Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for supporting your children with their remote learning; it certainly feels like a sense of routine has been established far quicker than last time around. As mentioned in the letter you received earlier this week, a few tweaks to the remote provision will come into force on Monday. These are designed to make online learning sustainable for as long as it needs to be. Staff train every Monday after school on how to improve remote learning, whether it be through Teams or other online resources. Please do encourage your child to keep up the positive start to this term, make sure they take part in the lessons and let their Head of Year know of any barriers that are preventing learning happening so we can try and help.
I had hoped to be able to discuss what replaces GCSE and A Level exams this week, but unfortunately there is still no official news. We are expecting a consultation to be launched imminently, which now appears to be heading back towards a form of exams but marked by teachers rather than examiners. All I can say to our Year 11 and Year 13 students is to keep studying hard and building up the knowledge and skills you need for the next step in life; that way you will be ready for whatever replaces the exams.
We have been very impressed with the commitment of both of these year groups, so please encourage them to keep it up and hopefully we will be able to give you a clear answer about what is happening very soon. Whilst I have no doubt there will be a published plan in the near future, the lack of advance planning around this scenario is appalling and we have expressed our views to Matt Western, the local MP on behalf of all our students in exam years and their parents/carers. Given the first lockdown, the exams mess last summer, demands for exam clarity from the teaching profession, exams being cancelled in Wales and Scotland months ago, and the November lockdown; the need for a plan B for exams should not have come as a surprise to the Secretary of State.
Finally, a huge thank you to all the volunteers – both Myton staff and parents – who are helping out with the lateral flow testing. This too has become something of a routine, as people get used to it and the volunteers working there become more confident. Because we got a positive result on the very first round of tests, we have been running daily tests each morning for all contacts. It is all going smoothly and it is quite an enjoyable place to work. Even the sound of a medical glove being snapped into place doesn’t make us shudder anymore. To all those who volunteered but haven’t had the opportunity to start yet, we will be in touch to begin training. When schools are unlocked, the plan is still to test all students and although also this may change (there’s certainly a mixed reaction in the press to this idea), we will prepare for mass testing as currently instructed.
With best wishes
Andy Perry – Head Teacher