Coronavirus all parent/carer Letter issued Monday 16.3.20
Thank you for your continued support of the school in following the advice and guidance of Public Health England to ensure those in our community are kept as safe as possible from COVID-19, whilst maintaining the best education service possible.
We will closely monitor and implement any required action following the daily Government advice we are receiving. It is very difficult to predict what might happen, but as a school, we have taken steps in school to plan as best as we can for future events; we appreciate your continued support and understanding.
This article includes advice about:
- What to do if your child presents potential symptoms
- How to contact us should your child need to self-isolate
- Advice for students who are immunocompromised (medically at risk)
- Advice regarding international and UK based school trips taking place before and during Easter break
- Other school events postponed
- Advice for students in Year 11
- After school clubs and intervention sessions
- Mitigating staff shortage – potential phased closure
- Home working advice should the school be closed on advice from Public Health England or partially closed due to staff absence
- Catering and Cleaning Update
Please can you ensure your son/daughter brings a reading book to school each day.
What to do if your child presents potential symptoms?
Public Health England has stated that the most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID- 19) are the recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature 37.8 degrees or above
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection but the symptoms listed above, however mild, you should keep students at home and not allow them to leave the house for 14 days from when the symptoms started (self-isolate).
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section for more information)
- if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
- it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. (See ending isolation section for more information
- We are requesting that all staff AND students follow the advice above and that in these circumstances, parents email the specially monitored email below.
The Government guidance is changing daily please refer to this site for the latest information
How do you report an absence due to Covid19?
To manage the number of calls we have set up a specific email account for parents/carers to use. If you need to self-isolate your child for any of the reasons above please email COVID19@worthinghigh.net
In your email, please provide:
- Student name
- Tutor group
- Details of the mild symptoms being experienced and the reason for self-isolation
For further information on symptoms and advice when self-isolating please refer to the web address below:
Advice for students who are "immunocompromised" (medically at risk)
If your child is immunocompromised and you would prefer them to self-isolate, please email the email address given above with these details:
- Student name
- Tutor group
- Details of how your child is immunocompromised
Advice regarding international and UK school trips taking place before and after Easter
We are looking forward to welcoming home our Berlin trip students and staff on Wednesday. We will follow Public Health England’s advice for how to manage their return to school.
Our three planned overseas trips to AC Milan (football), Ardeche and Italy (Geography trip) are potentially at risk. We know students will be extremely disappointed if these are cancelled, but we are clear that the priority is to keep our students and staff as safe as possible, based on the advice given by the Foreign Office. We are working with the tour operators and insurance companies to ascertain what the next steps will be and we really appreciate your forbearance with us in managing this.
We are also cancelling the following planned trips:
- Friday 20th March – Brighton and Hove Albion PE Trip – all payments have been refunded
- Friday 27th March – Year 9 Herstmonceux Trip – postponed - we will not be issuing refunds at this stage as we hope to run the trip during the summer term.
- Bowers and Wilkins Trips on 31 March and 1 April 2020 postponed
We are still awaiting guidance from the tour operators/venues on the following trips:
- GCSE Media and Drama Trip to London on 2/3 April 2020
- Year 11 Athletics Trip on 23 March 2020
Other school events postponed
We have also taken the decision to postpone the following school events:
- Year 10 Subject review Evening on Thursday 26 March
- Whole school Enrichment Day on Friday 27 March including the Year 10 Big Interview event.
- Parents evening meeting on 2 April for the Ardeche Trip – new date will be announced after Easter break
A specific email has been sent to Year 10 parents about thison Monday 16 March 2020.
We are still anticipating the Year 9 HPV Boosters to take place on Thursday 26 March.
Advice for students in Year 11
We understand that this could be a potentially very unsettling time for students in Year 11 but in terms of our contingency planning, their safety is our first priority, followed by ensuring they receive the best education possible under whichever circumstance is presented.
Our intention is to prioritise Year 11 face to face teaching for as long as possible and then use on line learning platforms as the need arises. Learning will be supplemented by this bespoke online resource as usual in the meantime.
We are working closely with a national examinations office (Ofqual) so that we can provide up to date information should there be any changes to examination preparations as soon as we receive it.
Year 11 students are working incredibly hard and should continue to do so. We are very proud of the efforts they are making to be successful.
After school clubs, fixtures and intervention sessions
We are already experiencing reduced staffing due to self-isolation. As a result, we need to prioritise ensuring students are taught by qualified teachers. This means that teachers and support staff are likely to be required to provide additional cover.
To ensure adequate availability, we may need to cancel after school clubs, fixtures and intervention sessions at short notice and we will communicate to parents via email, twitter and our school website.
Mitigating staff shortage - potential phased closure
We intend to stay open for as long as we are advised to, but will need to take appropriate measures depending on staffing levels. In extreme circumstances, we may have to prioritise the teaching of certain year groups. In the event of partial closure, our intention will be to prioritise as follows:
a. Year 7, 8 and 11 (years 9 & 10 study at home)
b. Year 7 and 11 (years 8,9 & 10 study at home)
c. Year 11 (years 7,8,9 & 10 study at home)
We have prioritised Year 7 and 8 due to the significant childcare issues with the younger age groups and Year 11 for examination preparation. We will of course provide as much advance warning as possible and our intention would be to avoid this.
Homeworking advice should the school be closed on the advice from Public Health England or as part of the above partial closure plans.
Should the school be required to close (or partly close for a specific year group), teachers will be available for their classes through remote learning. Provision will be via Show my homework, SAM Learning and the other specific on line platforms. These can be accessed via multiple electronic devices with access to the internet.
If you do not have internet access please inform your child’s tutor. This will enable us to ensure paper copies of work are provided to them to use during any periods of partial closure.
If your child is having difficulties logging on due to forgotten passwords or any other IT issues please email our IT Dept. using this email address firstname.lastname@example.org . Guidance of how to access our remote working facility can be found on our website:
Please do support your child by discussing the work set and monitoring completion. In the event that they do complete work faster than it is replenished, they have a number of options in terms of independent learning:
- Following on from our recent Ofsted Inspection we know already the importance of daily reading and we would encourage all students in all year groups to read at least 30 minutes or longer every day. We know that reading daily is highly advantageous and enjoyable and so quiet reading is an excellent choice.
- Another excellent resource is the world’s first daily news service for students, focusing on the big issues and stories transforming our world.
LINK TO FOLLOW
- Recapping previous learning on a regular basis is proven to aid transferring knowledge to long term memory. There is some excellent advice from the BBC on how to revise effectively found here:
Catering and Cleaning Update
We are in regular communication with our contractors for Cleaning and they have contingency plans in place. We have also already discussed with them an enhanced cleaning schedule to clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces more often than usual using our standard cleaning products.
Our Catering provider also has contingency arrangements in place. Should we need to reduce the catering provision we will continue to offer lunchtime food for those on Free School Meals (FSM) whilst we remain able to. All other students will be asked to bring in a packed lunch. In the event that we are unable to provide food for FSM students we will endeavour to issue Luncheon Vouchers for £2.50 per teaching day that we remain closed prior to the Easter break. This will be reviewed over the Easter holiday period.
Our front office capacity is reduced. To help us manage emergencies, please only contact the front office if it is critical. Please avoid dropping off forgotten kit, equipment, lunches etc. and only call if absolutely necessary. We realise that this is likely to be very challenging, but really appreciate your help. We will of course do our best to offer the best service possible.
Finally, our recent Ofsted Inspection seems a distant memory and our report will be published in a few weeks. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your child for their excellent conduct throughout the process. They were and are excellent ambassadors for the school.
Thank you once again for your support of the school and understanding during this challenging time. We intend to do the very best for our students and will work tirelessly to support them, whatever the challenge we face.