Dear Parents / Carers
Following on from last night’s announcement, I am writing with a short update to complement the information I sent out in my last letter dated 31st December.
‘There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.’ ― Vladimir Lenin
Vocational exams (Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5)
Despite the announcement about schools closing, the planned vocational exams are still running. Mrs Nearney sent out a letter yesterday to all the students involved and a phone call has been made today to each student. These exams are important, so students sitting them must prepare conscientiously for them.
Summer external exams
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, my heart goes out to all my students sitting external exams this summer. The DfE and Ofqual are currently working on their solution to the examination question and we hope to have an answer within a couple of weeks. We cannot control what is going on in government, but we are in control of how we continue to work. It is vitally important that all students continue to focus 100% on their examination subjects. We know that students will be awarded examination grades in the summer, but the exact details regarding what these are based on have not yet been confirmed. However, a significant contributor to the final grades will have to be school-based assessments.
- Students will need to fully engage with their online learning to ensure that they have acquired the knowledge and skills to sit internal mock exams after February half term;
- Students applying for 6th Form places at TPS will be having their interviews later this month. The 6th Form team will be liaising with class teachers about engagement, progress and potential;
- References will start to be written for those Year 11 students going on to college or apprenticeships;
- Mock examination results along with progress made in lessons will be used to inform the exam boards of a student’s potential.
Key worker children
The school will be closed until at least February half term with the exception of key worker children and those young people identified as vulnerable. If you are a key worker who would like your child to come to school in light of yesterday’s announcement, please email email@example.com. The young people in school will:
- be working in a Key Stage bubble whilst the numbers are small;
- be supervised doing their online learning;
- wear their school uniform and abide by all normal school expectations and protocols;
- follow all existing COVID risk-management strategies;
- have the opportunity to take part in the school lateral flow testing programme from next week if consent
While your child’s online lessons continue, our pastoral team will continue to monitor attendance and engagement. Where issues arise, they will contact home to offer support. If your child is unable to engage with their online learning because they are ill, please take a moment to make us aware of this by contacting our attendance officer (Polly.Higgs@priory.herts.sch.uk; 01462 622300).
There may be times where live online teaching may not be possible due to staff childcare issues and illness. In such cases work will be set, but if you have any concerns please contact the Head of Department or relevant Head
Free school meals
The school will continue to send out a £15 voucher each week for those students who have free school meals. If you have any concerns over free school meals please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The vast majority of requests for Chromebooks have been processed. Where there is a delay this is due to the time needed to bring online the new devices that we had ordered in last term. Members of staff have been playing ‘Postman Pat’ where required and dropping devices off. If your child requires a device please contact Neil.Parsons@priory.herts.sch.uk.