Dear Parents

COVID-19

I hope you received my email last night outlining the new guidance issued yesterday.  Our position remains the same which is to always adhere to the guidance from the government.  This does, of course, keep changing and I will endeavour to communicate any changes to school routines as soon as possible once new guidance has been issued.  Please remain vigilant and contact me should you feel I have missed something.  The latest government guidance can be found here.

Below I have outlined a few practical steps we are taking as a school to ensure we look after the health of the children and how we intend to ensure their continuity of education.

Handwashing

We continue to encourage the children to prioritise handwashing; thank you for doing so too.  Should your son/daughter be having an adverse reaction (delicate skin, for example) please feel free to send them into school with some moisturiser (I believe unperfumed is the best).

Self-Isolation

Pupils showing symptoms of COVID-19 must now self-isolate for 7 days from the date they first noticed the symptoms.  The symptoms are: a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough.  Please ensure your children do not come into school if they display these symptoms.  We will, of course, endeavour to send work home for these children.

School Closure

Should the school close early, we will continue to provide work for the pupils through a virtual learning platform called Microsoft Teams (for older year groups) or via emails to parents (for our younger children).

All pupils in Year 11 have been introduced to Microsoft Teams via Office 365 and we will be introducing it to other year groups early next week.  Microsoft Teams is a virtual learning facility which is available on all platforms and through any browser; you merely need to have internet access.  This will allow all teachers to upload work for the children and, in the case of our pupils undertaking examinations, message and offer tutorial support.  It works rather like Skype/Facebook and is a secure way in which the teachers and pupils can message each other.  I have attached a fact sheet to explain how to download it: please click here and feel free to explore it with your children.

Children in the Senior School will be required to have their textbooks and exercise books at home during any period of closure.  We have started to encourage the children to take books home to avoid having to carry too many books home on the day of closure (should it happen).

We hope any enforced closure will have a minimum impact (particularly because we have legislated for a three week Easter holiday).  However, we will continually review our provision during the duration of the absence and I will let you know of any changes to routines.

Year 11

I met with Year 11 yesterday to allay any fears they may have with respect to their examinations and the impact school closures will have on their results.  My main message was that the government will not disadvantage the children.  Whilst we are in uncharted waters at the moment and we hope the examinations will take place, should they be affected, I do not doubt the examination regulator, Ofqual, will devise a fair way of calculating grades. The children should just continue to prepare for the examinations.

The vast majority of subjects have completed their teaching for the examinations and the pupils are in a strong position to revise independently, using guidance given through Microsoft Teams.  For those subjects which have not quite finished, learning packs have been prepared which the pupils will be able to complete independently, again with support being offered through Microsoft Teams.

School Trip to Germany

A separate email has been sent to parents regarding this trip.  Needless to say, if the government advice remains not to travel (which we fully expect to be the case) the trip will not go ahead.

Travel over Easter

You will be aware that there are currently periods of insolation necessary for people who have travelled from some countries.   None of us can predict how this will change over the coming weeks.  Should you be travelling over Easter, please check this list before the children return to school and please adhere to the guidance.  Should your son/daughter return and require self-isolation we will, of course, support their learning remotely.

And in other news…

National Netball Finals

I’m travelling down to the national netball finals this weekend.  We’re already incredibly proud of the girls for reaching the final 18 in the country and any silverware would be the icing on the cake.

Junior School Museum in a Classroom – Thursday 19 March

We’re still pressing ahead with our plans for our wonderful Museum in a Classroom.  We’ve attached a programme to give you a preview of some of the exciting displays the children have prepared for you: please click here

With best wishes

Ken James

Headmaster

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