'I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.' Philippians (4:13)

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Letter to Year 11s

2 March 2021 (by Lisa Slight (lslight))

Return to School

It has been 12 weeks since students were in school which has flown by. When last in school in December students were all preparing for mocks working so hard. They were attending evening after school prep sessions making great progress until it came to a sudden stop.  Despite this they made great efforts to prepare themselves for the rescheduled mocks before then moving onto full time online learning. Now we are here in March and there is still uncertainty. One thing is clear however, they are an amazing year group who I know will continue to rise to challenges they face.

Students will now all be returning on Monday 8th March as you will already be aware of. All students will be expected to arrive by 8.30am that morning and will go straight to tutor time. Arriving with the correct uniform; no trainers, no short haircuts, no coloured hair, no jewellery. Students have been part of the St Edmund’s family for almost 5 years and are very much aware of what is expected of them. If there is any problem with students wearing the correct uniform on Monday 8th March I would ask you to please contact me by Friday 5th March so we can try and resolve any issues before they return. Students who arrive with their incorrect uniform will be asked to return home to rectify these issues. On Tuesday 9th March students will arrive at the later time of 9.55am and they will go straight to period 2 that day. From Wednesday 10th March students will return to a normal timetable, expected to be in tutor time by 8.30am. The school day will run as normal for all students with the canteen open for food for all students and normal 5 lesson days running. Year 11 will not be expected to stay for Period 6 this half term and instead will finish each day at 3.10pm. This will give students the chance to settle back into school and spend their evenings doing independent study.

I would like to take this opportunity to say how amazingly the year group have done with the online learning with attendance averaging around 98% every day. Attendance has been fantastic; however, I am concerned about the variability of the hand in rates for the work students have been asked to complete. The work students have been asked to complete during this lockdown will no doubt play a part in the teacher assessed grades we as a school will be asked to provide. By not completing the work and having work to hand in when students return I can only stress that this will no doubt lower the outcome of the grades the students will receive. Year 11 have about 12 more weeks of learning left, but I will take this time to stress that we have not been given a date when Year 11 will leave school. Therefore, it is important not to book any holidays prior to the end of the school year or until we have a clear date indicated to us for Year 11 to leave.

Upon return students will have normal lessons in class with teachers spending time consolidating the work that was covered over lockdown and preparing for in class assessments that will commence from 15th March. Students will complete these tests in class. As there will be no evening prep students should be spending time revising for these at home in the evenings. If students have any concerns about these tests I would encourage them to speak to their teachers directly and if there are any further concerns please do contact me.

The final thing to highlight to students is that the government guidelines have stated that masks should be worn in classrooms for the first few weeks. Students will have to wear them in class and moving around the school, they will not be required to wear them whilst eating at lunch or outdoors. Students must social distance were possible and must not under any circumstances mix with other year groups. We had incidents prior to this lockdown where students did not follow the guidelines and therefore put two or more-year groups at risk of having to isolate. If any student is exempt from wearing a mask can I ask you to please contact me directly to make me aware of this and students will need to bring in documentation on Monday 8th March to show this also.

There are still many things to look forward to, Leavers’ Hoodies will be delivered after Easter for all students who have ordered them, deadline for ordering them is 12th March. The Prom will be here before we know it, Leavers’ Assembly and the final few months together as Year 11 are just a matter of months away. This is a time in a student’s life they will never get back and a time they will look back on and remember although it may not always have been perfect there were many happy memories made.

I know for some the past few months have been mentally and physically draining. The constant changes, the uncertainty about grades, colleges and their futures but we will continue to get through it all as a family. We have supported one another tremendously through this difficult time and I know this will not change. A huge thankyou to all of Year 11 for being the best year group in the school and making my job as a Head of Year so amazing.

I can’t wait to see all the students back and I know that whatever happens they will all rise to the challenge and make everyone, but most importantly themselves proud!

Miss N Hammond

Head of Learning Year 11
Ext 248