24 April 2020
Dear Grey Court Community
This week we are pleased to publish our first eBulletin of the Summer term (click here). It showcases the message that was written outside the front gates; these kind shows of support are hugely appreciated and serve to raise morale during these testing times. The bulletin is slightly shorter than usual but does contain much information on the work still being done in school along with all types of additional information and links to various agencies that can support families and students during the enforced closure.
Last week we provided guidance to the processes involved in estimating grades. This information raised certain questions from Y11s and parents, all of which were addressed by Mr Gordon-Walker in his parentmail this week. Any further questions or clarifications can be sent to the KS4 team. The Y13 teachers have already put together a comprehensive pack (link contained within the eBulletin) which provides subject specific material to support the Y13 students as they prepare for the transition to the next stage of their educational journey. I do urge the students to make the most of these opportunities and to use the time productively in equipping themselves with the skills and competencies that will be required moving forward.
Several parents have enquired about the situation regarding the various trips and activities that were planned for the summer term and beyond. I would like to reassure parents that this is at the top of our list of priorities and that we are endeavouring to provide trip specific information for all students and parents involved as soon as possible. Our aim is to protect the monies paid and seek reassurances from the various companies and our insurers. I would ask parents to be patient as the answers we seek are not always forthcoming due to the volume of requests being made from the aforementioned agencies. As soon as we have more definitive answers we will be in contact.
Many parents will have read the latest news from the Department for Education regarding schemes such as Evouchers and the Tech scheme for students in their penultimate year prior to sitting public examinations. We are currently in the process of contacting students eligible for the Tech scheme and all Evouchers have been released to the contact details we hold at school. Parents of students who are entitled to free school meals should have received these; if you have not, please contact Richard firstname.lastname@example.org and he can assist you. Furthermore, we are mindful of the impact of the current situation on family incomes. We are in touch with charities that are willing to help those who require either financial assistance or food parcels. If you would like to avail one of these services then please contact Tessa email@example.com
Many of you will have younger children who are currently in Year 6 and were looking forward to the commencement of our transition process and the testing day scheduled for 16th May. It is with sadness that we have had to cancel this event. The SLT one to one interviews will also need to be cancelled due to the current health situation. Ms Price and Ms White are now planning how we can ascertain all the relevant information via a comprehensive google form. You will be contacted shortly with further information.
Our online lessons have been generally very well received and student engagement has been excellent. As you would expect, we are constantly looking for ways of improving interactivity and the general quality of the education that we provide. This week staff were given brief online training on the features of 'jamboard'. This interactive whiteboard allows teachers to demonstrate and model concepts as they would do in their own classroom. Naturally, we are all at different stages in terms of our mastery of these concepts and platforms so it may still be a little longer before this feature becomes embedded in our facilitation of online learning. However, staff creativity and use of technology has already been evident throughout this process and I thank them for that.
I would like to inform parents of students who have been coming into school that we will remain open on Friday 8th May bank holiday. I am sure that the NHS will not be closed so it would not be appropriate for us to be either.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and healthy weekend. The sun is set to shine and we must cherish the positives and look after one another during these extraordinary times. We dearly miss our young people and look forward to the time when we can welcome them back to Grey Court.
Take care, stay safe.