Update from the Head 3rd June

Update from the Head 3.6.20

Dear students and parents,

I hope you are all well. As I write this update it is drizzling outside which is the first rain for weeks. We’ve been so lucky with the weather during the last few weeks—it’s been great to have the opportunity to get out and about.

I wanted to start this update by thanking all of the parents for your continued support during this difficult time. We are continuing to try our very best to support all of our families through this enforced closure.

We have trialled and started to roll out the use of teams to help us engage a little more with our pupils. Our staff have clear guidance on how to safeguard pupils while using this technology. Pupils have been set a task with a video to introduce them to how this will work. Of course any pupil or parent uncomfortable with its use can opt out as this is in addition to the other work that is being set.

Plans for Year 10 and 12 Going Forward

We are at a very advanced stage of planning for some face to face contact for Year 10 and 12 students which will be published shortly and will commence from June 15th. We can only bring in a quarter of the students per day so it does mean that contact will be limited but at least students will get a chance to come in to school for some of their learning.

For year 10 this face to face learning will be centred on the core subjects of English, maths and science. Learning for their options subjects will continue remotely but we will also put in place one ‘teams’ or video lesson every day rotating around the 5 options. Detailed plans and information to follow.

For Year 12 we are creating face to face tutorial opportunities based on the choices that students have indicated they are likely to take for A level. In other words they will have the chance to attend some lessons in three of their 4 Year 12 subjects. This will supplement ongoing on line learning which will continue for the remainder of the term. The plan is too detailed to outline here but Mr Leatherbarrow will be in touch will all of the relevant information.

Plans for Year 7, 8 and 9

We recognise that the government’s plan leaves Years 7, 8 and 9 out of the picture in terms of face to face contact. We know that they have been doing much of their learning independently and while we are full of admiration for the job they have done we would like to increase our contact with them. From next week each Year group will have 1 lesson either via ‘teams’ or via video each day on a rota basis. We will stagger these so that families with multiple Balcarras children don’t find their IT capabilities overwhelmed. If anyone is still struggling with access to IT then please do get in touch with the school. Mrs Cullis will be in contact with more detail.

Contact from the tutors

The school’s tutors are making contact with their tutees…please do look out for this. If you need to then please do make contact with the school in the usual way.

Year 11 and Year 13

To students in both of these year groups please rest assured we haven’t forgotten about you. The school has done an enormous amount of work processing information relating to centre assessed grades. It has been time consuming but I am absolutely confident that all of this work will mean that our students get the grades they deserve. For Year 11 students please check out the guide on the website which will give you some idea of things that you could be doing to prepare for next year, and work is in process to provide a taste of sixth form life with it not being possible to host a traditional induction day.

For Year 13 if you have any concerns or worries particularly regarding university, apprenticeships or work options for next year then do feel free to get in touch with the sixth form team.

It has been confirmed that the results days for both year groups remain unaltered. We will get back in touch when we have a clearer idea of exactly what these will look like.

The Year 13 leaver’s hoodies and the Year 11 Yearbook have both arrived at school. We will be in touch shortly about how these will be handed out. We will also make contact soon about book return days.

Midsummer Music

Although we have obviously had to cancel Midsummer Music in its traditional form I know there are plans afoot to conduct it online…..watch this space.


Kind regards


Dominic Burke