Walking around the school this week, it is clear that routines are established and students have adjusted to our new way of working very well. Those students who had to self-isolate are back and we have had two full weeks clear of any positive tests. As you will appreciate, schools are having to spend a significant amount of extra money to provide an environment that meets the accepted safe criteria for operation and these extra costs will mean that other planned priorities have to be adjusted. Let’s hope that the situation does not last for the entire year.
You may have read about the changes made to GCSE and A-level examinations next summer. The key points are summarised below:
- Exams will go ahead, but most will be delayed by about three weeks, taking place between 7 June and 2 July.
- One maths and one English GCSE exam will be held just before the May half-term, to give pupils affected by Covid a better chance of still sitting a paper in each of these subjects.
- Results days will be Tuesday 24 August for A and AS levels and Friday 27 August for GCSEs.
- It is expected that awarding organisations will align the timing of vocational and technical qualifications with that for GCSEs, AS and A levels.
- Contingency measures will be developed, “in partnership with the sector”, to address “the range of scenarios which might impact students’ ability to sit exams”. Ofqual will spend the next six weeks consulting on what these contingency measures might look like, with more detail to be published “later in the Autumn”.
- No further subject-level changes to exams and assessments will be made, beyond those small adjustments already outlined by Ofqual.
We are now considering these changes and will make adjustments to the calendar for next summer. There will be an impact on the other events that normally take place towards the end of the summer term but we will make sure that it is still an enjoyable, rich and varied curriculum for students to participate in.
Year 11 students will be sitting their mock GCSE examinations at the end of this term. With the ongoing uncertainties around Covid-19, these are even more important than previously since we may have to use the outcomes of these to award grades, as was the case last summer. We have been very pleased with the way year 11 have approached their studies since returning and are confident they will perform well.
Travel Advice and quarantine rules
As half-term approaches it’s important to remind everyone to remain informed of the latest Government travel advice and guidance.
The list of countries with exemption is continuously changing, you can check the latest travel exemption list at:
Any students who travel to a location outside of the approved travel corridor will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days on their arrival back into the UK:
They may also have to self-isolate when they arrive at their destination, so it is important everyone checks the latest travel advice. With so much education missed already, it would be very unfortunate if anyone did choose to visit a country where self-isolation is subsequently required.
As usual, there is plenty to read in the rest of this SandPrint highlighting the numerous activities and events taking place. I hope you enjoy the read.
Mr A Gray