I hope you have all had something of an Easter break.
Here are a few things that are relevant to our return to work on Monday:
- Back to work
We are all back to work fully on Monday 20th April. For those of you whose courses are continuing I want to remind you of our expectation that you will be completing as much work as you would be in any normal week at college. That amounts to 4 hours and 40 minutes of lesson time plus about the same amount as ‘homework’ per subject. Your teachers will be setting you the work from Monday and there will be tasks that need to be complete by the end of the week. We will be recording your engagement with these remote working tasks and feeding back to students, parents and all college staff via the RAG ratings on Ontrack (see below). If you are unsure about what you need to be doing, do contact your subject teams.
Our pastoral support will all be back to work too. So, if you need any help, do get in touch with them. I have attached the contact sheet if you need it.
The position will be a little bit confusing for some of you with some courses having finished and others continuing as normal. I hope this table helps explain what is happening:
|A level year 2||No|
|A level year 1||Yes|
|BTEC year 2||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
|BTEC year 1 including Engineering||Yes|
|BTEC Firsts (Foundation year)||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
|Criminology year 1 and year 2||Yes (until final grading details are clear)|
If your course is finished you do not have to complete tasks and teams will not be recording levels of engagement using the Ontrack system. However, we still want to support you. The team are working on plans for the following groups:
• 2nd year students
• 1st year students enrolled to one year courses but who will be progressing onto the second year
• Foundation year students wanting to progress to level 3
We will share details of our support for these groups by the end of this week. For now, do get in touch with your teaching teams if you want to keep working.
- Lockdown to continue for at least 3 more weeks
The government announced on Thursday 16th April that lockdown measures would continue “for at least” another three weeks. This means that schools and colleges are very likely to remain closed for at least that amount of time. At college we are not expecting to return to the campus until after the half term break (i.e. June) at the earliest. Curriculum teams will be sharing plans for this half term as they are developed.
- Reminder re. tracking
The RAG tracking system using Ontrack will resume this week. The latest set of marks will all be in place by 12pm on Tuesday. These marks will represent your engagement in remote working task for both the teaching week before the Easter break and for Easter homework tasks. Do ask if you need any help around accessing these marks. Our pastoral team will be following up students where there are concerns.
- Consultation on grading
For those of you who were expecting to complete GCSE, AS or A level courses this summer, Ofqual has published a two-week consultation on some of the key issues concerning the process for awarding grades. These include:
- How to address external candidates and other external candidates who have no evidence and for whom Centre Assessed Grades are not possible
- How to address candidates scheduled for early entry exams, especially in Y10 and Y12
- The principles underpinning the statistical standardisation model
- Appeals and challenges
- Autumn exams
You can access the consultation on Ofqual’s websitehere:
It will be open until23.59 on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Ofqual asks that all responses are made through the survey platform and says it is also essential that survey respondents complete the initial information about who they are, and that they complete and submit the survey (“Even if responses are not provided for all questions, respondents should ensure they do press submit as we will not be able to take account of incomplete responses”).
The guidance for the consultation is a very large document and much of the detail is of a technical nature but some aspects of this novel process may apply to you so I suggest you have at least a skim through it. I will be submitting a response so, if you would like me to present your ideas, do let me know. You are very welcome to complete a version for yourself though, you only need to answer the questions you are interested in.
- Exam results days
The normal dates have been confirmed for the release of exam results:
- A levels – Thursday 13th August
- GCSEs – Thursday 20th August
I think that is it for now. Thank you again for all the excellent questions, suggestions and support that you have sent to me through this process. I remain extremely proud of the students and staff at Wyke. You have all responded with such maturity and focus to what has been a completely unprecedented challenge. Do keep working! You will need all of this learning and, as I have said before, I am sure you will find these independent learning skills invaluable in future.
Do ask if you need any help and do stay safe,