27 March 2020 Update

Dear Parents, Carers and Students

I’m going to start with a History lesson, because I used to be a History Teacher!

French Calendar

During the French Revolution, the Republican Revolutionaries who had overthrown the monarchy decided to mark the break from the past and the dawn of a new age of liberty by throwing out the old Gregorian calendar and replacing it with a completely new, Republican calendar. So, henceforth, the year of the official proclamation of the Republic (1792) would become Year One, with each of the months of the year named after natural elements.


So what’s my point?


Firstly, I can now officially proclaim that we have reached the end of Week One of the Virtual Park House regime! Thank you for all your help and support in getting us there... I have no intention of it becoming a year!


And, secondly, like the Republican Calendar, it won’t last long! We will be back in school, as a community, very soon.


So to provide a final update at end of ‘Week One’:


Virtual Learning

  • A re-emphasis that our immediate priority was to put in place, at short notice, a known and workable scheme that would guarantee that learning would continue, albeit in a necessarily limited and basic way


  • We also know and appreciate that this scheme will need to be modified as we go forward, that there are inconsistencies and that it is posing you challenges. We are listening and working on it moving forward


  • As I said in my update on Wednesday - Obviously a common sense approach needs to apply all round in terms of the completion and supervision of work going forward. I fully appreciate how hard it is for parents who are themselves working from home whilst balancing with all the skills and challenges that come from parenting teenagers, almost teenagers and their younger siblings in normal times! Having regular breaks, downtime and exercise are vital. We are all learning together about what works best!


  • We really appreciate your support and understanding. I make no secret of the fact that my aim is to get us to the end of next week and then take stock of how we further refine and improve the learning experience moving forward after Easter


  • Please may I remind you, if you have any technical issues, please contact VLE@parkhouseschool.org as soon as possible


Education Technology company Aspire2Be are offering what promises to be an excellent home learning surgery next Wednesday. To sign up, please register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1hvS8JfqnnmOj7xmWaB2IzYgwlnO_iFmd1DMqr5BMbwhUsg/viewform

Home Learning


GCSE and A Level Grading Update

For parents and students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form Ofqual, the body which coordinates all examinations, issued the following general, but reassuring statement late last night about the process for awarding grades and an indicative timescale for further information by Easter:




To Parents of Key Workers and Vulnerable groups only:

We remain totally committed to supporting your valued and essential work. Thank you for everything that you are doing on all our behalf. As you will understand, we are also looking to protect our staff as much as possible and we are therefore aiming to minimise provision, or potentially close or partially close the school, over the Easter holiday.  You will have received a separate communication asking you to indicate your needs over the holiday period. If these can, as far as you know them at this point, please be sent to attendance@parkhouseschool.org by 6pm on Sunday 29 March 2020 to enable us to plan a staffing rota as and if needed. Thank you.


Weekly Enrichment, ‘In-House’ and Fun Challenges

  • Keep the ‘In-House’ Challenge going over the weekend! We’ve had loads of brilliant responses so far!
  • Get Berkshire Active have created a page designed to help people stay active at home. Please follow this link for more information: https://getberkshireactive.org/active-at-home



If you are a Park House Sixth Form student, a secure, safe social interaction group has been set up in Teams called PH6 Common Room and all have membership. In order to access, please use your PHS email address via RM Unify. If students need assistance with this, please email vle@parkhouseschool.org. The attached document may also help if you have any issues logging in.


Sixth Form students please also look out for an email from Mr Hawkins with a link to the first Sixth Form newsletter.


The National Theatre at Home have announced a project that will see its National Theatre Live collection of filmed live productions streamed for free every Thursday from 2nd April for the next two months. More information available at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.


I started with a History lesson, so I’ll finish with some English!


In Act 2, Scene 2 of Hamlet, Hamlet says...

There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.


Indeed. Let’s think about all the good that we have already done and achieved this week. And look forward to working together to make things even better in the next. Here’s to Week Two!


Have a good and safe weekend. Thinking of you.


D J Peaple