School update - 21st April 2020
Welcome back to what ought to be the first week back of the summer term. The school continues to be open for childcare for a small number of students of key workers and we appreciate the support that you are giving the school and the country in keeping your children at home and safe.
We appreciate that this is a worrying and difficult time and many parents will be concerned about the impact upon learning. We have further developments below which we believe will help.
In the first few weeks of learning, we provided a range of resources and tasks on our Chilwell Learning Platform. Whilst it provided work, we wanted to ensure that we had more control over the organisation of work, the dates when work was set and the ability of students to be able to upload their work. As a result we are moving all of our provision to google classrooms. We plan for this to be operational by next Monday (27th April). The benefit of this is that it is familiar to nearly all our students as they already use this platform regularly in their computer science lessons. In fact, our students will be perhaps more familiar with it than many of our staff! We have had staff meetings on line over the past few weeks and supported each other to make sure that every student will have even better tasks, resources, scheduled activities, all in the hope that this makes on line home learning more accessible. It will increase the level of communication that we have between students and school and also allow students to share their work with school through an easy means of uploading their work.
As this system embeds we have further developments which we hope to implement if we need to, dependent of course upon any further news about when schools will return to some aspect of normality.
I will write to you again with details of the google classroom launch toward the end of this week. At present, please keep using the Chilwell Learning Platform for this week.
The school is currently working through the process of submitting our centre assessed grades to the examination boards. Thank you again to all students for their patience in this process. There are many schools across the country who have had numerous requests from students or parents with the intention of positively influencing the school’s judgement. We have not had the same level of issue and I thank you for working with us by allowing the school to undertake this task without interference. The government has made the process very clear in what school should do in response to any attempt to influence the school’s grades.
“We therefore propose to require exam boards to treat any disclosure by any member of a centre’s staff of centre assessment grades, rank order information, or the professional judgements which underpin them, to anyone not authorised by the Head of Centre, as malpractice or maladministration, unless such disclosure is required by law or takes place only after final results have been issued.”
“We have heard from some teachers that pressure has already been applied to them to provide a favourable judgement in respect of some students. This is unacceptable. Teachers are working under difficult conditions to support students to continue with their studies remotely and to keep centres open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers; they must be allowed to reach their professional judgements unhindered by such behaviour.” (OfQUAL, “Exceptional arrangements for exam grading and assessments in 2020”)
I have instructed staff not to enter discussions with students or parents about the evidence we will use to make centre judgements. I appreciate the support that our students and families are giving us over this matter.
The school will continue this term with weekly contact in order that we can pick up on any problems regarding academic work and accessing learning. Please remember that this contact will come from a “caller withheld number” The purpose of this call is only for us and you to “touch base” so that we can try to ensure that our enforced distance does not create a gap in our relationship with you. The most important thing is you are safe and together. Try not to stress. Neither you nor us can recreate a school environment at present. If you keep a fire going in their learning, we can get it roaring on return.
Best wishes and look after each other,