3rd April 2020
Dear parents, carers and students
We know that the past few weeks have been a distressing and uncertain time for you following the government’s intention to cancel examinations this year and move to a different system of awarding grades as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. Please see attached link, the guidance that has just been issued with respect to how this will work in practice:-
The guidance, we hope, will give you some assurances. Ofqual have stated that schools will use a range of data and evidence to support students’ grades. Please be assured that we will draw on a wide range of evidence to show this. Also, you will not be disadvantaged if you did not complete or was not set any work after the schools closed. There will be no requirement for you to complete any additional work or separate assessment for your grade.
It is important that you do not ask schools to share their grades with you. Schools will have to adhere to the Ofqual guidance which specifically states that schools should not disclose grades. We have to adhere to this in order to protect the integrity of the examination system.
This guidance relates to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications and further guidance will be issued regarding vocational and technical qualifications as soon as it is available.
Please also be assured that students’ grades this year will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers to help our young people move on to the next stage in their lives.
We are extremely privileged in our school to work alongside such wonderful students. They are indeed a credit to their parents and carers. Thank you for the trust you have placed in us in educating and caring for them and thank you for the important role you play in supporting schools.
Please do keep safe and well.
Headteacher’s Blog 3rd April 2020
Well-being and working from home Part 2!
It has been another strange week and it doesn’t seem real that we are about to go into the Easter holidays, normally a time for reflection and rest. I was pleased to be able to share our Ofsted report with you earlier in the week, a rare moment of good news and joy at this difficult time. If you missed the letter then you can read the report here:-
There are two themes to today’s blog. The first is well-being and the second follows on from my notes last week on working from home, with a look ahead to how we will be developing our online learning as well as supporting those families who need to have work packs to support their child.
Working from home will begin to look different over the next half term. This will be a gradual change depending on which year group your child is in and there will be detailed instructions coming out for each year group on Monday 20th April. I hope you can appreciate that we are taking our time to get this right and not bombard you with information. My advice from last week remains the same; we understand the challenges of your child working at home and our expectations, for now, are set out in the FAQ sheet we sent last week:- Frequently Asked Questions
Over Easter our teachers, unless they are working in school, are off and so we do not expect any work to be done by the students. There are plenty of online resources on our website if you do want your child to do some activities.
How things will look next half term.
As we can assume that schools will continue to be closed to the majority of children next half term we will be developing our provision as set out below. However, I want to make two general points:
Year 10 and Year 12
We are conscious that Year 10 and 12 are missing a vital chunk of time very close to their examination year. Therefore we need to begin to deliver new content next half term. This will be delivered through a combination of some taught lessons through Microsoft Teams (more information to follow) and the use of other subject based applications, where available. There will be an expectation that students attend these virtual lessons, when they are available so that they can be taught units of work and then complete and return work for feedback to check their understanding. This process will take time to develop and the lessons may not immediately be available from all subjects/teachers, but we will keep you updated on when the lessons will be on. These units will also be available in a printed pack which can be requested by contacting school reception, if your child is unable to access these resources online.
Students will continue to receive online work from their teachers, via Go4Schools, which will be based on topics they have already covered. There will be a variety of activities and assessment that can be self-marked, such as quizzes or short tests. We will not expect this work to be returned for marking.
In addition to the online work being set we are also going to have packs available for each year group, which you can call school to request, if you are unable to access the resources online. These packs will be a collection of the work being set online by teachers, but pre-printed for you. The packs will simply be organised into Year 7 Pack 1, Pack 2 etc so your child can work through them.
For Year 11 students we will be writing to families separately, following the expected announcement around how GCSE grades will be awarded. For Year 13 students a separate letter was sent by Mr Howard last week.
Provision for students of Key Workers over the Easter holiday
A reminder that the school will continue to be open throughout the Easter holiday, including Good Friday and Easter Monday, for the families of Key Workers or for those families who feel their children are vulnerable and in need of our support. This should of course be an absolute last resort, where you are unable to support your child at home. We would ask you to contact our school reception, which is open during normal school hours, if you are in need of this service so that we can plan, as we have minimal staffing operating and cannot manage many students.
Free School Meals provision
Please note that we are no longer delivering food as we are moving to a voucher system, which we hope will provide better support for our families.
We will then be part of a national voucher scheme and will be communicating to you about this after in time for the first week back after Easter.
I wish all of our families a peaceful Easter break, stay safe.
1st April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope that you and your families are keeping well at this difficult time. I am writing to you to share some good news.
I am delighted to share with you the final inspection report, following the visit of Ofsted on 3rd and 4th March. The headline from the inspection is that ‘The Coleshill School continues to be a good school’. The report is incredibly positive about the whole school community and I am thrilled that the inspection team appreciated our values and the good standard of education that we provide for our students. Ofsted will not be publishing the report on their website, until schools open after this national crisis. However, you can read the full report by following this link to our website:-
The report highlights that ‘The school places as much emphasis on pupils’ personal development as on their academic success.’ The inspectors were particularly impressed by the range of opportunities that are on offer for students beyond the classroom and how many of our students take up these opportunities. The team noted that ‘pupils, students and parents value this aspect of school life’.
It is pleasing to note that the inspection team recognized the strengths in our teaching and curriculum, noting that ‘Pupils learning is effective and organized well in almost all subjects’. Inspectors praised teachers’ ‘strong subject knowledge’.
Inspectors were impressed with the work being done to develop the curriculum in Year 7 and were pleased to see the planned expansion of the Year 9 curriculum. They did note the need for curriculum work to develop further and include links between subjects to help embed knowledge. This is something we are actively working on.
The behaviour of our students was praised throughout the inspection and inspectors were pleased to see that ‘Pupils demonstrate positive attitudes to learning. In lesson they work hard and behave well.’ Inspectors were also impressed with the way in which the students have coped with the current building works and the restrictions this has placed on social space. This is real testament to our students and also to our staff who work so hard to support them.
‘Governance is strong’ and inspectors were clear that ‘the school has benefitted from its membership of The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership’. I would like to thank governors and the staff who have supported us from ATLP, as they have had a big part to play in the school being recognized with such a positive inspection report.
The inspection team worked very collaboratively with myself and school leaders over the two days and we all agreed the two key development points, which are set out fully in the report. We will be working on ensuring that our curriculum work continues to develop to ensure our curriculum ‘builds a deep and lasting understanding of key subject knowledge for pupils of all abilities, and especially the most able’. We will also be working on evaluating our use of assessment to ensure it is ‘used effectively and does not detract from the teaching of subject content.’
Finally, can I thank you for your ongoing support and in particular all those families who took the time to complete Parent View. There were 291 responses for the inspection team to review, which we were told is a very high response rate. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. However, there were understandably some areas of concern raised and we will be working to address these for when we return to school.
As ever, I am incredibly proud and humbled to be leading your school. I am surrounded by incredible staff and inspirational students. This report is a validation of what we do on a day to day basis and, as we look forward to the completion of The Wilson Block and the return to school life, we are now well placed for the next phase in the school’s journey.