Daily Update

21 May 2020

Dear Parents / Carers,

School Provision for Children of Critical Workers / Vulnerable Children

Thank you all for your support today. Due to all parents / carers being able to keep their children at home today, I was able to close the school and hence further protect our staff and families.   As no critical worker has contacted me regarding support, I am assuming that we will not have any students in school tomorrow.  However, if your circumstances change, please contact me directly - dmckeown@thedeanes.essex.sch.uk. 


Reopening of The Deanes - Phase 1


Following from my previous emails, if your intention is for your child to return to school as part of Phase 1, please complete this survey https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Deanes-Phase1/  tonight - Thursday 21 May 2020, if you have not already done so.  

Once we have an idea of the number of students returning, we will contact the parents / carers of this group with further details.  Please note, this is only for children of critical workers or children with EHCPs or a social worker.

 I wish to stress that parents/carers retain the authority to decide whether school is an appropriate environment for their children. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels. 


Year 8 Option Choices


The deadline for the Year 8 Options choices is tomorrow - Friday 22 May 2020.  I have added the original details below for your convenience.


How to contact us


Can I also remind you that we want to do what we can to support our students and their families during this period.  

In order to help with communication, we have set up a quick form.  By using this form, we will be able to respond to you very quickly and it will allow our reception staff to remain at home.

If you need to contact us during this difficult period, please click here.  The form is also on our website under the 'Contact Us' menu item.


In the meantime, I hope you all stay safe.



Desi McKeown







Dear Parent/Guardian,


I am writing to inform you of changes to our curriculum.  Firstly, we have decided to move from a two-year Key Stage 3 to a three-year Key Stage 3.  This will mean that your child will continue to study the National Curriculum until the end of Year 9.  


Secondly, we have made changes to our options process which will enable students to personalise some aspects of their curriculum before then opting for their GCSE and equivalent courses at the end of Year 9.

Our rationale is set out below:

  • We are committed to keeping the curriculum as broad and rich for as long as possible
  • Our students will have the opportunity to develop the breadth and depth of their subject knowledge (Promise #3)
  • Our students will be better equipped to deal with the demands of Key Stage 4 (Promise #3)
  • Our students will have the maximum chance to develop their interests and explore possible career pathways (Promise #3)
  • Our students will have greater opportunities to develop their transferrable skills across the curriculum (Promise #4).

By moving to a three-year Key Stage 3, our students are able to master a broad range of subjects before choosing which courses they would like to specialise in at Key Stage 4.  Previously, students were with us for a year and a half before deciding on their option subjects; we felt this was too soon a time before joining us from Key Stage Two and then deciding on their Key Stage Four.  


As a result of these changes, all students will continue to study Core subjects (English, Maths, Science and RS) and Foundation subjects (Citizenship, History, Geography, ICT, PE, Creative and Languages subjects).


We are pleased to offer students in Year 8 the opportunity to personalise their curriculum by selecting the Creative/Performance and Languages courses they will continue to study in Year 9.  Students will choose three Creative/Performance subjects and one Language subject from the list below:


Creative/Performance Curriculum

Languages Curriculum



Design and Technology



Food and Nutrition





In order to make their selections for the Creative and Languages curriculum, students are required to complete the form using the following link:



The deadline for submitting course selections is Friday 22nd May.  Students will be required to select one ‘reserve’ subject from the Creative Curriculum; whilst we endeavour to accommodate the choices of each individual student, this may not always be possible if a course is oversubscribed or does not run due to lack of demand.


Once in Year 9, students will receive information about the range of GCSE and equivalent qualifications they can opt to study in Key Stage 4.  We anticipate that as a result of the changes we have made at Key Stage 3, students will be better placed to make informed option choices and will have developed broader knowledge and skills to enable them to approach Key Stage 4 confidently.


As with any change, I appreciate that you may have questions or wish to share your views.  As a school we welcome this as we all work together to ensure the most rewarding educational experience for your child (Promise #5).  Please do get in touch using our contact form if you have any comments or queries: Contact Form


Yours sincerely,


Ms K Corp

Deputy Headteacher