TPS Update 20/05/20

Dear Parent / Carer

I hope that you and your family are well and that you have been able to take advantage of the relaxing of the Government lockdown restrictions.

Over the last week there has been an enormous amount of media attention on the debate about the wider opening of schools from Monday 1st June. Most of the debate has been around primary schools, with limited focus on secondary provision. The Priory School has been open for a group of students since the lockdown came into being on Friday 20th March. On Thursday 28th May the Government will review the scientific evidence and base any further lifting of the lockdown restrictions on that information, including the wider opening of schools.

Between Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th May the Department for Education (DfE) published a number of documents about the wider opening of schools from 1st June. The key reference to secondary schools was:

‘We will ask secondary, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support  to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 students who are due to take key exams  next year.’

Over the last week, further clarity has been sought regarding the DfE’s expectations in respect of secondary schools. To date we have not received the updated DfE guidance. Having reviewed the guidance from ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders) and following discussions with fellow North Hertfordshire headteachers and HASSH (Hertfordshire Association of Secondary School Headteachers, which I chair) the consensus is that secondary schools will adopt a phased approach to reconnecting with Year 10 and Year 12 students in the school environment.

Actions we are looking to implement at The Priory School for Year 10 & Year 12 after 1st June

We wish to gauge the opinions of Year 10 and Year 12 parents/carers on opening the school further as we move into June. We would appreciate your support with this and ask that you complete the following survey by Thursday  4th June:

The school will continue to be open for our priority group of students but will not be open to Year 10 and Year 12 students from 1st June. Year 10 and Year 12 students will continue with their online learning.

Our current line of thinking for providing Year 10 and Year 12 students with ‘some face-to-face support  to supplement the remote education’ is as follows:

1. Between the end of this half term and Friday 5th June, teachers will be reviewing student work and populating Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs).

2. Between Monday 8th June and Friday 12th June, students will be given their PLCs to review and provide feedback on to their teachers.

3. Once all PLCs have been returned and reviewed, a programme of 121 meetings between students and teachers will be put in place between Monday 15th and Friday 26th June. These 121 meetings may be conducted through Google Meet or in school depending on student and parent preference.

4. From Monday 29th June the aim is to have identified groups of Year 10 and Year 12 students in school to support them with their online learning.

The caveat to this is that whatever plans we make may well change!

Moving forward with Year 11

For Year 11 students returning to 6th form we will be looking to start your transition from around Monday 22nd June. Until then, your Year 11 tutors and Miss Follano will maintain contact with you and you should continue to work on tasks set for your A-Level courses in September. For Year 11 students planning to leave for college or other destinations, we will still be here to support you too after half term.

Moving forward with Key Stage 3

To help the school review how your child is doing we would like you to complete a survey by Thursday  4th June. The survey is for your child to complete but we would encourage you to discuss the questions together in advance of the survey being completed. Please follow this link to the survey:

As it currently stands, DfE guidance indicates that Years 7, 8 and 9 will not be in school until September unless there is a drastic change in circumstances. In light of this we have reviewed how we are going to schedule our learning experiences for next half term for Key Stage 3.

From Monday 8th June Year 7 and Year 8 will be moving to a two-week learning schedule with core work (Maths, English and Science) being set each week.

For Year 9 the Post 14 pathways process will be finalised by the end of this week. From Monday 8th June Year 9 students will be rolled forward into Year 10 to start transition work on their allocated GCSE / vocational subjects. Year 9 will have a one-week schedule of learning similar to our current provision for Year 10. Students will not be required to complete work for subjects that they are not studying in Year 10.

More details about the new schedule of learning for all year groups will be sent out before the start of next  half term.

Kind regards

Geraint Edwards