Friday 8th January 2021
Dear St Marylebone students, parents, carers,
A week into the January term and the momentum is really motivating. Well done to all our students for facing this new challenge with minimal fuss and a positive attitude. There’s lots of information in this letter, so take your time to take it in.
GCSE and A-Level examinations: update
We had hoped this week for a clear plan as to what the alternative arrangements will be, since hearing that the public exams will not go ahead as planned. What we know so far is that there will be a “Teacher Assessed Grades” process, on which a consultation with Ofqual, the exams regulator is to start next week.
More information will come to Year 11 and 13 students and parents when we have it. It is important that Years 11 and 13 continue to log into their timetabled lessons and keep learning. Be assured that the School will support you all as fairly as we can through this process and that your learning meantime is valuable.
Remote learning update
We now know that students will be learning at home for at least six weeks, so we are working on a remote learning offer that is sustainable over this time. Students should continue to follow their usual full timetable and their learning will be a mixed diet of live online lessons, learning resources, audio / visual materials and activities which take them away from the screen. There will be times when the lesson requires the students to step away from their screens and / or to work independently. We’ve listened to student-voice this week to inform this planning. We hope you understand also that there will be times when teachers are unable to offer live online lessons because, for example, they are unwell, have childcare commitments or have other reasons why being live online at that point is difficult. In these instances, work will still be set for the class. This mixed diet is designed to support students’ learning, well-being, progress, independence and connection with each other.
If parents / carers have questions about the remote learning, please:
- first ask your child to show you on Google Classroom what they are doing
- contact the subject teacher for a subject-specific question
- contact the Form Tutor with a general question about learning or the child’s welfare
- contact the Head of Year for a more serious concern
Any safeguarding concerns should be directed to the School as usual. Please contact the Safeguarding Team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online safety and safeguarding when students are learning at home.
We have established clear expectations and protocols to make sure students’ learning online at home is safe. You can read these here. If you have questions about these:
- for technical questions about Google Classroom / Google Meet, contact Mr Mead email@example.com
- for safeguarding questions, contact the safeguarding team on firstname.lastname@example.org
- for questions about data protection and privacy, please contact email@example.com or see our Privacy Statement here>>>.
In the live Form Time on Tuesday, students were reminded about being kind and thoughtful when using any social media. Cyber-bullying and any form of online unkindness or abuse is not to be tolerated. All our students know that they should not get involved in this, should report it if it happens, should think before they click and should “spread love not hate”. There is some very good advice on our website about keeping students safe when at home and using the internet. You can read this here>>>.
Supporting students’ wellbeing and learning at home
On our website, there is also information and support on learning at home and sustaining wellbeing and mental health. We really recommend families looking at these resources together.
Those attending on-site are following the same teaching as those at home, so that there is a consistent offer for everyone. Well done to all those who have attended this week for your focus and adaptability.
Slightly changed timings of the school day
We have made a change to the times of the school day because, without everyone on-site, we do not need staggered lunchtimes and because we would like students and staff to have a slightly longer break for lunch, fresh air, movement and time to connect with family.
The changes are highlighted below:
8.30am: registration and form time
8.50am: Period 1
9.45am: Period 2
11am: Period 3
11.55am: Period 4
1.30pm: Period 5
2.15pm: Period 6
This will begin from Monday 11th January.
Access to ICT for learning
We have identified a number of students who do not have access to technology or wifi at home. Where there is genuine need or hardship and we have not already supported you with this, please contact your Head of Year.
Free School Meals
Free School Meals vouchers will continue to be issued to eligible families. If you are experiencing any problems with these, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think you’re eligible for Free School Meals, you can register here.
Parents’ Evenings ahead
Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Monday 25 January will go ahead online via School Cloud as planned. Information about this will be sent to Year 9 parents, carers and students.
Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Monday 1 February will be postponed until we know clearly what the alternative arrangements for GCSEs will be and what we can helpfully report to parents. We will keep in touch about developments.
Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Mon 8 February will go ahead online via School Cloud as planned. Information about this will be sent to Year 8 parents, carers and students in due course.
Updated school calendar
We will shortly share with parents / carers via MyEd and the website an updated school calendar for January – July 2021. Dates to note meantime:
Friday 12 February: students’ Academic Review mid-year reflection; staff mid-year appraisal and development day; no lessons this day; end of Term 3
Monday 15 – Friday 19 February: February half-term
Monday 22 February: Term 4 begins
Wednesday 31 March: lessons morning only; last day of Term 4 for students
Staff and students have worked hard to adapt quickly this week to an altered outlook on the term ahead. As the days pass, we’ll improve and adapt more.
Thank you all for your patience and trust.