13 May 2020
I hope you and your families are keeping well and that the slight easing in lockdown will provide you with a few more opportunities to get out and about. As you have no doubt heard the Prime Minister has announced the next step for schools. He said that schools should arrange “some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year“ at some point after 1 June.
As yet, we have no more information than you do about the way in which this face-to-face support may be offered or the date from which that support should be offered. As soon as we receive further information from the Department for Education, we will be back in touch with you to share our plans in accordance with that guidance.
The Government has made no statement on when students in Year 7, 8 and 9 will return and there seems to be no suggestion that they will return at any point during the summer term.
With such an uncertain current situation, and media coverage suggesting considerable opposition to any kind of reopening in the near future from many parents and teaching unions, we believe the best course of action is to continue with our current practices until the situation becomes clearer.
Therefore, our status remains unchanged from where it was at the start of the lockdown on the 23 March – Collingwood is only open for those children of Critical Workers who need to be cared for while their parents/carers are at work and for those children deemed ‘vulnerable’. For all other students we remain committed to providing a remote learning provision which enables them to properly prepare for a return to College, whenever that may be, and leaves no student disadvantaged.
Please be assured that we are continuing to develop our own plans and as soon as we have received further DfE guidance and the timetable for any face-to-face delivery has been confirmed, we will write to you again to share the relevant information with you.
Ofqual decision for Year 9 and 10 students
Parents of Year 9 and 10 students would have been pleased to hear, as we were, of Ofqual’s decision for Year 9 and 10 students to be awarded a calculated grade for their one-year GCSE and GCSE RS short course. This decision means that procedures for these students will mirror those for Year 11 and Year 13 students in that the College will be asked to recommend a grade called a Centre Assessment Grade. This will be based on teacher’s professional judgment of the grade a student would have achieved if they had sat the exam and assessment this summer. The grades will be subject to a moderation process at national level where the student will be awarded a final grade. We will await further details from the examination boards.
I would like to confirm that we are not seeking any further work from students to support the Centre Assessment Grade and students will not be required to come into College during this process. We request that you do not ask teachers about the Centre Assessment Grade as Ofqual have specifically instructed schools that this information is strictly confidential.
Although this is a time of uncertainty for parents and students I would again like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are committed to ensuring that no student is disadvantaged.
Visors for the NHS
I have in previous updates informed you of the fantastic efforts of Mr Thomas who has produced numerous visors for the NHS. I would very much like to thank those parents who have supported his work and donated a magnificent £1,148.
Fundraising by one of our students…
Many of our students have been doing some fantastic public service activities and raising money for charity. I would like to mention one of these as a particular impressive example of what our young people are doing. Year 10 student Kian has been producing 3D printed face shields using his 3D printer. He has provided these to some local care homes, Portesbery School, the Hope Hub and a number of individuals. He set up a GoFundMe page and has raised a significant amount of money to pay for the materials to make the shields. If there is any money left over, he will give it to the NHS and care home charities. He even got a mention on Eagle Radio for his efforts. What a fantastic example of an unselfish and socially responsible action by one of our young students!
Here is a link to his fundraising page:
Our staff have worked exceptionally hard over the last seven weeks and one thing that has helped enormously is the support you have shown them and all the lovely messages and emails they have received from you. Thank you very much for this, it has made a huge difference and is really appreciated. We are all in unchartered territory, but I hope you know we will always do our very best for every child in our care.
Take care and I hope you and your families continue to keep well.