29th January 21
Exams, or lack of them, are at the forefront of our minds at present. We all look forward to getting some definite answers from the DfE (Department for Education) and Ofqual to know what form of assessment will replace the traditional summer exams. After the Milestone tests last week and as our International Foundation Programme students are completing their January exams, our focus is now to review the students’ progress. Parents will soon receive a half term report which will give them the latest Milestone tests’ results. This report will inform the discussion parents will have with their child’s teachers in the forthcoming virtual parents’ evenings. Details of dates and how to book an appointment will be communicated shortly and we hope our International parents will join us, with an interpreter if necessary. It is always a great opportunity to meet parents and guardians and to answer any questions you may have.
We have decided to go ahead with the Mock examinations the week after half term. The “Mocks” will take place in the week starting on 22nd February 2021. Students will be off timetable for that week except for the BTEC and IFP students who will carry on with their usual timetabled lessons. Students sitting the Mock exams will get their virtual exam timetable next week. Students will also get details of the Mock exams code of conduct by which they need to abide.
Whatever the outcome of the DfE and Ofqual consultation, we know that what students do on a regular basis, whether it be through their attendance and classwork, homework, Milestone tests or Mock exams, all these constitute the evidence that we will be required to provide to support the grades sent to the boards in the summer. For that reason, it is essential for students to keep up with their efforts and stick with the usual exam preparation, following their teachers’ advice. Fortunately, our live online lessons are well received and are proving effective. Students also have access to a broad range of extension activities that they can find on our student dashboard. There is plenty to do for students who want to get ready for the next stage of their education.
This year, the UCAS process has been as busy as ever and some 139 applications have been sent to date. Students are now beginning to receive offers from universities and they are advised to keep in touch with their PTs (Personal Tutors) and Dr Daniel Woodley, Head of Universities & Careers, before finalising their decision. As usual, students have received many offers from London universities which are often their preferred destination. Our Year 12 students are will start the programme shortly to guide them through the university application process. This will ensure that they have their personal statement and some selected courses ready by the summer.
We appreciate how unsettling the current situation is for our students and parents. We are all here to support you. Our dedicated teachers are organising extra clinics or catch-up sessions so it is paramount for students to attend these and to liaise with their PT or subject teachers to ensure they can get the help they need. There is still time to improve those grades as the timing of those new assessments are likely to occur in either May or June 2021, so I wish our students “Bon Courage!”.
Marie-Do Reza, Vice-Principal (Academic)