Message from the Headmistress
The benefit of learning from home is that parents don’t need to scrape the ice off the windscreen in the morning. What a cold week it has been!
I have heard good reports of some pupils rapidly getting back into learning remotely. Many congratulations to all pupils and their parents for facilitating this. The teachers are working hard to ensure our provision is excellent and that you are kept informed about the learning and progress of the pupils. All parents should now have had some communications from the tutor mentors in Senior School and class teachers in the Junior School.
The key worker provision is fully operational as per my communications of last week. Some bubbles are quite close to their capacity so please ensure you check there is space available if you have a need for this service. I fully believe that where possible children are better at home. It is possibly warmer, more comfortable and more flexible than in school.
Reminders of some Senior School things:
If pupils are still experiencing technical issues with accessing either Satchel:One or Teams, please contact Mr Dean who will ensure that assistance is given (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If there are any issues with individual academic lessons, please contact the subject teachers.
Any pastoral issues should go firstly to the teacher mentor.
We frequently discuss, as a team, the issues pupils are facing across subjects and look at their engagement levels. You may expect to hear from Mrs Howlett of Mr Dean if we have concerns.
Mr Dean will be addressing all the pupils in assembly on Monday morning to point out expected behaviours online, especially on Teams lessons.
At the beginning of next week, Year 9 will receive the options booklet and on Thursday 14th at 6.30pm – 7.30pm there will be an online session for parents and pupils to discuss subjects with the teachers. This is not about individual pupils and suitability. Its purpose is for information sharing about the courses and generic discussions. You will be sent joining information for this meeting next week. All individual discussions about your sons and daughters will be possible at the Parents’ Evening, scheduled for the following week.
We now have confirmation that iGCSE exams may still go ahead as scheduled in the Summer Term. (Maths and English at Hollygirt).
All other GCSE subjects will not be formally examined and will be based on centre assessed grades. There is no detail on what these will be based on yet, but they are highly likely to require some internal exams in test conditions as part of the mix. We will keep you updated as we are given more information. The key now is that all Year 11 work as hard as they would have done in school. Teachers will be completing the teaching of the specifications and will be continually assessing the online work.
Fees updates statement
I know we have had some requests about whether you will see a reduction in fees and Mrs Hudson, the Bursar, has prepared the following statement for you on this issue:
As I’m sure you will appreciate we’ve had very little time to respond to and plan for the latest lockdown measures imposed by the Government.
During the first half of Spring term, we will be looking to identify opportunities to make as many cost savings as possible, without compromising the quality of our online education provision, and the availability of staffing to cover the key worker provision, whilst still maintaining effective administrative and caretaking/cleaning functions.
One of the obvious cost saving solutions to get businesses through these tough times is the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, however, we do not have the option to furlough teaching staff, which is our biggest cost.
I will continue to identify every possible cost saving during the next half term and we aspire to credit your summer terms bills if any savings have been made. It is not currently possible to guesstimate what this might be, but we will be able to update you after I have met with the Trustees Finance Committee on 11th March.
Therefore, the full amount is currently due for the Spring Term as recently billed.
Have you spotted our photo competition on our social media pages?
We’ve noticed a large uptake in our furry friends wanting to take part in remote learning! If you’ve snapped a photo of your pets getting involved, we’d love to see it. Please email your competition entry to email@example.com with your child’s name and year group. Deadline: 4.00pm on Thursday 14th January. The winner will be announced on Friday 15th January. All entries will be published as a gallery on our social media and website.
Remember, we are here to answer your queries and to help you in any way we can.
I hope that you have the opportunity to have a relaxing weekend, to fit in some quality outdoors exercise and to relax. We are here to answer your queries and to help you in any way we can.
Message from the Head of Juniors
Welcome back and a Happy New Year. I hope you all had a good Christmas and some relaxing family time. We enjoyed the little bit of snow we had last week and managed to build a small snowman; it certainly has got very cold.
Since the decision earlier this week to close schools, teachers have been working hard to adapt their plans for the classroom to teach remotely. Nursery is open and the children have enjoyed being back this week. We are also open for children of Key Workers. Please could I ask that children who are attending school to be dropped off at 8:30am; unfortunately, we are unable to offer any earlier starts at the moment.
As before, the full curriculum for Years 1-6 will be on Satchel:One and children will be able to access all their lessons there, complete with resources. There will be a variety of lessons to keep the children motivated and making progress which children can access at any time of the day. Mrs Scott will be emailing Reception work to parents.
Teachers will be available throughout the day to support the children with their work. In addition, there will be live TEAMS sessions with Form Teachers and subject specialists. Form Teachers will be sending out timetables of live lessons which will start on Monday and these will be the same each week. Children should try to attend all of these if they can, for both the teaching and to be able to see their friends, however, if this is not possible, they can find all lessons on Satchel:One. We are here to help and support so please let us know if there is anything at all we can do. We are happy to arrange telephone or online meetings with you at your request.
Once again, I would like to thank you for your continued support and congratulate the children on adapting so quickly to this way of learning. They are already producing some superb work and should be very proud of themselves.
Have a lovely weekend,
Head of Juniors