Covid-19 Parent/Guardian Update 23.04.20

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

Plashet School