COVID-19 Update, 21 March – Examinations and Online Learning

by | Mar 21, 2020 | Ackworth School, COVID-19

To all members of the Ackworth School community,


Heads of House and Reception staff have spent the past two weeks assisting students in making arrangements to return home or to relocate to their UK guardian. We have said all along that those who have to remain will continue to be cared for – our commitment to them and to you is confirmed.

The majority of students now have plans in place to return home or to relocate to their UK guardian. There are a few who are experiencing difficulties owing to flight restrictions and we will continue to care for them.

We have been advised that students should return home or to their UK guardians as soon as possible. Those who are unable to, for reasons that they have discussed with us, will continue to be supported by us.  We do not know, however, how the situation will evolve.  So much has happened in the past 48 hours and we do not know what restrictions on travel or movement will be in place in a week’s time.

If at all possible, please investigate the options for your child to either return home or to a UK Guardian.


We understand that awarding bodies will be asking teachers to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead. Teachers will be asked to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – we expect that clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools.

The awarding bodies will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.

In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. Regulators will aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances. Universities will be in new territory as they agree and allocate places.

We strongly advise that students continue to work as hard as possible. Work which they do now may become the most relevant evidence that they have of their ability to achieve the highest grades. They must continue to work, under the guidance of their teachers through remote learning, to produce the best work possible as evidence which could be used to support their final grade.


As I explained in previous communications, we are now providing education online.

Ackworth School’s remote learning approach will follow our normal term dates, with Spring term ending on Friday, 27th March, resuming for the Summer term on Monday, 20th April.

From Monday, 30th March we will continue to provide care for boarders in residence, children of critical (key) workers, and vulnerable children.

We appeal to parents and guardians who are considered to be critical workers to follow the principle of keeping their children at home if it all possible, and to only send them to school if there is no safe alternative.

See our previous COVID-19 communications here:


Lower Sixth (L6) students should expect to sit all of their exams in the summer of 2021 and they must be working towards this. Students should also expect to sit internal exams this calendar year. Applications to university will be based on predicted grades and predicted grades will be based on the work students are doing now.

Any concerns over any individual candidates will be communicated directly to their parents and specific advice and guidance given.

Lower Sixth students must continue to work hard and will all be returning to us as soon as school re-opens.

Advanced Foundation students should continue to work in readiness for transition to the Lower Sixth next year.

4th AND 5th FORMS

All offers to join our Sixth Form next year still stand as per the offer letter. We look forward to welcoming these students back to us.

The 4th Form should expect to sit their public exams in the summer of 2021 and they must be working towards this. These students should also expect to sit internal exams this calendar year.

Pre-A Level students should continue to work hard in preparation for their return to Ackworth School.

1st – 3rd FORMS

We expect all 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Form students to be working to complete work set by their teachers.


All pupils have been issued with a QR code which they need to scan into the device they will be using at home. This will facilitate a two-way communication between home and School.

We ask parents to proactively communicate with teachers if they have any questions or difficulties in facilitating distance learning.


Parents will be able to submit these observations to the Digital Learning Book where Nursery staff and the Reception teacher will be able to monitor and evidence progress. Communication will be primarily via the SeeSaw Class App.


Ackworth School will be open for children in the Autism Resource until further notice.  If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Ward.


Our SENCO, Jo Laidlaw has been in contact with parents of senior school students receiving learning support to ensure provision can continue remotely. All students and parents have been made aware of their mentors in the Learning Support Team. These mentors will liaise with teachers to ensure that support is available.

Similarly, Learning Support Teacher, Helene Clugston will be in contact with parents of students in Coram House.


We will continue to update parents and students with the latest information. We encourage students to contact their teachers or the relevant member of staff with any individual queries.

We encourage everyone to demonstrate their true character in response to this crisis. How we support each other, our local and online communities, will reflect admirably on all of us in the future.

Anton Maree