Year 11 Leavers' Arrangements
Arrangements for Year 11
At Deer Park we roll our timetable forward in June each year and, normally, pupils in Year 11 leave at the end of Term 5 for a period of study leave while they sit their final exams before returning for our annual leavers’ events.
Owing to the pandemic, the system of controls in place and the emphasis on centre assessed grades, we need to make alternative provision for our Class of 2021. These are set out below.
To support their transition into the next phase of their learning and ensure they have the required knowledge and skills to progress, the government expects all pupils in Year 11 to continue learning up to the end of June. However, owing to this year’s assessment process which requires considerable staff resource, it is recognised that this ‘might not mean full-time provision and could include visits to education providers, independent study or remote provision combined with attendance in person’ (Schools Coronavirus Guidance, Annexe B, 6 April 2021).
Work completed during the period from Monday 7 June to Wednesday 30 June will not count towards their final grades, but will be focused on bridging any gaps, extension and enrichment. We will be publishing a menu of remote learning activities and a suggested timetable for this period of independent study at home, which will include a weekly online tutor period to enable our pupils to stay connected with us, as many in last year’s Year 11 did during the period of lockdown. Pupils are also actively encouraged to contact their post-16 provider to ensure they can engage in any induction activities during this time.
Following completion of the second set of assessments (Monday 10 May to Friday 21 May), all pupils in Year 11 should attend school as normal the following week, week commencing Monday 24 May. During their lessons, their teachers will signpost the learning opportunities they will be able to take part in in June and time will be set aside for them to draft their Curriculum Vitae (CV) ahead of the Mock Interviews that we have rescheduled for them during the first part of that week. These normally take place in January and they help prepare our pupils for the world of work. Once they know their interview day and time, pupils can wear smart clothes, other than their school uniform, on this day, suitable to attend their mock interview.
Our Year 11 pupils’ last day in school as a whole year group will be on Thursday 27 May. On this day, pupils should attend in correct school uniform as it will start with their formal year group photograph. Pupils will then attend lessons, before joining their tutors and senior staff for shirt signing, a barbeque and ice cream and a Leavers’ Assembly which will finish at approximately 2pm when they will be able to leave the site.
We are very keen to mark the end of their time with us and have given considerable thought as to how we can best achieve this, given the constraints and what we can currently do. Unfortunately, we are not in the position to arrange a Leavers’ Ball this year. We appreciate the disappointment this may cause.
However, in place of this, we would like to take the year group to Thorpe Park for the day on Friday 28 May. This is in keeping with the government’s and our own road map out of lockdown. We have carefully considered the risks and the COVID controls in place at the theme park. During the journey the year group will be within their existing ‘bubble’. They will be expected to wear face coverings on the coaches and sitting next to one other pupil and facing the front will be similar to being in a classroom. Once at Thorpe Park, pupils will have the freedom to roam but will be expected to follow the safety procedures the venue has in place. We have chosen to subsidise the trip to keep the cost at £20 per pupil. Unlike a Ball, this trip does not incur additional costs such as gowns, tuxedos or special arrival vehicles, but pupils will need to bring lunch and/or spending money. The coaches will leave from the front of the school at 8am and will return at approximately 7pm. The park is likely to be busy and this will allow plenty of time for pupils to queue for rides and take as many as possible. If you would like your son/daughter to take part in the trip, a payment of £20 should be made through WisePay by Friday 14 May.
We would like this trip to be a memorable occasion for everyone for all the right reasons. Therefore, we reserve the right to withdraw pupils from the trip if they do not consistently model our school standards between now and then, or if on the day they are found to be in possession of alcohol and/or tobacco etc.
As a souvenir of their time at Deer Park, we are putting together a special Leavers’ Book. As we did last year, this will again be produced and printed in school. Leavers’ Books will cost £2.50 and must be pre-ordered. Payment can be made through WisePay, by no later than Friday 14 May. They will be available for collection during the Celebration of Achievement Evening in November.
It is important that pupils continue to focus on their learning. They should be revising for our second series of assessments which begin on Monday 10 May and will form a significant part of the evidence for our centre assessed grades. The guidance from the government and Ofqual is clear: ‘More recent evidence is likely to be more representative of student performance’ (Awarding qualifications in Summer 2021, updated 20 April 2021).
Pupils will receive their results on Thursday 12 August 2021. At present we plan to release these in person as we did last year, but pupils can advise us if they would like to receive them by email and should do so before the day.
We look forward to inviting our Class of 2021 back in the autumn to our annual Key Stage 4 Celebration of Achievement in November 2021. We will plan this event in line with any guidance relating to the pandemic at the time. Traditionally this has been an opportunity for everyone to come back together, collect their certificates, and year book if they have ordered one.
I would like to commend our pupils in Year 11 for their commitment and resilience. They have experienced a very different Key Stage 4. We have been impressed by their high levels of attendance and engagement. We want them to enjoy their remaining time at Deer Park and trust they will stay connected with us and take part in the additional learning activities in June as these will add further depth to their learning journeys and detail to their CVs! We wish them all every success in the future.
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher