Headteachers Letter – 27th November 2020
Dear Parents and carers,
Thank you for all of the feedback regarding the Zoom lessons during the partial closures for selected year groups. We took the decision to close with a great deal of reluctance, but as ever, by students, parents and staff working so well together, we have somehow made an incredibly difficult situation work as well as possible. I am aware that there were a couple of issues in some early zoomed lessons – and thanks to parents alerting us to this so promptly, we were able to make fairly speedy improvements.
I would also like to say thank you for all of the positive comments and messages of support which you continue to provide about Zoom and Wollaston School and our staff more generally. The current situation is immensely challenging for people in all circumstances and in all walks of life, but I know that all of us who work at Wollaston School draw great strength from your positive feedback and support.
Mock Examinations and Qualifications in 2021
We are in the process of completing Mock examinations for Years 11 and 13 – and we have been proud of the way in which students have approached these exams, both in the level of preparation and in managing the process within the bubble system.
As ever with our approach to securing success in formal qualifications, our approach is: No pressure – but plenty of purpose. We are aware that some students (largely because of the Government’s handling of 2020 examinations) are perhaps overly concerned about the grades which may be awarded in the mock exams and the significance which these could carry. I would like to assure parents and students that the purpose of our mock exams remains to ensure that teachers and students can identify areas of strength as well as areas for further study and focus in readiness for the Summer 2021 real exams.
I know that previous U-turns from the Government promote uncertainty, but we must proceed on the basis of their commitment that examinations in 2021 will go ahead as planned, albeit with some previously advertised adaptions. This means that we should all proceed on the expectation that examinations will go ahead in May, June and July and work towards those dates in preparedness to achieve the best outcomes possible for every individual and for our Year 11 and Year 13 classes of 2021. If some thing unexpected does arise, we can of course ensure that we are flexible and ready to meet whatever challenges arise with positivity and the aim to ensure that our students are not disadvantaged by shifts in national decision making. In the meantime, we should prepare for success in the summer exam series and assume that all will run as scheduled.
The end of National Restrictions – A return to the Tier System from 2nd December 2020
You are likely to be aware that national restrictions will conclude on the 2nd December 2020 and will be replaced by a more local tiered system. Northamptonshire has been placed in Tier 2 from this date – and this will be reviewed at a national level regularly.
Details of the tier system can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions and here : https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know
Please note that schools will continue to operate under different rules from the rest of the population and of course the Government have again updated the guidance for schools! However – the good news is that from initial exploration of the schools guidance – there will be very little change from our current arrangements. The rules on face coverings in school and on buses remain and if anything have been strengthened, which we feel is the right course of action. If there is anything additional to be aware of or any last minute updates from the Department for Education – I will make parents aware at the earliest opportunity.
Sixth Form Admissions and Year 13 Parents Evening
A reminder that all 2021 Sixth Form admissions information and videos can be found HERE The closing date for current Year 11 students to apply (both internal and external applicants) is Friday 8th January
For parents of Year 13 students, we will be hosting the subject consultation evening over Zoom on Thursday 10th December from 3.45-7.00pm. Full details have already been sent out, but if you do have any further questions, please contact a member of the Sixth Form Team MeliaJ@wollaston-school.net
Please do get in touch if there is any matter which you would like to discuss, please email Fitzhughj@wollaston-school.net and I hope that the final weekend of national restrictions passes as enjoyably and safely as possible!
Mr James Birkett