20/03/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Friday 20 March 2020 pm addendum

Dear Parents, Carers and Students

You may already have seen the following initial press release has just been issued. We will reflect on this, as I am sure you will, and comment again early next week once we have considered it and we may be in receipt of further information.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

Best regards

Derek Peaple

 

Friday 20 March 2020 pm

Dear Parent / Carer

 

Thank you for responding so quickly to the earlier request in relation to key worker status. This means that I am now able to reconfirm the arrangements that we shared with you yesterday for week commencing Monday 23 March. These are detailed for you once again below, with some minor updates and additional information. Please now regard this as the definitive position for our arrangements with effect from Monday 23 March.

 

  1. For students who are not the children of key workers or vulnerable groups:

 

  • The ‘virtual timetable, learning and school’ will begin on Monday 23 March

 

  • From Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April i.e. the remainder of this term, all Year groups should follow a daily work pattern from 9.10am-3.25pm based on what would be their ‘normal’ timetable for the day completing the work set by their teachers for their subjects for that day on Show My Homework

 

  • Assuming teachers are well (and not part of a rota that will need to be established for the supervision of children of key workers and vulnerable students) they will be available in ‘real time’ to respond by email to any queries about the work set for that ‘virtual’ lesson

 

  • Yr 12 students will additionally have the opportunity for seminar style learning through Microsoft Teams as appropriate. Details to follow

 

  • Any technical issues relating to this virtual learning environment should be sent by email to VLE@parkhouseschool.org

 

As you will of course appreciate, I will not expect staff to respond to any queries about a specific lesson outside of that lesson time, or to any emails beyond the normal school working day of 8.35am-3.25pm, or at any time during weekends or throughout the previously identified school holiday period.

 

Based on a review of practice, this approach will then continue from the ‘start’ of the summer term - 20 April 2020.

 

  1. For parents, carers and students in Years 11, 12 (who had any scheduled public exams), 13 and 14:

 

We are still to receive any further information about arrangements for the award of grades this summer. As soon as we have more information about what will be required, we will contact you directly as a specific group.

 

  • A daily point of contact will be available for these Year groups to address any specific individual concerns as follows:

 

 

  • We will also share any information from the universities and UCAS as it is released to us

 

 

  • Please rest assured that should the closure of schools continue into late June, i.e. the period when we would be undertaking Sixth Form Induction activities, we will put in place appropriate arrangements for these to take place ‘virtually’

 

  1. For students who are the children of identified key workers or vulnerable groups:

 

  • Arrangements are now in place for the supervised completion in school of the work set for all other students on Show My Homework

 

  • All students in this category will only be able to access the school through the pedestrian gate at the main entrance and should report to the Learning Support building at 9.10am on Monday 23 March

 

  • Students will NOT be required to wear school uniform.  However, school policy relating to jewellery, make-up and hairstyles will remain in place – because there will be physical activity built into the school day whenever possible

 

  • A limited food service will be available

 

  • We will unfortunately not be able to continue to provide any form of transport service to the school - students should arrive for the start of their first learning period at 9.10am

 

  • Details of holiday provision for this group of students will follow in due course

 

  1. General

 

Our sense of community is what makes Park House so special. We will do all in our power to maintain this ‘virtually’ through the following approaches:

 

  • I will issue an update communication every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

 

  • Myself, Senior Staff and Heads of Learning will be contactable by email during the weekday working hours already identified to answer any general or welfare queries - or of course those related to university entrance or transition once arrangements become clearer nationally

 

  • My weekly blogs will continue!

 

  • Enrichment activities will be circulated with links to relevant sites eg:

 

www.200millionminutes.org which encourages all students to keep reading!

This dropbox link >>>  offers year group specific careers advice and guidance activities

  • We are actively investigating ongoing provision of counselling

 

 

  • All families in receipt of free school meals will be contacted individually to confirm the arrangements in place

 

Once circumstances and timescales are clearer we will look at arrangements for leavers’ assemblies and proms so that these key moments in school life are indeed celebrated, albeit not necessarily in the normal timeframe. The behaviour of all students in Years 10, 11 and Sixth Form was exemplary and a credit to everyone yesterday.

 

Thank you so very much for all your incredible support and understanding at this time.

 

I will provide a further general update on Monday.

 

With my very best wishes for the weekend

 

Derek Peaple

 

____________________________________________

Friday 20 March 2020 am

Dear Parent / Carer
 
Thank you for the overwhelming positive responses to the plans we published yesterday to ensure effective virtual learning and limited on site provision for key worker’s children with effect from Monday 23 March. This really is greatly appreciated.
 
As I am sure you will now equally appreciate the publication of the Government guidance on key worker categories, after Midnight, means that these arrangements are being re-evaluated.  Once we have fully worked through the implications of this, we will be in contact later today with a definitive statement about arrangements in place for Monday 23 March and going forward.
 
In the interim, if you believe you fall into one of the key worker categories, please can you assist us by completing the questionnaire that you will shortly receive by separate email regarding your working status.  To enable us to plan, it would help greatly if this could be completed by noon today please. The link to the guidance listing these key worker categories is below:
 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
 
The work being undertaken by all of these groups is greatly valued and appreciated. However, may I also emphasise that the guidance states “many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.”
 
Thus in the context of the Government’s statement “the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.”
 
In these unprecedented times, everybody’s safety is our paramount priority. Thank you for your continued support.
 
Best regards
 
 
Derek Peaple
 

 

Additional comment, Thursday 19 March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer
 
In the absence of any further information from the Government regarding who key workers are, we will be working from the previously issued list of key worker criteria and therefore only accepting those students in school tomorrow (Friday 20 March). Obviously, once the final list has been received from the Government, we will update you accordingly.
 
Thank you for your understanding while the situation remains uncertain. We can only plan based upon what we know at the time of writing this communication.
 
Best regards
 
Derek Peaple
 

 

Thursday 19 March 2020

 

Dear Parents, Carers and Students

Following yesterday’s Government announcements, and the associated uncertainties it created, I am writing to clarify what we now intend to do as a school and to emphasise our commitment to all students. We had already put in place arrangements to support the learning of the children of key workers and those who are most vulnerable. We also especially express our support for all those who have been preparing so conscientiously for public exams this summer. We feel for every one of you and completely understand your frustrations and disappointment. We are with you. As soon as we know more for sure, we will tell you.

It is our shared values that make us so special as a community and it will be those values which will keep us together as a community during the coming weeks. These times of uncertainty will pass. Our values will remain constant.

I therefore want to summarise what we definitely know at this point and will be doing moving forward.

 

  1. For students who are not the children of key workers or vulnerable groups:

 

  • Years 7, 8 and 9 are already working from home today on work set through Show My Homework

 

  • With the exception of children of key workers and identified vulnerable groups, the school will close for all remaining Years groups – 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 at 3.25pm today, Thursday 19 March. The rationale for this is to enable staff to fully plan for the launch of the virtual school from Monday 23 March 2020. I trust you will understand and appreciate the importance of this

 

  • We will see all of the remaining Year groups in school at assemblies later this afternoon

 

  • Arrangements for the children of key workers and vulnerable groups on Friday 20 March will be as described in section 3 below

 

  • A ‘virtual timetable, learning and school’ will begin on Monday 23 March

 

  • From Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April i.e. the remainder of this term, all Year groups should follow a daily work pattern from 9.10am-3.25pm based on what would be their ‘normal’ timetable for the day completing the work set by their teachers for their subjects for that day on Show My Homework

 

  • Assuming teachers are well (and not part of a rota that will need to be established for the supervision of children of key workers and vulnerable students) they will be available in ‘real time’ to respond by email to any queries about the work set for that ‘virtual’ lesson

 

  • Yr 12 students will additionally have the opportunity for seminar style learning through Microsoft Teams as appropriate. Details to follow

 

  • Any technical issues relating to this virtual learning environment should be sent by email to VLE@parkhouseschool.org

 

As you will of course appreciate, I will not expect staff to respond to any queries about a specific lesson outside of that lesson time, or to any emails beyond the normal school working day of 8.35am-3.25pm, or at any time during weekends or throughout the previously identified school holiday period.

 

Based on a review of practice, this approach will then continue from the ‘start’ of the summer term - 20 April 2020.

 

  1. For parents, carers and students in Years 11, 12 (who had any scheduled public exams), 13 and 14:

 

We had already been working on a contingency that some form of assessment based on estimated grades might be necessary. As soon as we have more information about what will be required, we will contact you directly as a specific group.

 

  • A daily point of contact will be available for these Year groups to address any specific individual concerns as follows:

 

 

  • We will also share any information from the universities and UCAS as it is released to us

 

  • All queries regarding applications to our Sixth Form for September 2020 should be emailed to BHawkins@parkhouseschool.org

 

  1. For students who are the children of identified key workers or vulnerable groups:

 

As you are aware we have already endeavoured to identify these groups and have since Tuesday already been offering provision. I will send out further communication to ensure we have covered all as now identified by Government guidance.

 

  • Once the cohort of students is identified, we will continue the existing arrangements we already have in place i.e. supervised completion of the work set for all other students on Show My Homework

 

  • A rooming timetable will be issued

 

  • A limited food service will be available

 

  • We will unfortunately not be able to continue to provide any form of transport service to the school - students should arrive for the start of their first learning period at 9.10am

 

  • Details of holiday provision for this group of students will follow in due course

 

  1. General

 

As I already stated, a sense of community is what makes Park House so special. We will do all in our power to maintain this ‘virtually’ through the following approaches:

 

  • I will issue an update communication every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

 

  • Myself, Senior Staff and Heads of Learning will be contactable by email during the weekday working hours already identified to answer any general or welfare queries - or of course those related to university entrance or transition once arrangements become clearer nationally

 

  • My weekly blogs will continue!

 

  • Enrichment activities will be circulated with links to relevant sites, eg 200millionminutes.org which encourages all students to keep reading!

 

  • We are actively investigating ongoing provision of counselling,

 

 

Once circumstances and timescales are clearer we will look at arrangements for leavers’ assemblies and proms so that these key moments in school life are indeed celebrated, albeit not necessarily in the normal timeframe.

 

I will write again tomorrow with a further update. Thank you so very much for all your incredible support and understanding at this time.

 

With my very best wishes

 

Derek Peaple

 

___________________________________________________

Dear Parent / Carer

Further to our earlier communication today (immediately below) regarding the extended partial school closure for Years 7, 8 and 9, I would like to clarify that children of key workers in these year groups are not directed to attend school.  If you are a key worker, this is optional and is intended to assist with your arrangements at this unprecedented time.

To clarify, children of key workers in Years 7, 8 and 9 may come in to school as normal and report to rooms CR4 and CR5 where they will be registered and supervised as they complete the work that has been set for their year group on Show My Homework.

Apologies for any confusion caused.

Best regards

D J Peaple, Headteacher

 

Update – Extended Partial School Closure for Years 7, 8 and 9 – Thursday 19 March 2020
 
Dear Parent / Carer
 
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and understanding as we manage this unprecedented situation. This support is greatly appreciated and reflective of our outstanding sense of community, something which is even more special and important at this time.
 
I am sorry to have to advise that as levels of staff absence have inevitably increased, it is now necessary to extend our partial closure to Year 7 with effect from tomorrow, Thursday 19 March.  This means that all of Years 7, 8 and 9 should remain at home with the exception of children of key workers. All work for lessons will be accessible through Show My Homework.  The rationale is that we now keep all of our main Summer examination classes running. Children of key workers in Years 7, 8 and 9 should come in to school as normal and report to CR4 and CR5 where they will be registered, supervised and supported in their studies.
 
We recommend that students should follow a “normal school day” whilst at home, ie to start working on their subject for lesson 1 at 9.10am and working in subsequent one hour blocks with appropriate breaks and time for exercise and physical activity, concluding at the end of the normal school day at 3.30pm.
 
If your son or daughter is already at home, students in Years 7, 8 and 9 should complete activities on Show My Homework; those preparing for exams in Years 11 and 13 are directed to the revision sites. We are as yet unable to set specified work for Year 10.
 
We are especially aware that A Level students may be concerned about teacher availability. Please ensure that Year 12 and 13 students do attend as normal where classes will run as normal where staff are in school and structured work will be available in all other instances. Mrs Stacey will be students’ point of contact in the Sixth Form Centre if there are any queries. We will be rolling out details tomorrow on how Year 12 and 13 lessons may be run through Microsoft Teams in the event of a full school closure. Individual A Level groups will be informed about this through Show My Homework.
 
We will obviously review the situation on a daily basis to consider whether further partial closure needs to be extended to other year groups.
 
In addition to fixtures, all after school training sessions and trips are now also cancelled.
 
To re-iterate, if your child has had contact with someone displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, please do not send them in to school. Please can I remind you of the national guidelines which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
 
The safety and welfare of the whole community is our paramount concern in support of the values and care that characterises our community.
 
Once again, our apologies for the inconvenience that the extended partial closure will cause.
 
Best regards
 
Sonia Blandford and Derek Peaple

 

Update – Partial School Closure for Years 8 and 9 on Wednesday 18 March 2020
 
Dear Parent / Carer
 
As I am sure you will appreciate, the announcements made at yesterday’s press conference by the Prime Minister have resulted in a significant increase in the challenges of operating the school normally due to the increase in the vulnerable groups and in those displaying symptoms or self-isolating.
 
We have been undertaking contingency planning throughout the day and have come to the unavoidable conclusion that it will be necessary for Years 8 and 9 to remain at home tomorrow (Wednesday 18 March) and until further notice.  All work for lessons will be accessible on Show My Homework.
 
The rationale for this decision is that remaining examination groups will remain at school and that childcare arrangements are likely to be greater for our younger students in Year 7.
 
As you will have seen from an earlier communication today, we have asked parents and carers who are key workers to identify themselves. If you are a key worker with a child in Year 8 and/or Year 9, please submit your questionnaire as soon as possible if you have not already done so.  Please send your child/children to school as normal where Year 8 will be registered in room CR4 and Year 9 in room CR5. They will complete the work that has been set on Show My Homework for all other students, under supervision in these rooms.
 
If your son or daughter is already at home, students in Years 8 and 9 should complete activities on Show My Homework; those preparing for exams in Years 11 and 13 are directed to the revision sites. We are as yet unable to set specified work for Years 7 and 10.
 
We are especially aware that A Level students may be concerned about teacher availability. Please ensure that Year 12 and 13 students do attend as normal where classes will run as normal where staff are in school and structured work will be available in all other instances. Mrs Stacey will be students’ point of contact in the Sixth Form Centre if there are any queries.
 
In line with Government guidelines that all non-essential travel is avoided, all trips have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We will be contacting you on an individual basis regarding specific trips.
 
We fully appreciate all of the concerns that you have on every level. To date, there has been no communication to schools about the status of Summer examinations at this point.
 
We will obviously review the situation on a daily basis to consider whether partial closure needs to be extended to other year groups or whether we will move to a rotational basis, ie different year groups being in on different days or weeks. I am sorry that I cannot be more definitive than that at this stage.
 
I am very grateful for all of your support and that of all staff at the school. We have already exhausted all reasonable demands on additional cover and the availability of external agency staff in the local area.
 
Please can I remind you of the national guidelines which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
 
The safety and welfare of the whole community is our paramount concern in support of the values and care that characterises our community.
 
Once again, our apologies for the inconvenience partial closure will cause.
 
Best regards
 
Sonia Blandford and Derek Peaple

 

16 March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer
 
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this unprecedented time. Please rest assured that our absolute priority is ensuring the health and safety of all members of our community alongside our core business of continuity of teaching and learning. It is our intention to update you on a daily basis on any actions or changes that need to take place across the school.
 
Student Absence
If you take the decision to remove your son/daughter from school with symptoms which may be related to COVID-19, please ensure your child does not return to school before completing the full self-isolation period of 7 days, as advised by national guidelines. The latest Government guidelines can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.
 
Parental Meetings
With effect from 17 March 2020, all parent meetings will take place over the telephone. The forthcoming Year 10 Parents’ Evening will also be postponed.
 
Enrichment
Enrichment activities will be suspended until further notice and Mondays will revert to a normal day on timetable with home to school transport running as normal, with buses departing school at 3.25pm as normal. Any payments already made will roll forward to cover activities when they recommence.
 
Out of School Activities, Concert and Sports Fixtures
With the exception of Revision Sessions and Period 6 A Level classes, by common agreement across all West Berkshire schools, all sports fixtures have been cancelled until further notice.  Unfortunately, we have also taken the decision to cancel the Spring Concert on 2 April 2020.
 
Revision sessions and P6 A Level Classes
Revision sessions and Period 6 A Level classes will continue until further notice.
 
Trips
We are currently liaising with the insurance/travel companies regarding all scheduled external trips and visits.  Further information will follow as soon as we are advised.
 
As per previous comments on 12 March, we continue to review staffing levels on a daily basis and have planned for contingencies around the use of Show My Homework to provide continuity of learning during any partial or full school closure should this become necessary in due course. Apologies that we are not in a position to reply to individual enquiries relating to the health status of any individual members of our school community. We are acting in line with national guidelines and will continue to issue updates to all parents and carers as necessary and appropriate.
 
Best regards
 
Professor S Blandford and Mr D J Peaple

 

12 March 2020
 
As I am sure you will be aware, further announcements are due this afternoon following the COBRA meeting which will determine next steps for the Government’s approach to the current COVID-19 situation. In anticipation that that advice will move the national situation from containment to delay, we have taken the advanced preventative decision to postpone this evening’s Year 7 Parents’ Evening.

I am sorry that this is at short notice but feel it would be prudent and in the best interests of all of the community as the situation continues to develop in the way it appears to be. An alternative date will be identified in due course. Further notice will follow as soon as practical about the Year 10 Parents’ Evening on 26 March once the situation is clearer.
 
I also wish to advise that we have advance plans in place to ensure continuity of learning for students through Show My Homework should the situation escalate further and any extended closure become necessary.

Arrangements will also be in place for any students who have limited access to the internet.  If you have any concerns in this area, please contact Mrs Sharon Upton at vupton@parkhouseschool.org or on 01635 573911. Clearly, any school closure will only happen in line with Government guidelines.
 
For parents and students involved in any school trips over the coming months, we are also closely monitoring the situation, putting in place a number of contingency plans at this point.
 
Thank you in anticipation of your support.
 
Best regards
 
D J Peaple

 

5 March 2020

I would like to take this opportunity to give a further update on our response to the current situation relating to Coronavirus. We are monitoring and responding to the daily advice that the school is now receiving from the Department for Education.
 
In addition to this, antibacterial soap dispensers have been placed in all the toilets to supplement the fixed dispensers which are in place.

Please could you remind your Sons and Daughters to treat these with respect, unfortunately there has already been once instance where this has not been the case.

Signage reminding all members of the school community about the importance of hygiene has been placed around the school site and also appears on our monitors.
 
We will continue to monitor on a daily basis and will update you of any changes.
 
Best regards
 
D J Peaple
Headteacher
 

 

 

27 February 2020

A number of communications have been received from parents querying the current position with Coronavirus. We confirm that, at present we have no intelligence or notification that any Park House student or their family has the virus or has been travelling to or from those areas identified as high risk.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and advise you if there is any change to this position. If you have any specific concerns, please refer to the Public Health England information here >>>

Best regards

D J Peaple

Headteacher

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