Last updated 26 March
School is closed
Thank you for your support in keeping your sons/daughters at home. As you are aware, since Monday 23 March, we have only been open to children whose parents’ work is critical to the country’s COVID-19 response. You will also be aware that this is unlikely to change for some time. Please be assured that we have very clear procedures in place to remain a safe environment during this period of time for all students and staff, including social distancing at all times.
Free school meals
The Government is in the process of organising a national free school meals voucher scheme. Until this is in place RET schools are sending grocery vouchers directly to parents to the value of their weekly free school meals allowance.
Refunds on trips
As and when we have an update on refunds arising from cancelled clubs and trips, the finance team will be in contact, as previously promised. We are working on this every day. Please be patient.
Meaningful work is being set
We will continue to set meaningful work for students in all year groups via Show My Homework. Senior Leaders continue to monitor the quality. If other platforms are required to complete work, they will all be signposted through Show My Homework.
Keep being kind to yourselves (and us!)
This is a new way of working for everyone. Please do not get overwhelmed or stressed! We are providing work for all our students and are working hard to get it right. If there is too much, or you do not understand, please request help and advice. Do not worry. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Get into the pattern and rhythm of it over time. We are all getting used to a new way of working. Teachers will not get it right all the time. Please be kind!
Thank you for all your kind comments and emails it is very encouraging. Likewise, we are very impressed with the way the students (and parents) have been handling this new way of working so far! We can do this!
Year 11 and 13 students’ examinations
Guidance from the Government is emerging. Here are the main points:
- Regulators will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects performance as fairly as possible, and will work with us and the other exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students.
- Exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
- To produce this, teachers will be asked to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment. Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges soon.
- Exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
- Regulators and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising the approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible. More information will be provided as soon as possible.
- The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.
- These grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.
- They will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students are not disadvantaged.
- Students will be able to appeal their grades if they do not believe the right process has been followed.
- There will also be an option to sit exams early in the next academic year for any students who wish to – and students can also choose to sit exams next summer.
How might things change in the coming weeks?
For those students who are due to start GCSE or A level studies in September the work set will transition to ‘bridging courses’ at some point, most likely after Easter. We are also working to get recommended wider reading lists out and these will hopefully be finished by the end of this week. However, for now they should concentrate on finishing the courses that they are currently studying.
In particular, we encourage all those in Year 10 and Year 12 students to be diligent in completing all tasks. Although this may change as time goes on, as things stand the 2021 examinations will cover all aspects of the course.
What about Year 13?
As with Year 11, students in Year 13 should concentrate on finishing the courses that they are currently studying and teachers will be working to ensure that this is possible. We are researching study possibilities for Year 13 students due to go to university this year. We encourage all Year 13 students to stay in touch with their prospective university courses should reading lists and other materials become available, and to take the opportunity to be ready for the start of the course.
Other advice will be sent to Year 13s about UCAS and other career routes when we know more.
Keeping in touch
During the period of school closure our phone lines may not be staffed. Parents can contact the school via the following email addresses:
email@example.com – all general enquiries
S.Rupprecht@bristolfreeschool.org.uk– any finance related queries
S.Shah@bristolfreeschool.org.uk – Special Educational Needs related enquiries and support
S.Jenkins@bristolfreeschool.org.uk – Safeguarding and well-being related concerns and support
Email accounts will be monitored as usual during the closure period and parents and carers can expect responses to communications within usual timeframes.
The following external websites are helpful and are updated regularly:
This guidance was issued following the Prime Minister’s live announcement on 23 March. I recommend everyone in the school community to read and follow it.
What else can you give me to help me with home learning?
You probably have more than enough for your sons and daughters to do. However, if you need more, we have found the following list for you:
9.00am - PE with Joe Wicks https://youtu.be/6v-a_dpwhro
10.00am - Maths with Carol Vorderman www.themathsfactor.com
11.00am - English with David Walliams https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/
12.00pm - Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver) https://www.jamieoliver.com/feat…/category/get-kids-cooking/
1.00pm - Music with Myleene Klass https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQh2wgJ5tOrixYBn6jFXsXQ
1.30pm - Dance with Darcey Bussel https://twitter.com/diversedance…/status/1241098264373592065
2.00pm - History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days) https://tv.historyhit.com/signup/package
4.00pm - Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri) https://www.instagram.com/theocooks
Non-daily events include:
Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests https://cosmicshambles.com/stayathome/upcoming-schedule
9.30am Wednesday 25 March - Geography with Steve Backshall https://twitter.com/SteveBacksha…/status/1242058846941712385
For your older students, here are 50 free revision resources for 11+, GCSEs and A-Levels:
https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home From Sport England covering a variety of ideas about exercising whilst at home.
Thank you for the understanding and support you have given the school staff as the coronavirus situation has unfolded over the past few weeks; it is deeply appreciated. We will continue to keep in close contact with you all and hope that our gates will be open again in the not too distant future.