Dear Year 10
We are really excited to be welcoming the vast majority of you back to College. For those of you who cannot join us we understand and hope you continue to feel connected through the contact you have with your teachers via SMHW and through any feedback, Teams meetings, YouTube videos or voiced PowerPoints you receive.
By now you will all know which day or in some cases days we have invited you in. We have prioritised the core subjects (English, maths, science) and in addition a humanities subject for your face-to-face lessons. In addition some students will also be able to continue creative subject work on a Wednesday. Although you will not necessarily have your normal class teacher, team leaders will have coordinated their work so that all students will have the same content taught on those days.
We can assure you that we are adhering to the Government guidelines of social distancing and hygiene within the College. Please watch this video demonstrating the layout of the College and systems in place when you return: https://youtu.be/7qz5iuYcI44
It has been a very odd 12 weeks since we have last had you all in College. That is two summer holidays back to back! You have probably experienced highs and lows during this time. You may well have discovered a lot about your own ability to work independently, cope without the close contact with your friends and experience a new level of contact with your families that you would otherwise not have had. Some weeks, especially the sunny ones, might have been easier to cope with and it is completely understandable if you have also found isolation draining and motivation hard to find. Knowing that Year 11 have not been able to take their exams must have been as shocking to you as to the whole teaching profession, and your thoughts have probably turned to ‘what about us?’
The truth is that no-one yet knows how the Government will decide to proceed with your exams as we still do not know the likely timeframe for a full return to College. All we can do is to continue offering the very best teaching and support possible in the challenging circumstances knowing that we are doing all we can to keep your learning on track. Inevitably there will rumour and speculation over the coming weeks about what will happen. Please be reassured that as soon as we learn of any concrete information we will let you know. In the meantime we accept that it might be hard for you to return. You may feel worried about the work you have been doing at home, or about seeing everyone again. We understand this and we will not be putting you under unfair pressure when you return. The mock exams will be reduced in content in recognition of the time lost in College. We feel it important to have some assessed work so that we can start to identify how each subject needs to proceed when we return. Most of all, your return gives us that chance to slowly reintroduce routines albeit in a socially distanced way. We are proud of the way you have risen to the challenges of home learning. We are proud of how both staff and students have embraced new technologies to continue high quality teaching. We are proud of the responsible way in which you have adhered to the lockdown measures forgoing personal interactions that are especially important at your age. Well done to all of you.