Principal's Weekly Update

Dear Parents, Carers and Students, 

Although this has not been the half term we would have planned it has, in so many ways, been a good half term!  There is so much we should be thankful for as we look back on the last few weeks especially as we have seen a remarkable improvement in the engagement with online learning from most students, well done! I trust the weekly Engagement Report is providing some feedback as to the process of learning being undertaken by your son or daughter.

Over the next week, during half term, school will not be open to allow for preparatory work that cannot be safely carried out with students and staff in the building. This means there will not be any provision for vulnerable children or children of key workers between Monday 25th May to Friday 29th May.  After the half term break, on the 1st of June, Grace College we will open to provide on-site educational provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers. 

Looking ahead, the most recent government guidance indicates that secondary schools need to be offering some face to face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 students during the next half-term.  We have plans in place to offer such a provision from the 8th of June, not before.  This provision will ensure all Year 10 and 12 students attend a weekly tutorial session in which they will be provided with support for their studies and additional guidance. Students will be expected to make a visit to school once a weekly only. On-site provision will not be full time and will not follow a normal timetable of lessons. 

Of course, to get things right we must be thinking first and foremost about the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.  To this end we are working with colleagues across ESF to ensure our procedures will keep us all secure and safe. Our detailed risk assessment will be scrutinized by our School Improvement Board of governors and the Health and Safety executive at the Emmanuel Schools Foundation. Further information will be forth coming from government over the coming days including an announcement regarding school opening on the evening of the 28th May. We will respond and amend our plans accordingly.  In the week beginning the 1st of June we will undertake adaptations to the site and provide detailed health and safety training for staff while continuing to support vulnerable students and children of key workers. Parents can be assured that we are proceeding with extreme caution as the safety of all is paramount.

I must make it clear that students in other year groups are not currently expected to return to school until September. For these students we will continue to provide online tuition and learning support via the mechanisms that have been in place over the past few weeks. Students should continue to access the work set by individual class teachers and tutors on line on Microsoft Teams or request hard copies of work packs through pastoral leaders if access to online learning is not possible.

I understand that this is a very difficult time for all and hope that your child can remain connected to their peers, tutors, teachers, pastoral leaders and heads of house through our regular updates, videos, challenges, various subject Teams and posts on our Twitter account.

We remain committed to a very gradual, safe and phased approach to any on-site learning and will continue to improve the quality and extent of provision for online learning.

I will provide greater detail of our plans via a video broadcast soon.

Kind Regards

Mr Hall