3 December 2020

This week:  Year 11 mock examinations; Government announcement on GCSE examinations; decreasing numbers of isolations; Year 8 Parents’ Evening’; “Uniquely Me” Parents Resources; key life learning sessions for Year 7; Golden Tickets; Computing Challenge - Top 10% nationally

It’s been another positive week with Year 11 and their mock examinations – all has gone well, and initial indicators are that teachers are pleased with their performance, taking into account the enforced breaks from education that they have endured over the past nine months.  Mock examinations continue next week, but students will be returning to timetabled lessons now when they are not sitting an exam, and remaining until 3.10pm.

You may have read today in the news that the government has announced a series of updates in terms of the summer 2021 GCSE examinations.   The basic summary is that exams will still go ahead, but there will be some recognition and support for the challenges that our Year 11s have faced.  We haven’t seen the details yet – it has gone out to the press before schools! – and we will update you when we have read and understood those details.   The solution won’t be perfect, but will hopefully make them as fair as they can be under the current circumstances. 

This is today’s government announcement as it stands:

Building on the three-week delay to exams to free up extra teaching time announced in October, the new measures for Year 11s include:

  • more generous grading than usual, in line with national outcomes from 2020, so students this year are not disadvantaged;
  • students receiving advance notice of some topic areas covered in GCSE;
  • exam aids - like formula sheets - provided in some exams giving students more confidence and reducing the amount of information they need to memorise;
  • additional exams to give students a second chance to sit a paper if the main exams or assessments are missed due to illness or self-isolation; and
  • a new expert group to look at differential learning and monitor the variation in the impact of the pandemic on students across the country.


Of course, it’s more crucial than ever that our Year 11s are in school and working hard right up to their exams.

Our number of students isolating has markedly decreased over the course of the week, with an 80% reduction in numbers.  That’s pleasing news but – again – we can’t be complacent about it ever.

Other updates:

  • Reminder that our students are not in school tomorrow (Friday): a chance to take a break before the final push towards Christmas!  Back on Monday as normal.
  • Reminder: Year 8 Virtual Parents’ Evening is on Monday 14th December.   If you are unsure about any aspect of this, you can contact Mrs Kennedy in school for further information.
  • 'Uniquely Me' Parent Resources : Dove has created 'Uniquely Me' resources for parents, tailored to guide them in building self-esteem from home.  The resources consist of articles, checklists and body confidence-boosting ideas to promote practical changes and begin important conversations.    The 'Uniquely Me' resources are free for you as parents to download.     https://www.dove.nationalschoolspartnership.com/
  • On Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th December all Year 7 will be receiving a knife crime session run by the Youth Offending Team.  This is an annual event and is always a really informative session for students who take a lot from it.  The sessions provide young people with correct, accurate information about the dangers of carrying knifes, being with someone carrying a knife and the consequences of using one.  We want to give young people the confidence to know what to do if they come across knife crime or are aware that someone is carrying a weapon, what to do if someone has been stabbed and the consequences.  Although we do not have a knife crime issue, our young people are very aware of incidents across the UK. We want to ensure that our area remains knife free for our young people and all our community.
  • Golden Ticket **Update**:   We have 2 weeks left of the term for students to earn one of 200 Golden Tickets from members of staff at Werneth School.  So far 31 students have gained a Golden Ticket for outstanding work or contribution to school life.  These students have been entered into the end of term prize draw, where one lucky but deserving student will win a chromebook.  Keep up the hard work and you might get the chance to be in the Christmas draw.
  • I am very proud to report that we again had a group of students making the top 10% nationally this year at the BEBRAS Computing Challenge.  Bearing in mind the national average score was around 74 points i am sure you will agree the following pupils’ scores are impressive!

Dixon Eyles 7E - 134 points; Emily Howard 7S - 130points; Jess Hargreaves 7C - 140points; Finley Easdale 9T - 151points; Lois Jordan 9E - 134points; Eleanor Carr 8T - 130points; Shae Brown 9E - 123points; Joshaua Evans 8C - 112points; Adam Martin 11N - 172points. 

Sadly the final will not be going ahead this year at Oxford University thanks to COVID but they are running another amazing program in February and we will be again involved in this.   Well done to everyone concerned!

Have a good weekend !


Posted by cmurphy

Category: Parental Update