Coronavirus/Covid 19 update Monday 30 March, 2020
I wanted, firstly, to say a massive thank you to every one of you for the fantastic support you have given to your children to help them with their learning since school has closed.
We know that many of you will have found this difficult for various reasons: poor health; financial worries; having to share computers; the school’s IT systems and key websites such as Hegarty Maths creaking under the load; juggling work and parental responsibilities, or simply because you might yourself not have known the answers. As some of you know, my children are 8, 11 and 12 years old, so my wife and I have shared many of the same experiences: the highs and lows, the pride and frustration, the relief at coming to the end of the week and then the question about what to do at the weekend.
Please also pass on a massive ‘well done’ to your children – overall, they were brilliant last week, with more than one teacher saying that their classes had never worked so hard. Thank you also for bearing with us, whilst our systems have been adapted to ‘the new normal’.
We now have just under a week until the end of the spring term. Please note the following:
- We would love to get your feedback about what has been working well and what we can do better as a ‘virtual’ school. If you are happy to provide feedback, please complete our survey via the following link (it only takes 5-10 minutes):
Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us to ensure that our systems improve should we face an extended closure after the Easter break.
- Lessons will finish for all students on Friday at 1.10pm, and the Easter holidays will last for two weeks as normal, during which time teachers will also be on holiday and therefore not setting any work. We are looking into whether we might be able to set optional enrichment tasks over Easter to support parents, but we cannot confirm this at present. The summer term will start on Monday April 20th at 9.50am. It is likely that school will still be closed at that point and that students will be starting the new term at home.
- If you are a key-worker who is required to be in work, or your child has an EHCP or a social worker, or they cannot stay home safely and it is therefore essential that they come into school, your child CAN come into school this week and during the Easter holidays. In all other cases, they must stay at home. Further information will be provided in a separate letter regarding this holiday provision.
- If you or your child are struggling in any way with the work or with any aspects of the school closure, please contact your child’s tutor, year leader or pastoral link member of staff. New advice was issued last week about how to maintain good mental health and emotional wellbeing during this difficult time – please access this advice at the following link.
- The advice is aimed at everyone, not just children, but key points for our students would be to look after your physical wellbeing and your sleep; talk about your worries; limit the amount of news you watch/ listen to; maintain a regular routine; try not to spend all day staring at a screen, and do things you enjoy. In addition, we are now providing more detailed support on our website - please follow the link here.
- Further information regarding GCSEs and A Levels is due to be published later this week. The most recent advice to schools is here. Headteachers do not receive any information in advance of parents, but, once the guidance is released, we will communicate our considered response as soon as we can. In the meantime, Year 11 and Year 13 students should continue to follow their teachers’ instructions, and Year 11 students should submit their Practice Exams as advised.
- We know that many of our families will have been affected financially by this crisis. We are currently providing Sainsbury’s Vouchers to all our Free School Meals students. If you think your child may now be eligible for Free School Meals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you require further financial support, please contact the Southwark Emergency Support Scheme.
- Please find below a letter from our Safer Schools officer and guidance from the Met Police of how to avod becoming the victim of one of the many online scams that have proliferated since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
Thank you again for your support. Please ensure your child continues to work hard this week and ends the term well. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” It is important that our students stay in the habit of learning even whilst they are not physically in school.
As always, I hope that you and your family are healthy and well. We are all being affected in different ways, but for those of you who might be more badly affected at this time, our thoughts are with you, and remember that we will try to help you in whatever way we can.
Christian Hicks, Headteacher
The instruction in case of suspected Coronavirus infection is now to stay at home for 14 days if you or someone in your household have either:
- a high temperature (above 37.8)
- a new continuous cough
- Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women
- People should work from home where they can
- People should stop all unnecessary travel
- People should avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres. This applies especially to those in London which is "a few weeks ahead" of the rest of the UK
- By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions should be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks.
In addition, in order to avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If your child or any relative has an underlying health condition that makes them more vulnerable to Coronavirus, please contact the school.
Full advice on what to do if you are worried about you or a member of your family becoming ill from Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
General advice, guidance and latest updates on Coronavirus can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Guidance for educational settings can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19.
The Department for Education has a helpline to answer questions about Coronavirus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).