Update From Principal - January 2021
I hope this message finds you and your family in good health.
The announcement today by the Minister for Education in relation to Examinations, informed us that GCSE, AS and A Level examinations scheduled for January, February, May and June of this year will not take place. Arrangements for alternative means of awarding grades are not yet in place but please be assured that we will keep you informed as we receive information relating to this and other matters.
As a consequence of the Minister’s decision, we have also decided that in the interests of the safety, health and well-being of our pupils and staff, to cancel the BTEC examinations scheduled for later this week and next week.
We have been informed that there may be opportunities later in the year to sit these examinations. Equally, the Minister for the Economy, Mrs Diane Dodds, who is responsible for vocational qualifications has stated,
” I wish to provide an assurance that no learner will be disadvantaged if they are not in a position to sit the January exams and they will be able to take the exams at a later date or if that is not possible alternative arrangements will be put in place by their learning centre/ awarding organisation.”
With this in mind we believe the sensible action to take is to cancel the scheduled BTECs. It is however essential that all pupils completing part or full qualifications this year, remain focused on learning and completion of work. This will provide teachers with as much evidence as possible in relation to each pupil’s hard work and commitment which in turn will support any future decisions in relation to grades.
The Pastoral Care and well-being of our pupils will continue to be a priority during lock-down. In order to facilitate this, we ask Parents/Guardians to ensure that your child/children, log on to Google Classroom and register with their Form Teacher each morning. This will provide an opportunity for each child to raise any issues of concern, should they arise. There will also be opportunities outside of formal lessons for pupils to engage in Personal Development and fun activities. These can also be accessed via Google Classroom.
Our College Counselling facilities, delivered by ‘Family Works’ remain available via Zoom. The link for this will be posted on our website (see above) and we encourage pupils who may be experiencing significant difficulties to avail of this service. Supervised Learning for vulnerable children and children of Key Workers will continue to be delivered by our teaching and support staff. I ask that parents keep us aware of their needs on an ongoing basis.
Although examinations have been cancelled, it is important for these groups and indeed all pupils that they continue to actively engage in learning on a daily basis. Parents/Guardians are asked to ensure that their child/children are as involved in remote learning as much as possible within their individual circumstances. Should their be any technical obstacle to this, please make your concerns known to your child’s Form Teacher via email@example.com
Regular information updates will be posted on the College website and provided to parents/ guardians through our social media sites and parent text service. As always, I thank you for your continued support and help.