Covid-19 Update 19th March 2020

19/03/20

You will be aware by now that schools will be closing for the vast majority of students tomorrow (20th March) until further notice. Given that this summer’s GCSE and A Level examinations have been cancelled we can expect to be closed for a significant amount of time. Over the next couple of days I will be putting together a rota of all staff in school so that we can open for those students we are required to educate; because of the need for social distancing we are probably looking at a small percentage of staff being in school every day. We are aware of our ‘vulnerable’ students but are awaiting clearer guidance regarding making a list of children of key workers and I would ask that when you receive a questionnaire that you return this promptly only if you come into this category.

If your child receives free school meals we will be in touch with you regarding how we can continue to support this provision.

Year 11

I have once again spoken to all of our Year 11 students today in lessons to assure them that their hard work over the past 5 years has not been in vain. They have worked diligently to acquire the skills that will set them up for the rest of their lives; they just won’t be able to show off those skills in their end of year GCSE examinations. They have been an exceptional year group and we will miss them; I have promised them that we will do everything we can to ensure that their Prom goes ahead – even if it’s in the autumn – and that we will definitely be celebrating their achievements at our annual Certificate Evening in November. We will complete their Leavers’ Book online and have it printed for distribution in due course. We are holding a Leavers’ Assembly for them during lesson 5 today and they will not be in school tomorrow. They were also very pleased to hear that we will continue to set them work to complete at home to help them structure their time and ensure they do not get out of good habits before they transfer to college.

Years 7 – 10

Lessons will be as normal today and tomorrow (staff absence still remains very low) and we will take the opportunity to talk students through our expectations of the work they should be completing whilst school is closed. We will also be telling them that they will need a structured approach to what they do in terms of their school work. Please feel free to blame me for the following:

  • Insisting that they do some school work during every week day they are absent; children love a timetable and routine and will thank you for keeping them to it. A good starting point will be to use your child’s usual school timetable. We will leave it up to you to decide whether to set extra homework!
  • Turning off the Wi-Fi when appropriate (you know where the switch is!)

This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience with us as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so. We will have staff in school at the end of a phone or email.

We continue to pray for our school community and our nation. My own prayers are always very simple: I ask God to look after those in need, those who I love and to give me the grace to deal with whatever I am asked to deal with. In the midst of crucially important planning and decision-making today I have had to decide which colour I would like my academic diary to be for next year; and one of my black shoes fell apart – I am currently wearing brown shoes with a black suit!

In Caritas et Veritas,

Mike Holland