Dear Parent/Carer

As the changing DfE and Government guidance has allowed schools to tentatively welcome some students back into school (mainly small numbers of Years 10 & 12 in our case) we again wanted to say thanks for all of your feed-back and help. Navigating this period hasn’t been easy for anyone. There are many staff working and planning very intensively, which entails long hours on many occasions. Your emails and calls offering gratitude, patience, understanding and support are an enormous tonic and fillip to us all. Thank-you.

Although many students have sent work to staff and saved their work as well, there is still a lot more to do to prepare for the wider return to school in September. With that in mind, we want to have a ‘Knowledge – Gap Assessment Week’ starting Monday 6th July. This will involve tasks online that students will complete. They will last between 30 – 45 minutes per subject.

We need your support with this so that the data we get is as useful as it can be given the circumstances. With that in mind, the following points have been agreed by our Senior Leadership Team.

  • The online assessment will glean the students’ grasp of the work over the past 11 academic weeks.
  • Students will be given feedback online (and where appropriate a % grade). This will include suggestions of areas of focus (knowledge gap analysis). Subject departments will provide some suggestions of areas to review over the summer. Where appropriate, a synopsis of salient points (knowledge organiser) will be given to students.
  • As this is done remotely, we need parents to create an environment where these tests are done properly and without external help / influence. If we feel students have shared/copied or cheated, then we will discuss this with you and agree a suitable sanction.
  • Any student failing to complete these assignments will be investigated. In consultation with parents and with your support, these students will be sanctioned where we agree it is necessary.
  • We recommend they do several tests a day as in 6th July (History, Science, Maths) 7th July (English, Geography, ICT) 8th July (RE, Music, MFL), 9th July (Business Studies and other option subjects where set). If as parents of a year 9 child, you feel that your son / daughter should omit an assessment in a subject they will not be carrying on into year 10, then we accept that decision. In many households for myriad of reasons it may make sense. For some subjects (e.g. subjects who are currently doing coursework units) an assessment may not be appropriate at this time. Heads of Departments will share this information with students.

There will be capacity later in the week to complete tests if needed. Please contact us if there are mitigating circumstances why your son daughter can’t do the assessments and/or at the allotted time.

If there is anything else linked to this process you want to discuss, please contact Mrs Chapman or myself who will be happy to help. We are all desperate to come out of this lock down on a positive ‘front foot’ rather than being frustrated/exasperated with some of the challenges we have faced. Our biggest goal is to get student engagement as close to 100% as possible. Even if your son/daughter has had reasons why they have gaps/periods of disengagement – we want to end with ALL students engaging with this assessment week.

Take care and we look forward to seeing some of you in the coming three weeks and the rest as soon as we are allowed.

Best wishes

P Dickson – Deputy Headteacher      

M Chapman – Assistant Headteacher (Data & Assessment)