March 23, 2020

Update on Coronavirus – 23/03/20 at 15:00

Dear Parents,

In these unprecedented times, we have now moved into the next phase of our operations and the vast majority of our pupils are now accessing our online teaching and support resources. A full guide to parents on accessing the platform can be found in the news section of the website. If you are having problems with this you can contact Mr Thompson on davidthompson@hollygirt.notts.sch.uk, or Mr Dean on craigdean@hollygirt.notts.sch.uk. We are aware that some children may find working in this way a challenge and we ask that you engage with your children’s learning to help out if required. We will be monitoring both the work and the engagement with the work. We understand that some children may struggle with the full daily lessons at home and we are flexible in our expectations of what can reasonably be achieved. 

We are aware that Show My Homework (Satchel One) has been running slowly today as the company cope with the hugely increased demand. We are assured they are working on this today.

Children working at home must take regular breaks, take exercise and have down time to keep them stimulated and motivated . 

The staff are all working their full normal hours from home and are accessible by email. If a child needs to speak to someone, they can mail and ask for a call back from the appropriate teacher/person. The teachers have been advised to withhold their private numbers when making such call backs.

Year 11

Ofqual have not yet finalised their plans for the awarding of GCSEs but it is clear that no one will be disadvantaged by not taking the exams and each will be awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in. Teachers will be using all the evidence they have on assessments internally and with on-going work to judge their pupils likely level of attainment. The current plan is that these grades will be available at the end of July. The other news is that the examination boards are likely to offer the opportunity for pupils, who wish to, to sit their examinations in the Autumn Term (or as soon as schools are all open and available to facilitate such) as well as in the 2021 series. Whilst we appreciate that pupils will no longer be on our roll, we will be able to offer the September entry examinations for any of our Year 11 who wish to return to sit them. This is not compulsory to any pupil.

On Update 5, I suggested why the Year 11 should continue to engage with their subjects and I reiterate this here: There are lots of reasons for this: a) we may be asked for supporting evidence of work done to justify possible grades and the current work is also part of that evidence base b) pupils need to have a structure in their school days and to be fully occupied if they are to be wholly well c) they need the continuation of learning to prepare in terms of their work ethic and their knowledge and skills for what comes next for them post-16. 

Form tutors and teachers will be expecting all work set to be completed from Year 11 pupils and they are still available for help and support by Show My Homework communication.  

Advice for all:

  • Can I remind parents that school is currently open for key workers children only. This is to minimise the risk to all and to ensure that those working on the ‘front line’ are supported. Front line workers do not have to send in their children if there is someone at home who can manage their supervision, or if the children are of an age to be left studying alone.  We too are running with a much reduced staff who are able to be in school as well as trying to protect those who do not need to be in by reducing the contact.
  • We must socially distance ourselves at all times in public places if the spread is to be contained. Please heed the government advice on this critical matter.

I will continue to send updates (though I am aware that my numbering of these communications has gone a little wrong – think I may have missed out no 6 and 7?) and will respond to your general queries sent to Mrs Bamber andreabamber@hollygirt.notts.sch.uk. Clearly advice is changing all the time, and we are responding in a timely way daily as things shift.

I have just  picked up a good message from Nicola Sturgeon: “Life shouldn’t feel normal right now, so if your life still feels entirely normal, ask yourself if you are doing the right things.”

 Thank you for your continuing understanding, keep well.

Mrs Pam Hutley
Headmistress