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The Charter School

East Dulwich

Headteacher's letter Thursday 01 April 2021

Headteacher's update, Thursday 01 April 2021

A copy of this letter has been emailed to parents and guardians.
Dear parent / carer.

I want to congratulate all students on a successful conclusion to a testing and unusual term. I deeply regret having to operate through remote education until early March. It's testament to the maturity and resilience of our students -- and the tenacity of their parents -- that so many of them engaged so well during this period. I’ve been enormously encouraged by how enthusiastically students, including many who have been personally affected by Covid-19, have returned to school after so long an absence. They have certainly earned their Easter break.
(Given the date of this Update, I feel the need to point out that the above paragraph was written without irony.)

Of course, society has presented other challenges over this period. Most notably in recent weeks, the shocking murder of Sarah Everard has focused public attention on the safety of women and girls in public places. We have addressed this and related issues in Tutor Time and will continue to address them as part of the School’s wider Personal Development Curriculum. Most students have engaged sensibly and sensitively with what are inevitably challenging topics. On rare occasions some of our boys and young men have not quite shown the maturity we would expect. We will be working with them supportively to develop their understanding.

Parents of students in Year 11 will know that their children will sit school-based assessments after Easter to help determine their GCSE grades. Every student has been sent an electronic copy of a revision guide and an assessment schedule. Those students who requested a paper copy have been provided with one. The materials are extensive and cover all qualifications.

Parents should ensure that their children take some well-earned time off over the Easter holidays, but some time must be set aside for study. The first round of assessments will take place during the week commencing 26 April, just one week after returning to school. Parents may also find it useful to consult a new guide to the school-assessed grades process produced by the Joint Qualifications Council, the organisation responsible for how exams are run nationally. That guide can be found here.

I should be open with all parents that the school-assessed grades process is much more demanding of school staff than the traditional process of preparing students for exams. We will do our best to mitigate the impact of this on students in other year groups, but I cannot pretend that there will not be some impact. I would ask parents of younger children to consider how they would want the School to respond were their own children facing life-altering public assessments in the era of Covid-19.

The pace of demolition on the unoccupied areas of the school campus has been particularly brisk in the past week. The photographs below should give some sense of how far the project has come in a relatively short time. Unfortunately, this has led to higher-than-expected levels of dust in the school playground on one or two days this past week. We have raised concerns with the demolition team and they have increased their use of high pressure hoses, which stop the dust from travelling quite so far. I am assured by the demolition team that they will have taken down all of the legacy hospital buildings by the time students return to school after Easter.

I am entering my final term as Headteacher of The Charter School East Dulwich. I am confident that term will involve significant steps towards greater normalcy in school life. The School enrichment programme will restart on a small scale after Easter without some outdoor sporting activities. I am hopeful that Enrichment can grow quickly. We expect further changes to public health guidance over Easter that will also be reflected in the way School operates. We will communicate these changes as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support. I wish you a happy and restful Easter.

Kind regards,
Mr. A. Crossman