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The Charter School

East Dulwich

Headteacher's letter 11 May 2021

Headteacher's update, 11 May 2021

A copy of this letter has been emailed to parents and guardians.
Dear Parents / Carers

We are moving carefully but determinedly towards greater normalcy in school, but the impact of the pandemic will be felt throughout the remainder of this school year.

Relaxing Covid-19 restrictions
I am pleased by the government’s announcement that face masks will not be required in schools from Monday, 17 May. Clearly, we had to follow the advice of the experts but this move will make classrooms more pleasant places to learn as we move into summer. In addition, we have also decided that PE changing room procedures can return to normal after half term, so please look out for an email from Mr Parker, our Head of Physical Education, about the specific arrangements.

As you know, after-school enrichment resumed earlier this term. We will continue to add activities as the relaxation of public health guidelines allows. We will also be taking advantage of the change in government guidelines to reintroduce school trips. The English team will lead off after half term with a trip for Year 9 students to The Globe Theatre to see a production of The Tempest. Year 7 students will quickly join the programme by taking up their long-delayed reward trip to Bewl Water. Ms. Blackwell and Ms. Daly will be in touch shortly with further details.

School assessed grades
On the other hand, the work required to complete School Assessed Grades for Year 11 students is enormous. Regretfully, this will have implications for students in other year groups. Teachers in secondary schools are doing what would typically be the work of exam boards in addition to their ‘day’ job. This process is absolutely vital to these young people’s futures and we clearly have to be absolutely sure that we get it right.

For this reason, we, along with our sibling school in North Dulwich, are taking an additional Inset Day on Monday, 7 June, in order to support the completion of the school-assessed grades process. The long-planned Inset Day on 25 June must remain in order for teachers to continue to refine their planning for lost learning in other year groups. I apologise to all parents for this additional disruption to the school year, but I am hopeful that the year from September will be much more settled.

Year 11 students have the final Assessment Week from Monday, 17 May to Friday, 21 May. The last full day of lessons in school for most Year 11 students will be Thursday, May 27. After half term, some students may be required to return to school to ensure that their evidence files are fully complete while others may need to do specific preparation for their A levels. All students progressing into the TCSED Sixth Form will be expected to complete online learning tasks designed to help bridge the gap between GCSEs and A levels.

Mr. Owoh will be in touch separately about plans for a Year 11 celebration event in June.

Re-establishing Expectations
Finally, we understand that this has been a very disorientating year for students, and so we are trying to support all students with their emotional wellbeing and more vulnerable students with their mental health. As well as the proactive support, we feel strongly that one of the key things we can do as a school is provide a predictable, structured and safe learning environment which requires consistent structures and clear expectations. Our uniform expectations should be clear and can be found in the school planner, but please note the following key points:
  • Only plain black hard leather shoes are acceptable. No canvas or suede shoes, boots, trainers, ‘Vans’ or ‘Converse’ of any description or any other soft trainer style footwear are to be worn. Plain black hard-leather Kicker shoes are acceptable (NB not the soft style).
  • Trousers should be worn with a belt around the waist; skirts should not be tight-fitting and should be worn at a length that is appropriate for school (to clarify, this is roughly two inches above the knee). Our clothing suppliers are aware of this rule and have stocked accordingly.
  • Short trousers or culottes may be worn during hotter days so long as they also meet uniform expectations, i.e. they are dark grey.
  • Uniform expectations apply equally to PE kit. On the days that students have PE, they should wear a school-branded T-shirt and PE jumper along with a pair of black or extremely dark grey jogging trousers. Lighter jogging bottoms or shorts are not acceptable.
  • All students must ensure that they have a school jumper with them in school.

In addition, please remember that mobile phones may not be used in school. This is an important rule that ensures that the school remains a safe, focused place of learning. Phones that are on display during the school day will be confiscated. If a student’s mobile phone goes missing in school, the School will not be responsible for recovering it.

We have also noticed that some students seem more tired than usual. We know that family routines have been disrupted by the pandemic, but the research is clear about the huge benefits to emotional wellbeing and academic learning of sleep. Please ensure that your child goes to sleep at a reasonable and consistent time.

Thank you for your continued support and kind regards.

Mr. A. Crossman