Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to the summer term in these strange times. I hope that you managed to have some good quality family time over the Easter period and enjoy the fine weather. Most of all, I hope you and your families are safe and well. Now we are officially back in term time, I have asked teachers to continue to provide work and feedback to their students.

Please do not worry if you are not managing to get all the work done. It is important, though, to try to keep to some sort of routine now we are back in term time. Each of you will decide what works best for your family. For students in years 7 and 8, they need to focus on the core subjects of Maths, English, Languages and Science. Anything else is a bonus. For students in Y9, we will be in touch soon about option choices for next year. These will be a priority. Students in years 10 and 12 need to do their very best to keep up to date with all their exam work. I have sent a separate message to students in years 11 and 13 about arrangements for their qualifications. Ofqual is currently consulting about how to manage the process of awarding grades if any of you wish to respond.

Thank you for contacting us if you have queries about anything. I apologise that there may be delays in responding – most staff are working from home, including the admin team who pick up all the email correspondence. Also, I did instruct the staff to have a break over Easter as they have been working hard adjusting to teaching online. We do have a few staff in school to support the children of key workers and to answer telephone calls. Some members of staff gave up what would have been their holiday, including bank holidays, to continue this support and I am very grateful to them.

I am sure you are aware that the BBC and other organisations are producing lots of material to help parents support their children’s learning at home. There are also lots of ideas about managing mental and physical health. Manx Youth Connect is a general resource for young people.

Our Support for Learning team has been working hard staying in touch with children with additional needs to make sure they are coping and offer additional support if needed.

There are no plans, as far as I am aware, for schools to re-open anytime soon. The health and safety of our community – children, families and staff – is paramount. When it is safe to do so, we will need to think carefully about how best to manage children’s return to work. The more you are able to help your children keep to a routine and keep up to date with their learning, the easier it will be for them to get back into ‘normality’ when this is over. I am deeply grateful to you for all that you are doing in extremely challenging circumstances. Please do get in touch if there is more we can do to help and support you.

In the meantime, thank you and my very best wishes to you and yours in these unprecedented times.

Sue Moore