Friday 17th April Update – School Closure Update and other news

20th April 2020






Dear Parents and Students,

Briefing as of 15.41 on Friday 17 April 2020

I hope you and your loved ones are well and have enjoyed a restful if somewhat strange Easter. Students and staff have now been away from College for four weeks and while two of those were the Easter holidays, somehow the days seem to merge.  The effect of the ‘lockdown’ is really being felt now by the Howarth family and I’m sure it’s the case for you too.  While it’s lovely to spend time together, enjoy the sunshine and appreciate the quietness, it’s also an unsettling and anxious time and we are all dearly missing seeing friends and family.  I know our students are very much missing seeing each other and their teachers and we are missing them.  Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, StarLeaf or Houseparty, to mention a few, are helpful ways to see faces and seeing other faces is so important.  However, and may be this is a silver lining lesson to the screen generation (and by that I include everyone), nothing beats actually being in the company of people.  I know we are all doing our best and learning to live this new way as we go though it’s no weakness to say ‘I’m finding this hard’.  As HRH Prince William reminded us today, it is so important to talk about how we are feeling.  For our young people, it’s even more important. Equally it’s essential to not think too deeply or listen to too much news about what’s happening in the world.  It’s helpful to focus on that around you, the good, the kindness, the bravery and the selfless acts of fellow humans. If, at any other time, you had told me that a 99 year old man could raise upwards of £16 million by walking around his garden 100 times, I would not have believed you!

I hope the new term, starting on Monday, will bring some perhaps needed structure and purpose to our days.


What do we know?

  • Schools are currently closed until 5 May 2020
  • From Monday, Y9 will only need to study the subjects they will be taking for GCSE
  • Y11 will move onto pre-A level study to prepare for September and keep their brains fresh!
  • Y13 will be provided with pre-uni reading packs
  • A level results will be on 13 August
  • GCSE results will be on 20 August
  • The exam appeals process will be very narrow and limited to an appeal of not following the process correctly NOT the exam grade
  • GCSE and A level students will be encouraged by the exam boards to sit an Autumn exam in the unlikely event that they should wish to improve their grade
  • No details have been given about when the Autumn exams session will take place nor when the results will be issued.  However, we do know that students can choose their best grade.
  • Therefore, GCSE and A level students are advised to not dispose of any notes or revision materials.
  • We will have a programme in place in early September to support any student to prepare for an Autumn exam
  • From Monday, a process will begin at College to collate information to provide a ‘centre assessed grade’. Please remember you must not contact teachers to discuss this.
  • Mr Milner will advise on UCAS directly to Y13.
  • I will be holding a Zoom Q & A initially for Y13.  More information on this will be sent directly to Year 13.  Should this prove to be successful I intend to hold similar sessions with other year groups.
  • Information about arrangements for end of year exams for Year 7 – 12 will be given on Monday 27 April
  • Years 7 – 10: I absolutely appreciate that working from home is hard and tiring, if not lonely at times.  Please do think about contacting a JCG study buddy.  They can help with your studies and also your motivation.
  • JCGTV resumes on Monday.

I hope this is helpful.  Please, as always, if you have any questions or concerns for your daughter, do contact her tutor or Head of School.  And should we all be back on 5 May, it will be for all years including Y11 and Y13.  We have some unfinished business to attend to, subject to social distancing measures of course.  Hope is the enemy of surrender.


Take care.


Carl Howarth