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Message from the Head of Secondary

Week two of our virtual school experience has come to a close and I must say that all teachers and students have totally risen to the challenge.

Student's desk at home

Without wishing to be too verbose, I really want to thank those parents who have written in to give us feedback and thank us for our efforts. It is so much appreciated and I shared some of your comments with staff in our Tuesday, virtual, staff meeting; having almost 100 teachers in a Teams meeting was amazing and just shows the power of MS Teams.

With the disconcerting, but unsurprising, news of the cancellation of all IBDP and IGCSE exams has been an anxious time for our Year 11 & 13 classes, I want to reassure you that of our concerted efforts to put in place a high-quality and engaging alternative to what would normally have been, study leave-external examinations-end of school.  Below is a summary of the more detailed letter that I sent out to Year 11 & 13 parents and students today. We know that we have a responsibility to the wellbeing of all our students and to this end we are committed to delivering on this virtual school programme – tailor made for our exam class students. We count on the engagement of our staff and students and your support as parents to make this the success we know it can be.

Year 11 & 13 

Next two weeks

Content and Syllabus Completion.  Weeks beginning 30th March & 6th April (last two weeks of this term). Lessons continue as normal through our virtual school experience on MS Teams.  Completion of syllabus content where appropriate, review and consolidation of all topics. 

After the Easter holidays

Internal exams through virtual schooling, to be undertaken at home. A two week exam timetable will be produced to allow internally set, marked & moderated exams to take place at the start of next term -w/b 27th April.  We want to give students the opportunity to put their hard work to the test, get feedback and identify any gaps in understanding; they themselves, have indicated that they would appreciate some sense of closure on the last two years of learning.

From mid-May

For Year 11 Students

IB Diploma bespoke preparation.  Year 11 students will embark on a comprehensive programme in preparation for their post 16 study. This will particularly focus on comprehensive preparation for an extended piece of writing and will extend learning through an individual choice of research topic or question. It will involve the teaching of vital skills such as:

  • research and referencing

  • methodology

  • drafting

  • TOK-style approaches and critical thinking skills

For Year 13 Students
  • Higher level study preparation – a bespoke programme. 

  • Using the power of online learning through MOOC's (Massive Open Online Courses) hosted by highly-regarded educational virtual providers such as Harvardx and Coursera our teachers will identify a broad and diverse range of online courses allowing each students a choice linked to their own areas of interest.  We will provide small group tutorials to facilitate in-depth discussion of the courses and further support and extend students’ learning.  The aim is to give students insight into, but not replicate, an authentic university or higher education experience in an engaging way.

Students will benefit from:

  • a chance to experience an online university - level learning experience 

  • an avenue for students to enhance their academic CV 

  • a set course of study hosted by universities and colleges worldwide

  • a vast and diverse range of topics and subjects allowing students to specialise in a particular topic of interest 

I know that you will all appreciate the speed with which we are putting together these bespoke programmes. We are benefitting from other Nord Anglia schools as well as our own in-house expert on IBDP – Dr Latkowski, to ensure that these programmes will be of utmost use and benefit to our students.

Enjoy a beautifully sunny, yet strangely deserted, weekend.

Alison Fox

Head of Secondary

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