The government has extended the national lockdown and associated closure of schools for at least another three weeks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Mrs Rachel McGowan
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.
Parent/Guardian information regarding FSM 06.04.20
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:
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 email@example.com if you have any queries.
Mrs Rachel McGowan
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.
Mrs Rachel McGowan
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.
I wish to reassure you that we will treat our students fairly and completely adhere to Ofqual and awarding body guidance.
Mrs Rachel McGowan
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/
Mrs Rachel McGowan
Plashet Update Tuesday 31st March 2020
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com
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,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 email@example.com 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.