Letter to Parents 18th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                                                         18th June 2020

A return to our normal school day

Now that we are increasing the use of live elements to every lesson (there are a couple of clashes where this will not be possible), we are asking the students to return to working to our usual school day timings.

  • Registration 8.30 – engage with tutor
  • P1 – 8.50 – 9.50
  • P2 – 9.50 – 10.50
  • Break
  • P3 – 11.10 – 12.10
  • P4 – 12.10 – 1.10
  • Lunch
  • P5 – 1.40 – 2.40

The live element in lessons could range from a teacher explanation, to a touch base with the students who are working upon a project, to a modelling of a good piece of work, to talking to a small group of students. Teachers will decide what the best live element will be to include and any teacher directions will be recorded so that students who miss the lesson will be able to catch up later.

We realise that live lessons require each student to have their own laptop and therefore we will be issuing out a second tranche of laptops to those students most in need, we have already issued out 40 and we will be distributing another 40 over the coming week. We will also make a laptop purchase option available on ParentMail for those parents who wish to purchase a new laptop from the school and as the school will purchase them on your behalf, the price will not include VAT, so there will be a saving, more details are to follow.

We expect remote learning lessons to continue in some form up until at least January, so we will continue to provide your child with a blended education of some face-to-face lessons, combined with continued remote lessons, and this is why access to a laptop is so important. Please ask your child to liaise with their tutor if they need us to support them with either the provision of a laptop or support with broadband access. The school is also going to make computer rooms available to students without good IT access so that they may make use of our facilities, because we only have limited funds for purchasing laptops ourselves and we will now have no further capacity.


The assembly this week, which is on the COVID page of our web site, deals with how school will look and operate for the Y10 and Y12 students who will be coming back in next week for their face to face lessons.


Please remember that students are to wear full PE kit (no skorts but this can include trainers if their school shoes no longer fit) or summer uniform when they come in (black shoes, black trousers or skirt and white shirt, blouse or polo). Students are also permitted to wear a mask in their lessons if they would like to.

Students are to follow the new school one-way system, details are again on the school’s COVID web page and there are also markers around the school.

Three changes to the plan that I distributed last week are:

  • that students are allowed to bring their bags into school now,
  • we have also made the ground floor (female) multi-sex toilets available for our sixth form students to use and
  • the temperature taking and hand sanitising will now take place in the school hall.

Key Worker and Vulnerable Children

From Monday 22nd all students will now have to either wear their PE kit or summer uniform as described above.

Year 9

  • Will have a Team’s one to one meeting with their tutor at least every fortnight.
  • Will have a small group discussion with their subject teacher at least every fortnight.
  • Will have a live element to their lessons, (when this is possible).

Year 10

We have informed the relevant parents and students of our Learning Week One cohort already, and you should have also received an individual timetable. We will be issuing these notifications and timetables for Learning Weeks’ 2-4 over the coming days.

In these notifications, there is a form to complete to let us know if your child will be returning to school (and we will re-distribute their place if we do not hear from you) and also if they will require use of the school bus. Once you let us know that a bus place is required, we will then liaise with the bus companies as they have a maximum capacity of seven students per bus. Dorset Council have also informed us that students will have to wear a facemask while travelling on the school bus.

Dates for the Learning Weeks

w/c 22nd June –                Learning Week One

w/c 29th June –                 Learning Week Two

w/c 6th July –                     Learning Week Three

w/c 13th July –                   Learning Week Four

Within each Learning Week, the students will be further split into four ‘Learning Bubbles’ (A, B, C & D) where they will remain to be taught within the same classroom for the whole week. Each day the students will receive an option lesson as well as core lessons in English, maths and science.

Year 11

Are to continue with their new A level work as well as completing their 6th form step up tasks. This work will stop on the 26th June and Y11 will then begin their summer holiday.

Year 12

Will come into school for a weekly lesson per subject. This is arranged via option block.

Option AOption BOption COption DOption E

Year 11 and 13 Graduation

These events will still take place but we will now not be able to hold them until after the summer break, but we are determined to still have a leaving event for both of these cohorts to mark their time at Ferndown.

Other Information

If you would like to see any of our updated documentation such as our Behaviour or Safeguarding Policy addendums, then these are available on the school’s COVID web page.

Absence Reporting

Either via ParentMail or email studentabsence@fernup.dorset.sch.uk.

School Reception

Please remember that our school reception is only open to those students who are coming into school and the best way to contact us is on the school email address; school@fernup.dorset.sch.uk or on the year group emails; headofyear9@fernup.dorset.sch.uk or headofyear10@fernup.dorset.sch etc.

Summer Attitude to Learning Grades

This month staff will give an Attitude to Learning Grade (ATL) on Go4Schools for your son or daughter. The aim is to give you an indication of how well your child has been engaging with their home learning. We are using an adapted set of criteria that focuses specifically upon home learning and the work that has been submitted to teachers. 

Excellent LearnerThe student has turned in all required work, attended all live lessons and watched all of the teacher videos without the need of any H codes. The work has been of a consistently high standard, equal to or better than the student’s ability.
Engaged LearnerThe student has needed very few H1’s to remind them to turn their work in, attend live lessons or watch the teacher videos. The student’s work is generally of a good standard and reflects the student’s ability.
Coasting LearningThe student has needed several prompts (H1’s and H2’s, possibly some H3’s) to remind them to work. Generally, the submitted work is of a low standard and below the ability of the student.
Student of ConcernThe student has not been engaged in their lessons. Many H1-H3 codes have been set. The student has produced work of a low quality compared to their ability.

Stay safe,