31 December 2020

Good afternoon,

Firstly, best wishes for as Happy a New Year as possible under these challenging circumstances!  Let's hope that 2021 is a more positive year for all of us.  

Many of you will have seen the government's announcements yesterday about Tier 4 and about changes to the way in which students will be coming back to school.  In summary, as I said before Christmas, the government wants to minimise the number of students in secondary schools to reduce transmission of infection. The government also wishes the school to set up arrangements for testing large numbers of students and staff on a voluntary basis.

Please make sure that you have read my update from the 21st December as the principles are the same, but the dates for different year groups have changed. The changes as a result of yesterday's announcements are:

  • Year 11 will be taught remotely for next week and will return to face-to-face teaching on Monday 11th January;
  • Years 7 to 10 will be taught remotely for the next 2 weeks and will return to face-to-face teaching on Monday 18th January;
  • Provision for children of key workers and students defined as vulnerable by the government will be "remote learning on site" as described in my earlier update.  It is now extended to Year 11 students in these categories if they need it.  The deadline for completing the online form and sending in key worker confirmation has been extended until 5.30pm tomorrow (1st Jan) so that provision can be confirmed over the weekend. Anyone who wants their child to access our provision on Monday must complete these details.  It would be very helpful if any student accessing our provision would bring their own earphones so that they can plug them into their computer or laptop. 

We are keenly aware that many students do not have individual access to a laptop so please have a look at the guidance on remote learning on last week's update or the remote learning page of the website

A number of specific points are worth noting:

  • Lessons will follow the normal timetable from 8.45am on Monday 4th January and all resources for the lesson will be available if the student cannot access Teams at the specific time for each lesson.  The school will function normally, teachers are working in school as usual - it is just that all the students will be accessing the lessons remotely;
  • PE lessons (other than GCSE PE) will not be taking place online - students should use that time to do any homework or catch up with anything that has been missed;
  • A number of student group changes took place over Christmas, as would usually occur.  Those may not come through into Teams in time for Monday, but we will resolve any technical issues affecting individual students within the first day - please contact ICTSupport@waltonledale.lancs.sch.uk with any specific issues. 
  • Year 11 vocational (BTEC) examinations scheduled for early February are taking place as planned - the government has been clear about that.

I know that I have not mentioned provision for COVID testing on site in this message - the details are being worked out and will be circulated during the coming week in line with government guidance.

Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy New Year!

James Harris



Posted by James Harris

Category: WLD Updates