Important new guidance – School Closures & Exams

20th March 2020






Dear Parents,

Update as of 16.20 on Thursday 19 March 2020

Today I have met with all the year groups and all staff and informed them on what we know, what we don’t know, what we, the JCG community, can do and shared how we are feeling.


Things we know:

  • All UK schools closed from Monday morning until further notice
  • JCG closed to all but exam groups from Monday
  • No external examinations in May or June​
  • UK Government has stated that tomorrow they will announce what the student’s grade will be based on
  • Results will be published in August
  • Universities continue to plan for students to commence their courses in the Autumn
  • JCG Prepare Easter Revision course is cancelled and refunds are being processed

What we don’t know:

  • What evidence Exam Boards are going to require to determine grades​ – please don’t speculate
  • What approach universities are going to take with the offers they have made to students
  • What changes will be made to UCAS (though we do know they are due to update their guidance tomorrow)

What we are doing:

  • ​Until the guidance​ on how a student will be graded, we will stick to the Y11 and Y13 plan as published yesterday.  This will give us the time to meet with students and gather any additional evidence that may be required by the exam boards
  • We have given Yrs 7 – 10 & Y12 guidance on how to manage their time during the next two weeks and how they need to show self-reliance in managing distractions and keeping to the disciplined structure provided by the school day
  • We have advised that students should tonight check they have everything they need at home for the next two weeks and empty their lockers tomorrow
  • Parents of students who are not currently in College should come to College from Monday next week so that they can empty their daughter’s locker and gather their belongings.  Please come to reception.

How are we feeling?

  • Exam students feel a combination of loss, confusion and anxiety and, until things are clearer, ​feel in limbo
  • A sense of having lost their opportunity to show what they can do given all the hard work they have put in
  • All students, like us, feel uncertain of what’s ahead
  • A palpable sense that we are here for each other and will get through this
  • A desire to do something positive

Keeping our community strong

Even if we are not physically here each day, each of us can be creative and think of ways to contribute to the JCG community.  Today, some students were making notes, writing poems and drawing pictures on the theme of ‘Positivity’.  These things will be delivered to local care homes over the next two days.  Miss Morris has written and recorded a song while in self-isolation.  We will share this as soon as we can.  Tomorrow Year 7 students are having a book swap and Year 13 are leading the College in a day full of acts of kindness.


On Monday, we hope to launch ‘JCG TV’.  This will be online and have content uploaded each day created by students and staff.  The important thing here is, even if we can’t physically be together, all of us can help each other.  As a College, we are so used to being with each other all day and I already  know we are going to miss that.  Hopefully JCG TV will help plug this gap.

Finally, when I spoke to our students today, I reflected that we are all experiencing a significant period in the history of humanity.  Historians will write about this time and students of the future may well study modules on it.   However, at the moment each of us is navigating our way through it.   I have asked the students and staff to do the best they can when working from home.  As parents, you can only do your best too.  No one person has all the answers and none of us will get it perfectly right.  And that’s ok.


I expect to write to you again on Friday to update you on further developments.  Take care.




Carl Howarth