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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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CoronaVirus: update for Parents

Wednesday 18 March 2020.

School will remain open as normal on Thursday and Friday this week.  We are reflecting on tonight’s announcement from the Government and will provide further information tomorrow.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Thank you for all of the efforts you and your children are making to support the school and to ensure everyone can make progress in these unprecedented times. We are very impressed by the way in which our pupils are conducting themselves in and around the school. They are taking responsibility for their learning and are remaining calm and focused. They are also taking care to look after themselves and each other. We continue to provide handwashing advice and guidance and have plenty of soap and toilet paper.

As you will appreciate we are continuing to respond to the latest guidance from the Department for Education which in their bulletin to schools today clearly states:

‘The current medical and scientific advice is for schools and other educational establishments to stay open.  If this changes and the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser say closing schools, colleges, and early years settings is in the best interests of children and teachers the Department will take that step.’ (17 March 2020)

Therefore, we remain committed to keeping the school open and we are endeavouring to keep the learning experience as normal as possible for our pupils.

However, owing to the impact of the new guidance provided by the government on 16 March 2020 on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are making some further adjustments and request your further cooperation:

  1. If reporting an absence, please can all parents advise us of the reason for their child’s absence as we need to ensure the registers are correctly coded. In particular, we would be grateful if you could confirm that you are self-isolating as a result of symptoms linked to COVID-19.
  2. While we recognise some of our pupils who are currently well are self-isolating because another family member has symptoms, we are unable at this stage to provide personalised learning programmes for them. However, pupils in this position can access Show My Homework and should be able to respond to tasks similar to those their peers have done in lessons.
  3. In line with the advice provided by the various sporting bodies, we have temporarily cancelled all after-school sports clubs and fixtures. However, where staff are available, revision sessions will continue as planned while the school remains open.
  4. To minimise social contact and reduce unnecessary travel, we would be grateful if parents seeking to talk to staff at the school could do so either by phone or email. With the exception of meetings with external agencies related to the need to safeguard our pupils, we have temporarily suspended all meetings with parents and visitors.
  5. In the event of significant staff shortages and high pupil absence we may need to collapse some of our classes, initially in Year 7, but possibly in all other year groups too. Please be aware that your child’s timetable may change. We are also considering partial school closure and, if this proves to be necessary, we will prioritise the teaching of Years 9, 10 and 11 to ensure their learning can continue.
  6. Pupils are reminded to take home their exercise books and any resources provided by their subject teachers so that they are prepared for learning at home should it be necessary.
  7. At present we are assuming the GCSE exams will still go ahead and we are making provision to ensure the GCSE practical exams scheduled for later this week or next in Performing Arts, Art, and Textiles can go ahead as planned even if the school is closed to pupils.
  8. We are continuing to work hard on ensuring we have a robust solution in the event of a full school closure and the need to provide distance learning and virtual classrooms. As you are aware we have already drafted a provisional timetable and I confirm Show My Homework will be used in the short term and if required to close for a significant period, we plan to move a different platform that puts pupils and teachers in touch with each other more directly. Read more...
  9. We have cancelled or postponed all school trips and visits this side of the Easter holiday and we are keeping future school trips and visits that have been scheduled under review. We are liaising with travel companies and awaiting further Government advice.

Thank you again for your ongoing support and cooperation in these difficult times.

Chiquita Henson, Headteacher