Re: School updates – April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you and your families well and in good health. We are about the embark upon the strangest of summer terms.
I would like to convey warm regards and best wishes from the whole staff body here at Leytonstone School. We very much miss our pupils and their families and look forward to being reunited as soon as it is safe to so.
Arrangements for awarding GCSE qualifications
The cancellation of the GCSE exam session for 2020 will have come as a disappointing blow to many of our Year 11 pupils who had worked so hard in order to perform well in these exams.
As GCSE examinations are no longer taking place this year, schools will be sending teacher assessment grades to exam boards for each pupil for each exam they were entered for. This is a complex process as OfQual is keen to ensure that the grades awarded to pupils are a fair reflection of their performance and that national standards remain largely in line with standards set in 2019. The regulator has written a message for pupils which can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880613/Letter_to_students_-_Summer_2020_grading.pdf
The most important information I can share with you about the process is as follows:
- Exam boards will be contacting schools, colleges and other exam centres after Easter asking them to submit a centre assessment grade for all pupils, by a deadline that will be no earlier than 29 May 2020.
- To make sure that grades are as fair as possible across schools and colleges, exam boards will put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model being developed with Ofqual.
- The process of standardisation will involve looking at evidence such as the expected national outcomes for this year’s students, the prior attainment of students at each school and college and the results of the school or college in recent years.
- Schools and colleges have been told that they must not share their centre assessment grades with students, parents or carers, under any circumstances, until after final results are issued.
- Results will not be delayed after the dates they were expected in August 2020.
- Students will also have the opportunity to sit exams at the earliest reasonable opportunity in the new academic year if they are dissatisfied with the grade awarded to them in August.
If your child has still not logged into Google Classrooms, please ensure that they do so as soon as possible. We intend to keep in close contact with Year 11 and will be disseminating a number of messages and materials via this platform, particularly around the awarding of GCSEs and post-16 progression routes. Details on how pupils can log into Google Classrooms are on the school’s website. Form tutors will be calling all pupils who have not yet logged onto the platform over the next two weeks. If your child does not have access to a computer and/or the internet, please let the school know as soon as you can or pass this information to the Form Tutor when they make contact.
Whilst the school is closed, we understand that it must be very disorientating for Year 11 pupils in particular. We are encouraging our pupils to also use the time to read, connect with their families and learn new skills. The global situation surrounding Covid-19 can cause young people in particular to feel anxious and/or despondent about what the future holds, so it is important that we recognise this and support our young people by giving them the space to process recent events.
We do believe that it is healthy for our pupils to attempt to maintain some routines whilst they are away from school. As far as possible, pupils should aim to rise and sleep at set times and stick to a timetable of activities throughout the day. Please get in contact with the school if you would like support in organising a timetable for your child; school may not be open but we are all still working to try to support our young people in the best way possible.
The Education Endowment Foundation also has some fantastic, free resources to support learning from home: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/?mc_cid=7dede45ca9&mc_eid=564f35ac20
Leytonstone Food Bank
We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our families and local community, seen in some bumper donations to our food bank! We currently have all manner of food and personal hygiene items readily available for any families in need. Please contact the school as soon as you can if you would like to receive a food parcel. If you are unable to make the journey to school for collection, we will try to arrange delivery.
Free School Meals
If your child is eligible for free school meals, you will have been enrolled onto the national supermarket voucher scheme organised by the Department for Education. It is clear that this system has struggled with processing vouchers on a national scale and we know that some of our families have not experienced a good service.
We are in the process of making our own provisions for our pupils eligible for free school meals and will be in touch about this as soon as possible.
Teachers at the school will be making contact either in person or over the phone over the next two weeks. If you receive a call from a ‘private number’ can we please ask that, over the period of school closure, you answer these calls as it is likely going to be a member of staff from the school trying to get in touch.
Waltham Forest Council has been producing helpful daily bulletins, full of useful information which can be accessed via the website here: https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/coronavirus-latest-information?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
I will end with an excerpt from our co-constructed school ethos, opportunely launched in January of this year:
‘Life brings us CHALLENGE, but we take care of ourselves and each other;
when things get difficult WE KNOW WHERE TO GO.’
We are living through some very challenging times but as a school we intend to continue to serve our pupils and their families the best we can until we meet again.
Please get in touch with the school if you are experiencing any difficulties and we will support you.