27 April 2020

Principal's Parent Update - 4

Dear Parent/Carer,

As a parent to two teenage boys who seem to be constantly eating, arguing over whose turn it is for the computer and telling me that they have done all the work that the teacher has set in a record 10 minutes, I can only sympathise and share your frustration! I know that we are all worried about what the future will bring but staying calm, finding things to laugh about and being strong for our children will help us to get through this.

When we come out of this crisis, I will have greater appreciation for the simple things in life; I know you too will be missing your friends, families, work and the general routine of life. I imagine that you have also been inspired by Captain Tom Moore and his 100 laps of the garden to raise money for the NHS - this got me thinking about what challenges you could do with your families, for example: 100 spellings a week; 100 sit ups a day; just small things to pass the time that could be of great benefit or just for fun. I am sure that your child’s Pastoral Leader will be keen to hear of your challenges when we return.

I have taken the decision not to overwhelm you with updates but, as I mentioned previously, I have asked my staff to make contact with you to see how your child is engaging with home learning. Teachers are constantly updating teaching resources on the website. If you are finding that your child has difficulties accessing the work, then please email your child’s tutor or subject teacher who will be more than willing to support you. We do not know when this situation is going to end and it is vital that your son/daughter does attempt the work that we are setting, otherwise they will be far behind in their learning and it will be incredibly difficult to catch up. I know that it is tempting to treat this time as an extended holiday but I have found it much easier to manage my own children by having a routine at home, including doing Joe Wicks’ PE sessions, much to the amusement of my family.

Many parents have been in touch to say that they appreciated the free resources that were delivered; if you missed this, then please check your ParentPay account, as we will be taking more orders again in May. Some parents have requested if they can purchase subject specific text books, we will list these on your ParentPay account for you to purchase. The College will try to supplement the cost and pass on any discounts that we can achieve by bulk buying.

Some families have really appreciated the help of Cindy and Sue from Arterne (see the link on our website), they are there to help in whatever way they can and they want you to get in touch. Support could take the form of food parcel deliveries, signposting to other services, help in accessing support – if you need help, get in touch with them and they will find a way to support!

For those of you with children in Year 11 or Year 13, we understand that the Government intends to release students’ GCSE and A level results on the planned dates in August – we will keep you updated of any developments.

In most of my newsletters, I have referred to the importance of students reading as often as they can. Please continue to encourage your child to do this! This is something we feel very strongly about and I will be consulting with you in due course about changing the timings of the school day, to increase the time we have in College to support a tutor reading programme.

We are currently exploring ways of providing reading books for students in Year 7 and Year 8 but this is proving difficult in the current situation. There are, of course, many free online books that students can access and the National Literacy Trust website is an excellent place to access resources for Key Stage 3 students, in its Family Zone section.

When we come out of this global crisis, I hope that we can do some things differently and really appreciate our friends and families, might I even say, appreciate our teachers more!

Take care, stay healthy and our best wishes to you all.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs J Bevan