Letter to parents/carers 22nd April
22nd April 2020
Welcome back to Summer Term 2020.
I hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well and that you had a restful Easter break.
I write to inform you of a number of recent developments in relation to home-schooling and exam grades, as well as other related matters:
We hope that the return to home-school has gone as smoothly as possible for you. Staff continue to work very hard to ensure that regular, appropriate work is being set to ensure that all students are able to learn as best as possible under current circumstances.
We continue to expect students to complete as much set work as they can but, as noted in my previous correspondence, we are very much aware that this can be more challenging for some students than others. As before, we encourage all students to do their best and we are very much aware that this will be different for each of our individual students.
Please try to:
- Check that your child is submitting work on SMHW so that, wherever possible, teachers can offer them feedback/advice
- Log-in to SMHW yourself and click on the calendar tab; this will allow you to see exactly what your child has been set for the day ahead or on the particular date you choose.
- Ensure your child also clicks on the calendar tab to look at their work each morning. Otherwise, on their phones, they just see a list of everything set. This list includes past work and work set for future weeks which can make things seem unmanageable or confusing.
If you are a parent or carer of a Year 10 student, separate, more detailed advice will be sent to you shortly regarding how best to manage this important time in your child’s education.
Parents of Year 11 students, should already have received information regarding the new Google classrooms established for their children in preparation for their next steps.
As always, any questions or queries please contact the school via the usual channels.
Please also note that the Oak National Academy have recently released lots of free online learning resources to assist students with the current situation. You can find these here: https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom
The BBC have also set up a daily home-learning offer which you can find on the iPlayer website or television app. Lessons are available on a wide range of topics and feature celebrity teachers ranging from Sir David Attenborough to Danny Dyer and many others besides.
You may find both of these sources helpful to supplement what the school are already providing or to help your child work on particular skills or explore areas of interest.
EXAM GRADES FOR YEAR 11 & 13 STUDENTS
Detailed guidance has now been issued from Ofqual regarding how schools should calculate students’ exam results for the close of the academic year.
Teachers have already begun collating and analysing evidence to ensure that grades awarded are as fair and accurate as possible. Please note that teachers cannot discuss predicted grades with parents/carers. Please rest assured that staff will do all they can to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by these exceptional circumstances.
BTEC AND VOCATIONAL COURSES
We are awaiting confirmation from Ofqual on how BTEC and Vocational courses will be graded this summer and will relay information to all students studying these courses as soon as we have further details. This includes Year 10 and 12 students who, ordinarily, would have sat exams in these subjects this summer.
WHEN WILL SCHOOLS REOPEN?
Many of you will have seen speculation in the media regarding when schools will reopen with some sources claiming that this may occur in three weeks’ time. To be clear, we have no information regarding when schools will reopen and official sources have stated plainly that no decisions have been taken in this area yet.
As stands, we continue to plan for an extended closure and thank parents and carers for their continued support during this difficult time. As soon as we receive any information regarding reopening, we will, of course, communicate this with you as soon as possible.
This week, we are trialing methods of video learning with certain 6th Form classes.
There are a number of important safeguarding considerations regarding this kind of work and many of you will have seen stories in the national news where lessons have been spammed with inappropriate images or things have gone awry.
Nonetheless, whilst the safety and well-being of our staff and students remains paramount, we hope to then increase our video learning offer for other year groups once we have systems established. We hope that this will make learning more personalized and enjoyable for our students.
Links to video lessons and relevant materials will be set on SMHW as per our current system.
THE CHEAM HIGH EASTER QUIZ
Thank you to the hundreds of households who participated in the recent Easter quiz – we are glad that so many of you enjoyed this.
Scores are currently being analysed and correspondence (and prizes!) will be sent out shortly to the victorious quizzers. There may be some tie break activities needed so, if you entered, please keep an eye on your emails…
We hope to carry out similar activities in the near future and will keep you updated.
SAFEGUARDING AND WELLBEING
A reminder to all that the school is still running a number of services to support students and families in times of difficulty. Should you have any concerns regarding the wellbeing or mental health of your child, please contact their Year Team who will liaise with other professionals to provide appropriate support if necessary.
Additional information and advice regarding safeguarding remains available here: https://www.cheam.sutton.sch.uk/1934/school-closure-information-and-coronavirus-management#2
Thank you to all parents and carers for your ongoing support of your children’s education. Evidence clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of students are engaging well with their online learning which is very pleasing and will stand students in good stead for their return to school.
We will continue to contact you where it is evident that your child’s completion of work is limited and will offer what support we can to improve their learning.
We offer further thanks to those parents/carers who are key workers and carrying out vital roles during this challenging time.
With best regards,
Mr P. Naudi
Cheam High School