Update from Principal | 27 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

School has remained very quiet this week and we have only had a handful of students coming into school these last few days. We sent reports out as normal for Years 7-10 last week. We have not sent out Year 11s’ or 13s’ reports as we await to hear confirmation of how exactly grades will be awarded this summer. We have been promised this information next week.

As we move into the holidays, I just wanted to clarify that students are not expected to continue school work all through the holiday. Teachers have been uploading lots of work and lessons on Class Charts and other platforms and many students have been accessing this and getting on very impressively. At the same time, there are issues with broadband access and software and some work has been too challenging. Some students may have felt over-whelmed and we do appreciate that this situation is not easy or simple for students, parents or staff! Thank you for what you are doing and for supporting your children.

Home Learning FAQs

It is certainly not healthy to be glued to screens all day. I would suggest that you encourage your sons/daughters to spend two to four hours maximum on school work each day. Students’ abilities and their access at home will vary wildly and it will very probably not be possible to complete everything. Please reassure your child if they are becoming anxious not to worry! The first priority is staying healthy and happy; the second is trying to continue learning as best we can. At the same time, some students, particularly those in Years 10 and 12, do need to be mindful that if we continue to work from home into next term, they do need to keep ticking over and working through the curriculum to ensure they do not have a lot to catch up on when normal school does resume. The current situation is not an excuse to do no work and learning.

The Osprey Trust (of which we are a part) has coordinated holiday provision across ten schools locally. This is for the children of key workers and vulnerable students if absolutely essential. This is being run in the Alive Health centre in Teignmouth (just above our school on Exeter Road). The postcode for the facility is TQ14 9HZ, and it is accessed just before the main entrance to the Exeter Road secondary school as you come down the hill towards town. The timings for the provision are 08:45-15:15. There is the option for a part day, so the AM session will run 08:45-12:00 and the PM session will be 12:00-15:15. Pupils should come in trainers and sports kit, and bring along a snack, packed lunch and a drink. We will also have some stock of snacks and drinks, but if children could come supplied, that would be great. There will be a range of activities on offer to cater for all abilities! Please follow the link here to register your child for this provision if you haven’t already.

The closure or re-opening of schools next term is still to be confirmed. I will send out another note in the week before Easter when we should know more. If we are continuing to work and learn from home, we will be sending out more advice on distance learning and we will clarify expectations for all year groups and subjects. I would also then be asking for confirmation of who needs to send their child/children into school to be looked after in the coming weeks. I do hope that you will be able to enjoy something of the Easter break.

Best wishes

James O’Connell