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Update from the Headteacher: Thursday 2 April

Update for parents and carers (Thursday 2 April):

Dear Parents and Carers

Thank you for your continued support during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These are challenging times and we are all working hard to ensure our students continue learning during this unsettling period. Thank you to parents and carers for your positive contribution to this collaborative effort and for helping our students to stay happy, safe and well.

The school will remain open for our most vulnerable students and children of key workers over Easter, with the exception of Good Friday and Easter Monday. Please contact Mrs Ridley, Deputy Headteacher, via email to confirm your child's attendance during the holiday period (accounts@ladymanners.derbyshire.sch.uk). We politely request that you do not turn up at school without prior agreement. Students will be supervised by skeletal staffing, operating on a rota basis.

The ongoing situation we find ourselves in remains fluid and we seem to receive new information each day.

The vast majority of staff currently work from home and are continuing to develop subject resources to facilitate remote learning. Many teachers have told me how impressed they are by the amount of work being completed by students on Myvle, and the way in which everyone is adapting to these highly unusual circumstances. It is important to remember, however, that students should manage their time effectively and find routines that work for them. Students should certainly not be working excessive hours, over and above what they would normally do at school. Breaks should be taken regularly and students should definitely not be working late into the evening. We will be talking to staff over the next few weeks to ensure the work set is manageable and takes account of individual needs.

We are continuing to adapt how we work during these unusual times. We are further developing a consistent system for providing feedback and we are also planning online test weeks for Year 10 and Year 12 students during the summer term. We have set short Easter tasks for students across all age groups to complete on Myvle (30-60 minutes), although we have decided to make these holiday activities optional. We recognise that although many students will happily complete additional work during the lockdown period, others may prefer a complete rest and appreciate an opportunity to "switch off" for a while.

We continue to encourage students to use subject text books and class notes alongside online resources to reinforce prior learning. In many cases, re-visiting topics will help to scaffold future learning, and will ensure long-term retention of important knowledge and key terminology.

As we know, there will be no examinations for Year 11 and Year 13 students this summer. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) will be providing further guidance to explain how 'calculated grades' will be assigned. Information will be published on our school website as soon as it is made available.

Thank you again for your understanding and for only contacting the school when absolutely necessary during this period. We look forward to seeing all our students again as soon as it is safe to do so.

On behalf of all staff, I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable Easter.

Gary Peat
Headteacher