A Message from the Principal: College closure and distance learning.
To all parents
As you will be aware, yesterday the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, made a statement in the House of Commons that schools and colleges in England will close on Friday until further notice.
I am sure you are still absorbing yesterday’s news. I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to piece together what the announcements mean for the rest of your son/daughter’s studies and, for U6 students, their grades.
I will be in contact regularly as we receive information, but for now let me clarify what we know and some assumptions that may help guide you.
- The College will close from Friday at 4.00 for an indefinite amount of time. It may be that U6 students will not return to Xaverian for any more study and L6 students for several weeks or months
- Teachers have been instructed to continue to work with students and support them via email and other remote methods, and they will do so.
- Exams for all A-level courses and GCSE are cancelled, not postponed. No exams will take place this year, and they will not be moved to a later date.
- U6 Students and those taking GCSEs will receive grades but the precise details of how they will be allocated are not yet known.
Most importantly, we are waiting for clarification on how grades will be awarded. There is a lot of speculation about them being based on mock grades or predicted grades. The truth is we do not yet know, but for now we should assume that the government will use a range of measures; prior attainment at GCSE, teacher grades, work done during the course.
For U6 students it may be a condition of their grade that teachers certify that students have completed the content of the specification, so we encourage them to continue to work at their studies. I know this may feel difficult, but they have worked very hard for 18 months and we ask them to continue to do so.
We will require students to start their distance learning from Monday 23 March. This is important for both L6 and U6 students.
Whilst distance learning is not a substitute for a teacher in a classroom, we have been busy preparing for this eventuality. Our teachers have done a lot of work to ensure that our students will be well supported at home, in the following ways:
- following their normal timetable
- access to online resources
- regular email contact with their teacher
- regular assessment and feedback
We will shortly email important guidance on how distance learning is going to work for them. We will email this to parents as well. We have requested that they carefully follow the advice, in order that they can continue to study successfully. We really appreciate everyone’s support to make distance learning successful.
The College will work closely with its EHCP and vulnerable students to ensure they remain fully supported. Pastoral managers are also contactable by college email should students have any concerns. Our safeguarding lead is also available by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to address any welfare related issues.
As regards access to IT, if any student requires help with their Office365 account, please email ITHelpdesk@xaverian.ac.uk
On the basis of the latest government advice, I cannot say when our college will reopen. However, please check your email and our website on a regular basis, as this is how we will communicate further information with students and parents.
We appreciate that this continues to be a very anxious time for students. This is a very unique situation for our college, and indeed our country. Although it remains a time of uncertainty, we are committed to supporting all our students during these very difficult and unprecedented times.
Many thanks for your ongoing support.
Take care and with very best wishes,