Parents’ Newsletter 2020/21 - Edition 8

Dear Parent/Carers

I hope that you and your families are well and looking forward to the imminent further easing of the restrictions we have all been living under in recent months. Although I feel that all the staff and students adapted well to the online learning and live-streamed lessons during the late winter lockdown, it was fantastic to welcome everyone back on to our school sites in early March. It has been quite an intensive period, helping students back into the routine of classroom-based learning and preparing those in our examination years for the internal assessments they have been completing this half term.

Covid-19 updates

Today sees the next stage in the gradual easing of the restrictions imposed by the government in response to the coronavirus pandemic. For schools, the only significant changes are in relation to facial coverings. Last week, the Department for Education relaxed the mandatory requirement for face coverings to be worn by students in classrooms. However, it continues to be the case that face coverings should be worn by students in indoor communal areas, such as corridors and whilst queuing in the canteen, as well as on dedicated school transport and normal bus/train services.

Other measures in our system of controls remain in place, including our rooming arrangements and the staggering of breaks and lunchtimes to minimise the interaction of students from different year group bubbles. Thankfully, the prevalence of cases continues to be low in the Whitby area but we cannot afford to be complacent. Since our return on site in March, there have been no symptomatic cases from within our school community and only one positive lateral flow test result reported back in mid-March.

Parking at the start and end of the school day

Can I once again remind you that apart from exceptional circumstances involving, for example, collecting an injured or poorly child from Reception, parents/carers should not drive down the access road towards the buildings on the Normanby site. At both ends of the school day, we have well over 400 students entering or leaving the site via the Mayfield Road exit and it simply is not safe to be mixing traffic with so many students. I know that there are limited spaces in the car park at the edge of the field, but please consider delaying your ‘pickup’ time by 5 or 10 minutes – the area is clear by 3.40pm each evening.

We are still receiving complaints from our neighbours at Beevers Furniture Store and other local residents on Stakesby Vale. Quite understandably, they are frustrated that my previous requests for cooperation are still being ignored by a small number of parents. I would be grateful if everyone would please give consideration to our neighbours and not drive through the tunnel to pick up children from the area outside Beevers. It is no surprise that this is proving to be a deterrent to potential customers.

GCSE, A-level, BTEC and other vocational qualifications

Students in Years 11 and 13 start their second round of internal assessments this week. The results of these assessments, together with a range of other evidence teachers have collected over the course of the last two years, including mock examinations last winter, will be used to decide upon the ‘Teacher Assessed Grades’ that we will be submitting to the exam boards in mid-June. Before this happens, our GCSE and A-level teachers will be moderating the grades within subject teams and carrying out a number of checks against, for example, historical data and target grades.

The final day that Year 11 and 13 students will be required to be in school will be Friday 28 May. However, they should be available to come into school on an individual basis during the first two weeks of June in case there are any issues relating to their assessment evidence. 

Whitby Sixth Form

This time of year is always one of mixed emotions for all involved in the sixth form.  Sad to see students completing their studies but also excited on their behalf as they embark on the next stage of their lives, whether that is going to be university, employment or an apprenticeship. All of those applying to university this year have had offers to consider and most students have now preferenced their ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices. 

Recruitment into Whitby Sixth Form for September 2021 from Year 11 students at Eskdale School and Caedmon College continues apace. The Sixth Form Team are continuing to offer individual tours of the site between 4.00pm and 6.00pm, Monday to Thursday, for students and their parents. This is a great opportunity to view our facilities and speak to one of the team about the different courses and options available. If you or your son/daughter would like some future information about our offer at Whitby Sixth Form and would like to arrange a personal tour and interview, please contact us at post@sixthformwhitby.org.

End of year assessments for Year 9, 10 and 12

Students in Year 9, 10 and 12 will sit end of year assessments in June.  See the list of important dates below. Mr Whelan will be writing to parents and informing students about the precise details of the timings of these assessments in due course. Mrs Gordon is ensuring that Year 10 teachers devote the first two weeks of June to revision activities so that students are given every chance of succeeding before entering their final GCSE year of study in September.

Important dates for your diary

  • Monday 17 - Friday 28 May                         Final round of Year 11 and Year 13 assessments
  • Friday 28 May                                                    Final day that students in Year 11 and 13 will be required in school
  • Monday 31 May - Friday 4 June                 Spring half term holiday
  • Monday 7 - Friday 18 June                           Staff moderation of GCSE/BTEC/A-level results
  • Monday 14  - Thursday 17 June                 Year 12 end of year exams
  • Monday 21 June - Monday 28 June          Year 10 end of year exams
  • Monday 28 - Tuesday 29 June                    Year 9 end of year exams in English, Maths and Science
  • Monday 12 - Friday 16 July                           Year 6 into 7 Transition Week
  • Friday 23 July                                                     End of school year
  • A-level/L3 BTEC Results Day                         Tuesday 10 August
  • GCSE/L2 BTEC Results Day                            Thursday 12 August.

Year 11 and Year 13 students and their parents/carers should be aware that all students need to be available to come into school up to and including Friday 18 June. 

And finally …

Thank you for the messages of appreciation that I’ve received in the last week since the chair of governors, Pen Cruz, wrote to you about my leaving Caedmon at the end of this half term. I won’t expand on her statement, except to say that it has been an absolute privilege to have led the school during the last three years. It is a fantastic school, serving a wonderful community and I am sure that it will go from strength to strength. 

Your children are lucky to be taught and in the care of a hugely dedicated team of people – teaching and support staff alike – who, on a daily basis, put all of their efforts and draw on all of their considerable skill and experience to support our students, inspiring them, paraphrasing our school motto, to ‘be the best they can be’. It is with this spirit of optimism for the future of education at Caedmon and, indeed across all of the primary and secondary schools in the area, that I hope you feel you can make a positive contribution and not get drawn into some of the arguments of the past.

Yours faithfully

Simon Riley
Principal

17 May 2021

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