You will no doubt be aware of the decision to close schools and for the Summer exams to be cancelled. Clearly, this affects our provision for your children and I wanted to give you an update in where things sit at the moment.

School Plans for Year 11 this Week

We have most Year 11 students in today and we are offering the encouragement and support they need at this time. We are aware that they are missing out on a normal ‘end of the school’, not just exams, but also leaving events, etc.

Consequently, we are staging our Leavers’ Assembly this afternoon (Thursday) and staff are working on this as I type. We will allow your children to do the shirt-signings, celebrations, etc, so that there is a coming together for all those who are in school.

We would then advise you NOT to send them into school tomorrow (Friday 20 March) – unless you have key worker issues or other serious barriers to this happening.

If this is the case, then they can come in on Friday and will be supervised working online.

Cancelled Exams:

There is no clear indication on how the promises of “the qualifications they need” will be worked out. I am already getting emails about this but I am pretty much as in the dark as you are. There is the potential for predicted grades, a possible opportunity to sit some sort of exams in the Autumn, and the moment I know something concrete then I will get back to you. Until then, there is little point in contacting us as we cannot tell you what we do not know.

It is worth recognising that your children do not normally get their exam results till mid-August so it is better that the government and schools come up with a fair and sensible route rather than rush to a mistake now.

Sixth Form Places:

The vast majority of Year 11 students who have applied to the Sixth Form will get their places. We will work on this over the next 2-3 weeks, usually via your child’s school email address which is accessible via:

1. Got to the school website – www.friaryschool.com
2. Click on the Student Tab
3. Click on Student Email
4. Log on
5. Select Outlook

The normal entry requirements stand but we are well positioned to judge where you child sits. We will be in touch with confirmation ASAP. We will have a dialogue with students / parents on the rare occasions when there is an issue.

We will give out formal processes for starting in the future.

Other Post-School Destinations:

If you child is going onto another setting, whether it is college, an apprenticeship, or work, then we will likely be asked for a reference and we will deliver on these. We know your child well and will always fairly support them moving forward.

Working at Home:

We would advise all Year 11s to keep on addressing ‘school’ work throughout the closure and through to September.

There will be a mountain of work on Show My Homework and we will look to personalise this further.

(i) Heading to Sixth Form…

We would advise those entering the Sixth Form to continue to work on Maths, English and those subjects they plan to take forward into Year 12. This will become clearer when we get in touch individually over Sixth Form entry, but most children will know what they picked, and where they sit in terms of meeting course entry requirements.

We will work to get bridging work to those Sixth Form courses over the next week or so. We will also look to circulate topic outlines, syllabi, past papers, notes, reading lists, etc. I have explained to your children that there is a great opportunity for them to get ahead of all the competition for the start of Year 12.

(ii) Heading Elsewhere…

Again, we would push English and Maths, especially for those who know they were struggling on these subjects, as they will likely look at the subject again next academic year. If you do nothing between March to September, it is only going to be a lot harder to pick up.

If you are doing a specific subject or trade then we would advise researching that as much as possible. You could use Youtube to practise techniques, contact providers to ask for advance materials, and generally get yourself into a better place for September.

(iii) Options for All…

Reading will be important for everyone – there are plenty of free books available to download online. This will help your literacy for whatever you are looking to do.

All Year 11s have access to Unifrog at – https://www.unifrog.org/ – our online careers package – and this covers all routes.

There is also the option for tracking down online courses that might help; for example, Learn Direct short courses at: https://www.learndirect.com/category/short-courses

Careers & Guidance:

Over the coming weeks we will contact every child directly to ensure they have plans in place for September 2020.

School Prom:

We are holding the date for the School Prom in June but are not hopeful it will take place. We will take the hit on the deposit, but if it does not go ahead, we will look to stage something in the Autumn when it will hopefully be feasible. Naturally, we will reimburse ticket money if nothing goes ahead and we would advise against booking limos, facials, etc, at this stage.

To Finalise…

Anyhow, that’s it for now. If anything specific comes up then we would say contact us via office@friaryschool.co.uk but do appreciate we are operating as key workers in exceptional times and day-to-day enquiries may not be an immediate priority.

The school website and social media accounts will continue to update through the closure.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “I said on Twitter last night that your children were amazing yesterday, and will be tomorrow. These difficult times do not change that and their successes in life have not stopped at all, they have just gone on a diversion.”