CoronaVirus – Update 11th May 2020

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS & STUDENTS FOR W/B 11TH MAY 2020

 Dear parents and students;

I am writing with my weekly update so that you are aware of any changes to how education is going to be provided next week. Firstly, the school will continue to be open for children of key workers, children who have vulnerable status (receiving support from the Early Help Hub, Children’s Services or with an allocated Social Worker including Looked After Children) or have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and there will be a continuation of the full educational programme. If you have not already registered for emergency child care provision and/or education at the school during closure, and wish to do so, please follow the link below. Please note that it has now become essential that you book a space as numbers of pupils on site are increasing and we would not want to be in a position where we need to turn away a child that is not booked in due to insufficient staffing.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScG6cETtNDCsedhXh-ZQ7R_m3FbQ9Dk_1bJwtni3ziM_nqlgg/viewform

You can also find this link on the School Closure page of the School Website. If you have registered for the provision, you should be receiving an email from Mr Bettiss towards the end of every week asking you to confirm your requirements for the following week. Please contact him directly at abettiss@romsey.hants.sch.uk for any queries.

Half- term w/b 25th May 2020 Please note; for the duration of half-term the Community Office will be providing childcare in school. This needs to be booked separately for the Friday only by visiting the following site: https://bookwhen.com/keyworkerscamp

Update on returning to school –   We will all be waiting with bated breath for the announcements on Sunday from the COBRA team. Early indications are that there will be some form of return to schools in June.  I have received a number of emails from parents which outline their concerns about a return and these are really helpful in giving a view about how parents envisage a return to school.  The following are general themes which I will try to address;

  • How will you social distance in a school of 1200 pupils?
  •  Will on-line learning continue once there is a return?
  • Are Year 10 pupils going to be prioritized and be able to return first?
  • Is the work which Year 10 pupils are completing linked to their qualifications?
  • How will Year 10 pupils catch up in time for their GCSE exams?

In relation to the first question, there is no possibility of return for every child in every year group when schools reopen.  This would be contrary to the scientific advice on social distancing and endeavouring to reduce the likelihood of a second spike in Coronavirus cases.

With regard to on-line learning, this will continue throughout this academic year.  Many parents will wish to keep their children at home even if schools do return and the school will not be issuing any warning letters or Fixed Penalty Notices to parents who would prefer it that their children remain at home. Equally, parents may wish to have a flexible approach, with their children being in school some of the time and remaining at home at other times to continue home learning.

As a school, we would wish to prioritize Year 10 pupils and as long as this is the guidance we are provided with by the scientists working with the Civil Contingencies Committee (COBRA) then that is what we will do.  We will make sure that if they are able to come in they have the best provision possible and include opportunities for catch up, so that they are fully prepared for their examinations in Year 11.  Mr Marks has sent out some more detailed information to Year 10 parents and pupils regarding current qualifications and other matters relating to Year 10.  What I can assure you is that all of the work which is being set for Year 10 is directly linked to the qualifications which are due to be completed in June 2021.

We are liaising with local schools so that there is a consistent approach within the Romsey Community.  Please be assured that we are taking everyone’s welfare seriously and many of the measures we have in place already for the children of key workers will need to remain.  We will also look closely at movement around the school, class size, canteen arrangements and of course transport.   I will update you with more detail in the middle of next week once we hear on Sunday what the time-table for return is.

I do realise that the current situation is putting massive pressure on parents, many of whom are trying to juggle the pressures of home education with their own working commitments.  We appreciate all you are doing and staff are very grateful for your endeavours to ensure that the children continue to learn.

Parent support – please do get in touch if you are finding circumstances difficult given that many vital services are closed. You can be assured of our discretion and support.  I have retained the information below from last week’s letter about opening times for the school office, and the Food Delivery service. Please email the school directly, including information about who you wish to speak to.

School office – for the duration of the school closure the office will be open every morning. Messages will be picked up and dealt with daily. All messages will be passed on to the relevant person so that they can get back to you but there will be a delay in response. If you have a more urgent query then please email: adminoffice@romsey.hants.sch.uk which is checked throughout the day.

Food Deliveries – During these times if you find you are in Food Poverty please contact the Community Office via email. Community@romsey.hants.sch.uk  We understand that circumstances can change rapidly and we do wish to support all of our community whether you live in Romsey or further afield.

Mr McKavanagh (Head-teacher)