Firstly as a roundup of the term as we approach the summer break and secondly to look ahead to September at how things may look as we start of the new academic year.
School has been a very different experience for us all since March. Much of our educational provision has been through remote learning, which has meant a very steep learning curve for staff, students and parents.
This has had spin off benefits, in that much of what we have learned about online lessons and setting work, can be used to support student’s learning once we return to school in September.
I have felt incredibly proud of our community during these challenging times. In particular our students and the way that they have adapted and responded to the changes. So many of our children have continued to work conscientiously and produce work to an impressive standard.
Turton Proud awards have been a wonderful weekly opportunity to showcase some of the excellent work that students are doing at home.
This week parents will receive an end of year report for their child, which will provide information on how well your child has completed work during the pandemic, as well as their general efforts in school before lockdown. As with everything else, we have had to adapt the end of year reports to the circumstances, but if you have any queries about your child’s progress, please contact us.
Another major new task this term has been to provide GCSE and A level grades to the exam boards, without sitting exams, and following this we will distribute results, to students, on the results’ days in August. Myself and the leadership team will be in school on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th August and then again on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th August, should you wish to get in touch with us.
You are possibly aware that the government have arranged for a full set of exams to be made available to A level and GCSE students, who are not happy with their results in August and wish to take the actual exams in the autumn term. Should your child wish to access this opportunity, after receiving their results, please submit your requests to our exams officer, Dave Haworth: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exams will take place in October and November. The deadline for schools to submit exam entries is 4th September for A level and 18th September for GCSE. We would need your requests ahead of this submission date, so please take note of the following deadlines:
- All requests for entries to take A level exams should be submitted to Dave Haworth, not before 14th August and not after 28th August.
- All requests for entries to take GCSE exams should be submitted to Dave Haworth by 11th September.
Please also note that there may be a cost to parents for entry to these exams.
It has been a real pleasure to welcome year 10 back into school for some classroom based lessons. They have been a joy to work with, polite, appreciative, hard-working and good company (the place feels like a ghost town without the kids!!). This bodes well for September and I’m sure many students are eager to get back to the routines and atmosphere of school, even if it is largely to see their friends!!
As I said in my previous email, it is my intention to return to full schooling in September. Just to remind you: years 7, 11 and 12 return on Wednesday 9th September, then all students will be in full attendance from Thursday 10th September.
We aim to offer the full range of subjects as normal but there will be changes to how we carry out practical activities, with additional cleaning and hygiene regulations throughout.
Students will arrive to school at the normal time, in full school uniform. Breaks and lunchtimes will be staggered to avoid bubbles mixing and then will leave at 3pm as normal.
Although after-school classroom based lessons will continue as usual, there will be no clubs or activities taking place after school in the first half-term; this will then be reviewed.
Visitors to school will be kept to a minimum, as we will only allow specific visitors who support students’ health and wellbeing. In line with this, can I ask that parents avoid coming into school, where possible and instead telephone or email your queries or concerns.
As students return to full schooling in September, we will be focussing on re-establishing good routines for learning. Can I ask that you remind your child of the Hive Switch rules for the classroom so that they are clear about our expectations for classroom behaviour from the start.
The first two weeks of lessons will look at reviewing learning and revising content from this academic year. In the third week back we will then run assessments for years 8 to 13, in all subjects to establish how well students have learned the content, particularly during the period of home learning.
I have said before that Turton students, as well as being cooperative and polite, are also resilient and adaptable; I fully anticipate a smooth start in September as students return, keen to get back into learning and routines. However, I am acutely aware that the last few months has not been easy for some families and we cannot ignore the increasing prevalence of anxiety and mental health issues as a result of lockdown. If you are concerned about your child in anyway, please get in touch so that we can be sure to put support in place ahead of the September start. It may be that your child is feeling anxious about returning to school, or that they have suffered a loss during lockdown. We can help! Our pastoral staff will be on hand to intervene and provide support when needed, so talk to us ahead of time.
Finally, thank you all so much for your support. The whole Turton community have really pulled together in this time of crisis, showing great resilience and support for each other. Without your support and cooperation, remote learning would not have been as successful as it has been.
I fully appreciate how challenging this time has been for families with school aged children at home. Keeping everyone safe has to trump all other priorities and I believe that we have all played our part, in whatever way we can, in keeping the infection rate of Covid-19 minimal in our area.
Although we are now returning to more regular ways of living, there is still uncertainty as the Coronavirus continues to pose a threat to communities. I will continue to update you as government advice changes in relation to school, in the meantime I wish you all a safe and restful summer break.
All best wishes,
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