Month: April 2020

Academy Closure Update

Dear Parents/Carers and Students

 

Academy Closure Update

Monday 27th April 2020

 

I hope this letter finds you, your families and friends safe and well, and that the Easter period provided some enjoyment where possible. It certainly was not the Easter break and celebration that we would have hoped for.

 

It did not come as a shock to learn last week that the lockdown period was to be extended for a further 3 weeks, which means that the learning for the majority of our students will continue to take place at home until further guidance and notice is given. The Academy will continue to open to provide provision to students of listed Key Workers. If your circumstances regarding this have changed, I would encourage you to email the Academy at enquires@thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk. A member of staff will then be in touch and further arrangements will be made.

 

Home Learning

We wish to advise you that all learning platforms will continue to be updated and monitored, and students work will marked and feedback will be given. Contact will continue to take place via phone calls or emails to parents/carers, and students are able to contact teaching staff via their CET Portal Login and Outlook email.

 

Paper copies of classwork will continue to be provided to those students without internet access, and we strongly encourage reading every day for all students from any home resources available.

 

As in my last letter, I wish to express my thanks for the commitment to home learning by the vast majority of students, parents and carers. We know that this is not an easy task, and that motivation can be challenging for us all during this time. My message to all students is to stay strong, stay committed and do your best! You can do this!

 

Free School Meal provision

In line with government systems, the distribution of Free School Meal Vouchers is now underway. All families who are entitled to free school meals should now be in receipt of regular and ongoing updated vouchers. We would like to thank you for

your patience with this process, as delays with the Academy receiving the vouchers, unfortunately caused an impact on families. We are hopeful for no further delays.

 

 

 

 

Year 11 Qualifications

As you are already are the Department for Education took the decision to close schools on 20th March 2020 and cancel GCSE examinations, to provide yourselves, your children and us with certainty.  The latest guidance from the Department for Education states “Students who were due to sit A-level, AS level or GCSE exams this summer will receive a calculated grade. The calculated grade process will take into account a range of evidence including, for example, non-exam assessment and mock results, and the approach will be standardised between schools and colleges by Ofqual, on behalf of the Department for Education”.  The issuing of GCSE calculated grades will be on 20th August 2020, the same date as planned for release of results and we will provide further information about the process of informing students of their results when we have clarity.  I recognise how frustrating this must be and I am sorry that I cannot provide any further information.  I will of course keep you updated as any new advice or guidance is issued.  Year 11, I cannot stress how important it is for you to continue to engage with the online learning that we have provided and over the coming days and weeks, we will endeavour to support you further in your transition to the next phase of your learning journey.  Also, remember that Team Thistley Hough are always here for you, all you need to do is get in touch.

 

As a school community, we are embracing virtual learning and are grappling with everything this throws at us in our endeavour to ensure that our students still receive not only learning opportunities but also the support, care and guidance that they deserve.  I wish to thank you all for your ongoing support with the new way of working; we sincerely appreciate your commitment with this.

 

I am hopeful that if we continue to work together we will all emerge from this time, with an improved understanding of what is important, not just in the educational context but also in life in general.  March 2020 should mark a time in history when many aspects of life changed for the better.  School certainly is not closed at Thistley Hough Academy, it is just operating under a different guise.

 

Please stay safe and take good care of yourselves and each other.

 

With very best wishes

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Latest information from OFQUAL

 

 

 

GCSE, AS and A level students in England

3 April 2020

 

A message for all GCSE, AS and A level students this summer

 

I understand how unsettling the past weeks have been for you, since the announcement that exams have been cancelled this summer, and that you are urgently waiting for news. I wanted to let you know what we are doing to provide you with grades. Our over-riding aim in this is to be fair to students this summer and to make sure you are not disadvantaged in your progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.

How will grades be calculated?

Your school or college will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievements:

  • the grade they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
  • within each subject, the order of students at your school or college, by performance, for each grade. This information will be used to standardise judgements – allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across schools andcolleges

Your school or college will consider a range of things like your classwork and homework; your results in assignments and any mock exams; any non-exam assessment or coursework you might have done; and your general progress during your course.

This information will allow us, with exam boards, to standardise grades across schools and colleges, to make sure that, as far as possible, results are fair and that students are not advantaged or disadvantaged because their schools or colleges are more generous or harsh than others when making those judgements. That means the final grade you get could be different from the one your school or college sends to the exam board.

Do I need to complete any new work for my school/college to submit a grade?

Your school or college is not required to set additional mock exams or homework for your centre assessment grade, and you won’t be disadvantaged if you were not set, or were unable to complete, any work given out after schools were closed.

Can I see the grades my school/college submits for me?

No, this information will be confidential. Please don’t ask your teachers, or anyone else at your school or college, to tell you the grades they will be sending to the exam boards or where they have placed you in the order of students; they will not be allowed to share this with you.

I am a private candidate – what does this mean for me?

If you are a private candidate (for example, home-schooled, following distance-learning programmes or studying independently) the centre you are entering with should include you where the head teacher or principal is confident that they and their staff have seen sufficient evidence of your achievement to make an objective judgement. We are urgently exploring whether there are alternative options for those students who do not have an existing relationship with a centre and who need results this summer to progress. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be possible for all private candidates, some of whom may instead need to take exams in the autumn to get their grades.

We appreciate that this is a matter of real concern to private candidates and will provide an update as soon as possible. We have asked organisations that represent universities and FE colleges to consider the steps that providers could take when making admissions decisions this summer for any private candidates who do not receive a grade. They have told us that they believe that institutions will consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible.

When will I get my results?

We’re working hard to get results out as soon as is possible – results won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August, and ideally they will be issued a little earlier, so you can have the certainty you need.

Can I take my exams another time?

We are working with exam boards to offer additional exams in the autumn term as soon as it is possible to do so. We’ll let you know about these in the coming weeks.

The information we have published covers GCSEs, AS and A levels, plus Extended Project Qualifications and Additional Extension Awards in maths. You can find out more about which qualifications and students are included, and the current arrangements for those which are not, in our detailed guidance; along with answers to other questions that you and your parents or carers might have. We will keep updating our guidance as new

 

information becomes available, including to share details about vocational and technical qualifications as soon as we can, so please keep an eye on our website.

Please be reassured that the grades you get this summer will look exactly the same as in previous years, and they will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, to help you move forward in your lives as planned.

With every best wish,

Sally Collier

Chief Regulator, Ofqual

Earlsdon Park, 53-55 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH www.gov.uk/ofqual  0300 303 3344                                      public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk

Academy Closure Update

Dear Parents/Carers

 

Academy Closure Update

 

I hope this letter finds you and your families safe and well during this unsettling time, and I hope that you are adjusting to the measures that the government has put into place regarding the closure of schools, and of course, all of the other changes that we are experiencing. It truly is a very surreal time.

 

When Thistley Hough closed to the vast majority of students on Friday 20th March, all staff at the Academy were keen to ensure that the education for all students would continue as best as possible. Staff are still very much working to ensure that this continues, and will carry on supporting your child online, as well as updating all necessary learning platforms, for as long as is needed. Staff will also be making telephone calls home over the coming weeks, to address any issues your child may be experiencing, to encourage continued engagement in learning, or to simply to catch up.

 

 

Home Learning

Daily routine for students is crucial and we are keen to ensure that they do no fall behind their peers during this time. Since the closure we have been incredibly proud of the engagement and outstanding work that is being produced online.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your commitment to this as I realise that this may not be easy whilst working from home, supporting extended family members and adjusting to these unprecedented changes; thank you all!

 

As you know, there are a number of platforms for students to access provision for home learning, and all login and password details were sent home with your child. If you or your child has any problems accessing these, we have a number of guides to support you with

this on our website at www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk. If your child needs any further support, the Microsoft Teams system allows students to message staff, or alternatively they can email their Head of Year.

 

If you do not have internet access, we will continue to provide paper copies of classwork throughout the Academy closure. Can I also point out the importance of reading at this time and encourage parents/carers to make sure children are reading every day. If they have finished their reading books please encourage them to read from other sources, including online and other books they may have at home.

 

Our records show that a small number of students and parents/carers have not logged on to any of the learning platforms yet. We would urge you to ensure that your child is logging on to complete the work set, and encourage that you are checking this regularly. We suggest a routine similar to the school day where possible, spending the approximate time suggested for each subject. We know that our students can be incredibly self-sufficient and will do their utmost to succeed. By working together to support them as best we can, we know they will continue to do well in their education.

 

 

Easter Provision

It is not our intention to set daily tasks for students over the Easter period; this applies to term time only. However, the Academy will continue to be open, and provision provided, for children of Key Workers from 8:15am – 3:15pm, Monday to Friday throughout the Easter fortnight.

 

Year 11 Qualifications

We were hoping that the Government and Ofqual (exams regulator) were going to announce some news last week regarding their plans for the grading of GCSEs this summer. We look forward to hearing more information over the coming weeks. I know how frustrating this is and we will keep you informed with developments as they happen.

 

Free School Meal provision

Staff here at Thistley Hough spent much of last week ensuring that vouchers, equivalent to the Free School Meal entitlement, were emailed or delivered to our parents/carers across the city. The Government has now produced a national voucher for students on Free School Meals. This should be live soon. If your child is entitled to FSM, we will be in touch with further information as soon as we have access to this.

 
I would just like to close by saying that all staff here at the Academy really do appreciate the support of all parents, carers, students, staff and our community in these difficult and unpredictable times. This is not something that we could have ever prepared for, but together we will do our very best to ensure that your child’s education and well-being remains the priority that it always has been.

 

Please remind your children that the staff of Thistley Hough are still here, we still care about them and we will get through this together. We very much look forward to welcoming them back into their academy as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Please stay safe, and take good care of yourselves and each other.

 

With very best wishes.

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal