School Closure and Coronavirus Information
Coronavirus (Covid-19) update and advice for families
Some Useful Links For Home Learning - Friday 27th March 2020
Audible (Free Audio books during school closures): www.audible.co.uk
Bitesize (GCSE): https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/z98jmp3
Hegarty Maths: https://hegartymaths.com/
School Closure Update - Thursday 19th March 2020
You will be aware that schools will be closed to most pupils from Monday 23rd March as part of the Government's strategy to delay the spread of Covid-19.
This is an indefinite closure and could continue for some considerable time. In preparation for this possibility, staff have been setting up Google Classroom accounts and classes for their students. Staff have been going through how to access and use Google Classroom for online home learning.
Students will be expected to continue all their lessons using the online resources provided. It is crucial that they do this so that they do not get behind in their learning and courses. If this situation continues, there will not be the time to catch up everything in school. We have been asking parents and students to let us know if they do not have access to online learning at home so that we can support with this.
It is important that students stay in a good learning routine and parents need to monitor and support this. They should get up and start school work at the normal time. Teachers will be monitoring any submissions requested and awarding Step Points for completing their work. In the main, teachers will be available to answer student questions and to communicate with them via Google Classroom or school email accounts. Please do also check that your child is using the internet safely and following the safe internet advice on our website. If students have any issues logging into their accounts they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be patient with us at this time. There has been very little time for staff to prepare for this and some will have their own concerns and health worries. It is a difficult time for everyone. If staff are ill and unable to set and monitor work, we will do our best to supplement this in the circumstances.
The Government is expecting schools to provide for and be open to pupils in certain vulnerable group categories as well as those of key workers. We have chased this up and are still awaiting the official list of key workers promised today (7pm on 19th March). When we have this, we will start to make contact to see who is requesting this provision for their child. Please be aware that we will not be able to accept any student into school who falls outside of these categories. This is because the purpose is to limit contact by dramatically reducing numbers in schools whilst ensuring we can try to provide for these students with a potentially much reduced workforce.
We will be putting in arrangements for food to be available for families in receipt of free school meals. Our caterers are planning to provide weekly food parcels that can be collected from reception for those who are eligible for free school meals in the first instance.
The Government have confirmed that GCSE examinations will not go ahead for Year 11 students in May and June this year. This is disappointing as students have been working very hard towards these and we were expecting some of the best results we have had. However, the Government have said that students will get results and certificates. They have said details of how this will be achieved will be released on Friday. Whilst we remain unsure, we are getting our Year 11 students to ensure that their coursework is all completed as much as possible to the highest standard. We have significant amounts of evidence of achievement from mocks, assessments and classwork which is likely to be used as part of the evidence to award GCSEs this year. We are confident that whatever system is used, our Year 11 students will do well and get the results they deserve. We will also look to ensure that they have an appropriate final get together at whatever stage this becomes possible.
These are very difficult and challenging times for us all. I hope that you and your family are not seriously affected by the current outbreak. We are all hoping to get back to normal in the not too distant future, whilst preparing for a long period should that be necessary.
From Monday, our normal communication channels will remain open. If you have a general query, you can use the parent app or email email@example.com. Alternatively, you can telephone the school and the majority of staff will be available to deal with any concerns or queries that you have. We would encourage you to keep in contact with us and keep us informed.
Thank you for your ongoing support and please be assured we will do our very best to support our school community during this uncertain period.
The latest government advice can be found here.
** Please can we ask parents who are self isolating not to come in to school. Any queries should be made either by phone, MyEd or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
As you will be aware, there is an international outbreak of a new virus that has symptoms similar to winter flu. The Government is working closely with the NHS and local councils to make sure that we have good plans in place, if there is an increase in the number of cases in this country.
Coronavirus (also called Covid-19) is generally very mild and symptoms include a fever and a cough. For some people, it can be very serious and so it is important that we try to limit the spread of the infection.
There are a few things that we can all do, that will really help to stop the spread of viruses:
- always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze
- bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment. Germs can live on some surfaces for hours
- if you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or another healthcare environment
Public Health England are regularly reviewing the guidance to people returning from affected countries and the latest advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public.
Currently, there are three different levels of advice, depending on where people are travelling from.
1. If you have returned from the specific areas listed below since February 19th, you should call NHS 111, self-isolate and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:
- Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy (Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgerundo, Somaglia, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, Vo’ Eugane, San Fiorano)
- Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea
- Hubei province (in the last 14 days)
Therefore, if any pupil, parent or staff has come back from any of the areas above since February 19th, they should not come to school, follow the PHE advice and let the school know.
2. If you have returned from the areas listed below since February 19th and have developed symptoms, however mild, you should self-isolate and avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
- Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
3. If you have returned to the UK from any of the areas below in the last 14 days and developed symptoms, however mild, you should self-isolate and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
• Republic of Korea
• Hong Kong
‘Self-isolation’ means that you or the person you are caring for should remain in your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, religious venues or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis until you have been told that is safe to do so. You will need to ask for help if you require groceries, other shopping or medications. Alternatively, you can order by phone or online. The delivery instruction needs to state that the items are to be left outside, or in the porch, or as appropriate for your home.
With regards to travel advice for the Easter holidays, we are monitoring the situation closely and are meeting very regularly; we will continue to take advice from Public Health England and will update you as soon as we have further information.