COVID-19 Communications for Parents

22 May 2020

Plans for next half term.

Good afternoon.

Virtual Day Out

On your behalf I would like to thank all of the staff and pupils for making our Virtual Day Out such a fun event. If you have any comments please do pass them on, and if you have any news of things your child made do pass them on to Mrs Ennis too as she will hopefully be producing a press release for this event.

Not something we would like to do on a regular basis I’m sure you would agree but a great ‘second best’ after a busy half term and exam week.

Assessment Week

Just to let you know that pupils will receive exam results from staff over the next few weeks along with some useful feedback and then, towards the end of term, you will all receive an end of year report which will reflect not only the exam result but also your child’s overall performance throughout the year for each subject. There will also be a short form tutor report which will reflect on how well your child has engaged with our distance learning programme.

Next Half Term

As you will have seen from Mrs Tudor’s email earlier in the week, although we are making plans for a return to school we also have to plan for the ongoing provision of remote learning for the next half term.

Until we are told otherwise, everything will continue as it has been except for the teaching of the Humanities (Geography, History and RS) who will be teaching in 3 x two week blocks in order to be able to do some Humanities project work with Years 7 and 8.

The first project will be a Geography project based on the Rainforest presentation in our Virtual Day Out. This project will last for 6 lessons and all of the History, Geography and RS lessons usually scheduled for the first two weeks after half term will be devoted to this project. A ‘Live lesson’ will set the scene for the projects and a second ‘Live Lesson’ half way through the project will help pupils to modify their projects in order to improve the quality. As well as these live lessons staff will also be on hand to answer any queries from pupils although, because of timetable constraints, they may not always be able to offer ‘live’ feedback.

Further details will come from each department as their project time arrives.

May I wish you and your family a happy and safe half term.

Kind regards

Ian Vallance

Deputy Head (Academic)

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20 May 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

We have had a remarkable time in school over the last two months and all the pupils and staff
are to be applauded for the way they have risen to the different challenges. The assessments
the pupils are currently doing will help us to gauge progress and inform our planning for the
rest of this term, and then for September.

As we approach a much needed break, we are aware of the easing of lockdown and a need to
plan for a gradual return to the school site in the coming months. As I write, the guidance
remains sketchy and it is unclear as to whether we will be able to welcome any pupils onto the
school site before the start of the summer break.

I am sure you are aware that while we are unable to make definite plans until we receive
specific guidance and permission from the government, we are nevertheless thinking about
what we will need to do in preparation. The most likely scenario is that the only pupils we will
be permitted to have on the school site will be those in years 10 and 12. Full attention will be
paid to keeping pupils and staff as safe as possible, this is an absolute priority. Identifying the
type of learning that will bring the most benefit is our focus should we need to re-open the
school site gradually. As soon as this is clear and we have devised a strategy I will be in touch
again with the details.

In the meantime, thank you for your support. I understand that a number of photos have been
sent to Mrs Ennis allowing us to create a gallery of our pupils engaging in home learning. I am
looking forward to seeing all of those.

I do hope that you are all able to stay safe and enjoy the easing of the lockdown for leisure
purposes. And finally, I wish our whole school community a restful and refreshing half term
break.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head

 

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1 May 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,
I do hope that you and your families are healthy and coping well with the ongoing lock down. It is good to
have the pupils back online after the Easter break and I am delighted with the response to the new timetable in
terms of engagement and the work they are doing.

On uploading the Guidelines for Remote Learning, we added a lot of information all at once. Today I would
like to highlight a few points. The first is that in terms of points of contact, the details for these can be found
on the Remote Learning page of the Parents’ Hub (https://www.luckleyhouseschool.org/remote-learning/).
Using these particular email addresses helps us to respond to your queries in a timely manner. In addition, the
school office is staffed every morning and Mrs Hawkins will be pleased to help you.
It has been good to hear that pupils have been keen to sign into lessons and complete the activities set, as well
as engaging in the live lessons. There will be times when pupils don’t immediately know what they need to do.
At these times it is very important that they communicate with their teachers, just as they would in the course
of a normal school day. There are however times when a pupil simply doesn’t read the instructions. This
happens in school and the first thing they need to do is to go back to the task and read it through. This usually
clears up any confusion.

Staff are keeping records of engagement and in the process of doing this we have found a small minority of
pupils who are trying to do other things, such as gaming, when they are expected to be in lessons. I would
therefore like to ask parents to be vigilant in expecting pupils to be working throughout the school day and
not using other app or devices apart from the one through which they are accessing schoolwork. One app that
seems to be causing trouble is called Discord and it should certainly not be in use during the school day.

As a community we have taken on the challenge of managing unprecedented and sudden change with real
determination and resilience. It has been great to hear about staff and pupil efforts to help others, from Niamh
(Year 12) making face masks to Mrs McCafferty, Mrs Cox and Mrs Partner sewing scrubs and other items for
frontline workers. These are just a few examples from the things I know about. Please let me know what else
members of our school are doing as it is great to celebrate these and other achievements. Thank you also for
your support in enabling your children to access the remote learning, this will be helping to ensure their
wellbeing, and in doing so they will be making progress in their lessons.

In the coming week or so we are expecting various announcements from the government regarding the
reopening of schools. As yet we have no details on how this should be done. As with any decision, the best
interests of all pupils will be paramount. When I am able to give you more detail, I will be in touch.

Pupils and staff have worked very hard throughout this week and so I wish our whole school community a
restful weekend.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head

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17 April 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Firstly, I do hope that you have all had a good Easter Break, even though the circumstances are challenging. The chances are that members of our school community are facing illness and worry about friends and family; my thoughts are with the whole school community.

We are now looking forward to the start of a new term, and over the break we have been working to refine our remote learning for all year groups. Many thanks for the feedback many of you offered through the surveys we sent out at the start of the holidays. We have used your feedback along with guidance from a wide range of sources to adjust the structure of the school day and provide guided expectations for remote learning. Upper most in our minds is facilitating the best progress possible and enabling sustained well-being for all. The details for each year group will be in a letter from Mr Vallance. The Guidance for Remote Learning is on the Parent Hub of the school website: https://www.luckleyhouseschool.org/remote-learning/

Staff have now completed training in the use of Microsoft Teams, and this is how we will be conducting teaching and learning from now on. Further details regarding the introduction of this to all the pupils are in the letter from Mr Vallance.

Term for pupils will start at 9am on Tuesday 21st April with a whole school assembly. Instructions for accessing this will be sent out at the end of Monday.

For pupils in years 11 and 13, there is some real readjustment. The following article from Barnaby Lennon, Chairman of the Independent Schools Council puts the strategy of many schools, including Luckley House, into context: https://ie-today.co.uk/Blog/the-impact-of-cancelled-exams/

All the staff are committed to supporting all year 11 and 13 students through the difficult change they are facing.

While we continue in these uncertain times, I am sure the Luckley community will rise to the challenges and we can look forward to reflecting on what we have learnt.

With my very best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J Tudor

Head

Information for the start of term

Year 13

Year 12

Year 11

Year 10

Year 9

Year 8

Year 7

 

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7 April 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you will recall, Luckley House School underwent a full ISI inspection in January. We are delighted to inform you that the report was extremely positive and highlighted several key areas of school life in which the school particularly excels. As with all these reports, there are a couple of areas for us to concentrate on developing over the coming months.

I would like to thank all the parents and pupils who responded to the surveys sent out by the inspectorate, your support and comments are of immense value.

The Key Findings

The School meets the standards in the schedule for the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools 2015 and associated requirement and no further action is required as a result of this inspection.

With the quality of pupils’ personal development being excellent and academic and other achievements good, the inspection highlighted the following in the report:

  • Pupils made good progress at GCSE and their results were above the national average for maintained schools.
  • The large majority of sixth form pupils are successful in gaining admission to their first or second choice university, often to competitive institutions and courses.
  • The knowledge, skills and understanding of the pupils are good and often excellent across the curriculum.
  • Pupils develop excellent communication skills.
  • Pupils of all abilities develop excellent information, communication and technology (ICT) skills across the school.
  • Pupils develop excellent study skills across the school.
  • Pupils of all ages participate and achieve well in a wide range of extension activities to support their achievement in the curriculum.
  • Pupils’ attitudes to learning are very positive throughout the school.
  • Pupils across the school are thoughtful, mature young people who understand themselves well. They are resilient in lessons, and persevere, even if they find the task difficult.
  • Pupils take responsibility for their own decisions and can consider them with self-awareness and maturity.
  • Pupils show a well-developed understanding of, and appreciation for, the non-materialistic aspects of life.
  • Pupils show excellent moral understanding and take full responsibility for their own behaviour. Almost all parents said that the school actively promotes good behaviour.
  • Throughout the school, pupils show strong social awareness. Pupils are mutually supportive of each other’s learning.
  • Pupils understand the need to contribute to the school and the wider community.
  • Pupils understand the importance of diversity in society, and the value of treating everyone equally.
  • Pupils show an excellent awareness of the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.

I am sure you will be impressed with the comments made by the inspectors when describing the pupils.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

ISI Report 2020

 

 

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3 April 2020

Dear Members of Years 11 and 13 & Parents,

I do hope that you are all well and coping with the strange circumstances we are all in.

I am sure you will have heard in the news that the Guidance for Summer 2020 public examination grades has been published today. This outlines some of the dates and gives an idea of the sort of evidence we will need to produce in order to arrive at the grades. While parts of it are quite detailed, much is still to be determined and that detail is due to be in schools by Easter.

Ofqual have released two documents for parents and pupils. The first is a summarised version of the instructions for schools and colleges, and can be found through the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877842/Summer_2020_grades_for_GCSE_AS_A_level_EPQ_AEA_in_maths_-_guidance_for_teachers_students_parents.pdf

The other document is a letter for students, found through this link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877830/Letter_to_students_-_Summer_2020_grading.pdf

An important theme running through both documents is a commitment to fairness and enabling all students to follow the next stage of their education. As a school, we will continue to work for the best interests of all our students, within the regulations that are set by Ofqual and the Department for Education.

As for the next steps, I would like to urge all the students to take a well-deserved break in the next two weeks. In the new term we will be starting the A level programme for all year 11 students, and an enrichment programme in preparation for the next stage of education for year 13 students. More details for these programmes will be available at the start of the new term.

For year 11 students, we are looking at ways in which we can plan some proper fun into the Autumn Term. As time goes on, we hope to give more details.

In conclusion, this has been a tough time for students in the exam years, all have worked hard and need a break. While we still lack a lot of the details, I am confident a robust process will deliver fairness. Reading back over this letter, I am aware that fine details are still missing, as soon as it becomes possible, I will be back in touch to fill in all those gaps.

In the meantime, may I wish you a happy and safe Easter.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

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30 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Now that we have got to the end of an eventful term it is time to recharge batteries and, in time get ready for the next term. As we go through the three weeks I will be looking to stay in touch. There will be updates to be communicated regarding the summer qualifications, and these will go directly to those year groups affected. However, since this is the Easter holidays I will be looking for more light-hearted ideas to share, so please look at the website and our Facebook page. I am starting with some riddles to get the brain cells going each day.

We have also come to the end of our first week of working remotely. It has been a very steep learning curve for all of us, but at this point I would like to thank the staff for the efforts they have put into getting work online for all their classes. This is just the beginning and we all have much to learn. While working from home has been on the rise for several years, until two or three weeks ago, schoolteachers would never have imagined they would be doing so for any length of time. Every member of staff at Luckley is committed to the best possible outcomes for all their pupils and I know they will be working hard to achieve that. My prediction is that as the weeks go by, we will all get better at this and settle into a productive rhythm of work, and that will be good for all of us.

In order to have all the information possible to inform our work I would be grateful if all who are taking part in remote learning from our school to complete a survey. There are separate ones for pupils, parents and staff and they should not take more than 5 minutes to complete.

Parent: Luckley House School – Home Learning Survey (Parent)

Pupil: Luckley House School – Home Learning Survey (Pupil)

I do hope all our school community is able to stay safe in the coming weeks. I will be back in touch.

With my best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

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27 March 2020

Dear Parents of Pupils in Years 7 – 9 

I would like to start by congratulating all for the engagement we have seen in these first four days of remote learning. It really is a complete change of working for all of us. I have dipped into the materials and heard from staff as to how things are progressing and while it is early days, I have heard reports of good work and engagement. It has been great to see pictures of cakes baked and science experiments taking place on kitchen tables. Not to mention some pounding up and downstairs in a PE challenge.

I am very pleased with the way in which the school community has embraced this significant shift in how we all work. I am also aware that there have been some glitches in the technology, particularly on Wednesday when OneNote decided to slow down as the day went on. Given these had disappeared by Thursday morning, it seems that whatever was going on had been fixed. Some feedback from families has indicated that home broadband can’t always accommodate all members of the family taking part in ‘live’ activities. This is something we will need to consider in our planning, as we aim to have more live lessons.

In school we will be using the time afforded by the Easter break to move to using Microsoft Teams as our central platform. The beauty of this is that it incorporates OneNote and enable collaboration more easily.

With the move to MS Teams we are looking to increase interaction and touch base more often with all pupils, this will include form time and assemblies to reinforce school routines and bring our community together. I will be able to give you more details nearer the start of next term. I may even manage to start my on-screen career in a Kitchen Assembly!

In the coming weeks I will be keeping in touch. In the meantime, I hope that you are all staying well and coping with these unprecedented times.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

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Dear Parents of Year 10 and 12 pupils,

I would like to start by congratulating all for the engagement we have seen in these first four days of remote learning. It really is a complete change of working for all of us. I have dipped into the materials and heard from staff as to how things are progressing and while it is early days, I have heard reports of good work and engagement.

The situation we have found ourselves in has called for a review of how we ensure continued progress through the courses scheduled to be examined in just over a year. In normal circumstances teachers would look to intersperse teaching content with the development of skills. While it is possible to develop skills through remote learning, this can be limited by the barriers that navigating technology can produce. For this reason, teachers are being encouraged to focus on content with a view to making sure there is time to develop skills in the context of a normal classroom.

As I have indicated, it is early days and I am very pleased with the way in which the school community has embraced this significant shift in how we all work. I am also aware that there have been some glitches in the technology, particularly on Wednesday when OneNote decided to slow down as the day went on. Given these had disappeared by Thursday morning, it seems that whatever was going on had been fixed. Some feedback from families has indicated that home broadband can’t always accommodate all members of the family taking part in ‘live’ activities. This is something we will need to consider in our planning, as we aim to have more live lessons.

In school we will be using the time afforded by the Easter break to move to using Microsoft Teams as our central platform. The beauty of this is that it incorporates OneNote and enable collaboration more easily.

With the move to MS Teams we are looking to increase interaction and touch base more often with all pupils, this will include form time and assemblies to reinforce school routines and bring our community together. I will be able to give you more details nearer the start of next term. I may even manage to start my on-screen career in a Kitchen Assembly!

In the coming weeks I will be keeping in touch. In the meantime, I hope that you are all staying well and coping with these unprecedented times,

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

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Dear Parents and Pupils (Year 11 and 13)

Well done on getting to the end of what can only be described as a hugely challenging term. To have these unprecedented events occurring in such a significant year is tough, but I have seen a real determination to carry on and you are to be congratulated for that.

As Mr Vallance has indicated in an email to all of you, there has been a further update to the announcement regarding the qualifications (which can be found in the link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-update-on-2020-exams?_cldee=amFuZS50dWRvckBsdWNrbGV5Lndva2luZ2hhbS5zY2gudWs%3d&recipientid=contact-bc9c80ea9209e3118b6278e3b519b0a5-1e00ee1dd6594965872980c73f7e3d73&esid=6906efe9-4670-ea11-a811-000d3a49074b) indicating that the details of the evidence that will be collected will be made available next week, with grading details by Easter. This is still very vague, but we feel the best response to this is to encourage you to continue to complete work set through next week as this coincides with the end of term in state-maintained schools.

I would like to emphasise now that you have already been working hard and made progress since the mock examinations in January, and it is now very important that you pace yourselves through the next week. Spend the time set aside in the timetable for each subject, with some normal homework time to complete the work set. The teaching staff have been told to expect this level of work, and no more. If the pupils in the household are inclined to spend too long and become stressed and tired because of this, we need to ask parents to moderate the time spent working. You can only do your best work if you are not too tired. As staff we will be working towards the best possible outcomes. If you are feeling unsure, please contact myself, Mr Vallance or Mrs Gilding Brant and we will be happy to help you through. I suggest that you do take a break over this weekend, everyone needs time to rest and recover.

Please be assured that I will be in touch as soon as more details become available. I do hope that you are able to stay safe and well.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

 

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25 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,
As I write to you now I have no further guidance or instructions following the lock down instigated by the government yesterday. The same is so for the GCSE and A Level examination years. As soon as any information is available I will be able to explain what will happen.

In the meantime, we are into our first week of remote teaching and learning, and it is safe to say that we are all learning. In the light of this, I would like to direct you to a very helpful video compiled by our Deputy Head Student by following this link to our Parents’ Hub https://www.luckleyhouseschool.org/parents-hub/. You will also find some interesting links to support and activities to help us all through the coming weeks.

Thank you for the feedback you have been giving us. It is becoming difficult to respond to all of the communication in person, but we are looking at everything you raise, so even if you don’t receive a direct response, please be assured that we are considering all your comments in our forward planning.

I am also aware that there have been some technical glitches, in particular with OneNote. We currently have a ‘ticket’ in with Microsoft support, as we are under the impression this is not confined to our school, and hope to have some answers soon. In any case the hope is that all will be well in the morning.

Please pass on my encouragement and congratulations to all you children for the way they have engaged with the lessons and work they have been set. I am sure we are all looking forward to a well-deserved break over the Easter holidays.
I am sure I will be in touch again soon.
Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor
Head

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24 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It seems to me that we are in a different place from where we were 24 hours ago. While I have just a few things to tell you about this evening, I hope that everyone is coping with this strange situation.

Lessons have carried on through the day and I gather that teachers are developing their skills in different areas of the school. This will be matched by pupils doing the same, and so they all need to be congratulated on a good day’s work. It is also coming to light that some lessons have too much to do in the allocated time. It is quite tricky, even in normal circumstances to gauge how much can be done in the time available. If this is the case for your children please reassure them that so long as they have worked well for the time of the lesson it is not a problem if they don’t finish everything. It would help in those circumstances if they could let their teacher know to inform future planning.

It is possible that some of you will have noticed a number of staff using Microsoft Teams to deliver lessons throughout today. The plan is to move all teaching to Teams after the Easter break, enabling more interaction. On sharing ideas with colleagues in other school I have found that this will be a good way to operate in a sustainable way.

Can I also encourage you to look at the Parents’ Hub on the website? We have already put some useful resources on, along with ideas for things to do when the lessons are done for the day. We would like to see this part of the website become a place to share ideas to keep us all connected and going through a potentially long period of time.

We are keen to know how things are going and to pick up difficulties as quickly as possible. To enable us to manage your queries efficiently we have created a form, also on the Parents’ Hub for your feedback, comments and questions. It would help us if you could use this facility.

Finally, thank you so much for the feedback and encouragement we have been receiving. We are committed to improvement, and with a little time, we will build on the successful start we have made.

As I have said in earlier letters, I am convinced that the ingenuity, resilience and positivity of our school community will shine through.

With my very best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head

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23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I do hope that things have gone smoothly on this first day of fully remote learning. Having said that, it is likely that some things may have arisen throughout the day. If we can be of any help, please let us know. It is early days, and as we build up our experience in this new way of working, I am sure we will all get better at it. In fact, I am looking forward to the sort of innovation we see at Luckley really coming to the fore in the coming weeks.

As time goes on we will be adding helpful resources to the Parent Hub section of the website. Do take a look as there are some helpful tips for maintaining wellbeing from a very well respected source.

We are still awaiting clarity on arrangements for examination groups, as soon as this information is available we will be in touch.

Some pupils and parents have been asking if they can access the school site to collect belongings. This is fine but must be by arrangement with the Bursar. Can I ask that parents get in touch on bursar@luckleyhouseschool.org.

Throughout the day we have had some photos of pupils setting themselves up to work, or showing off something they have done as part of the lessons they are doing. It would be great to share more of these so that we can stay connected. If you would like to share photos and ideas please be in touch with Mrs Ennis on desni.ennis@luckleyhouseschool.org.

No doubt I will be in touch again soon, in the meantime I hope you are all able to stay well, or get well soon if any of your loved ones are ill.

With my best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J M Tudor

Head
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21 March 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
First of all, I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement over the past week. These
are unprecedented times and I am sure that all of us are concerned in all parts of our lives. The
positive response from the pupils to the need to adapt to new ways of working is to be commended,
so please pass my congratulations for the excellent start on to your children. I have also appreciated
the supportive comments I have received from many of you, and these have been passed on to the
whole staff team.
We are now moving into the next stage, where all learning will be by using remote technology. As
the weeks pass, we will all be learning and becoming more proficient. Therefore, this will be a
developing provision. We are very well placed to cope well, as staff and pupils alike have been using
many of the resources already.
This will be a long letter with lots of information which I will group into sections. This will not be the
last time I write such a letter as already different issues have emerged, and I am sure others will
come up in the coming days. There will always be an answer to any difficulties. The old saying
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” has never been so apt.
Remote Learning
From Monday 23rd March all pupils will be required to continue their learning from home, or in
school for key workers, if required.
Lessons will run according to the normal school timetable which is in their school planners.
Pupils should access the lesson through OneNote in the first instance. All planned work will be
posted there with links and instructions for other activities.
We aim for lessons to be live whenever possible with planned interaction with all pupils. This
interaction will vary according to how the lesson will have been set up. (We know that while this is
the ideal it may not always work, more about this later in this letter.)
Records will be kept in the normal way and will include pupil engagement, feedback and the
assessment of progress. Lack of engagement will be picked up and we will work with you to sort this
out in a timely manner.
This week (week commencing Monday 23rd March) lessons will run from Period 1 on Monday to the
end of Period 5 on Thursday.
Routines are important for both progress and well-being and so we expect that pupils will, where
possible, be working according to their timetable. This includes breaks at the normal times and for
the normal length of time. PE is included in the programme and now, more than ever, this is vital.
Practical Points
We expect pupils to be up and dressed for schoolwork, as normal during term time. Some schools
are insisting on school uniform. At this stage I would like to suggest they are simply appropriately
dressed, in comfortable clothes, so that maximum engagement is encouraged. It is not appropriate
for pupils to be in pyjamas, for instance. Should we sense a slip in work standards, this may be
reviewed.
Please stick to the timetable if possible, however I am aware that in households where you may have
several members trying to work online, it may not be possible to be ‘live’ at the allotted time. If this
is the case, don’t worry, your child will not miss out. Please let the teacher know, guide your child to do the activities set, and feedback will take place at a different time.
On some occasions teaching staff will be caring for dependents and not able to be ‘live’. In these
cases, activities will be set for the lesson time and feedback will be provided at a different time.
If your child is unwell and cannot take part, please let the form tutor know at the start of the day.
We expect that staff will also become unwell in the coming weeks. In that event, work will still be
set, but feedback will understandably be delayed.
Guidance and protection
Following the structure of a normal school day will build in breaks and periods of exercise and other
activities. Please ensure time away from screens during breaks. This will be challenging as pupils will
want to engage with their friends or play games. I need to leave this up to families to manage, but
can I suggest a concerted effort in this respect.
We will be using collaborative spaces online for learning activities. However, our tech savvy
youngsters can, on occasion, let their behaviour and language slip in these online spaces. We can
access the spaces set up by the school and so poor behaviour can be discovered. What we cannot do
is continuously monitor every group. Therefore, I am asking you to keep an eye on your children’s
interactions. Poor language and behaviour contravene the school “Acceptable Use Agreement” and
will need to be dealt with in line with the School Behaviour Policy.
Social media platforms are powerful places and can be very positive in helping all of us to stay in touch. However, we all know that they are also dangerous places, particularly for young people. All
our pupils are aware of the dangers, but sadly can ‘forget’. As a school we can guide but cannot do
anything else unless it is to rescue or punish when things go wrong. Now, more than ever, parents
and carers need to be hyper vigilant. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for you to
scrutinise your children’s social media interactions. Please do not sacrifice their safety in the name of privacy as this is how cyberbullying and grooming can pass undetected.
Monitoring and wellbeing
The senior leadership team will continue to monitor the work of the school, and as the time goes by,
we will be developing this and adapting as necessary. Along with progress and learning, wellbeing is
a priority. Starting with the establishment of good routines, allowing time for exercise (with help
from the PE department), suggestions for boosting wellbeing will be gathered and distributed. My
guess is that as a school community we will come up with lots of great ideas.
Difficult times can bring unexpected opportunities
I hope you have been able to read this far. Thank you for bearing with me, especially when there will
be more letters in the coming times. I am convinced that if we work well as a school, and extend the
excellent attitudes of pupils, staff and families into this unknown time, we will get through well.
Learning how to work and collaborate will bring huge benefits. Especially for continuing education
beyond the school years. The work from home concept has been on the rise for many years, but this
generation of school pupils will be the experts.
We are now set up for an excellent start to our new learning strategies. I will be writing again with
reminders and new ideas, as well as solutions to emerging issues.
Thank you for your support.
Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head
_______________________________________________________________________
21 March 2020
Dear Parents and pupils in years 11 and 13,
Further to my letter to all parents I am writing to you with an update on how the qualifications will
be managed. Although there has been a further announcement, the fine details are still not with us.
However, I feel it is important for everyone to be working towards being able to fulfil the
requirements and working towards the best grades possible.
Even though it is light on details, it gives a strong indication that a range of evidence will be needed
and since the time for the courses to be completed and assessed has not yet passed we all need to
be working just as we would normally work at the end of exam courses and in the run up to the
actual exams.
This coming week, and for all the weeks available, I am urging you to join your timetabled lessons as
normal and to work as hard as you would do for the exams. Concentrate on making sure you are
making good progress by checking your understanding and then completing work you are set to the
highest standard possible.
While we enjoyed a great day saying goodbye in person yesterday, we are far from finished. Every
student will have the opportunity to show how hard they have worked and how much progress they
have made, and there is time to do that.
As more information becomes available, I will write to let you know. All your teachers are focused on
helping you to do the best you can.
Yours sincerely
Jane Tudor
Head
_______________________________________________________________________
19 March 2020
For Parents of Year 11 and 13 students
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are experiencing unprecedented times and as I write to you now, there is still no information
from the authorities. In the meantime, I have sought to help the students to remain calm and
optimistic. Having been an examiner I can assure you that there is always a drive to make sure no
student is disadvantaged. I am confident that now more than ever, this will be the main priority.
Although we don’t know what the requirements will be; one sensible possibility will be to evidence
improvement in attainment in the time since the mock exams. Therefore, we have asked all the
students to gather all the assessed work they have done since then, including tests and other tasks,
that show progress and improvement. Individual teachers will also hold records and putting this all
together will provide a body of evidence on which to build. We will start to collect this work
tomorrow and if the students find work, they had forgotten they had, there is plenty of time to add
to the body of evidence. All the work will be returned to the students as soon as possible. This
exercise is likely to be a useful one regardless of any announcements made over the coming days.
When things are clearer, I expect to be continuing to provide education. This is something we need
to prepare the students for and reassure them that any such measure will be to support the
qualifications. Please be assured of our commitment to supporting all the students whatever the
requirements of the examining authorities.
For both year 11 and 13, this a particularly sad time, they have had some important certainties
removed from their lives in the form of events we all see as ‘rites of passage’. They have worked
hard for their exams and have been looking forward to various celebrations. We understand this and
share the sadness. Therefore, we are allowing/arranging a last-minute Celebration Day for
tomorrow.
The response of the year 11 and 13 students has been commendable. They have been supportive of
each other and although they are worried, they have endeavoured to be optimistic. Tomorrow I
anticipate a good day with these two special groups.
Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head
_______________________________________________________________________
18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians
I am sure that the news from the Prime Minister has raised a number of concerns for all families.
The most pressing of these is what will happen for students preparing for public exams. The
following is copied from the Ofqual website:
‘We welcome the certainty that the Secretary of State’s decision not to hold exams this summer
provides in these challenging circumstances. We will now work urgently with the Department for
Education to work through the detail of this decision and to provide more information as soon as
possible’.
As soon as this information is available we will be planning to ensure that we work with it to
ensure no student is disadvantaged by this unprecedented situation.
School is open for pupils in years 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 tomorrow.  Years 8 and 10 will continue
their education using the lessons appearing on OneNote.
We are well prepared for the provision of learning, albeit through remote learning arrangements for
as long as necessary.  Other than this, I am sure we will all do our part to stay safe and look
forward to meeting again as soon as we are permitted to do so.
With my best wishes.
Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Very many thanks for your support at this time. You will be aware that the changed self-isolation guidelines have already had an effect on the number of teaching staff who are able to be in school. So far, we have maintained good levels of supervision and teaching. However, our planning is indicating we will need to start a programme of partial closure of the site to different year groups on different days from tomorrow, Thursday 19th March. Please be aware that this has the potential to change at short notice.

Day and date

 Year groups not in school

Thursday 19 March   8 and 10
Friday 20 March   7 and 9
Monday 23 March  8 and 10
Tuesday 24 March  7 and 9
Wednesday 25 March  8 and 10
Thursday 26 March  7 and 9
Friday 27 March   7, 8, 9, 10 and 12
Please note that although those pupils cannot come to school on some days, education will be continuing using the remote learning arrangements on OneNote. Your children will already be familiar with this set up and should be confident in using it. Please also be aware that staff will be setting deadlines for the completion of work in the normal way. Should your child have any questions, they should communicate with the relevant teacher through the OneNote. Again, your children will know how to do this.
You will notice, I am sure, that we are endeavouring to continue to have pupils on the school site as normal for as long as we are permitted to do so. This is of particular importance for those in years 11 and 13 because of the upcoming public exam season.
While my guess is that you may have been expecting these sorts of arrangements, I do appreciate the difficulties they present for family life, and so I would like to thank you for your support at this time.
Yours sincerely
Mrs J M Tudor
Head
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
17 March 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians
I am writing to update you on our response to the challenge of the Coronavirus outbreak, in light of the latest government guidance. These are unprecedented circumstances that are challenging for all of us for so many different reasons, and it is only natural to feel some level of concern. In all of this I am looking at as much information as possible and approaching it with the aim of keeping things calm and as safe as possible.
The current guidance is for schools to remain open and, as an educationalist, I feel this is a good decision for the well-being of our pupils. However, the guidance given yesterday afternoon requiring some groups to self-isolate, and in particular pregnant women, has resulted in a drop in the number of teachers able to be in school for the foreseeable future, or at least until the guidance changes. In any event we are continuing the education of all our pupils, and while the school is still open this will be a mixed provision.
Since the guidance to schools is liable to change at very short notice, we have put lessons and resources into OneNote notebooks for each year group which, as always, are accessible remotely. While the pupils are still in school these materials are being used when lessons are being covered for absent staff. Where possible, staff are continuing to teach in the normal way. This mixed experience for pupils has the advantage of ensuring they are clear on how to access the work, and gradually becoming familiar with the expectations of learning in this very different way.
As a school we feel well prepared for having to teach pupils remotely, however there will be different aspect of working this way that will undergo improvement with more experience. Also, it is worth noting that teachers who are in school will be fully occupied with the supervision and guidance of pupils. Therefore, please expect feedback for work to be more delayed for those staff. All teachers are equally committed to doing the best job possible, and I am very grateful for their commitment and support. An added complication with the altered guidance is the possibility that staff numbers fall below that which is safe for the number of pupils in school. If this is the case, we may need to operate a partial closure, where some year groups are required to ‘work from home’ on different days. Given the proximity to the public exams, we will be aiming to keep Years 11 and 13 in school for lessons if possible.
Should the government decide that school must close, we will be compelled to do so with immediate effect. In that event the education of all pupils will continue remotely, with efforts to ensure this is as interactive as possible. As I write this letter, there has not been any indication of what is going to happen with the public exams and as such we continue to prepare for the published exam timetable.
Regarding possible infection, should you or a member of your family develop symptoms, please follow the guidance in this link:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you are not sending your child to school, please follow the normal protocol of contacting the office as early as possible. If you are contacting us on the first day of an isolation period, please let us know so that you don’t need to phone again each morning.
It is likely that I will be writing to you again in the coming days and weeks as we see how the situation unfolds. I would like to wish you all the very best and hope that all the members of our school
community and those close to them stay well and safe.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J Tudor
Head

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Friday 13 March 2020

Dear Parents and  Guardians
Firstly, thank you for your support and understanding in helping us in our endeavours to keep the school free of Coronavirus, our first priority is always for the welfare of our whole school community.  I wanted to provide you with an update on the current situation and how the school is responding to this. As far as possible, we will be aiming to minimise disruption to the education of all our pupils, in line with guidance.  I would like to outline some changes we are putting in place to manage this unprecedented situation.
The situation:
We are aware that some students and a member staff have decided to self-isolate following the advice provided by Public Health England (PHE).  This self-isolation has been a precautionary measure and we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus connected with the school that we are aware of. Naturally, we wish all those who are feeling unwell a speedy recovery.
What we have done:
As you’d expect, we will continue to regularly monitor this highly dynamic situation and to follow the advice from Public Health England and the NHS.  You are already aware that we have heightened our own hygiene measures in school and briefed students on the guidance below to help prevent the spread of all germs and we would appreciate your support in reinforcing this at home. We have identified a dedicated medical isolation room should anyone develop symptoms while in school so we can help minimise contact with others. Of course this room will be deep cleaned if it is required to be used.  We have also put plans in place so we are ready to respond should the situation change for the worse, including making schoolwork available online for anyone unable to attend school.
What you should do:
For the avoidance of doubt, in line with PHE advice, you should continue to send your child to school so long as neither they or anyone they have close contact with has visited the specified areas or countries listed in the following link, in the past 14 days.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk
Should anyone develop symptoms (a cough / high temperature (over 37.5)/ shortness of breath) they should follow the advice on the link above, which may be to self-isolate.  In this case, please call the school to inform us but do not attend school until given the clearance to do so by health professionals.
Please exercise caution when deciding whether or not to send your child to school if they are feeling unwell. In present circumstances we ask that you err on the side of caution and keep them at home. Should your child become unwell in school, we will need to send them home immediately.
Extra curricular Activities
From Monday, we are cancelling all sporting fixtures in line with a number of local schools. We are also cancelling the Extended Day programme until further notice. This means that there will only be one bus service leaving school at 4.10pm each day.
We are also cancelling the planned Easter Concert in the Whitty Theatre. As soon as we can, we will be looking to plan another performance opportunity.
We understand that some of these measures may be disappointing for many of you, but we believe it is the best we way for us to plan to keep the school open if at all possible.  We would like to thank you for your ongoing support in helping us to safeguard the good health of our students and all the members of our school community.

Yours sincerely

Mrs J Tudor
Head