Next Steps - Update from Headteacher
February 5th 2021
Letter 19 – Next Steps
Dear Parents and Carers
I write to you at a time of reflection as we all join in national mourning of the sad passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore. He was a great inspiration to many of us and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
The students that are in school continue to access a blended model of face to face teaching as well as accessing some remote leaning along with their peers that are working from home. We are pleased to see how many devices we have managed to get out to our learning community allowing our students to access their teaching resources. We are delighted that so many students are viewing pre-recorded videos and the large number of students that are submitting work back up to Classcharts. However, we would like to see more work being submitted so that teachers are able to highlight strengths and areas development to improve the level of feedback they can offer. We encourage students to attempt every piece of work and submit what they can do to give their teachers the information they need.
Once again, I will look to pick out a few highlights from the week and offer some reminders to ensure that everything runs really well again next week.
February Half Term – School Fully Closed
We can confirm that the school will be closed during the February Half Term holiday. All of our students, teachers and support staff need a break to re-charge their batteries ready for the second half of the spring term. This is advance notice so that parents of keyworker and vulnerable children can plan ahead for that week.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Test Update
We are also really pleased that we have now completed over 900 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests which have all been negative. We would also like to thank Helen Cook and Lee-Roy Cochrane who are leading our LFD testing centre for training our fantastic volunteers some of whom have already been incorporated into the testing rota. The rest of the volunteers will be joining in after half term. Thanks for all your help and support as we couldn’t do it without you.
World Book Day
World Book Day will soon be upon us and Mrs Lamerton is busily planning a whole host of virtual activities for everyone to enjoy. We are starting with the ‘Toilet Roll Challenge’. Using a toilet roll and lots of imagination, recreate a scene or character from your favourite book. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Email your completed masterpiece to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ms Walsh & Mrs Lamerton
Year 11 On-going Assessment and Applications to Sixth Form or Petroc
Students have been applying to the Ilfracombe Sixth Form and Petroc and will be called for remote interviews over the coming months. During those interviews, you will have a discussion about your current progress; which courses you would like to follow and whether you are likely to achieve the entry requirements.
The most recent data shared with students and parents was the Progress Point 1 data (October 2020). This progress data was a reflection of students’ current grade at this time following the national lockdown between March and August 2020. Year 11 students attended school between September and December 2020 and they would have sat mock examinations starting the week beginning 18th January 2021. These examinations would have informed their latest progress point data. Please note the letter sent to you on 8th January informing you of the school’s intention to hold mock examinations two weeks after the students return to school following the current lockdown.
The consultation across England on how Year 11 should be assessed this year came to an end last week. We expect the final guidance to be issued to schools after the half-term break. It is likely that schools will be awarding centre-assessed grades again this summer. We are conscious of the Ofqual guidance last summer and the importance of confidentiality to support the integrity of the process. For this reason, we will not be asking staff to provide specific GCSE grades in the form of a progress point.
If you are planning to apply to The Ilfracombe Academy Sixth Form
The post-16 interviews at The Ilfracombe Academy are due to start after February half-term and the available data will be used to inform discussions regarding students’ suitability for courses and course selection.
If you are planning to apply to Petroc or other Further Education or sixth form providers
In regard to students applying to other colleges or sixth forms and requiring indications of grades, we are advising students and their parents/carers to record their Progress Point 1 information alongside a consideration of the progress they feel they have made since this information was shared. This will mean that any grades your child shares with other institutions will be their own self-assessed grades, based on their previous assessment in school, and adjusted according to what they believe they are currently demonstrating or will most likely achieve in the summer. We advise students not to over-exaggerate their grades since this may restrict their entry onto their course of choice if these grades are not achieved.
This proposed model will be shared with the Admissions Team at Petroc College explaining the context of the Progress Point 1 data for students at The Ilfracombe Academy.
Year 13 On-going Assessment and Applications to University
Given the current uncertainty, we are conscious that many of our students in the Sixth Form may have questions about their current progress and how it might inform their next steps.
Our information for Y13 is very much in line with that for Y11. Please see below.
The most recent data shared with students and parents was the Progress Point 1 data (October 2020). This progress data was a reflection of students’ current grade at this time following the national lockdown between March and August 2020. Year 13 students attended school between September and December 2020 and they would have sat mock examinations starting the week beginning 18th January 2021. These examinations would have informed their latest progress point data. Please note the letter sent to you on the 8th January informing you of the school’s intention to hold mock examinations two weeks after the students return to school following the current lockdown.
The consultation across England on how Year 13 should be assessed this year ended last week. We expect the final guidance to be issued to schools after the half-term break. It is likely that schools will be awarding centre-assessed grades again this summer. We are conscious of the Ofqual guidance last summer and the importance of confidentiality to support the integrity of the process. For this reason, we will be asking staff not to provide students or parents with specific grades in the form of a progress point.
For students applying to university the process currently remains the same as normal. The UCAS application deadline was last Friday (29th January) and all applications were submitted with predicted grades just like any other year. These predicted grades were based on teacher judgments and evidence of students work throughout year 12 and up until the end of the Autumn term. In other words, the UCAS predicted grades were not affected by the latest ongoing lockdown. Hopefully, the vast majority of students have already heard back from the universities that they have applied to but please be aware that some universities may not respond until late March (and that the absolute deadline for receiving a reply from universities is 5th May).
Media Coverage of School Opening
As ever, there is ongoing speculation about question of when schools will reopen. Like you we await in anticipation of any guidance from the Government and will look to plan and communicate our plan as soon as we can.
Year 9 Options Reminder
A reminder that the following Year 9 options items will be taking pace next week.
This resource along with other resources linked to the remote options process can be found on the school website: https://www.ilfracombeacademy.org.uk/yr9options
Overview of remaining key dates:
· Monday 8th February – online options form link available via the school website and shared via Classcharts and WEDUC
· Friday 12th February – deadline for the completion of online options forms
We hope that the resources and support outlined will provide students with the guidance that they need to make these important decisions. If you have questions relating to certain subjects, please email your teacher of this subject. If you have questions about the options guidance or process you can email Mr Twomey or Mr Law with your question.
Consent Form Update.
As a school, we still want to be as prepared as we can as the Government are likely to go back to their original plan of using LFD testing once the virus R Rate starts to come back down again. Since we sent out our original consent form to you, updated guidance has come to us and we must, regrettably, ask you complete the new form. We apologise for any inconvenience caused but we have been informed that we require further information from you.
Please follow the link below to complete the revised consent form.
We would encourage parents and students to give consent as we feel this is a way of keeping everyone in school as safe as we possibly can.
We appreciate there is some concern surrounding testing and we have worked hard to convey the process this will involve. Please see the attached video link to see how we conduct the process here at The Ilfracombe Academy. https://youtu.be/gv5ySYexJ94
What should I do if my child tests positive for Covid 19 at home?
If your child tests positive for C19 whilst at home and is currently not attending school, please can you still report this to the school as we need to submit this information in our daily Government reporting numbers.
Parents and Carers please see the latest DfE guidance for schools
As ever, the school will continue to monitor and make any adjustments in our way of working in line with any further guidance. This guidance will always be clearly communicated to our Students and their Parents/Carers.
I hope all our students and their families enjoy the weekend.