Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope the week has started well for you and that your child’s experience of the first two weeks of online learning has been a positive one. I know that teachers have put much effort into creating an engaging experience that is rigorous, fun and sustainable. As a staff body, we have learned significant lessons from the last extended period of remote learning, and it is encouraging to see many students are learning to embrace this style.

For us as teachers, the new features in Microsoft Teams like ‘breakout rooms’ and simply having cameras on whenever possible have increased meaningful engagement in lessons immeasurably. Please do remind your son/daughter that cameras are to be on in the lesson.

As you are aware from today, all year groups from Y7 to Y11 started the school day at 8.35am. The timings of the school day can be found on our website here.

We also launched the start of our enrichment programme. Thank you to everyone who has signed up. I am very grateful to our staff for the clubs they have put on offer. We intend to build on this programme and as I write Mr Enebeli, Senior Leader for Student Leadership, is preparing the schedule for the Student Leadership meetings.

Ofqual Consultation

On Friday 15th January, following the cancellation of this year’s summer exams, the Department for Education and Ofqual have launched a consultation seeking views on how to award grades in a way that reflects students’ performance accurately, recognising the disruption they have faced this year.

Grades will be based on teacher assessment, with teachers supported in making decisions with guidance and training from exam boards.

The consultation will consider the range of evidence teachers use to award a grade, which could include coursework, other forms of assessment and papers provided by exam boards, to support consistency and fairness across schools and colleges.

The consultation seeks the views of teachers, students and parents. We strongly recommend you participate in the process. The deadline for feedback is 11.45pm on Friday 29 January 2021.

Lateral Flow Tests

We have started the process of regularly screening our staff and students presently on-site using the Lateral Flow Tests. This is a further tool to help keep our community safe, in addition to the safety protocols of “Hands, Face and Space!”, which we will continue to implement.

Towards the end of last week, there were concerns raised in the media regarding approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the use of serial testing in schools. This relates to the implementation of daily testing for close contacts of a positive case in school, as opposed to sending students home to isolate for ten days from the onset of symptoms or the date of the positive test.

Therefore, based on this new learning, we have made the decision to pause the daily serial testing until we have further guidance from our local public health team. We will continue with the bi-weekly testing to support the identification of the asymptomatic cases.

If you have any questions on this process, please do hesitate to contact the school on

Key Dates

A reminder of the Weekly Year Group Forums schedule. Please note that the Year 9 forum has now moved to 1.30 - 2pm on Monday.

Year 7

Tuesday 11 - 11:30am

Click here to join the meeting

Year 8

Tuesday 10 - 10:30am

Click here to join the meeting

Year 9

Monday 1:30 - 2pm

Click here to join the meeting

Year 10

Monday 9:30 – 10am

Click here to join the meeting

Year 11

Tuesday 2 - 2:30pm

Click here to join the meeting

Year 12

Monday 9 - 9:30am

Click here to join the meeting

Year 13

Thursday 12:30 – 1pm

Click here to join the meeting

In addition, please note the following events:

Wednesday 20 January 7-8pm

Parent/Carer of BAME Students Forum

Monday 1 February 6-7pm

Parents’ Forum – Remote Learning Review

Wednesday 3 February 4-6.30pm

Year 11 Parent/Carers Evening

Wednesday 10 February 7-8pm

Parent/Carer of BAME Students Forum

Monday 15 – Friday 19 February

Half term

Lastly, please do reach out if you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing. Any period of school closure, whilst we understand it is necessary to keep us safe, can be isolating for our young people and their families. There are several agencies that can help, please take a look at our website for links to relevant organisations.

Wishing you a productive, safe week.

All the best,

Zehra Jaffer