Principal's Letter - 28th May 2021

Date Published:
Friday 28 May 2021
Dear Parent/Carer,
I would like to begin this newsletter with a huge, and heartfelt, thank you to every one of our fabulous students. Despite all the obstacles faced this year they have demonstrated unfailing resilience and have impressed me constantly with their hard work and desire to achieve.
Years 11 and 13
I think special mention needs to be made of our Year 11 and Year 13 students, who have undoubtedly experienced a great deal of uncertainty, anxiety and stress in recent months.  I’m sure that there is a huge relief now that they have completed their assessments.

It will soon be time to say farewell to our Year 11 and 13 students and further details on this have been communicated in separate letters. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate them on how well they have coped in such unprecedented circumstances, and how they have engaged in their final assessments this term. Both have been fantastic year groups and have been a real credit to the school; we are all looking forward to seeing these students flourish in their next steps.

We have written to all parent/carers of Year 11 students separately with information regarding activities following the half term break, such as online bridging work, Sixth Form bridging lessons in school, final leavers’ assembly etc. We will write to you again after the half term break with details of GCSE results day (Thursday 12th August 2021). If you have any queries regarding any of these arrangements please contact the school.

As you will already be aware, for Year 13, the final day in school is Friday 28th May.  Some students will have had their final assessment before then and do not need to come into school; registers will be amended accordingly.  We are holding a Year 13 Leavers’ Day on Wednesday 9th June.  Hopefully it will be a really enjoyable event for the students and they will get the opportunity to spend time with friends and say goodbye to staff.  A level and BTEC results are being issued on 10 August.  We will be in touch before the end of term to confirm all of the arrangements for Results Days.

Information regarding reports and parents’ evenings for parents/carers of Years 7 – 10 & 12 

For the rest of our students, it is important to continue to provide the high quality of support and teaching required to ensure that they continue to make good progress.  In particular, teachers and pastoral staff are looking at how we support Year 10 and Year 12 in their run up to exams next year.  As you will be aware, there are mock examinations in place for both year groups to allow them to build crucial experience in formal assessment situations.

In my first letter, I explained how it was one of my priorities to restart the ‘Parents’ Evening’ process.   As a result, we have rearranged our reporting to parent/carer arrangements for the remainder of the term to try and give as much information as possible regarding student progress prior to the summer break. Information shared will include the recent assessment weeks for Years 7 – 9 and the Year 10 and 12 mocks. Where appropriate we will send you further details after the half term break.  Year groups where we are not speaking to parents directly before the summer will be prioritised in the first half term of the next academic year. 

Please find the programme below:

Year 7

Year 7 Grade Card with next step targets and Form Tutor report issued Monday 12.7.21

Year 7 Form Tutor parent/carer evening via TEAMS Wednesday 14.7.21

Year 8

Year 8 Grade Card with next step targets and Form Tutor report issued Friday 9.7.21

Year 8 Form Tutor parent/carer evening via TEAMS Tuesday 13.7.21

Year 9

Year 9 Grade Card with next step targets in English, Maths & Science and Form Tutor report issued Friday 29.7.21

Confirmation of Year 9 option choices will be issued to students and parents/carers towards the end of June.

There will be no Form Tutor parent/carer evening for Year 9 students however we will hold a parental information evening for all new Year 10 parents/carers in September 2021. This will give an overview of KS4, what to expect and how to support your child. There will also be a Year 10 grade card in the Autumn term.

Year 10

Year 10 subject parent/carer evening via SchoolCloud or Teams on Thursday 24th June.

Year 10 mock grade card with next step targets issued week beginning Monday 19.7.21

We will also hold a Year 10 ‘mocks afternoon’ for our students this week to give them a more realistic results day.

Year 12

Year 12 full school report including next step targets and mock report issued week beginning Monday 5th July. Please note that this is a very comprehensive report which will include full details of your child’s aptitude for the subject, progress in the subject and targets to further improve.

There will be no separate subject parent/carer evening for Year 12, although there will be two subject parent/carer evenings in Year 13. The first of which is early in the autumn term. Sixth form Tutors will be in touch with parent/carers throughout the remainder of the summer term where required.

Enrichment and the Creative Arts

In my first newsletter, I spoke about how important Enrichment, and particularly the Creative Arts, is to me as a Headteacher in terms of the development of children and the creation of a holistic education.  Having spoken to the local primary schools, I am aware of the strong focus on the arts that our students received at that level; I hope that at Jesmond Park we can continue to develop this tradition of excellence to inspire our students to further develop their talents and to build on the strong foundations already in place in our school in terms of our choir, orchestra, steel band and musical and drama performances. I have watched recordings of our previous shows and productions and there is a lot to be excited about! I look forward to the opportunities this renewed focus on the arts will bring to all of our students in years to come.

Covid 19

Testing continues to play a crucial role, in and out of classrooms, in the fight against COVID-19. Staff and students should continue to test themselves and report results.   Reporting test results can be done simply and quickly, from mobiles, online or by phone, and should be completed straight away. Reporting not only supports contact tracing in the event of a positive case but also assists our understanding of community rates of infection.

Over half term there is an urgent need to report all positive cases up to (and including) Thursday 3rd of June. This should be reported by email to by NOON each day.  Telephone messages must not be left. Any cases beyond NOON on Thursday need to be reported directly to 119. Full details are in the ‘key information and updates’ section of the school website, accessible directly from the home page. 

At this time, with the current increase in cases across the region, we are still asking staff and students to wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a safe and relaxing half term break. We look forward to seeing the students back in school on Monday 7th June.


Yours sincerely