Dear Learner, Parent, Carer
As half term approaches I wanted to extend my wishes to you all with the hope that you, your families and friends remain fit and healthy at these most challenging of times.
I would like to begin with a direct appeal to our learners to be patient and stick with the national advice on meeting others and social distancing. When you are young days can feel like weeks and weeks like months so I realise how you must be feeling after some nine weeks of lockdown. This being the case please remain resilient and stick with the guidance, difficult as it may be, until we have new and different advice.
As you know next week is effectively half term so please have a break from school work and relax and rest up with your families. I have asked your teachers to take a break as well so don’t expect new material on Google classroom in the half term week. I am delighted with the response to the use of Google classroom as we have endeavoured to keep learning, albeit remotely. I agree with people when they remark that we are trying to do the normal things in the most abnormal of times! Once again if you have ICT issues please seek help at [email protected] and if you need any other help then please use [email protected], any message left there will be passed on to the best person to help you.
Also don’t forget there is lots of support material available on the Student Support Google classroom. The access code is d3ket7i
Naturally there are many of us thinking of the future and the return to school, when and how that will take place. As I have always said I will share any information on this matter when I get direction form the Welsh Government or the Local Authority. We are doing lots of thinking and planning around the return to school, there will be one main aim... ..that we are all safe when back in school. I will touch upon the idea of social distancing in school and the need for the 2m distance. Think of any classroom, how many 2m diameter circles can we fit in without them touching each other? As you have realised the answer is far less than the usual number of learners that would normally be in that room - just one of the challenges ahead. I can assure you all that the school will only open when we are fully assured that the method of returning is safe for all of us.
I will write again after the break with further details as I receive them, for example how we will send school reports home this year.
If we were in school we would be preparing to say goodbye to some of year 11 and most of year 13. I appreciate that the vast majority of year 11 will be back with us in September and we look forward to meeting up again. To those in year 11 and 13 who are leaving us may I wish you all the very best for your future. I do hope those who are leaving us are as proud of PCS as PCS is proud of them. Where ever life`s journey takes you I hope you have good memories of your time as part of our school and if in the area do call in as we love to see you and hear what you are up to.
As always, thanks for your support in the most challenging of times, it’s much appreciated. I hope you, your families and friends remain safe, fit and healthy.
If you have changed your phone number, please let us know. We are not able to contact some families.
New message sent out on the 5th May 2020
Dear Learner (and Parent/Carer),
It’s been a week or so since I was in touch so I thought I would provide an update for you.
Before I begin may I enquire if you and your families and friends are all fit and healthy? I do hope so. We have been away from school for a number of weeks now and there is no imminent return on the horizon. As this is the case we will continue with the remote learning via Google classroom. I appreciate fully that this is by no means an ideal situation but we have to adapt given the unique circumstances we find ourselves in.
Mrs Hunt recently sent out additional information on the use of Google classroom in terms of you organising your work. We hope this helps reduce some of the anxiety for you (the learner) as you complete your work. The use of the ’’To do list’’ and the Calendar will help you here. Finally, in the ’’curriculum area’’ of our web site there are some useful tips and instructions for the use of Google classroom.
I would like to remind you all of the support email address for technical ICT issues, questions or concerns - [email protected] For any other queries or requests for help please refer to [email protected] . May I personally thank all of you who have sent in messages of thanks and support - these are much appreciated.
Home or remote learning can be quite stressful for you as a learner and for parents/carers alike. Please make sure you take regular breaks, exercise and get some fresh air. It may be an idea to try something new or creative, challenge yourself to try something new!
No letter home can be complete without mention of the arrangements for those learners in years 11 and 13 who would normally have sat their examinations. The guidance we have received has been circulated, as has the latest developments. Miss Painter recently sent out details of the Qualifications Wales consultation on the principles to be considered in this years` awarding process. Our staff are looking at the data and are completing the work needed. We are awaiting final details from the WJEC and hope when all is complete the results days will be as normal:
Thursday 13th August Year 13 outcomes
Thursday 20th August Year 11 outcomes.
I do need to remind all of the advice from the WJEC that ’’there may be instances where the schools and colleges, or teachers, are put under external pressure from a candidate or their parent/guardian to influence the decision making on a grade or rank order. Any external pressure must be reported to WJEC who may investigate this as potential candidate malpractice’’... ..Schools must not release Centre Assessment Grades and rank order information to candidates, parents/guardians, or any other individuals outside the centre before results days.
The WJEC guidance in full can be found on this website:
We propose to run the normal results service from A block in terms of times and assistance. I have no idea what social distancing regulations will be in place at that time so will contact you again nearer the time.
The issue of PPE has been in the media over recent weeks and I am pleased to say our school has been helping. Mr Pettit of the Design and Technology department along with a group of volunteers has been making face shields. These have been distributed, free of charge to a variety of institutions in and around the Porthcawl area. Thanks Mr Pettit and your team!!
I would like to conclude with a few thoughts on the return to school process. Despite all the hype in the media we have had no official notification on this matter. I can assure you all that once I know further information I will share it with you without delay. I would advise all that we need to prepare for life in the ’’New normal’’ so long as social distancing regulations are in force. I am fully confident that whatever challenges come our way together we will rise and meet them collectively.
Finally, please stick to the government advice, stay safe, remain fit and healthy and I look forward to meeting you all again.
Message to Parents/Carers from the Central South Consortium
Dear parents and carers,
We have taken the unusual step of writing to you directly in order to thank you for the fantastic work you are doing to support distance learning with your children. It has been a privilege to see some wonderfully positive examples of the way young people of our region have approached the current situation, despite its complexities. Please remember that distance learning cannot be expected to mirror the school experience - to try would be detrimental to yourselves!
We want to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are working hard in collaboration with schools and organisations across Wales, to support yourselves as parents. There is a growing area of supporting materials for parents and carers hosted on the Hwb website. To make it easier for parents to find all of the advice and guidance we have created a Parent area on the CSC website. All of the information can be found here.
You will find advice and guidance on how to access and support learning. Additionally, you will find guidance around online safety and a range of additional learning materials which are freely available. Communications for parents and carers have already been released by Welsh Government and will supplemented over the coming weeks. Parents are also able to download a range of software for free via the Hwb platform, follow the links in the parent area.
As you are aware your school and indeed schools throughout the region are working tirelessly to ensure your children have access to distance learning materials. Our education professionals are, as always, endeavouring to ensure the wellbeing of each and every pupil is at the forefront of the response to Covid-19. We also know that schools are maintaining contact with children and young people across the region, this will be carried out in a variety of ways. Please remember that it is likely the phone number will be withheld, so please make sure you know the arrangements for your school.
Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. Please stay safe and well at this difficult time.
Message from Miss Painter (Director of Progress) and Mr Slade 28.04.20
Qualifications and Grades Update
Our teachers are busy following a rigorous and robust internal process for awarding grades for all learners who ordinarily would have sat formal GCSE, A Level and Vocational examinations this summer, in line with Welsh Government and Qualifications Wales requirements. These grades will be based on what teachers would expect a learner to achieve at the end of the course. They need to represent a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely grade that might be achieved in normal circumstances. This is a professional judgement based on the combined assessment information held for that learner and will be a holistic judgement rather than focusing on a single source of evidence.
Once again, may I respectfully remind parents/carers that your views and judgements cannot and will not be considered as part of this process and any communication to staff in relation to trying to influence your child’s grades, will not elicit a response. This is to protect the integrity of teachers’ judgements, and to avoid teachers, heads of department, and senior leaders being put under pressure by pupils and parents/carers to submit a grade that is not supported by the evidence. The examination boards will retain the right to scale grades if they feel a school has been too generous and therefore, the final outcomes may change according to the boundaries set by the examination boards. No learner or parents/carers will be able to access information regarding the grades awarded by teachers, until the formal results day in August. This is consistent with all learners across Wales.
The outcomes of learners’ performance will be made available on the original planned days for publication in August (August 13th for A Level results and August 20th for GCSE results). If school is open, we will welcome our pupils into school to receive their results; if not, we will make other arrangements as advised by the exams regulator.
We are expecting further instructions from the WJEC and Qualifications Wales in the near future and will keep you updated accordingly.
Director of Progress
Message from Mr Slade 19th April 2020
Dear Learner, Parent or Carer,
I wrote to you all at the beginning of the Easter break and said I would be in touch again once the Easter break was over. May I start with the singularly most important hope? That hope is that you, your family and friends are, and remain, fit and healthy in this most dreadful of times. I realise that many parents/ carers are essential key workers on the front line to beat Covid 19 and the whole school would like to offer the sincerest of thanks. Many of the school staff have volunteered to staff the child care settings for the children of key workers and so our thanks also go these staff.
I would like to thank all parents and carers for their sterling efforts to support their children when using our remote learning activities. I appreciate fully that supporting your children in their remote learning may be rather stressful at times, so again thank you. Parents/carers know their children best and are best placed to judge the level of remote learning that is suitable for each of their children at any particular time. Please trust your instincts and I encourage you to continue to support your child/children to participate in the remote learning in their best interests.
If I may turn next to the Learners. I realise this is a strange and difficult time for everyone. Would all learners please continue with the habit of joining in with the remote learning as before the Easter break? Your teachers are there to help so please engage with them via ’’Google Classroom’’. Please remember if you have problems then we have set up email addresses to ensure we can get your query to the correct person to help you.
1. ICT problems use [email protected]
2. For Health and Wellbeing please use the Health and Wellbeing Google classroom for your year group or the Student Support Google Classroom which is open to all. If you have lost class codes please email the above support email address.
3. If parents/carers have wellbeing or emotional support issues please direct your query to [email protected] Your query will be directed to the most appropriate person who will contact you to help.
The most common question is ’’When will we return to normal school?’’ The honest answer is, your guess is as good as mine. I do not know this at the present time. As soon as I have any confirmed details I will contact you via the usual Parent App and web site.
Lastly, I do not have details as to how grades will be determined for those learners in years 10 to 13 as we are awaiting information from the relevant authorities. Again any updates will be published on the web site and contact via the Parent App.
I would like to end where I began with the hope that we all remain fit and healthy and I look forward to meeting you again in the not too distant future.
Head Teacher. 19.04.2020
The Easter message 2020
Head Teacher End of term message Easter 2020
Dear Learner, Parent , Carer
As I write this we are facing the greatest challenge any of us has lived through. May I begin with the hope that you and your loved ones are and continue to be fit and in good health. Currently we are in a fast moving and very unpredictable position, things are changing very rapidly. Given this situation it is most difficult to provide you with concrete information as it may change causing confusion and anxiety. Please keep an eye on the school web site and the Parent App, where we will share information as we get it.
As you are aware we are using ’’Google Classroom’’ to support remote learning while school remains closed. If your child has not logged on yet then please encourage them. Any technical queries can be directed to [email protected] where help is at hand. I have decided that we will suspend the use of ’’Google Classroom’’ for what would have been the Easter break. I want learners and staff to have a break and resume ’’Google Classroom’’ on Monday 20th April. Would all learners please ensure they do their best to complete all the work currently set by their teachers.
Given the very worrying time I would like to mention the support that we have on offer. For learners there is the Student Support google classroom which is supported by staff. All learners have been sent the classroom code for this but in case they have mislaid it the code is d3ket7i. At this time I would like to widen the support available to learners and their families. Anyone requiring additional help may make contact in the first instance via [email protected]
In this email please include your name, child`s name and year group. Your e mail will be directed to the senior manager linked to the year group who will discuss the matter with the relevant Head of Year. The senior manager or Head of Year will phone you back to try and offer whatever help we may be able to muster. Please be mindful that the e mails will be monitored in normal school hours and this is not an emergency service. I realise this is not as good as face to face contact but we are trying to offer additional help given these difficult circumstances.
I appreciate that the current position for learners in years 10 to13 is very worrying. The information we have received so far has been shared via the school web site. As we receive additional information from the W.J.E.C or Qualifications Wales we will share it with you via the web site. Would you please refrain from making individual queries as we simply are unable to respond at the current time. Once I am aware of the processes involved, I will share these with you.
I am pleased and very proud to tell you that we have a large pool of volunteers who are providing child supervision for parents of key workers. This will continue over the Easter including the Bank Holiday weekend and I would like to publically thank them.
Finally, and most importantly I hope you and your families and friends remain well. I will write again after the Easter break, but please keep a regular lookout on the web page for any further updates.
With best wishes
Additional Information regarding payment for examinations
We are aware that some Parents/Carers/Students have paid the examination board for a resit unit/external examination. At the present time we are awaiting further instructions on all aspects of examinations and will of course update you when we have any news.