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Dear Parents/Carers

Sixth Form End of Autumn Term and start of Spring Term 

Firstly, I would like to say well done to all of the students and staff involved with EPCS6.  It has been a very different educational climate over the last couple of years but the students have really shone in the face of adversity and for many of them, the fruits of their labour are starting to shine through. No more was this made evident than in the comments made by inspectors about the Sixth Form during our recent Ofsted inspection. The way that our Sixth formers participated and their evident pride was humbling.  We thank all of you for your support.

For those students whose reality of the next few months is just starting to hit home, I advise you to make the most of this opportunity that lies ahead. It can be easy to see exams as a burden, something to be feared, but they can also look at them as being an opportunity and a challenge, the ticket to their future.  They are the chance for them to prove their true capabilities and talents.

Despite the challenges faced by the students, we are confident about our students and their plans for next year.  80% of our current Year 13 cohort have applied to university courses for next year. The range of courses applied includes studying Medicine, Policing, English and Biomedical Science as well as Fashion Design, Marketing, Photography, Law and Modern Foreign Languages among many others.  Our engagement with apprenticeships has been really positive too. Following presentations from Microsoft, Unilever and Vodafone about their apprenticeship programmes, students have been working on these applications and we look forward to hearing about their successes in the new year.  This list is really inspiring and reminds us all that these young adults really do have the world at their feet.  I wish them all luck as they await university and job offers and start confirming their plans for next year.

Our Year 12’s are also following in their footsteps.  All have applied to take part in the prestigious Johnson and Johnson Bridge to Employment programme which launches in January.  Having had to pause the programme due to the pandemic, we are really looking forward to working closely with Johnson & Johnson employees at Pinewood and learning from them about the world of work.  Our Year 12’s are also taking part in aspirational programmes with Reading University, Surrey University and the Social Mobility Foundation, all supporting their rounded educational experience.

Although we have limited the number of visitors on site, we have still been able to participate virtually in a number of apprenticeship and career opportunities.  These have included alumni talks with past students about Degree Level apprenticeships as well as talks with Pathways CTM (who offer careers training and mentoring), ASK (the Government’s Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge service), a financial awareness talk with Natwest and of course we are looking forward to our visit to the Higher Education and Careers Fair in March, taking place at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium.  Please continue to encourage your child to take part in these excellent opportunities.

We have been able to let our hair down a little too and enjoy each other’s company.  Attendance to the Friday afternoon enrichment sessions remains consistently strong and the Head Team have hosted a movie night, a fancy dress day and a quiz for the whole school, raising a respectable amount of money in the process. These excellent charity events highlight the community spirit that the Sixth Form students’ share.

As we have just finished our first round of PPEs (Pre-Public Examinations), I do hope that the students enjoy a well deserved break from the pressures of A Level and BTEC exams.  At the same time, I ask that you remind them of the need to stay versant in their work so they feel ready to fully re-engage in the New Year.

With public examinations due to return to normal next summer, those who have started their revision early are the ones who will truly benefit.  When we return in January, we will complete curricular content needed to fulfill the course, so the holidays provide a great opportunity to go over everything covered in the Autumn Term and get all of their notes and folders up to date.

In January, in line with Government guidance, we will be offering onsite COVID-19 LFD testing for all students prior to their return to school. This testing will take place on Tuesday 4 January in the Downshire Theatre.  Students will enter and leave by the lower playground.  

The arrangements are as follows: 

Year 7  9:00am – 9.45am 
Year 8  9:45am-10:30am 
Year 9 11:15am-11:45am
Year 10  11:45am-12.15pm
Year 11  10:30am-11:00am 
Year 12 and 13  12.15pm -12.45pm

As a result, the school will not reopen for normal lessons until Wednesday 5 January, when all students will return and it will be Week A.  Teachers will be setting work for students to do on Tuesday 4 January. 

COVID-19 Contingency Planning 

As part of our COVID-19 contingency planning, arrangements are in place to implement partial opening to certain year groups on specific days if necessary. Such a decision would only be taken if we were unable to maintain adequate supervision of all pupils on health and safety grounds and the priority will be to teach live online lessons wherever possible.  Parents and Carers will be informed if this plan was to be implemented.

Extreme Weather

In the event of closure due to extreme weather, e.g. one-off snow days, it would be highly likely that other local schools and nursery provision would also be closed resulting in childcare issues for some staff.  Therefore, work would be set on Google Classroom following the normal lesson timetable and we would not be able to prioritise live lessons.

Please enjoy a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We hope to see you all safe and well in 2022.

Yours faithfully

Mr R Tamale

Senior Teacher, Director of Sixth Form

EPCS6 End of Autumn Term ltr 14.12.2021