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Headteacher's update 34

Published on 06/07/20

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you and your families are well. Thank you for continuing to support your child with their remote learning on Teams. I hope that Teams is now proving to be a more effective platform for remote learning and that the initial teething problems that were evident when it was launched for all students last week have been less prevalent this week as all of us become more skilled in using it.


Returning to school in September

We are delighted that the government published guidance on Thursday of last week that will support us in ensuring that all our students will be back at school full time in September. We can’t wait to get going! The government guidance is very detailed and we are currently working hard to consider the measures we will need to put in place at Westfield to support everyone to come back to school safely. We will provide further information on our plans next week.

In addition to this we are very mindful of the need to catch up missed learning with our students, and particularly those in the current Year 10 whose preparation for GCSEs has been significantly disrupted. Again, we will share our plans on this next week.


GCSE Results Day and Careers Support

Students in Year 11 and their parents/carers will receive a message this week regarding our plans for GCSE results day in August, and also information relating to support that is available from our careers team in advance of results day.


Ofqual Consultation

On Thursday, Ofqual launched their consultation on exams in summer 2021.  The consultation closes on Thursday 16th July 2020 with the final results of decisions released in August 2020. The consultation only applies to GCSE, AS and A -level exams.
Some of the proposals may affect exams that our current Year 10 students are due to sit next summer and so Year 10 students and their parents/carers may wish to respond to the consultation here:
The consultation involves completing an online questionnaire and will give you an opportunity to give your opinion on general changes proposed by Ofqual, as well as some changes that are specific to subjects that your child studies.

In summary, Ofqual’s proposals are:

  • Some changes to exam and assessment requirements for particular subjects, including Art, D&T, Drama, Sciences, Geography – where practicals, non-examined assessments and other coursework are challenging during the pandemic.
  • Some changes to the required subject content in exams for some GCSE subjects – principally GCSE History and Geography.
  • No changes to exams in terms of offering more optional questions.
  • No changes to the number or length of exams in 2021.
  • That GCSE exams would start later in the year than usual (in June rather than May) to allow more teaching time before the exams begin.

If you wish to respond the consultation, please follow the link above by Thursday 16th July. 


‘Thank you, Year 10’

Our Year 10 students have been fantastic since they returned to school on 15th June. Last week, all students had a science lesson in addition to lessons in maths and English. The attitude to learning demonstrated by this year group has been exceptional and we know that if they maintain this attitude to learning in Year 11 the sky is the limit! Thank you Year 10!


Many thanks for your continued support.

Take care,

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School,