Mr Chaloner reflecting upon the past week
This week we had our first confirmed cases of Covid-19 within our school community. It led to us using our emergency plans and working with Public Health England in following the necessary processes to ensure that we keep students and staff as safe as possible and limit any further spread of the virus. When the government guidance was released at the end of the last academic year, we felt that a case would lead to the closure of a whole year group – a year group bubble. However, in reality this did not feel appropriate. What become apparent was that some students would not have come into contact with the infected people at all and that they should stay in school. For others it was harder to establish and so we considered a close contact to be someone in that classroom. I understand that this can lead to frustration at home but do please understand that this is done in the best interests of all. If there is a future case it may well be that the response will seem different. This is not because we have got it wrong but because we are treating every case individually and always with the intention of sending the fewest amount of students home. Every decision we make will be taken in consultation with Public Health England or the Department for Education.
Due to this individual approach it may lead to a delay of a day or two until home learning can start fully. Initially work will be set on Show My Homework and then we will look to deliver some live lessons where possible. This week we have had to adjust timetabling on the school site to release staff from face to face contact with students so that they can begin to deliver content to students at home. Unsurprisingly we have had a few teething problems but this afternoon I watched Mrs Guest confidently and impressively deliver an English lesson to her class through Microsoft Teams. The plan for next week is that these live lessons will become more frequent for those groups that are self-isolating.
We are all learning how things will operate over the coming weeks and months. It’s tricky at times and sometimes we do not immediately have the answer as we cannot foresee the problem. What I can promise you is that we are doing our very best to ensure minimal disruption to you all.
What has been fantastic is how our students have responded to the news that some of their peers have had to self-isolate. In school, the attitude has very much been ‘business as usual’ and students and staff have continued in their new routines. Lessons are productive and there is a positive vibe emanating across the school. We have also seen the reintroduction of some after school activities in PE and music. A big thank you to the staff for making this happen and allowing students to have these enrichment opportunities.
I thank you for continuing to support us in what we do best - educating your children – and for the words of gratitude that we have received.
Mr Chaloner – Head of School