20 April 2020 Update

Dear Parents, Carers and Students


I hope you enjoyed the last weekend of the holiday. It’s great to welcome you ‘back’ to the start of the new, albeit virtual term. I do continue to feel that, despite the current challenges, we have become closer than ever as a community. Your on-going support is so greatly appreciated by us all.


I hope that you are finding the virtual Curriculum Overviews we sent out on Friday helpful in providing sense of direction for learning moving forward over the next few weeks. We will be issuing a survey to you at the end of this week to get on-going feedback so that we can continue to refine what we do and best meet needs. In this respect, you may have seen that one Academy Trust and, from today, the BBC are rolling out ‘national’ online resources. These are laudable, and links follow below. However, in these circumstances, there really is no substitute for the individually produced and specifically class-focussed lessons and resources that our staff here have been producing. Inevitably, we know you best as our students!


You will have also seen much, in my view currently unhelpful, speculation in the media over the weekend about schools reopening in the near future (they conveniently seem to forget that we have remained open for key workers’ children and our most vulnerable students throughout the lockdown!). It was therefore reassuring to hear the Secretary of State’s comments about how the five key tests regarding safety will equally apply to education settings at yesterday’s briefing, quashing rumours - including the idea that schools will be open throughout the summer holidays. I also spoke about this on BBC Radio Berks at the end of last week. Please equally rest assured that, much as we desperately want to come back together as a community as soon as possible, we will only countenance doing so when it is absolutely safe to do so. I hope you will also be reassured by the fact that I am in close regular contact with officers from the Local Education Authority, alongside other primary and secondary Headteacher representatives, and that there is an understandably very clear consensus on this.


Following Department for Education announcements on Sunday, we will know more about how to order laptops and 4G routers for disadvantaged students later this week.


We apologise for any delay in the receipt of free school meals vouchers. This is due to an issue with the ordering system at a national level.


Please find attached Mr Marshall’s latest ‘In-House Challenge’ activity.


I will be back in touch again on Wednesday. Take care and please stay safe.


With very best wishes

Derek Peaple




Links to additional Online Learning Sites and Enrichment Competitions: