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Year 11 student & Parental Email 03.04.20

Dear Year 11 students and Parents/Guardians,

Since the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced that the 2020 exam series in England would be cancelled to help fight the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Ofqual have worked at speed to develop a process, which fairly recognises students’ work and makes sure they get their grades in time to progress.

You will find details about how GCSEs will be awarded this summer by following this link

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcses-as-and-a-level-awarding-summer-2020 
 
An open letter to students who were expecting to be taking their exams this summer is attached.

Letter_to_students_-_Summer_2020_grading

I wish to reassure you that we will treat our students fairly and completely adhere to Ofqual and awarding body guidance. 

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Rachel McGowan
Head Teacher

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Keeping our girls reading is always important at Plashet. Without access to our school libraries, I know this may prove a challenge now. In addition to the information I sent earlier this week about Audible and First News I now offer the following information about Newham libraries.

Newham Libraries provide free access to a number of magazines, which may be of use, and interest to students, including New Scientist, National Geographic and BBC History Magazine, via the RBdigital site https://llc.rbdigitalglobal.com/ Newham Libraries also offer free access to eBooks and audiobooks using different platforms available via their own website.

Anyone who has a Newham library card (or a card from any other local authority, which is a member of the London Libraries Consortium) can register. Once you are signed in, the list of magazines can be found by selecting ‘Magazines and Comics’ from the drop down menu on the left hand side of the screen.

We have been told that those who don’t have a library card can register online to can a membership number (starting ‘UNREG’) which can be used to access the service immediately.

Learn a new language
Rosetta Stone offer high quality online language courses, and for the next three months they are available completely free of charge. A great opportunity to learn a range of languages from Arabic to Vietnamese. https://www.rosettastone.com/freeforstudents/

Yours faithfully

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Newham Council Information 01.04.20

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Newham Council have asked I provide you with the following information.

Council tax
If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax due to the Coronavirus pandemic please contact Council Tax and Benefits on 020 8430 2000. If your income has changed you may well be eligible for Council Tax Support which will pay up to 90% of your Council Tax. If you already claim Council Tax support please tell us about the change using the online change of circumstances found on the Council’s website. If you do not currently have a claim for Council Tax support you can make a claim online. If you need help with making a claim or advice, our staff will quickly help you make a claim for this and can discuss payment holidays or even hardship grants towards outstanding Council Tax. Please don’t wait for your account to go into arrears before contacting us. We want to help support you in these difficult times.
 
Rent payments
If you are having difficulty paying your rent due to the Coronavirus pandemic please visit our Making a Benefit Claim pages on the Council’s website. This will help direct you to the right agency to deal with your claim. If you have an existing claim for Housing Benefit and your income has changed please visit the Benefits – Tell us about a Change page and complete the online change of circumstances form. If you need help or advice please contact Council Tax and Benefits on 020 8430 2000 and our staff will be able to help you.
https://www.newham.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Coronavirus-(Covid-19).aspx#Advice

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Plashet Update Tuesday 31st March 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

At this time the following may be of use to Plashet families. Amazon has cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for students of all ages as long as schools are closed. This means that Plashet girls can stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages that will help them continue their learning. All stories are free to stream on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet using this link https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

Plashet School subscribes to First News, the only newspaper for children. First News is making their newspaper available to subscribing schools electronically and the first electronic version is attached to this email as a PDF. This and all subsequent issues will be available to all students. There has never been a more vital time for young people to stay informed and have access to a regular, reliable source of news, and this week’s First News will update your daughter about recent information regarding COVID-19 and how to stay safe during the lockdown.

First News 27 March

Passwords reminder
Each student has her own unique username and password. Your daughter should have this information written in her Plashet planner. If your daughter is having any problems accessing any of our remote learning platforms (e.g. Google Classroom, Kerboodle, Pearson, MyMaths etc.), please email info@plashet.newham.sch.uk to ask for reminders of usernames and/or passwords.

Your daughter will also have her 2-week timetable in her planner. This operates as A and B weeks. Today (Tuesday 31st March) is Tuesday Week A for example. Learning tasks for each lesson on her timetable are posted in her Google Classrooms by her teachers each day.

Safeguarding
Despite the closure of the school site, our safeguarding arrangements remain in place. If you have any concerns about your daughter’s wellbeing or safety, or that of any other student in the school, please contact the safeguarding team on safeguarding@plashet.newham.sch.uk

As our lives have been turned upside down over the past few weeks, with so many of our past certainties disappeared and our future plans disrupted, it may seem like an odd time to pause and reflect on the ways in which we may be fortunate. However, at a time like this, it’s even more important than ever both for our own mental health to show gratitude for that which we have. It may be something small, like being able to spend more time with a daughter, husband, wife, brother or sister, or having the time to learn or read something new. Even at a time of great anxiety, we have the ability to shape the way we perceive a situation – to look at the day ahead through the lens of what we can do, not what we can’t.

I look forward to the day when we are all back together as a school.

Until then, yours faithfully,

Rachel McGowan
Head Teacher

Year 11 Parental Email Monday 30th March 2020

On Friday Ofqual, the exams regulator, issued an update on how it will ensure that students receive qualifications this year. We have shared the guidance below, and will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information. Please be assured that we have robust systems in place to ensure the accuracy of teacher assessments.

We are rapidly working up plans to implement the arrangements the Secretary of State for Education has set out for exams this summer and, with exam boards and teaching bodies, are making considerable progress.

Students understandably want reassurance, and teachers urgently need to know what to do, and when. We expect to publish detailed information about the process and timetable which will apply this summer next week. This will include the steps we would like teachers to follow and more detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence they will have available when submitting their assessment grades. We are talking to teaching representatives to make sure that what we are planning is manageable and appropriate, so that students, parents, carers and teachers can have confidence in the approach.

We will outline by Easter the process we will follow to make sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as our proposals for appeals. We will also say more as soon as possible about the arrangements for additional exams in the new academic year.

We want to reassure students waiting for news that we are doing everything we can to make sure they are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances.”

 

Plashet School Covid-19 Update

Monday 23rd March 2020

The Prime Minister and Education Secretary announced on Wednesday 18th March that all schools will be closed from the end of the day on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice for all children except to those of key workers, those with Education & Health Care Plans and those assigned a Social Worker.

It is not compulsory for these groups of children to attend school.

If students can be left at home safely because there is adequate care or they are  old and responsible enough this is what should happen.

The point of schools only being open for these children is to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect lives.

If your job is included on the critical occupations list below (and attached) and your daughter can not safely remain at home then please contact info@plashet.newham.sch.uk. If you are a key worker you need to include the following information in your email: Your job title/role; The Name of your employer; A contact name, email address & telephone number for your employer.

Key Occupations List
Health and Social Care
Education and Childcare
Key Public Serves
Local and National Government
Food and other necessary goods
Public Safety and National Security
Transport
Utilities, Communication & Financial Services
Should you wish your daughter to remain at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic this is your choice.

Covid-19 Plashet School Closure for Years 7, 8, 9 & 10

Due to unprecedented levels of staff absence, I have taken the decision to close the school to all students apart from Year 11.

This means that from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March 2020, Year 11 students will be the only ones in school. This will continue to be the case on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March. At present, I am unsure of how long Plashet will remain open for Year 11. I feel it is likely that in coming days the Prime Minister will make further announcements in relation to schools.

Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will remain at home for the rest of this week and all of next in the first instance and we will enact our remote e-learning plan for them. We will keep you updated on developments regarding any national schools closure via email and this website.

Your daughter’s safety and welfare is my highest priority. We have already taken steps to minimise contact in large groups, and all students who are coughing or who have fever are being kept at home. Please remember that the government guidance is now for households to self-isolate for a fortnight if anyone living in the household has a cough, which doesn’t go away, or a high temperature.

I communicated to families how our remote e-learning plan will work to you last Friday, 13th March 2020.

Many parents/carers received my email communication last Friday. If you did not but have given us your email address, I ask that you check your spam or junk folder and add parentmail@plashet.newham.sch.uk to your contacts.

I appreciate that there will be many views on my decision amongst parents/carers, and trust that everyone understands the ongoing challenges of the situation. 

A significant number of my staff are experiencing symptoms themselves or live with someone who is.  All of these individuals are self-isolating as per NHS guidelines. This scenario seems to be playing out in increasing numbers across our school communities in Newham, London and the wider UK. 

Plashet is a school of over 1,600 staff and students. There are a large number of families who have concerns for their daughters being within a confined school site with so many others. I have a significant number of staff who have complex underlying health conditions, are pregnant or have vulnerable family members with whom they live and I have a duty of care to put in place the most secure of measures to minimise the transmission of Covid-19 for them and your daughters.

The wellbeing of students, staff and the wider families of Plashet is my main concern, and while I understand the impact this may have on the education of our girls, and disruption to the working practice of parents/guardians, I believe this decision is in the best interests of our School community. 

I appreciate your patience and understanding in this unusual time and hope you will extend me grace as we move forward.

Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher

At Plashet, we take the health and safety of our young women and staff very seriously, therefore we are continuing to monitor closely and proactively follow advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. There is currently no cause for concern at our school, but we will keep you informed about any developments and ensure we keeping the school clean to prevent the spread of any virus.

What is coronavirus and should I be concerned?
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?
The symptoms of this new coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

It is crucial that we all continue to follow Public Health England’s advice. The following links relate to information you need to be aware of:

‘Stay at Home Guidance’
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

‘Protecting Self and Others Guidance’
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

How does this new coronavirus spread?
Because it is a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked-up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

How to help prevent the spread of infection
The recommended steps people should take to protect themselves are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections. You should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
 Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
 Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
 If you feel unwell, stay at home and do not attend work or school.
 Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
 If you do not have a tissue to hand, then cough or sneeze into the crook of your flexed elbow onto your sleeve (not your hands).
 Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
 If you are worried about your symptoms, please contact NHS 111 online – do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?
There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:
 Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
 If you do not have a tissue to hand then you should, ideally cough into your flexed elbow rather than your hands.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport and when returning home from school/work. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
 Avoid touching other people where you can.
 Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
 Facemasks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.
 The best way to protect ourselves from infections like coronavirus is to wash our hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel, as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin.

Corvid-19 Plashet School Closure Plan

The UK is now in the delay phase of the Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan. The UK governments’ planning includes the possibility of having to close schools.

At Plashet, we aim to be as well prepared as we can for all eventualities. We are therefore engaged in contingency planning for the possibility of an extended school closure should the Government move to this in the coming days/weeks. Today, teachers have been talking to students to foreshadow the possibility of remote e-learning being implemented should it become necessary.

I am providing you with details of our strategy, which is focused on what is best for the health of our students, staff and community, and for the continuation of learning. As I am sure you will understand, it is very difficult to predict what might happen, but we are taking steps in school to plan as best we can for future events and would appreciate your support and understanding.

Schools in Italy closed for an initial two weeks with no prior notice. Other countries around the world have followed the same strategy. Should this happen to us please note the following:

• If the students are at school when the announcement is made to close all schools, your daughter will bring a letter home informing you of the school closure at the end of the normal school day.
• If the announcement is made over a weekend with students not returning to school the following Monday those of you who have given us your email address will receive an email informing you and our website will display this message too.
• We have remote access to our student database and will email parents to keep them updated. Our website will also provide up-to-date information.
• On Friday 6th March, all students were given a hard copy of the contact details information that is held within our system for families to check, amend and return to us. This includes parents/carer email addresses. A large majority of families who I thank for taking the time to support us has done this. There are though still girls who have not returned their details sheet and this means communication with their families is impeded. If your daughter has not already, please ensure she returns her sheet by Monday 16th March.
• All families who have provided an email address will receive a test email today from us. This will come from parentmail@plashet.newham.sch.uk Attached to this letter is a reply slip for parents/carers to inform us that they have received an email. If you have not then you need to write your email address on the reply slip so we have it please.
• It is vital that, if Plashet closes, students continue to work and study. In the event of a closure of schools, we will shift our education from classrooms with four walls to the cloud. Whilst there is no substitute for being in the classroom with a teacher, we will set learning tasks as per students normal daily timetable electronically via Google Classroom for each lesson of each day. All students have a copy of their timetable in their school planner therefore; parents/carers can follow this and track what their daughter should be doing each day.
• Teachers will set learning tasks for their lessons and during that lesson time monitor the Google Classroom. At times, the Google Work Submitted facility will be used to monitor what is being done and offer feedback on it.
• Parents/Carers will need to monitor their daughter’s online/internet use as normal to ensure their daughter is engaging as expected.

Parents and Carers can also help their daughter by doing the following:

1. Make sure your daughter has access to her school Gmail account and Google Classroom from home. Get her to demonstrate to you she can login to Google Classroom. Ideally, this will be on a desktop, laptop or tablet but can be done from a mobile phone if needs be.
2. Make sure your daughter has somewhere she can work at home. In the event of extended school closure, we would ask that families try to ensure that conditions at home allow for 5 hours of study each day as this is what a normal school day consists of.
3. For those families who have more than one daughter at Plashet I realise that there will need to be some negotiated management of who uses the computer when. I know families will do the best they can in these unusual circumstances.
4. Other countries have experienced their school being closed yet students gathering in shopping centres and high streets. If Plashet is closed, please do not allow your daughter to meet-up with friends in social gatherings during the school time as this is contrary to what the school closure is trying to achieve.

I have taken the decision to cancel or postpone all school visits for the foreseeable future. I am also postponing our upcoming Year 10 and Year 7 parent’s meetings scheduled for Tuesday 24th March and Wednesday 1st April respectively.

GCSEs exams are planned to run from Monday 11th May. Ofqual says it is working with exam boards and the government to make contingency plans if there is a “widespread outbreak”. However, until that becomes necessary, Ofqual is telling schools to assume exams will continue as scheduled. Ofqual has issued advice that “students, schools and colleges should continue to prepare for the summer exams and assessments as usual”. It said there would be guidance to “manage any particular risks” to the exam season if coronavirus becomes widespread. I would therefore urge Year 11 students to focus on studying for their exams and not to worry about what may or may not happen. I appreciate there are practical subjects for which it is difficult to work at home. Should there be a national school closure we will communicate this issue to Ofqual and the examination boards we use. I will keep Year 11 students and their families updated with advice and guidance as it is given to me.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school either by telephone, 0208 471 2418 or email, info@plashet.newham.sch.uk.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

At Plashet, we take the health and safety of our young women and staff very seriously, therefore we are continuing to monitor closely and proactively follow advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. We are sharing guidance from Public Health England about preventative steps students and their families as well as staff should be taking.

There is currently no cause for concern at our school, but we will keep you informed about any developments and ensure we keeping the school clean to prevent the spread of any virus.

I will be speaking to all students in assemblies about this advice but please make sure you read the advice and talk to your daughter about it.

Form tutors have asked all students whether they have been to any of the areas listed in either category above. We have also asked all staff this question. If a student or member of staff has returned from one of the category one areas, we will inform the NHS and Public Health England and follow their advice. If you and your daughter have returned from one of the specified countries or areas please contact the school immediately.

What is coronavirus and should I be concerned?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of this new virus?

The symptoms of this new coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) include fever and respiratory symptoms including coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.

If you or your daughter have returned from a category 1 country or area since February 19th 2020, you should call NHS 111, stay indoors, and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

Category 1 Countries/Areas:

  • Iran
  • Specific Italian lockdown towns of Bertonico, Casalpisterlengo, Castelgrundo, Castiglione D’Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia and Terranova dei Passerini in the Lombardy Region and Vo’Eugane in the Veneto Region
  • Daegu or Cheongdo in South Korea
  • Hubei province

If you or your daughter have returned from a category 2 country or area since February 19th 2020 and develop symptoms, you should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately, and call NHS 111:

Category 2 Countries/Areas:

  • Cambodia
  • China (other than Wuhan City or Hubei Province)
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy (defined as North by a line above, but not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • South Korea (other than Daegu or Cheongdo)
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

How does this new coronavirus spread?

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked-up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

How to help prevent the spread of infection

The recommended steps people should take to protect themselves are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections. You should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • If you don’t have a tissue to hand, then cough or sneeze into the crook of your flexed elbow onto your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
  • If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
  • Please call NHS 111 immediately in order for you to be assessed by an appropriate specialist in hospital, as quickly as possible.

 

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • If you don’t have a tissue to hand then you should, ideally cough into your flexed elbow rather than your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport and when returning home from school/work. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid touching other people where you can.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Facemasks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.
  • The best way to protect ourselves from infections like coronavirus is to wash our hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel, as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin.

 

While there is currently a low risk from coronavirus to individuals in the UK, the safety and wellbeing of Plashet students and staff is paramount, and we are continuously monitoring the situation for further changes. We will continue to communicate any updates to our guidance via our website.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school either by telephone, 0208 471 2418 or email, info@plashet.newham.sch.uk.

 

Plashet School