October Parent update

Dear all,

Arrangements for next term: I would like to update you on our arrangements for the coming half term. Up until Christmas break, unless directed otherwise, we will be continuing our ‘blended learning’ approach in year group bubbles. This means that students will continue learning in alternate online and face to face weeks. Students completed a survey on Digital Learning. We are using this feedback to inform our online teaching for the coming half term. We would like to encourage students to fully participate in their online lessons by turning on their microphone and video and to make this an interactive, engaging and purposeful experience. If you need support or equipment please let us know as we have headsets available.

Please see the links here to next term’s calendar:

If you have any feedback please email us on: parents@varndean.ac.uk

INSET DAY: Monday 9th November Students will have an additional study day on Monday 9th of November so there will be no lessons on this day.

GCSE EXAMINATIONS: For those students who are resitting GCSE Maths or English in November the key dates are: … As I’m sure you will understand these examinations present us with additional challenges operationally and there may well be changes to classrooms and some disruption on these days as we ensure our students have the best possible chance to do well in their exams. All GCSE lessons are suspended the week of the 2nd – 6th November. However, there are revision sessions organised in both English and Maths. Students on a full one year pre-advanced, level 2 programme are on study leave all week. Level 3 students who are resitting either Maths or English GCSE still have their A Level or BTEC Level 3 subjects.

Covid-19: It is heartening to see that the majority of students are adhering to our guidelines about face coverings around the site and they are treating the rooms open at lunchtime respectfully. There are some subjects where we have requested that all students wear their mask in the lesson or for parts of the lesson, this is particularly during practical lessons where students are moving around the room. The guidance from the Department for Education is directive about the wearing of face coverings in classes, while we can not mandate them in all lessons, we recommend students who are able to wear them and are comfortable doing do so do.

If you have any questions you would like to ask about our plans for our provision during the pandemic we have a live Parents Q and A at 5pm on the Tuesday 3rd November with myself and our Deputy Principal Pete Bailey. We will send you the link on Monday 2nd November

Examinations 2021: There has been an announcement from the government that the Summer 2021 series of examinations will be delayed by 3 weeks. This is in order to give students longer to prepare for these examinations. We are expecting further details and updates in the coming weeks. I know that particularly for those students who are sitting these examinations it is a worrying time and we will do everything we can to keep you update as this is confirmed.

Thank you for your continued support. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a healthy and happy half term break.

Best wishes,

Donna-Marie Janson