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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter to all Year 11 and 13 students, parents and carers

Dear students, parents and carers of Year 11 and 13,

By now, you may have seen the announcement from the Secretary of State for Education regarding GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams. I wanted to write to you to update you on our response.

So far, we know that GCSE and A Level exams will not take place this year. Whilst this will come as a shock, I want to assure you that all is by no means lost. Although the media will inevitably focus on the fact that exams have been cancelled, there were three important details in the Secretary of State’s speech which I want to highlight to you:

  1. Recognition – There was a clear promise that all students in Year 11 and 13 will receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work. We don’t yet know how this will be arrived at, but it will likely include some aspect of previous performance. Our students have made extraordinary progress since September, and this trajectory can be seen clearly in their mock assessments. We will update you when we have more details, but I want to stress that all the hard work students have put in this year – and that I’m sure they will continue to put in over the next few months - will all be worth it.
  2. Progression – The Secretary of State stated that “no student should pause their ambitions.” Holmleigh Park Sixth Form will be accepting students as normal in September, and will be flexible around entry requirements, as will all other sixth forms, universities and apprenticeships. No student should allow this to damage their ambitions for the future.
  3. Fairness – It was also made clear that the system will be as fair as possible, and that parents and students will be able to appeal decisions if they feel that the eventual award is unfair. 

It’s also worth reflecting that a grade is only a snapshot – the true value from qualifications is that they are a reflection of what you have learned. It is therefore very important that, regardless of the exam situation, students keep working hard and valuing education. 

So, we will keep teaching Year 11 and Year 13 via Google Classroom, they will keep learning, and they will get the rewards at the end of the year for their hard work.

I will write again when we have more concrete information on this situation. For now, can I just reiterate what I have already said; your children are incredible. We were overwhelmed to see almost the entirety of Year 11 arrive this morning to take their English Literature mock, and I’m sure we’ll see the same again for Physics tomorrow! Year 13 have been incredibly focused and resilient too.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Farmbrough, Headteacher

Naomi Leech, Assistant Headteacher for Raising Standards

Catherine Marsden-Green, Assistant Headteacher for Sixth Form