eLearning Support for Students & Parents
4th January 2021

Please see the bottom of this message for FAQs related to eLearning and the present period of lockdown…


Dear Families,

I hope you are well. I am posting this message in advance of the new term tomorrow (Tuesday 5th January 2021) to flag a couple of links which may be of help to families regarding online learning.

The lessons will follow the normal timetable for students and although self-isolating students experienced online remote sessions while being away from school, this will be the first time that all 1300 students will be accessing all lessons remotely at the same time. I anticipate that there will be some glitches.

To help resolve any matters as soon as possible, we have created an online form for students and parents/guardians to log issues:

Click Here to Log an eLearning Issue  

We have also set-up a web-page that enables you to check on the status of our eLearning platforms of on Microsoft Teams and FireFly and view guidance on how to access them:


Please take a few minutes to read the letter about accessing lessons entitled “Online learning during staggered start” that appears on the above web-page and can be downloaded below.

Both of the above links are also accessible through the “COVID Return to School” section of our school homepage: 


Yours sincerely

Mr Botwe

Online learning during staggered start – Letter Getting started on FireFly – Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please find below the answers to a list of questions which have been most frequently posed this week. I will update the list every week:

1) How does my child access online learning?

You can find out about how to access online learning and live lessons via our “eLearning Support” section of our website. The link below provides you information about how students can access live lessons and Firefly. There are also details of an online form that you can use if you are encountering problems during the day. We have a dedicated team who are regularly checking any issues that are logged. Please click here to view this element of support.

2) What is happening with exams this year?

You will be aware that the government announced that it does not plan for summer exams to take place in the normal way for our current year 11s and 13s. We are awaiting the details of what will happen next. It seems likely that teachers will be asked to submit assessment grades, so it is important that students continue to complete any work that has been set and attend lessons. Please view the letter which was sent home to year 11 and 13 families:

GCSE and A-Level Exams Update

NB: All public exams which have been scheduled for January will still take place in school. Mrs Clayton from the Exams Office has been in touch with all students who are involved.

3) What is happening with Year 9 assessments?

As per yesterday’s communications with families, Year 9 exams will now be carried out virtually in the weeks commencing 11th and 18th January. The slightly adapted timetable will be available on Firefly by the end of the day (Friday 8th January).

4) Will we have a chance to provide feedback about how online learning is going?

Once we have gone through the first cycle of the timetable (two weeks) we will be sending out a survey to enable all stakeholders to provide feedback on their experiences of online learning.

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