Dear parents and carers
I expect this to be the last update from me for a couple of weeks. Although it seems odd to be thinking of ‘holidays’ in the current climate, we still believe it is important that everybody tries to switch off from school for a while – or at least from the academic side. However, please do look out for the various challenges and competitions you can get involved in.
- Please read the latest edition of the school newsletter. This contains an ‘end of term’ message from me on the 2nd page.
- We have uploaded some key links relating to internet safety and some tips for staying safe online. Please do have a read of this information and make sure you have discussed it with your children.
- Ofqual and the DfE have today published more information on the process for awarding GCSE and A level grades this summer. This includes a letter to students and guidance for students, teachers, parents and carers, both of which I suggest you read carefully. The basic premise is that schools will make predictions of likely performance based on everything that we know about students, but that these predictions will be moderated through the use of prior attainment data and the past performance of individual schools (to ensure schools do not over-inflate predictions). Since our results in recent years have been excellent, this should mean Lymm High School students are in a strong position. At this stage, there isn’t really anything else to say other than that we have masses of sympathy for students affected by all this and will be doing absolutely everything we can to ensure that everybody receive grades that fairly reflect their ability.
The information suggests that Year 10 students will not be able to receive a grade this summer and will have to sit the exams next summer instead. However, this is not yet a final decision and it seems there will be some kind of consultation first. We appreciate that this may be very unsettling for Year 10 students and will keep you informed as soon as we hear any more. There is no information yet on what will happen with GCSEs in 2021 but we encourage students not to panic; one way or another, account will have to be taken of the amount of school students have missed and they will be in exactly the same boat as everyone else in the country. Put simply, Ofqual will have to find a way of ensuring roughly the same numbers of grades are awarded as in previous years and in fact, as a school, we are in a far stronger position than most. As far as English Literature is concerned, we will wait for the final decision but it is worth saying now that having to sit the exam at the end of Year 11 is perfectly feasible and fundamentally no different to what most other students across the country will have to do – even if it is obviously not what we all wanted.
We appreciate that many of you will have lots of questions about all this, but ask for your understanding of the fact that at this stage we know no more than the information that has been issued publicly. We will be taking our time to make sure the process we follow in school is as thorough and fair as possible and I will probably write again with some more information or ‘frequently asked questions’ later this month or in early May. Schools will not be asked to submit any data before 29th May at the earliest, so there is no rush and the overriding priority is that we do this properly.