Summer Term Update
Overview from principal Andrew Davis
Dear Parents and Carers
Everyone at the College hopes that you and your families had a safe and healthy Easter period.
Positivity, sticking together and support
Many thanks for all your continuing positive comments about the work of the College. Staff really appreciate your feedback and it is great that we are all sticking together to do our best for the children and the community at this difficult time. Please remember that pastoral staff can also be contacted through our website page above should you or your family need any additional support. Pastoral staff are continuing to contact many students and their families throughout the week to check that they are doing well and providing support either directly or sign posting families to other services.
Please do not be worried about contacting us. We are here to help.
Class Charts and submitting student work
In terms of work that students are doing at home, staff will now be selecting certain tasks where students should submit work. This will be clear to students when they open the details of the task and an 'Upload' button will appear. Staff will then provide some brief feedback on the work submitted. This will not be for all tasks, but allows a greater degree of communication in the longer term.
This should be very straightforward and students should be able to do it easily. If however, you are having any problems at all with Class Charts please refer to our website at https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/closure-info where you will find all the key staff contacts, from our Data Manager to Tutor who can help you to resolve any difficulties you may be having.
Your feedback on Class Charts, or indeed any other aspect of our work, continues to be important since remote learning is something that all schools are currently rapidly developing their experience of delivering. We won't always get that right and so your feedback, positive or negative, is important in fine tuning our processes to make sure it works for everyone.
In some cases parents and carers have fed back to us that their child feels overwhelmed by the amounts of work. In these cases we have advised that this it is fine if you think they have been working effectively to not finish work once they have done the allotted time on it so that they don’t worry if they haven’t quite finished everything. We understand different students will work at different rates. At the moment, we need to maintain a healthy balance of work, family time and downtime for our young people. We understand there will be gaps in the understanding of students when we return, and this is something we will assess and fill in once students return to normal schooling to ensure no one is left behind.
Please try to ensure that your child does 30 minutes of reading from their Accelerated Reader book. For more books to read please see our earlier posts on this subject.
One aspect of Class Charts we have been trialling is Announcements and it was very pleasing to receive this from a parent earlier in the week:
Celebrating success and inspiring students
Mr Taylor is currently working on trying to collect from staff pieces of work which are outstanding in some way from across a range of subjects at the end of each week. They will then be published and celebrated on our social media to try and encourage students to really excel in the work they produce and submit so look out for that on our social media at:
Facebook page: @officialexmouthcollege
Twitter feed: @ExmouthCollege
Home learning guide and online safety
Just in case you missed it we also recently published a home learning guide at:
We have also received a new video for parents and carers from AACOSS, the Association of Adult and Child Online Safety Specialists, which gives families tips on how to keep their child safe on-line.
For their brief video and information for parents and carers: click HERE
Pupil Progress team
Our Pupil Progress team has also been very active in contacting their students and issuing supermarket vouchers for families. Some of these vouchers remain unused so please if you are entitled to Free School Meals, or think you may be, please contact either your child’s Head of Year or tutor so that we can get those supermarket vouchers to you. Unfortunately, the system does not yet allow us to change the supermarket that the vouchers are for however I know the team are currently working on this. The link, if you think you may be eligible, for Free school Meals is https://oneonline.devon.gov.uk/CCSCitizenPortal_LIVE
Forecasting grades and work for examination year groups from Year 10, Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13.
As you will have seen from my update a couple of weeks ago, we have now received some guidance about how grades will be assigned to Year 11 and Year 13 students in the Summer. This will be a complicated process and one which we want to ensure we get absolutely correct for every student while maintaining our professional rigour and fairness. Both the Key Stage 4 and Post-16 teams of teachers have been thinking very carefully about how we do this.
Parents, carers and students can find more information about how their final grades will be calculated by viewing the video from OFQUAL on this link: https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/09/arrangements-for-summer-2020/
For both of these Year groups guidance has been issued on the work they have been doing from Massive Open Online Courses for Year 13 to enhance their cv through to Pre Post-16 tasks for Year 11 and reading around their subject to get a head start in the next qualifications they will be studying wherever possible. If you have any concerns about this please contact, the Head of Department for specific subject enquiries or for more general issues your child’s respective Head of Year or Mr Tanner for Post-16 and Miss Miles for Year 11.
In terms of Year 10 and Year 12 the guidance about what exams will look like for these cohorts is less clear given that they will have missed several weeks of in-school learning before we return to normality. It may be that some elements of the examination or content would be removed, however, we are yet to receive any clear guidance. It is therefore important that these groups maintain their momentum and keep working hard at the tasks they have been set by staff, reading around their subject or revising material that was studied earlier in the course. Again if you have any queries about work please consult the curriculum area of our website at https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/page/?title=Curriculum&pid=8 or contact the specific Head of Department for any subject related queries about home learning, reading lists or curriculum specifications.
Mr Burbery, Network Manager, and our ICT team are currently finalising plans to role out Microsoft Teams to Year 10 and Year 12 students in the near future which will add greater flexibility to the submission and discussions around work.
Mr Allen and Mrs Rowe have been trying to answer a number of questions around activities week. This is very difficult to do at the moment due to the uncertainty around when schools might reopen, what that might look like in terms of whether it is a full opening or partial opening and indeed what national restrictions might continue to be in place regarding travel. At the moment we feel a little in “no man’s land” since if we cancel we may end up losing what has already been paid whereas if the provider is closed at the time of Activity Week then we should be able to get refunds. If things have improved enough for some activities to have opened then we can still carry out a risk assessment and pull the trip at this stage if we need to though this would probably incur some losses to possibly both the College and parents/carers. For most trips our advice has therefore been to carry on paying and don’t withdraw your child at this stage or else you may forfeit any future insurance claims we might be able to make on your behalf. Of course, if you are not able to keep up payments at the moment due to the situation, please don’t worry, contact us and we will adjust payment schedules to support you as much as possible.
Manufacturing Personal Protection Equipment for our local community
Our Design Technology department, particularly Mr Greaves and Mrs Browne, have also been working really hard to produce Personal Protective Equipment for doctors' surgeries and nursing homes in Exmouth to help protect our community. We are very proud to be able to do this and shows the importance that the College places on a wide curriculum offer which includes courses in Product Design, Graphic Products and Engineering.
Key Staying Home to Save Lives message
I would like to thank our students and their families for being so overwhelmingly supportive of following the Government guidelines around social distancing. I know from my own two teenagers what a big ask this has been, particularly with the weather being so beautiful over the past few days.
Our partners in the Police and the Local Authority have also echoed this with the message:
Do not meet up with friends or family outside your household. If any family members are going out for non-essential trips please tell them to stop.
For up to date coronavirus information in Devon visit: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/
Finally, once again thank you to parents, carers and students for their ongoing support during these very difficult times for everyone.
Andrew Davis - Principal