GCSEs in England have been reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. English Literature, English Language and Maths were the first subjects to be graded in this way from August 2017. The subjects with the highest numbers of candidates (Art & Design, Geography, History, French, German, Latin, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Education) followed in August 2018 and most others convert in 2019. This is happening as GCSEs are being reformed to make them more challenging, to keep pace with the demands of universities and employers.
In the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced, students who would have got a Grade C or better will get a grade 4 or better. Students who would have got a Grade A or better will get a 7 or better in the first year. Grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than a Grade A*. The extra top grade will also make it easier for employers and universities to distinguish between the most able students.
Severe Weather Conditions
In the event of bad weather or an emergency the school will, very occasionally, need to be closed but we will do our utmost to remain open. The decision to close is not taken lightly and is only made after full consideration of the safety of the site (including heating, pathways and the access road). Please note that site staff start to clear snow at 04.00 but it is not always possible to make a decision about school closure and site safety until around 06.30.
Should the decision be made to have a later start or close the school in the event of bad weather or an emergency, the mechanism of informing you about the arrangements is shown below.
There is often a ‘time-lag’ between making the decision to close and appearance on any website. This is because of the high volume of people trying to access the systems.
School will open at 10.00 and lessons commence at 10.30. Students travelling a distance can arrive earlier and they will be supervised but lessons will not commence until 10.30, as we await the arrival of the many staff that travel a long distance. We ask local students to arrive at the later time where possible.
Local staff are always on the premises even if the school is closed or will open later, so students who arrive early, or arrive to find the school has been closed, should not be worried, and will be supervised.
Students attending school in extreme weather conditions should wear appropriate outdoor clothing, including footwear, and bring a change of shoes to wear inside the school buildings.
The situation can sometimes change suddenly and we may have to make decisions about arrangements at short notice, therefore we may need to communicate to parents via the system outlined above during the school day. Contract bus operators may decide to run their afternoon services early, giving us such little notice that neither we, nor our students, can let parents know in time to make any necessary arrangements. Please make sure your daughter has a house key, or knows a safe place to go, if she arrives home early and finds you are out. This is particularly important for younger students, who may not be familiar with coming home to an empty house.
If you live in a remote area, the weather or travel conditions may be different to those in Colchester; therefore, even if the school is open, parents must consider the outgoing and return journey and make an informed decision about sending their daughter to school. Please report any absence from school in the usual way.
Unless told to the contrary, parents and students should assume that the school will re-open on the following day. The system will operate on a second and subsequent day if necessary.
It is hoped that this will be unnecessary advice.
Mrs W Jackson
Associate to the Principal & CEO