16 October 2020
We are finally drawing to the end of the half term and preparing for a well-earned two week break for our staff and students. Overall the student body have proved adaptable to the new arrangements, although I know from talking to many of them that they are rather tired of the restrictions that they entail. They have proven to be patient, willing to make the most of the situation and keen to engage both in lessons and when socialising with their friends. I hope that this has been borne out at home too.
Ready to learn
Please check that your children are ready for being in school. There are a few basic essentials that some students have run out of or are forgetting to bring. Specifically ensure they have the right pens and resources to study as lacking these really hampers their learning and we are restricted in providing these materials. They also each need to have a face covering every day, so buy a few spares if you need to over the break, and we have a supply that can be bought for 50p each from Student Services.
Can you also check that they will be warm enough as Autumn moves towards Winter with an appropriate coat (not a hoody – these must stay at home). Indoor space at break and lunchtime is restricted with lessons continuing in classrooms, so this is important. A few have forgotten their blazer on PE days so please help with this too.
Our Year 11 students have been sitting PPEs over the last 2 weeks which they have done with great maturity and focus. They will soon be receiving their scores and have a chance to go over their papers and receive feedback on their answers. There will be a mock results event in mid-November where they will each find out what grade they have achieved, and a virtual parents’ evening on Thursday 19 November 2020 for you to hear more from their teachers.
On Monday, the government announced a delay to the start of exams in the Summer 2021, although one English and one Maths GCSE exam will be sat just before the May half term, with the remainder starting on 7 June 2021; this gives about 3 more weeks of teaching time. The content of the exams has now been agreed and Ofqual will publish further guidance soon. Note that the results day has changed to Friday 27 August 2021 so pop that in your diary.
We will continue to give our students an excellent education here so they can flourish over the course of this year. I visit many lessons and am constantly impressed by the quality and engagement that is taking place given the constraints that we work under. At Esher High we have sought to be realistic in what we can achieve in adapting to Covid, explaining developments to students and getting their buy-in. In some aspects we have adjusted our approach, and we will undoubtedly need to do so as the local and national situation develops; we have attached a statement received yesterday from Elmbridge Council. At all times we have sought to inform you of our strategy and be transparent with our reasoning. We will continue to do so as the year progresses.
Thank you again for your support. I wish you all a restful half term and we look forward to welcoming your child back on Monday 2 November.
Mr M Boddington