Coronavirus update - School closure to most students
19th March 2020
Coronavirus update – school closure to most students
Thank you for your on-going support. Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.
The Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. We will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs.
We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories. For your reference, we will circulate a list of key workers as defined by the Cabinet Office as soon as it is released.
Please email email@example.com with your child’s name and Mentor if this applies to your family circumstances if possible by Friday 20th March by 9am to allow us to plan and we will be in touch to make arrangements. The Local Authority have advised that transport to the school will still be running for those students who we have notified will be in school. All other children will need to stay at home.
Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by ParentMail and posting notices on our school website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home
Your child’s learning is of course important to us. In the background we have been planning for possible closure and the provision of learning resources during any period of closure to help continue your child’s education. This will look slightly different for different groups of learners according to their age and stage. In addition to the printed work pack sent home for every learner, work will be set every Friday via our ShowMyHomework online learning platform.
If your child usually receives free school meals we have committed to being a Hub to distribute meal packs to our students and also primary schools who are part of this agreement. The Hub will run from Monday 23rd March, and then every Monday after this (including the Easter Holiday) from Humphry Davy School between 12pm and 2pm. One parent will need to collect a care package (containing essential items such as; bread, cheese, fruit, snacks, cereal bars etc..) that will last 5 days.
Communication with staff and the school
To ensure most effective use of limited resources, please ensure all communication from students regarding work set is via ShowMyHomeWork.
All generic enquiries from parents, carers and the wider community should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org Please be aware that staff may not be in school, may be suffering the effects of the coronavirus themselves or may be supporting dependents so will endeavour to respond to all emails marked 'URGENT' in the subject line within three days. Other emails will be checked as and when possible.
Please note, the exception is if you have any safeguarding or child protection concerns regarding your own or other children and families. Please contact our safeguarding team directly by emailing both Miss Gittins email@example.com and Mr Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org and they will respond accordingly.
There is a link on the school webpage for children if they have safeguarding or welfare concerns and need to talk to a trained staff member. Attached is a useful document aimed at students, regarding ‘coronavirus and your wellbeing’.
Year 11 GCSE Examinations
In the Commons, the Secretary of State, Mr Gavin Williamson, announced ''In England, all exams in May and June have been cancelled, including GCSEs, A-levels and primary school national curriculum tests known as Sats.” ... “We will work with the sector and [the exams watchdog] Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications that they need."
There are no details published yet what this means in reality beyond, “The GCSE exams are cancelled”. Our Year 11 students have invested themselves and shown great dedication and determination in preparing for the GCSE examinations. I believe the decision to cancel is absolutely the correct one but the situation will be very frustrating for all the students affected. Our staff are very aware this will have a significant impact upon them and we are planning behind the scenes to identify ways to showcase their amazing work and celebrate their talents before the end of the year.
This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that the latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Thank you again for your continued support and understanding, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.
W A Marshall