2020-03-19 E-mail to parents with updated coronavirus information
E-mail sent to parents on 19th March 2020
Dear Parent or Carer,
As part of the public health strategy to delay the spread of the coronavirus, I need to inform you that the school is required to close to the majority of students for an indefinite time period from Monday 23rd March.
The school recognise that a school closure at any time is concerning for students, parents and carers and appreciate the challenges that this will cause for families over the coming days.
The advice from the Department for Education is that, during the period of the school closure, students should, as far as is possible, remain at home and inside. Information regarding how best to ‘stay at home’ can be found on the government’s coronavirus webpage, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection . Should a student or a member of your household contract the coronavirus, or start exhibiting symptoms, parents or carers should follow the advice on the following page, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.
The school’s priority over the coming days is that students remain safe, have a warm meal each day and are able to access learning materials at home. The school will also strive to ensure that, as far as possible, parents and carers are kept informed of any developments that affect either their daughter’s education or the school.
If, during the school closure, a student or parent is concerned about their wellbeing or safety, or that of another person, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘safeguarding concern’ as the subject of the email. Their name and the name of the person they are concerned about should be the only content in the message; please do not write any details of the concern. This email address will be checked daily by the school’s safeguarding team and a member of staff will respond to the email to arrange a telephone conversation.
In recent days, school staff have worked incredibly hard to design an ‘Independent Learning Area’ (ILA) on Google Classroom, so that students can have remote access to learning materials for each of their subjects. A guide explaining to students how to access the ILA and complete the work for each subject is attached. The school recommend that students aim to complete an hour of English, mathematics and science work each day and at least half an hour of two additional subjects. Students at Highbury Fields School are avid readers and the school strongly recommends that students read an age appropriate book for at least half an hour each day. A reading list will be put on the ILA for each year group. The school will aim to provide hard copies of learning materials for students who do not have Internet or computer facilities at home.
Students are likely to spend a considerable period of time inside over the coming days and weeks. Whilst the continuity of their education is important, equally as significant is their physical and emotional wellbeing. The school will put on the ILA six ‘workouts’ that students can complete indoors to keep them active and will also create a ‘wellbeing’ section of the ILA with advice for students and parents. Although they might see less of one another, the school recommends that students continue to communicate with their friends regularly via the telephone and that parents and carers limit the amount of time their daughters spend on social media. Attached with this letter are the contact numbers of services that parents, carers or students may wish to contact about emotional wellbeing.
The school will strive to provide a limited service for the duration of the school closure to the children of parents or carers who are key workers and for students who would like a hot meal. The details of this provision are being organised and will be dependent upon staffing and government advice.
In the week of Monday 23rd March, the school will be open between 10.00am and 2.00pm for the children of parents or carers who are key workers. The school will only be able to offer provision to these students if their parent or carer requests it. The school will also be open between 12.00pm and 1.00pm to any student who would like a free hot meal, but again only at the request of a parent or carer.
If a parent or carer would like their daughter to attend school in the week of Monday 23rd March because they are a key worker or for a hot meal, then they should follow the link a Google Form to request this. The form should be completed by 2.00pm on Friday 20th March and the school will not be able to make provision for students if a parent or carer has not made the request by this time.
Students who are currently ‘staying at home’ due to either themselves or a member of their household displaying symptoms of the coronavirus will not be able to come into school. If a student or a member of their household subsequently develops symptoms, they should ensure that they stay at home.
Students in Year 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13 should attend school at the usual time of 8.50am tomorrow, Friday 20th March. Whilst the school will not have the capacity to provide lessons for Year 10 and 12 students, the Year 12 examinations will run as scheduled but at the main site. Students in Year 10 and 12 are welcome to attend school if they wish to complete independent study. If students in Year 10 and 12 do wish to attend school, they must arrive by 8.50am and Year 10 students must be in full school uniform. School will finish tomorrow for all year groups at 2.30pm.
The school will continue to keep parents and carers aware of any further developments by email and text message. It is anticipated that the email address for parents and carers, email@example.com will continue to be monitored each day during the school closure, although this will be dependent upon the availability of staff and a response cannot be guaranteed.
It is with great sadness that I have had to write this letter. I would like to praise the response of both students and staff to what is and will continue to be an exceptionally difficult period of time and thank parents and carers for their unwavering support of the school. Our community is incredibly strong and supportive and I have no doubt that it will remain so in the days and weeks ahead.
I hope that you and your families are as well as you can be in the circumstances and would like to give you my very best wishes.