School closed

Dear Parents and Carers

As you may have heard in yesterday’s announcement, we have now been directed by the Government to close the school from the end of tomorrow. However, we have taken the decision to close the school at the end of today (Thursday 19th). This is unfortunately due to the ever-growing number of staff and student absences. Please accept our sincerest apologies for this decision. You will be aware that we are required to remain open for certain categories of children, including children of parents who are ‘key workers’, such as NHS workers, social workers, delivery drivers and police, etc., and also children who are considered to be vulnerable. We ask that, if they fall within one of these categories, your child comes to the main hall in the 1936 Building tomorrow by 8.35am. Breakfast will be available from 8.00am, as usual for these children. Whilst your child will be in an education setting, they will not necessarily be following their usual lessons; we will be providing them with a safe place from 8.35am until 3.15pm. Please do not send your child to school if they display the Covi-19 symptoms, found on https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Our prime concern is that everyone remains healthy and follows guidelines from the experts. Your child’s education also remains a priority for us, and we ask that you bear with us during these uncertain times. We assure you that we will strive to reopen the moment we are able to do so.

Despite national uncertainty regarding their GCSEs and A Levels, Year 11 and Year 13 students are in receipt of work for all their subjects from their respective classroom teachers, either in paper form or electronically, through the Assignments section of our virtual learning environment (VLE).  They also have access to online learning platforms, which can be used independently to support their exam preparations. For other year groups, all students have been set maths work using the MyMaths platform and all classes have been made aware of this during their lessons. Science instructions have been emailed to all students directly and are also available on the VLE. In the same vein, English work is on the Assignments section of the VLE. Other subject teachers have set work using the Assignments section of the VLE. There is no expectation that students will complete all work in the time they are absent from school.

From tomorrow, we will be providing breakfasts and lunches to all of our students who fall within the categories mentioned above and also to our students in receipt of free school meals.

You are doubtless mindful that there has been a lot of discussion regarding what will happen to replace the cancelled summer GCSE and A Level examinations. At the time of writing, it remains to be seen what the final resolution might be and it will clearly depend very much on developments in the coming days and weeks. We must reassure you that we will endeavour to ensure that your child will not be disadvantaged in any way, as this is a national crisis.

In closing, I do ask that you make a point of accessing the school’s website during the time we remain closed, as this will be updated with school closure and reopening news as it becomes available to us.

Please accept our very best wishes to you and your loved ones at this extremely difficult time.

Many thanks,
Sir Ken Gibson (Executive Headteacher)

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