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Headteacher’s letter 13 March 2020

13 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Coronavirus Update 5
There are again no substantial updates to provide families with today. It is a relief that three weeks have now passed since our students and staff returned from Italy and none of our returning skiers have tested positive for the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor events and the same message is repeated to us all about the importance of good basic hygiene – especially washing hands and following the “catch it, bin it, kill it” advice.

There is no harm in reminding you of the telephone helpline (0800 046 8687) or the email that may be used by adults and students: [email protected] The Government’s key website for all other information and updates on the virus remains: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

In The Event of a School Closure
Schools are used to developing contingency plans for all sorts of eventualities. You will not be surprised to learn that we have updated our plan in the event of a general school closure.
We feel it is the right time to outline what would happen in the event of a closure, so that we could maintain all students’ progression through the curriculum under very unusual circumstances.
 Teachers would continue to set a 60 minute supported self-study activity for each lesson that is missed.
 The lesson would be uploaded each morning to ‘Show My Homework’ and all students would have to submit evidence of completion (via Show My Homework) so that teachers can monitor students’ engagement and select key activities to be formally assessed.
 Safety and wellbeing checks would be maintained throughout a period of closure for vulnerable students and families. Meanwhile, we would provide information on who to contact in the event of a family emergency or crisis. Families will never be left isolated or cut off from this school!

We know that these measures assume that students and staff are well and able to set lessons and complete activities. We wish to reassure you that there is no suggestion at CNS that students or colleagues will be expected to continue life as normal if they are unwell. If any one of us becomes unwell, we must rest and recover.

Our plans acknowledge that families may not have access to a printer, laptop or PC (or that a single device might be shared across a family). However, we are working on the assumption that the vast majority of students will have access to Show My Homework and will be able to access the Internet on a smart phone or other device.

In the event of a general closure you will receive a confirmation letter from me. You would then receive a letter from Ms Hancock (Deputy Head) to set out how we shall ensure that we keep our children and families and staff safe. This would be followed by a third letter from Mr Gent (Assistant Head), who would set out (in more precise terms) how we shall try to continue lessons as normal.

At this stage there are no plans to close the school and there is certainly no suggestion or advice from the Government for schools to prepare for such a course of action. The general message for us all is to prepare, but not to fuss. We hope this letter communicates the spirit of such an approach and reassures families that we shall be ready to act if a closure occurs.

What should families do now?
 If you have moved house or have any updated contact details, then please ensure you communicate this information to the relevant Head of Year.
 If you have any problems accessing Show My Homework, then please contact the Head of Year who will be able to help sort out the problem very quickly indeed.
 If you have a specific worry or concern, then contact me on [email protected] I shall do my best to provide an answer.

School Trips, Visits and Events
The additional Year 13 Parent and Teacher Consultation (PTC) that was due to take place this Thursday 19th March, will now be amended. Parents and carers will instead receive a written report from those teachers they had booked to meet by next Thursday 19th March. This is a sensible precaution that will result in a minimal (or at least a manageable) impact on students’ education.

We are also conscious that the planned sports tour to Canada is likely to be affected by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. We are currently seeking advice regarding this visit, in addition to those planned to Paris and Germany in the autumn term. Similarly, our annual German exchange visit is likely to be affected but at this stage we cannot state how. In the coming days we aim to communicate directly with those families who are involved in any of these visits in an attempt to keep everyone informed and updated. Where possible and safe, visits will continue and if not we would hope to postpone rather than cancel. Nevertheless, we shall seek to take the parents, carers and students with us on such decisions and not make any rash decisions that we may later regret.

Thank you for the overwhelming support we have received from families on this matter.

Yours sincerely
Barry Doherty
Headteacher

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