing is established and embedded in pupil’s routines. I t is expected that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms, or by students in other communal areas, at Step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than 17 May.
The guidance also makes clear that all other safety measures should remain in place. At Collingwood this means that our previous procedures will remain until at least May half-term and I have informed students of this in my start of term assembly.
A reminder that these procedures are:
- One-way system
- Additional hand hygiene
- Separate social areas for each Year Group bubble
- Increased ventilation in classrooms and corridors
- No assemblies or large indoor gatherings
- Face coverings inside buildings and in classrooms
- Use of regular home testing kits
- Social distancing.
This is all about keeping everyone safe - family, friends and the Collingwood Community. In my assembly presentation I stressed that although national and Surrey Heath infections rates continue to fall, we must continue to be cautious and the fact that Guildford and Woking have seen rises of 164% and 31.7% respectively over the week ending 12 April underlines the fact that we must continue to be vigilant and keep to the rules!
A reminder that the single most important way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in College is to ensure that anyone developing COVID-19 symptoms takes the appropriate action.
Your whole household (and anyone in your support bubble) must self-isolate as soon as anyone in your household develops any one of the main symptoms (even mildly):
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
The symptomatic individual should then arrange a free PCR test by booking online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119. Please note that this is a test that is sent to a lab and is different to the lateral flow tests issued to students by the College. Lateral flow tests are for asymptomatic testing only and cannot be used by symptomatic individuals as a substitute for a PCR test.
All members of the household should continue to self-isolate until a negative PCR test result has been confirmed (the result will be sent to you by email or text message). Only once a negative PCR test result has been confirmed can any students in the household return to College.
Last term our priority was the reintegration of students back into College, and we were more flexible than usual regarding uniform for obvious reasons. This term we want to return to the very high standards of uniform that we had pre-pandemic. We will therefore be following up on any uniform-related issues - shops are now open, so there are no excuses regarding College shoes, etc.
I would really appreciate your support in ensuring that your son or daughter is in the correct uniform each day and has their ‘Super 8’ pieces of equipment with them. Please refer to Mr Cleary’s recent newsletter article prior to half-term and the email sent to all students last week for further details.
Awarding of Grades 2021
I would like to update you on the awarding of Teacher Assessed Grades, (TAGs) this summer and remind you of the timeline for this process which is below:
Monday 8 March - Friday 19 March
Students return to face to face teaching and teachers will continue with the curriculum.
Formative Assessment for Years 9,10 & 11
Friday 26 March
No new content will be taught after the 26 March. In some subjects this may have happened earlier
Wednesday 31 March
Departments deadline to share approach with students
Friday 23 April
Progress Report 1 home at the end of the week
Monday 26 April - Friday 21 May
Internal assessment window using exam board materials
Monday 24 May - Friday 28 May
Portfolio of evidence shared with students and signed off
Friday 28 May
End of assessment process
Thursday 10 June
Progress Report 2 home
Friday 18 June
Teacher Assessed Grades submitted to the exam board
I can confirm no new subject content is now being taught by departments and subject staff have informed the students of the topics and details needed for their ‘mini assessments’ as per the timeline.
It is important to understand that there will be ‘no predicted grades’ but rather all grades based on the actual performance of students in all the assessments considered. The types of evidence that will be used to determine grades may be different for each subject and will be dependent on the requirements of the exam board. All subjects must use a range of evidence that can include:
- Internal assessments using exam board materials in 21 May
- Formative assessments
- Previous mock and unit exams
- Practical assessments
- NEA coursework
- Speaking and Listening assessments.
Evidence will be collected up to Friday 28 May where grades will be based on a holistic, objective judgement of evidence. The evidence list being used for Teacher Assessed grades, (TAGs) in each subject is on Pages 11-14 of this week's newsletter.
As you are aware all Teacher Assessed Grades are confidential, however students will continue to receive feedback from their teachers and a progress report with a ‘grade range’ on Edulink this Friday demonstrating where they are ‘currently performing’ in their subjects according to current evidence. It is hoped the progress report will motivate the students to strive for the higher grade in the grade range or beyond during the Internal Assessment window.
To further support your understanding of the awarding of grades process we have compiled a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which can be viewed on Pages 7-10 of this week's newsletter, where there is a specific email address for students to use to inform the College of any mitigating circumstances that meet the exam board criteria they feel have inhibited their performance in any assessment included in the evidence list. In the first instance we will encourage students to speak to their subject teachers about any mitigating circumstances due to illness or personal circumstances to ensure reasonable adjustments are made or another assessment is considered.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and to wish the students good luck with their preparations for the forthcoming assessments during May.
Everyone’s Invited Movement
The well-publicised Everyone’s Invited Movement online has further raised awareness of sexual harassment and violence occurring in a range of establishments be it private or state, secondary or post-16 education in every area of the country.
It has brought to the fore some shocking published testimonies alleged to have happened to individuals in historical and current contexts.
At Collingwood, we take our responsibility in educating students about sex and relationship, equality and what it is to be an upstanding modern-day citizen incredibly seriously. This is enacted by the College’s culture, policies and curriculum; we were already planning for the next academic year to bring even more focus and vigour in delivering this content before this movement evolved.
We recognise that we have a crucial role and responsibility in preventing and tackling matters like these, educating and instilling morals, integrity and respect for one another.
Like we always say, sensitive topics like peer on peer abuse at Collingwood are addressed by that triangulated approach of college-parent-student all understanding and acting upon the importance of their role in addressing them. Whilst we can provide the advice, education and guidance, it must be reinforced at home and acted upon by the individual so that everyone can go about their lives free from harassment and abuse.
We will continue to work with our students, listen to our student voice and signpost necessary support within the College and beyond. We are incredibly thankful to have a Pastoral System and trusted individuals that students regularly turn to for support and guidance on a number of matters. Our Pastoral and Support Departments have over years built a strong culture of being approachable. Students know their concerns will be listened to and are proud that they can recognise there are many avenues of support and trusted adults within the College community. We are also in an incredibly fortunate position to have extended support in the likes of Camberley Youth for Christ, Eikon and our new Mental Health Support Team from Surrey and Borders Partnership, along with the numerous agencies we regularly liaise with. Until recent COVID guidelines prevented it, our younger students have also had the benefit of accessing our Well-Being Ambassadors and Anti-Bullying Ambassadors from older year groups. We strongly feel that students at Collingwood have never been in a better position to receive support on such important issues.
We ask anyone who has experienced any issues with such behaviour and is suffering as a consequence of it to inform us or any other trusted adult so that we can provide them with the relevant support and steps can be taken to address the issue. f you would like to alert us to an issue in confidence please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Survey of Children, The Big Ask, Launches This Week
The new Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has this week launched The Big Ask – the largest ever consultation with children aged 4 to 17 in England. It aims to find out children’s concerns and aspirations about the future, so that we can put children at the heart of our country’s recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
All students are encouraged to complete this survey. And parents, care leavers and those working with children are also invited to complete the adult survey to share their views about the future for children and young people today, and what they think is holding young people back.
The results from this survey will help the Children’s Commissioner identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve.
Mr Tanner - Principal