Update from Mrs O’Neill

News from Mrs O'Neill

The chaotic start to 2021 has possibly seen a very quick end to some new year’s resolutions.  For students due to take GCSEs, A levels and other qualifications in summer, I am sure that the announcement on Monday cancelling exams was in part met with some relief.  We made the decision today to cancel all exams scheduled to take place in January and the Secretary of State for Education has announced this afternoon that grades will be decided by schools rather than an algorithm.  This is reassuring and once we have more information on this I will share it with all relevant parties. 

I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to form part of our team to administer mass testing.  At the moment we are able to train staff internally due to the school closure, however once we return fully I am certain that we will need to rely on volunteers.  We will be able to administer lateral flow tests on a weekly basis for staff as of next week and students who are on site will also be offered the opportunity to take part in the testing.  I must stress that this is not mandatory and before anyone is tested, we will need to secure parental consent.  Details will follow.

We have received a lot of positive feedback already about remote learning from students and parents but there have also been some teething problems experienced by some.  Please contact us immediately if things are not working or you are concerned about a lack of engagement from your child.  If you are also concerned about the impact of another lockdown on your child, please do get in touch.  It can be very isolating and lonely working at a computer all day with minimal interaction with peers and we can work with you to support your child.  

The first lockdown was novel; it was fascinating watching Carole Baskin at work and the whole question of ‘did she/didn’t she’; for those of you with children at university you possibly raced to pick them up from their accommodation in March.  Lockdown 3 is a lot different; as gripping as The Queen’s Gambit is, you can’t discuss chess moves in the same way and those with children at university, you’ve possibly raced to take them back.  If you were planning to do that at the weekend, I think if you say you’re testing your eyesight you will be all right to do so.  

I was really impressed with how our students embraced the lockdown rules the first time round; usual hangouts were empty and the streets around Alsager were deserted.  Let’s do the same again so that we can help to reduce transmission and have a better spring and summer.  Look after yourselves and as always, thank you for your continued support. 

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” (Carl Bard)

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