Email Update 02.06.20

Dear Parent/Carers,

Welcome back to school after the half-term break. I hope you were able to enjoy the Eid weekend and beautiful weather last week and are now ready for this new half-term of studies.

The government has made a number of announcements related to the easing of lockdown for the country and changes related to secondary schools as follows:

“…secondary schools should plan on the basis that from the week commencing 15 June, they can invite year 10 pupils back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, subject to the government’s 5 tests being met.

We are asking secondary schools to offer this face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.”

And additionally: “secondary schools should ensure that only a quarter of pupils in year 10 are in school at any one time.”

So, it is very clear from the government that online learning remains the dominant form of provision for students in all year groups.

Our decision making is being guided by some key principles which are:

● Safeguarding student & staff health, safety and well-being;
● Maintaining high quality learning and engagement;
● Listening to scientific evidence and advice;
● Listening to professional organisations;
● Ensuring arrangements are compliant with DfE and Government expectations.

We are now in the process of completing our risk assessment of the Plashet site so that we are able to operate safely and offer some face-to-face support for small groups of Y10 students from 15th June.

Our preparations include:
● A very detailed risk assessment of the school site.
● Planning an interim timetable of support sessions for Year 10 that are in line with our risk assessment, are in line with the government directive that only 25% of students in the year group are allowed to be on-site on one day with staggered arrival and departure times and will best support Year 10 girls with their online learning.
● Remodelling classrooms to meet the necessary requirements for social distancing as stipulated by the Department for Education and Public Health England.
● Designing a school wide one-way system.
● Purchasing enough PPE to enable our new cleaning arrangements to be sustained over the 5 weeks of having Year 10 students and staff on-site.
● An audit of staff to ensure that we have a sufficient number of staff available to deliver these support sessions.

The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, recently published a statement setting out the Council’s position on the reopening of schools. Please access here

In summary, the Council has said that our schools should only open for pupils when it is safe to do so for children, staff and the community.

The Council has provided reassurance to parents and carers that the Local Education Authority will not take action against them if they decide not to send their children back to school on the proposed return date.

I will be emailing Year 10 families next week as arrangements are finalised.

In the meantime, stay safe and well and thank you for your ongoing support.

Yours faithfully,

Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Covid-19 Parent/Carer Update 22.05.20

Dear Parents/Carers,

The past ten days or so have been characterised by a great deal of information and some confusion based on announcements made by the government.

In this week’s update I would like to give you some clarity and reassurances.

It is clear that for all year groups, for the remainder of this academic year, the main delivery of learning will continue to be online.

We might be supplementing this for Years 10 girls through sessions offered in school at some point after half-term if the Prime Minister announces on Thursday 28th May that the country is moving to step 2 of the recovery plan.

​A​s we approach the end of this half-term ​I send ​my thanks to students​ ​and parents for their support of the school during this very difficult time. The way people have engaged in the online programme has been tremendous and we now need to enhance our provision further to ensure that we continue to achieve excellence in the second half of the term​.​

May all of you celebrating the end of Ramadan have a very blessed Eid – ‘Eid Mubarak’. May everyone enjoy the bank holiday weekend and whitsun half term. No online lessons will be set next week. I hope you and your family are able to find some space to switch off, or at least to switch off as well as any of us is able to in these strange times.

​With very best wishes,

​Rachel McGowan​

Head Teacher
Plashet School
Covid-19 Message for All 11.05.20

Dear Plashet Parent/Guardian,

Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister make reference yesterday evening (Sunday 10th May 2020) to the government’s Covid-19 Recovery Strategy.

In relation to schools his exact word were:

In Step Two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year (Years 10 & Year 12) will get at least some time with their teachers before the summer holidays. And we will shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it work in schools.

The Prime Minister’s reference was to the possibility of a partial re-opening of schools in June as part of Step 2 being conditional on the 5 tests being met fully as the rate of infection remains too high to allow the reopening of schools for all pupils yet.

This means that there is no change to the current arrangements – Plashet is only open for those vulnerable children and children of critical workers who can not safely remain at home. All students will continue to be set work lesson-by-lesson, as per their normal timetable, via Google Classroom.

Whilst we recognise that the current arrangements continue to provide challenges for you and your daughter rest assured that Plashet and the local authority are working on the detailed planning necessary for the kind of reopening outlined above if the country moves to Step 2.

Please also be assured that the most important consideration in this planning is the safety and wellbeing of Plashet students and staff.

Yours faithfully,

Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Covid-19 Message for All 03.05.20

You might have seen an article in the Newham Recorder on 27th April about a new initiative started by an Ilford resident to support non-English speakers access Covid-19 information. The website can be found here and has a wide range of languages on offer in written and video formats.

Covid-19 Update 01.05.20

Dear Parents/Carer,

We have now completed the second week of the Summer Term. It was very clear from the Prime Minister’s words during yesterday’s Downing Street briefing that lockdown will continue for the foreseeable future.

Staying safe online during the coronavirus outbreak

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has published new guidance on what you can do to stay safe online during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance also has tailored advice for parents to keep their children safe online. This includes using parental controls to manage what children can access, switching on family filters to protect children from inappropriate content, and having conversations with children to encourage them to speak to a trusted adult if they come across anything online that makes them uncomfortable.

Up to date contact details

Now more than ever it’s really important that we have the most up to date contact details for parents and carers. If your home or mobile telephone numbers, or email has changed please email info@plashet.newham.sch.uk with the new details, and name and form group of your daughter(s).

Students with SEND

The BBC have launched a fantastic Parents’ Toolkit to support families homeschooling young people with SEND. It covers wellbeing, activities and learning and top tips and advice. It is entitled Parents’ Toolkit: SEND BBC Bitesize and can be found here. I hope that it is useful for our families. The following resources may also be useful:
Common Sense Media: here
Childnet: here

Keeping children safe

The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:
Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
Parents working from home
Children staying home alone
Lockdown and separated parents
How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour.
The advice can be found on the NSPCC website here.

As your daughter is not allowed to socialise in person with friends at the moment, you may find that she is spending more time on social media. Please see this helpful guide on how parents and carers can keep children safe when using social media here.

As ever, if you have any concerns about your child’s safety or wellbeing, or that of any other child, please email safegarding@plashet.newham.sch.uk.

My thanks to you all for supporting your daughter’s in their engagement with online learning and it is important that momentum with this is maintained. I would however like to remind all parents to be realistic in terms of what you can do at home. Please do not put too much pressure on yourselves to replicate school or worry unnecessarily about your daughter falling behind. Share your calmness, share your strength and share your laughter with your daughter. No girls are ahead. No girls are behind. Your daughter’s are exactly where they need to be – with you at home and safe.

Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim families.

I will be in touch next week with a further update, but until then stay safe and well.

Yours faithfully,

Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Parent/Guardian FSM Update 27.04.20

Extension of free school meals eligibility

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Government is temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), including:
– children of Zambrano carers
– children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
– children of families receiving support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction.

These groups are also subject to a maximum household earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum.

The Government is also temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to children of a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. This group is not subject to any maximum household earnings threshold.

This extension is temporarily in place due to the current unique circumstances. It covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.

Please click this link to Newham’s Free School Meals page where you can find the application form here.

Parent/Guardian Update 23.04.20

Dear Parent/Carer,

Today I have sent all student’s an email containing a link to our Student Wellbeing Classroom in Google Drive. I have added some further wellbeing resources that they may find of use and interest. Plashet has been part of an organisation called Partners in Excellence PiXL for many years and the group has designed resources for use across partner schools. One is ‘A Kindness Diary‘ that girls might like to do for the next 30 days. There is a Kindness Diary Guidance Booklet to read through as well as a Blank Kindness Diary Template formatted in Word to type into each day.

I think it is important to keep a focus on being kind and making this an intention. As Ramadan begins for many students this might add to a time when they focus their minds on spirituality.

As well as the Kindness Diary I have also put a ‘Coping with Change‘ booklet for students in the classroom to try and help them navigate through some of the feelings they might be experiencing. I have attached a version for parents/carers too as we all need reassurance. To support you I have also outlined responses to questions that might be circulating in your mind.

Coping with Change Parent Pamphlet

When will schools reopen?

There has been a lot of speculation in the media over recent days about when schools may reopen. In response, the Secretary of State for Education detailed five tests that the country would need to meet before schools could get “back to normal”. These are:

First, we must protect the NHS’s ability to cope and be sure that it can continue to provide critical care and specialist treatment right across the whole of the UK.

Second, we need to see the daily death rates from coronavirus coming down.

Third, we need to have reliable data that shows the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels.

Fourth, we need to be confident that testing capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) are being managed, with supply able to meet not just today’s demand, but future demand.

Fifth, and perhaps most crucially, we need to be confident any changes we do make will not risk a second peak of infections.

Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, was clear that we can think about getting more children into schools again only when the country has met these five essential points. He committed to working with the education sector to consider how best to reopen schools when the time is right.

Our working assumption is that it will not be feasible for schools to reopen before the May Whitsun half term, and teachers are planning the curriculum on this basis. If the situation changes, I will, of course, let you know.

Whilst I fully appreciate how challenging this can be for all families, I implore you to do all you can to support your daughter in continuing to access education to the absolute best of your and her ability. Routine and a sense of purpose are going to be incredibly important over the coming months.

Please be aware that we cannot provide a ‘school away from school’. In the short term, your daughter needs to try her best and keep in contact with her teachers who will facilitate by providing resources and remote guidance. Please also be aware that it is a challenge to teach new content effectively remotely and therefore work set will be a combination of new learning, as well as provide opportunity to recap prior learning, develop skills and deepen students understanding.

Will my daughter be given feedback on her work?

It is unrealistic for all students to receive individual feedback on every single piece of work they complete. Where possible, during normal school hours, staff will be available to communicate with students and provide feedback and help on the work that they are being asked to complete. I am aware already that the vast majority of the girls have been in regular contact with their teachers.

What if school is closed for a very long period of time?

We firmly believe it is important that all students are supported and encouraged to keep up their studies but appreciate that this will become increasingly challenging the longer the period out of school is. The best way to maintain it in the medium to long term is to maintain a daily schedule so that this becomes your family’s ‘new normal’. Should the closure go on for months then we will be looking at how best to introduce more new content in a way that students can access it but this will take some time establish.

Assessments and Exams for Years 7, 8, 9 & 10

Don’t worry about your daughter’s assessments. Everything is on hold for now. Once we have a better picture of how and when we will be returning to school, we will work on rescheduling our Year 10 and Year 7 parents’ meetings as these have not been able to take place. The next internal school exams are likely to be in the autumn in November and December but we will plan for these at an appropriate time, and after the girls have had some guidance and support from their teachers.

As the month of Ramadan starts for many of you I wish you ‘Ramadan Mubarak’.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School
Parent/Guardian Update 21.04.20

Please find below an information poster that might prove useful for your family.

2 covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster

You might also find the following website an interesting source of information about valuing and supporting your mental health. Please access the website here.

Parent/Guardian Update 20.04.20

Dear Parent/Guardian,

The government has extended the national lockdown and associated closure of schools for at least another three weeks.

Communication

I will continue to update parents via email at least weekly. All information emailed is also posted on the Covid-19 section of our website. Having the main school phone line open each day requires me to have a member of staff on-site and given the stringent lockdown this is not possible. Please do not phone school whilst the lockdown is in place. We continue to monitor all emails, including the main info@plashet.newham.sch.uk so please do use that where possible.

Free School Meal Vouchers

Those parents of students in receipt of free school meals will know we are using the government’s Edenred evoucher system. This web portal is struggling badly with the volume of transactions it is required to handle and crashing constantly. We are frustrated with this national system. Our School Business Manager will continue to closely monitor the site and endeavour to search for our transactions and order a further three week’s vouchers.

Our Virtual School

It has been a quite a learning curve for parents, students and staff as we have attempted to adapt our tried-and-tested methods to distance learning via Google Classroom. I continue to pass feedback received on to teaching staff who are developing new ways of setting learning so that it is manageable. Lots of families have been grateful for there being plenty to keep Plashet students busy, but I know that for some families the work set has caused some anxiety, especially where they have other pressures to juggle as well. Our principle has been that we would rather Plashet girls have more than enough rather than not enough to get stuck into, so that parents who really want to ensure their daughter does not get behind have lots to get them to focus on.

Please do not worry, though, if your daughter does not manage to complete everything that has been set. In lessons in school, teachers make judgements every day about whether to push an individual student on, or to stop for now, but we are not able to do that from afar. At the moment you are in the best position to judge what your daughter is be able to manage, and so please do so. Girls should not be doing school work at the expense of their emotional wellbeing or mental health at this time. As parents, please do let us know if you have any concerns about your daughter’s wellbeing.

Having said this, for safeguarding reasons we will continue to monitor whether students are engaging with the tasks being set, and submitting work if this has been requested. Our pastoral teams will be doing virtual wellbeing check-ins over the next week or so and we will contact students and/or parents to follow up where we have concerns that students are not engaging with school during the closure period to see what we can do to help.

I have attached a ‘Parents Guide to Coping with School Closures’ given that the lockdown has been extended for at least another 3-weeks. I hope this may offer some further support.

Look after yourselves and your families. Stay at home and do not take any risks. You, our ever supportive parents/guardians, together with your wonderful daughters and all of the Plashet community, mean the world to me. My heartfelt best wishes go to all of you.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

parents-guide coping-with-school-closures (1)

Year 11 Parent/Guardian Email 20.04.20

Dear Year 11 Students and Parents,

The Department for Education has announced that Year 11 students will get their GCSE results on Thursday 20 August 2020. This date is the same as that published at the start of this academic year. There had been speculation in the media about GCSE results being given out at the end of July but this is not the case. I hope this email provides clarity for all Year 11 girls receiving results this summer.

Further information will be sent to you in the coming weeks about the time school will be open for Year 11 girls to come in and pick-up their results on Thursday 20th August.

Best regards,

Mrs McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Parent/Guardian Update 06.04.20

Dear Parent/Guardian,

“There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen” Lenin

At the end of this Spring Term it certainly does feel that over the last few weeks more than a decade of events has happened. None of us would have thought when we came back to school in January that the nation would be in lockdown, the school would be shut for the foreseeable future, public examinations cancelled and Plashet operating as a ‘virtual’ school.

Out of adversity hope arises – and the Plashet School community has certainly shown that it is able to deal with challenges. I have been overwhelmed with how well we have adapted to our new way of working. The excellent number of responses to our parental survey last week reinforced the positive relationships between home and school. Once again, my congratulations to you all and also my gratitude for the way you have all supported each other and the school.

We now move to the school holiday – a very odd one in that the country remains in lockdown and many of the things we normally enjoy during a school holiday period are not possible. However, this holiday gives us all a chance to rest, relax and reflect on the last very busy few weeks and, more importantly I think, to start to plan for the future. This national crisis will end and when it does we will all be able to get back to our normal routines. So, I suggest students take stock on what they have achieved in these last few weeks of being part of a virtual school and set themselves goals for what they want to achieve as a virtual learner when the new term starts on Monday 20th April and also goals they wish to achieve when we are all back together as a school community in person.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement” Helen Keller

So even in these challenging times, we must all remain optimistic. To aid you I attach support information from the charity Young Minds that you may find supportive as well as a link to their website here.

The Anna Freud Centre also offer supportive materials this is a link to their website here.

During the current school closure we know that Plashet girls are accessing more content online whilst trying to keep in touch with friends and accessing their home learning. This means that it is more important than ever to ensure that you have a good awareness of online safety and that you talk to your daughter about staying safe. There is a lot of support available to keep your daughter safe online.

Internet Matters
Safer Internet Centre
Think U Know

I wish you and your families a restful home holiday, if you are able to have one. Stay optimistic and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

how-to-support-your-child_corona

Parental/Guardian information regarding FSM 06.04.20

Parent/Guardian email regarding FSM 06.04.20

Dear Parent/Carer,

The Government has now launched their Free School Meal Voucher System.
It is delivered by a company called Edenred.

You will receive an email from them as your daughter is eligible for free school meals.

Once you have received the email you can then go online to redeem the eCode against a choice of eGift cards (a digital gift card delivered via email to you ) which currently includes the following food retailers:

Morrisons
Tesco
Sainsbury’s
Asda
Waitrose
M&S Food

The Government has agreed to fund free school meals during the Easter holiday. You will, therefore, receive a eGift card each week worth £15 starting today, Monday 6th April and then on subsequent Mondays – 13th April, 20th April etc.

I hope this supports you and your family whilst Plashet remains closed.

Please email info@plashet.newham.sch.uk if you have any queries.

Best regards,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Year 11 student and Parental Email 06.04.20

Dear Year 11 Students, Parents/Guardians,

As a follow-up to the email I sent to you on Friday 3rd April regarding Ofqual’s updated GCSE guidance attached is Plashet’s response to it. I have written this as a set of questions you might ask me so as to preempt what you might be thinking. I hope this is supportive at this time.

Best regards,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Plashet School Response to Ofqual Guidance on Summer 2020 GCSE Grades

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.
 
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
Plashet School

Covid-19 Parental Update 02.04.20

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

Whole School Parental Email Tuesday 31st March 2020

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,

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

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.”

 

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.

Government Key Worker Information

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.

Covid-19 Plashet School Closure for Years 7, 8, 9 & 10 (published 17.03.20)

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.

Mrs Rachel McGowan

Head Teacher
Plashet School

Plashet School Coronavirus (Covd-19) Information (published 27.02.20)

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’
Covid-19 stay at home guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus 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.

Plashet School