Principal’s Letter to Parents 16th March 2020

Principal’s Letter to Parents 16th March 2020

16th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Following the most recent government advice and information, I wanted to reassure you with the contingency plans we have in order to ensure that our school community keeps safe and calm, and that plans to educate your son/daughter have been put in place.

Currently, the school remains open and functions as normal. However, in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, I have made the decision to cancel all school trips and large student gatherings, including school assemblies. Our registration thumbprinting machines are also no longer available to students. Information has already been given to the students regarding the importance of handwashing and increased hygiene techniques at this time. Our premises are also being regularly cleaned, and soap and information posters are checked regularly in the toilets.

With regards to the forthcoming examinations, we have been advised that at this time we are to continue to prepare as normal. Ofqual and the Department for Education are planning for a range of scenarios, although their overriding priorities are fairness to students this summer and keeping disruption to a minimum.

Please follow current government guidance if your son/daughter becomes unwell. Information can be found at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

The guidance says that if students have symptoms of Coronavirus infection (COVID-19), which are a new, continuous cough or high temperature, however mild, they must not leave their home for 7 days from when their symptoms started. Parents do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If symptoms worsen during home isolation, or are no better after 7 days, they should contact NHS 111 online. If parents have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If your son/daughter is going to be absent from school, please could I ask that you report it to our absence line (01580 767048) in the usual way, stating:

  • that your child will be self-isolating for the next 7 days
  • the first day of the self-isolation

You only need to make this phone-call once, but you should then inform us of the date for your child’s intended return to school, again, following government guidelines regarding self-isolation.

If your son/daughter develops symptoms whilst at school, our school nurse will contact you and you will be asked to collect your child immediately.

If we are advised that the school has to close, we will let you know via our website or text at the earliest opportunity. However, I think that it would be prudent to prepare for a possible school closure. If this were to be the case, I would like to suggest the following:

  • Make sure you have signed up for the SIMS Parent App (parentsupport@homewood.kent.sch.uk)
  • Make sure the school has your current email address
  • Check your child is able to sign into ‘Google Classrooms’ using their school email account, password and classroom codes
  • Check you can still access your guardian Google Classroom email summaries. These will help keep you informed of how much work is being set. You can change the settings for this to provide daily or weekly updates. See the link below for further guidance: https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/7126518?hl=en

If there are any issues with these action steps, or you do not have access to the internet, please can you contact your child’s college co-ordinator.

Other things you could consider:

  • Try to ensure that students have a space at home that they can work. They will be expected to work for the same period of time as they would in school
  • For Year 11 students – download the revision support materials on the school website. Read the ‘Prepare to Perform’ parent guide
  • Consider buying study or revision guides for relevant subjects

During this unprecedented time, I am sure that you can appreciate that the volume of correspondence to the school has increased, therefore we may not be able to respond to parents about individual cases.  As stated previously, always follow government guidance.

I will, of course, update you as soon as information is available. I appreciate that this is a challenging and difficult time for us all, although please be assured that we are doing all that we can to keep your child’s education as consistent as possible.

Yours sincerely,

J K Single

Principal

To download this letter as a PDF document, please click here.