Links to recent letters to Parents and Carers and school newsletters are available via the links on the right hand side of this page.
Email communications relating to Coronavirus are listed below for reference.
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Headmaster's Update 27 March
Dear Parents and Carers
We hope that students have started to establish good routines at home and that they are able to access work from their teachers. I know that many students have been in contact with teachers and I encourage them to do this if they have questions or would like feedback on a piece of work. My staff have been sharing examples of some of the outstanding work that has been produced. Remote learning is new to us all, and so we are all learning about how best to share work and resources. We know that it is not always possible for you to print worksheets, or for students to have uninterrupted access to a computer/laptop. Whilst students should endeavour to complete all work set, we know that sometimes this won’t be possible. We are aware that students are struggling to access MyMaths, likely because of the volume of students online. They should continue to try but not worry if they can’t log on.
Beyond their academic work, please do encourage your son/daughter to be creative and I look forward to receiving entries for my short story writing competition (details on SMHW - the first entrant arrived this morning - well done Phoebe!). We would also encourage you to help your child distinguish weekends from weekdays; a change in routine will help them return to their school work on Monday feeling a little more refreshed.
Your son/daughter has been provided with access to zumos.co.uk which is a website designed to help young people manage their mental well-being. We are delighted that so many students are already using it. If your child has not created their account yet, instructions are available on SMHW. The important thing to know is that it is completely anonymous. We cannot see who has created their profiles and what topics they have accessed; we only receive numbers of boys/girls from each year group.
Over the weekend, please encourage your daughter/son to log on to Zumos and explore some of the features. Any questions should be directed to email@example.com
Resources available via the LRC Google site
Beyond that work set on SMHW, our LRC webpage can direct you to excellent online resources that are free and cover a wide range of interests. The webpage can be found at:https://sites.google.com/parmiters.herts.sch.uk/parmiterslrc/lrcs. To access this, students must use their Parmiter’s Google account, but please do look yourselves at the resources as I am sure there will something of interest to everyone in your household.
Navigating to 'Reading for Pleasure' (under LRCs drop down menu) directs you to free audio books, e-books, magazines and newspapers.
Navigating to 'Information' (under LRC's drop down menu) directs you to some academic journals, gives the username and password for Newspapers in Schools and has links to three different providers of free online courses. The online courses cover topics as diverse as 'A History of Royal Fashion', 'Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth' and 'Masterpieces of World Literature'. I am sure there is something for everyone, students and parents! Please do take a look.
Navigating to 'Information' (under LRC's drop down menu) then 'Databases' gives access a range of sites and resources, everything from the BBC Shakespeare Archive to articles from Scientific American and New Scientist to digitised information from the New York Public Library. Plenty to keep the mind active.
Awarding of GCSE & A Level grades
We know that many of you, understandably, continue to feel anxious about this year’s GCSE & A Level results and how these will be awarded. Ofqual, the body that regulates exams and assessments in England, yesterday announced that they expect to publish further details next week. The full press release can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-update-on-2020-exams.
The DfE has also produced a FAQ document that may be of interest to you:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020/coronavirus-covid-19-cancellation-of-gcses-as-and-a-levels-in-2020
Once we have further details we will be in touch.
Work for Year 11 & 13 students
With so many questions about the grading of GCSEs and A Levels, we appreciate that students will be uncertain as to what work they should be doing. We hope the information below will provide some guidance, but definitive answers are simply not possible at this stage.
If students have coursework/NEA at home:
· If the deadline has passed and you are able to submit the work electronically, then you should do so as per instructions given by your subject teacher. If the work cannot be submitted electronically it is vital that you keep it safe – don’t lose it!
· If the deadline has not passed, continue working on your coursework/NEA as best you can. If you require access to specialist facilities or equipment we know this may not be possible. Do as much as you can and please do not worry.
From Monday 30 March, work will be set on Show My Homework for Year 11 & 13 students. Work may consist of revision materials and past papers so students are revisiting the skills and knowledge they have covered over their GCSE/A Level courses. Where there are areas of the specification that had not been completed, students will be directed to relevant resources. As explained in the DfE and Ofqual announcements, some students may choose to sit examinations during next academic year and continuing to work steadily over the coming months will be the key to success. Teachers will also recommend other resources students can access; these will offer students the opportunity to broaden and/or deepen their knowledge of the subject. If a student is likely to continue their study of the subject at post-16 or degree level then they should be actively making the most of these resources; however, all students are encouraged to use this time to engage with the material. Year 13s have also received an e-mail update from the Heads of Sixth form.
I would like to thank you all for the feedback and many kind messages I have received this week. Wishing you all an enjoyable weekend.
Headmaster's Update 26 March
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you are all coping well as we near the end of the first week of lockdown. We have been pleased to keep the school open for the children of Key Workers and will continue to do so. I aim to share with you our arrangements for the Easter holiday next week.
I am very aware of the amount of academic work that has ben set but I would also like to urge all our young Parmiterians to be creative in their 'study time'. To this end, I have launched the first Headmaster's Challenge which I hope our students will all respond to. This is a short story writing competition with a deadline of next Friday and full details are on Show My Homework. I know one colleague, at least, is concocting another creative challenge to follow this, so do ask your children to keep their eyes peeled to SMHW!
The Heads of Sixth Form have emailed all of Year 12 with an update. This email explains the importance of following the schedules of work laid out for A Levels in allowing both a smooth return to school once the closure is over, as well as covering information regarding EPQs, end of Year 12 Examinations and UCAS applications. Further information on these and other topics will be circulated as soon as any of the current circumstances change.
Please see below two pieces if information from Herts County Childrens' Services
I know you will be working hard to support children and young people with additional needs either at home or in a school or setting. It is a challenging time for everyone and the Integrated Services for Learning teams want to make sure you have access to the support you need. As per the attached, we will have one dedicated telephone contact number for you where our educational psychology service will respond and if necessary signpost you to someone who can offer specific advice and support. This contact line is available Monday-Friday between 2:00-4:30pm via 01992 588574.
We are working hard to put together a list of resources to help you with teaching, learning and support for mental health and wellbeing and will get this to you as soon as possible. Please let us know if there is anything else we have missed that you may find helpful.
Thank you for all the work you are doing to support our vulnerable children at this difficult time for us all.
Take care of yourselves and your families,
Head of Integrated Services for Learning
Scam email being sent to parents asking for bank details if they are Free School Meals
HCC has received reports that a scam email is being sent to parents, asking them for bank details if they have children who qualify for Free School Meals. Please could all schools send out a communication to their parents, warning them about this scam email. In addition, it may be sensible to remind them not to give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine. Please see this government link for further helpful information: https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing
HfL Relationship Manager | Education Leadership Team | Children’s Services
Thank you, once again, to all who are supporting the school through these tricky time. Please continue to look after yourselves and each other.
GCSE and A Level announcement
Dear Year 11 & 13 students and their parents / carers,
Please find below the link to the government’s announcement regarding the grading of the GCSE and A Level students were planning to sit this summer.
We have no detail beyond this and so cannot provide you with further information. We are fully aware that this announcement will provide students and parents with little comfort or clarity, and indeed may add to anxieties. We, like you, hope further detail will be provided soon. Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing the process with teachers’ representatives and if there is an opportunity to, we will ensure we contribute to the discussions. Our reputation with the Department of Education for academic excellence as well as our reputation with Ofqual for integrity are both second to none and thus Parmiter’s students can be confident that this will count significantly towards how any alternative to the final examinations is determined. As always, we will communicate to you as soon as we have information.
In these times of great uncertainty, what I am clear about is that my staff will work with the utmost professionalism if asked to consider grades for students. I am proud of the quality of teaching and assessment at Parmiter’s and we run a rigorous and robust examination system. Our experienced staff have an excellent track record of accurately assessing student work and of forecasting student outcomes. I ask you to recognise that my teachers are experts in their subjects and that they have the professional skills to accurately assess against the qualification criteria.
I politely ask that parents and students do not contact teaching staff to ask about the process, or about grades. I have asked my staff not to reply to individual queries of this nature. In due course we will provide you with information and details of who to contact if you have a query.
I know many of you will have questions regarding progression to University and Sixth Form. Again, I politely ask that you do not contact us with questions at this stage. We will share further information as soon as it is available and will provide you with a point of contact for queries.
I would again reiterate that if a student has outstanding NEA (coursework), it is absolutely vital that this is submitted so it can be stored securely in school. Details of how to submit Year 11 Design & Technology NEA are given below. Year 11 Art students are reminded to keep the Art coursework they currently have with them safe in case it is required by teachers at a future date. Queries regarding the handing in of NEA for other subjects must be e-mailed to their subject teacher.
Year 11 Design & Technology NEA
Work must be submitted by Wednesday 25 March 2020 in the manner detailed below. If any student is not able to bring work to school due to illness/isolation, they must e-mail Mr Field (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Product Design & Graphics: Folder work must be submitted via the Google Drive and shared with their subject teacher. Their making project should already be with their subject teacher; if this is located outside the classroom please e-mail their subject teacher to let them know.
Electrical & Mechanical Systems: Folder work can be submitted via the Google Drive and shared with the subject teacher or e-mailed to the subject teacher as a pdf document (not Publisher). Students must e-mail their subject teacher to let them know where their making project is located.
Textiles: Folder work must be brought in to Reception. Students must e-mail their subject teacher to let them know where their making project is located.
I have asked my staff not to set work for Year 11 & 13 students on Show My Homework at this stage. It will be important that students continue with their studies but the work that staff had prepared is now less appropriate. Many students will have work they can continue with, but please bear with us while we prepare work to share with students via Show My Homework.
URGENT Information for Parents/Carers of Bus Users
Dear Parents/Carers of Parmiter’s bus user/s
In light of the recent developments, can you please CANCEL your standing order to Parmiter’s Bus account with immediate effect. Mullany’s will not be running a service to and from school as of Monday 23rd March.
If you have paid in full by cheque at the start of the year, please go onto the link below to instruct a reimbursement.
Kind regards and please keep safe.
Director of Finance & Resources
Headmaster's Update, 19 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to update you on the latest arrangements for school following yesterday’s announcement from government. A separate message will follow to collect details of students who are children of key workers.
Years 11 and 13 will finish school today, Thursday, and are not required to attend school tomorrow. Details of how and when to drop coursework/NEA into school will be sent to the relevant GCSE students by the end of tomorrow (Friday). Please do not contact subject teachers with individual questions at this stage.
Years 7 and 8 will attend school tomorrow. Students will be reminded to bring PE kits and the contents of their lockers home at the end of the day.
Any student who has books or belongings in school will have the opportunity to collect them next week; school will be open each day between 9am and 3pm.
Work for students in Years 9, 10 and 12 will be available on Show My Homework from tomorrow. Work for students in other year groups will be available from Monday as detailed in yesterday’s message.
Work Experience week for Year 10 students will, unfortunately, be cancelled.
Please refer to the school website for all messages sent this week https://www.parmiters.herts.sch.uk/page/?title=Communication&pid=37&action=saved
Update for Years 11 and 13
Dear Year 11 & 13 students and their Parents and Carers,
We know the announcement that this summer’s GCSE and A Level examinations will not take place as planned has caused significant anxiety. We currently have no information beyond that in the public domain. We understand that Ofqual and UCAS will provide further details tomorrow (Friday). I am sorry that we can add no more clarity to the situation at this point. Please be assured that any information will be passed on to you as soon as we receive it.
I would like to reiterate that if a student has outstanding NEA (coursework), it is absolutely vital that they adhere to the deadlines as they have already been published. We do not yet know if we will be required to submit coursework marks, either now or at a future date. All work must therefore be submitted to teachers and will be stored securely in school.
There is much speculation regarding the use of predicted grades or trial examination results and I know some students and parents have already contacted teachers regarding this. We are not in a position to discuss how these grades may be used; we ourselves do not know what will be required of schools. I have asked my staff not to reply to individual queries of this nature. If Ofqual’s guidance is that these grades, or other assessment information, will be used we will provide you with full details of how this will be done and who to contact in the event of a query.
I am sorry that I cannot provide greater clarity and I thank you for your patience and understanding.
Headmaster's Update - Working from Home
Dear Parents and Carers
I am e-mailing to provide you with details of how we will continue to support your son's/daughter's education through any period of closure.
As you will be aware, the school is already closed to students in Years 9, 10 and 12. This is to allow staff who are able to be in school to focus on our Year 11 and Year 13 students who are still preparing for GCSE and A Level examinations. It also allows us to have Year 7 and 8 students in school and minimise the need for families to arrange child care for these younger members of our community. In addition, staff are working hard to plan for any longer periods of closure. Students and parents are reminded to check Show My Homework for details of any work set during Wednesday or Thursday, but can I politely ask that parents/carers understand that this is not our staff's immediate priority.
From Friday 20 March, students in Years 9, 10 and 12 will be set work they can complete at home. If we need to close to the other year groups, we will send out information letting you know when work will be available. All work will be set on Show My Homework and students and parents/carers must use this as their point of reference regarding all work. Work will be set on a weekly basis, this does not necessarily mean work will be set on Monday, but once set will have a one week deadline. Any longer pieces of work will have interim deadlines so students are aware of what must be completed each week.
As well as information about the work set, Show My Homework will include details of:
- how students should complete the work, e.g. on the worksheet, in their exercise book, etc.
- whether students should mark the work themselves and, if so, how.
- how students should submit the work / mark they achieved on a piece of work.
- who to contact if you or your son/daughter has a query about the work.
Please note that it may not be your son's/daughter's class teacher that sets the work. Please do not search for work by teacher name.
To help students maintain a focus on school work we ask that parents/carers help by:
- regularly checking Show My Homework with your son/daughter so you can discuss work set and what has been completed.
- encouraging them to follow their school timetable, or a timetable you devise at home, so appropriate time is dedicated to each subject over a week and students maintain a structured routine.
- provide an appropriate space for them to work in.
- help them organise the work they complete so when we return to school the necessary work can be brought in.
As students will need to access a number of websites in order to work effectively at home, we have produced a summary of web links. This also includes information about how to get forgotten usernames and passwords. This document, along with all communication related to the Coronavirus, is on the school website under Parents - Communication (https://www.parmiters.herts.sch.uk/page/?title=Communication&pid=37).
We are aware that not all students have access to computers / internet at home. Please let us know if this is the situation and we will find an alternative means of providing work.
We are very grateful for your support during these difficult times. The continued education of your son/daughter is at the forefront of our planning but we ask that you bear with us while we all navigate this uncharted territory.
Headmaster's Update 2, 18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Further to my earlier message, I have this afternoon made the decision to close the school to Years 9, 10 and 12 from tomorrow, Wednesday 18 March. In line with the latest guidance, a number of staff are required to stay at home and, consequently, the provision of an effective education is becoming increasingly challenging. School will remain open to Years 7, 8, 11 and 13 until further notice. Please encourage your child/children to continue to monitor their school email accounts whilst they are away from school and check Show My Homework for updates. A reminder of how to access school accounts will be sent out and posted on the school website.
The canteen will be closed to students and staff so please provide your child/children with a packed lunch and a water bottle/drink. Children who receive free school meals will be provided with a packed lunch. Cafe 6 will remain open for Year 13 students but will provide limited snacks and drinks only.
Please continue to adhere to the government guidelines.
Thank you for your continuing support and understanding.
Headmaster's Update 18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to update you on the situation in school in light of the most recent Government updates.
We have made the decision to cancel all assemblies and have implemented plans to stagger students’ attendance in the dining rooms at lunch times.
Whilst we are doing our utmost to maintain the usual day to day operation of the school, I would like to make you aware that I may be forced to implement a partial closure in the event of staff numbers dropping to a level that makes this unsustainable.
I am grateful to my staff for their patience and understanding and fully appreciate the additional pressures they are facing. To this end, I would respectfully ask that you do not expect individual attention from staff. Teachers are focussed on delivering lessons and preparing a model to ensure that our students’ education continues in the event of a closure.
Sixth Form students need only attend school for lessons. Registration, assemblies and Liberal Studies sessions have been cancelled. Students must check in and out with their school ID passes or inform Mrs Smith when they arrive and leave the site. Students who wish to study on-site during non-contact time will still have the facility to do so.
I would ask that all families follow the advice available. As a school we are unable to offer anything beyond this; please do not contact school to ask whether your child should be attending. We respect the decisions you are making in line with the guidance and ask that you only contact us to let us know the reason for any student absence.
I have not been advised of any confirmed case of Coronavirus within our school community.
Finally, I would like to thank you and every member of the Parmiter’s community for your support of our school and each other in what are testing times for us all.
Design & Technology NEA Submission
Dear Year 11 students who study GCSE D&T and their parents/carers
We are e-mailing regarding the GCSE Design & Technology NEA. The school’s deadline to submit their work is Friday 20 March. We fully appreciate that some students have been absent from school over the last week and will not be in school to submit work on Friday. In the absence of guidance from the exam boards all students must submit their work this Friday. However, we will continue to liaise with exam boards regarding the situation and take all steps necessary to ensure students are not disadvantaged. If we receive information from exam boards we will pass this on to you.
The project consists of two parts:
The making part (the physical object) is already in school and students will submit this to their teacher at the end of Friday’s lesson. If a student is not in school, they should e-mail their D&T teacher directly to notify them of where their product is currently stored. We appreciate this may not be finished.
The folder work must be submitted by all students by the end of period 4 (1.20pm) on Friday. For students studying textiles a printed copy must be submitted. If a student is unable to do this due to absence they must contact Mrs Foster. Students studying all other disciplines must submit their work electronically on to the shared area (W drive/Google Drive).
If you have any questions about the submission of the NEA, please contact Mr Field, email@example.com.
Mr J Field (Head of Design & Technology)
Mrs E Berks (Deputy Headteacher)
GCSE Examinations (Ofqual guidance, MFL examinations and access arrangements)
Dear Year 11 Students and Parents/Carers
I appreciate that this is a worrying time for students and parents/carers and that the uncertainty regarding this year’s GCSE examinations is adding to these anxieties.
Arrangements for this year’s examinations will be determined by Ofqual, the body that regulates qualifications, examinations and tests in England. Ofqual’s most recent statement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus. In summary, students must continue to prepare for GCSE examinations as normal. If we are informed of any changes to arrangements we will let students and parents/carers know immediately.
In line with this guidance, student access arrangement notification forms have been issued to relevant students this week. These will be given to students via form tutors or students can collect them from register trays. Any student who has access arrangements (ie special arrangements/ support) for their examinations should receive a notification form. This form will detail these special arrangements for their GCSE examinations.
If you are expecting to have access arrangements for your examinations and you have not received a notification form by Friday 20 March, please contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you wish to discuss anything within the form, or you think there is a mistake, again please contact me by e-mail. Please note that no changes to examination arrangements can be made after this date.
MFL oral examinations
Again, in line with Ofqual guidance to continue planning for examinations, please find below the scheduled dates for the MFL oral examinations. This is an official examination and represents 25% of their GCSE. It is important that students are available on the date and at the time they are allocated. If the current situation continues, we appreciate that some students may not be able to attend but we have not yet received guidance on how this will be managed by examination boards; as information is made available to us we will pass this on to you. The specific time of a student’s examination will be given to them nearer to the actual dates. If a teacher has two dates for a particular language then students must make sure they are free to attend their examination on either day. The examinations will take place upstairs in the MFL block.
There is a considerable amount of language to revise and students should be learning their questions and answers to the various themes and topics now. They also need to revise vocabulary and phrases for role-play and photo cards. It would help if a little revision is done every day - perhaps a sub-topic from a theme per day and draw up a revision timetable.
Please note, if your son/daughter does two languages, we will make sure that his/her examinations are on different days with sufficient time between them to avoid unnecessary stress.
If you have questions relating to the preparation for oral examinations, please contact your son/daughter’s language teacher. I respectfully ask that you do not contact them with questions regarding alternative arrangements for these examinations, as any information we receive will be passed on to you as soon as possible.
Monday 20 April: Mrs Griffiths (German) and Miss Manrique (Spanish)
Tuesday 21 April: Mrs Griffiths (German) and Miss Manrique (Spanish)
Friday 24 April: Mr Perkins (German) and Mrs Callington (Spanish)
Monday 27 April: Mr Perkins (German), Mrs Callington (Spanish) and Mr Gulino (Spanish)
Tuesday 28 April: Mr Gulino (Spanish) and Mr Doherty (Spanish)
Wednesday 29 April: Mrs McKenna (French) and Ms O’Donnell (French)
Thursday 30 April: Mrs McKenna (French) and Mr Doherty (French)
Friday 1 May: Mr Doherty (French (dual linguists))
Please be assured we will pass on any information we receive from Ofqual regarding this summer’s examinations.
Mrs E Berks
A Level Examinations (Ofqual guidance & access arrangements)
Dear Year 13 Students and Parents/Carers
I appreciate that this is a worrying time for students and parents/carers and that the uncertainty regarding this year’s A Level examinations is adding to these anxieties.
Arrangements for this year’s examinations will be determined by Ofqual, the body that regulates qualifications, examinations and tests in England. Ofqual’s most recent statement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus. In summary, students must continue to prepare for A Level examinations as normal. If we are informed of any changes to arrangements we will let students and parents/carers know immediately.
In line with this guidance, access arrangement notification forms will be issued to relevant students this week. These will be given to students via form tutors or students can collect them from register trays from Wednesday morning onwards. Any student who has access arrangements (i.e. special arrangements/support) for their examinations should receive a notification form. This form will detail the arrangements for their A Level examinations.
If you are expecting to have access arrangements for your examinations and you have not received a notification form by Friday 20 March, please contact me by e-mail (email@example.com). If you wish to discuss anything detailed in the form, or you think there is a mistake, again please contact me by e-mail. Please note that no changes to examination arrangements can be made after Friday 27 March.
Please be assured we will pass on any information we receive from Ofqual or the examination boards regarding this summer’s examinations.
Mrs E Berks