Year 11 Parents/Carers 8 January 2021

Dear parent / carer and Y11 students,

We hope that you had a restful break, albeit a different one to usual and that you and your family are well. We fully appreciate the impact of this new extended lockdown on you, our students and family and will continue to do all that we can to support you.

We know what a hard message it has been to hear this week that GCSE exams will not go ahead this summer. As Mrs Temple and I, on behalf of all of the staff, said in our message to you on Tuesday; you are a brilliant year group, working very hard, conducting yourselves throughout the mocks superbly, whilst adapting to the many changes. It is essential you maintain and build on this approach, working hard, engaging fully each lesson, every day, every week until the government informs us that we are able to welcome you back.

Gavin Williamson, the Education secretary gave a detailed speech 7.01.2021 and stated that Ofqual will soon be sharing the details with schools on what can be used to inform the teacher assessed grades and what assessments could / may be further required depending on your date of return.

Yesterday, we received the following statement from Simon Lebus, Interim Chief Regulator, Ofqual:

We know that this is a difficult time for students, their parents and carers, teachers and trainers. Our message to students is this: please continue to engage as fully as you can in your education. That will be online for the majority of students, or face-to-face for those students still going into their school, college or training provider. This will put you in the best position, whatever arrangements are made for your qualifications. It’s important that teachers and students can focus on the knowledge and skills needed to equip students to progress to the next stage, whatever form that might take – whether to college, an apprenticeship, university or employment.

The way ahead is not straightforward: exams and standardised assessments are the fairest way of determining what a student knows and can do. We need to consider a wide range of qualifications – from A levels and GCSEs to many different vocational and technical qualifications – and the solution won’t be the same for all. Following the government’s announcement on Monday evening, we also need to consider how alternative arrangements will work for different students, including those who are independent learners. We are discussing alternative arrangements with the Department for Education. We know that many are seeking clarity as soon as possible. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.

Thank you for your continued support; our strong partnership between home and school continues to keep us in a positive position as we all respond and adapt to these most recent government directions.

It is testament to the high calibre of staff and leaders who worked very late the night before we broke up and through the holidays to enable our students to begin work Monday morning. We have so appreciated the messages of support and thanks that many of you have sent in. We all learnt so much from the previous lockdown that it places us in a really strong position. In line with our school motto ‘Going beyond our best’, we have already this week been working on how we can further enhance the learning and support for your children, now that we have an extended period of lockdown with schools only partially open. Continuing to work hard and look after yourselves is absolutely key; as ever our staff will support you.

We will send out further information next week including a decision about the BTEC examinations that involve some of our students.  Mr Woodcock will also be sharing further information in relation to support and wellbeing next week, please look out for this. 

We have also started to publish examples of excellent work from students and our next KAPP (Kindness, Aspiration, Pride and Perseverance) challenge will soon be shared. 

As ever, if you or your child have any questions/ concerns, please do contact us.

  • Subject specific queries → to the class teacher please
  • General/ well-being queries → to the company tutor first then company team
  • IT issues → email IT Service Desk

Please be reminded that email addresses for all staff can be found via the school website

We may be apart but we are always one team, one school. We will all work together to make 2021 the best it can be.


Kind Regards


Sue Marooney                                                                                         

Executive Headteacher / CEO DMAT  

Chris Woodcock                                                

Head of School

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