16th March 2020
I would like to thank everyone for their support during the last couple of weeks during this extraordinary time. Mr Lockyer has written to you to detail the advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England, implemented in all schools of our Trust, and he has outlined the day to day routines we must all adopt. I would like to thank our students for taking their responsibilities seriously and adopting good hand-hygiene habits.
I am writing to inform you of the current position, our plans should this change over coming days or weeks, and how you can support.
Obviously our first concern is the health of everyone in the school community, and also that students continue to receive the very best standards of education.
Advice to schools in England
As you know, the current advice is for schools to continue to run as normal and we ask you to send children to school as normal. Anyone presenting with the symptoms of Coronavirus should stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days, these symptoms being:
New persistent cough
It is important to note that there are plenty of children, and adults, who may have a cold at this time of year, but may not be infected with the Coronavirus. If you feel your child needs to stay at home because they are presenting the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus, please contact the school in the usual way and inform us. Parents of a student with a pre-existing long term medical condition should in addition contact their GP for advice.
The school will provide, on request, a work pack for isolated students in Years 7-9 to do whilst they recover.
Handwashing advice – Covid XIX
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
What would happen if the school had to close?
The teachers have been preparing for the possibility that the government will decide to close schools. School site closure is not the same as holiday. It is vital that education continues and teachers will be setting work which students must complete at home, via Show My Homework. I know that there is a very regular use of Show My Homework across the school by both students and parents. If you have any log on issues please ensure that you or your child sorts these out as soon as possible with Mr Wileman or Mr Cajkler.
Students in all year groups will be set work with top priority going to those in Year 11, 12 and 13 who are taking public examinations. Extensive resources including “Knowledge Organisers” and practice papers have already been distributed to these students who should have a clear idea of how to structure their revision. These will also be available on Show My Homework.
Students also have access to a range of online resources which can be used at home. In the event of a closure I will publish a further letter to you that itemises the work to be done and ways of communicating with teachers.
At the moment the advice from the examination boards is to continue to prepare as normal. We are monitoring this closely of course, and will communicate any changes, however students must focus on revision.
School this week – Year 7 Parents meeting
This week school is operating as usual. This includes any after-school activities and Year 7 Parents’ Consultation Meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Visits and Fixtures until Easter
We have taken the decision to postpone or cancel all school visits for the remainder of term. I do understand that this will be disappointing for students and I trust that they will understand. Should it be possible, we will try to rearrange things in due course.
We very much appreciate your support and understanding in these highly unusual times. Thank you for your continued support, and please remember the teachers and students in your prayers.
Encouragement from Pope Francis
Speaking from the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis addressed the problems created by the present situation. He reminded us that “United to Christ we are never alone, but we form one single Body, of which He is the Head.” This, he said, is “a union that is nourished with prayer, and also with the spiritual communion in the Eucharist.” The Pope thanked priests for their dedication and creativity at this time and he thanked the many volunteers who are helping the elderly, the poor, and the homeless: “Thank you for all the efforts each of you are making to help in this extremely difficult moment, said the Pope, “May the Lord bless you and Our Lady watch over you”.