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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)Updates

We continue to follow guidance provided by daily updates from the Department for Education and Public Health England to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness.

Please find the latest updates for parents/carers from Miss Watterson (Headteacher) below and all letters sent out to parents/carers regarding COVID-19 at the bottom of this page:

COVID-19 update 27.03.20 

Dear Parents and Carers,  

Well, we have made it to the end of week 1! I am hoping that everyone is still bearing up and that life hasn’t proved to be too difficult in the light of the measures which are now in place around us all.

Could I ask you to please pass on a huge well done to all our students who have actively engaged with their learning this week? We held our first ‘virtual staff meeting’ this morning and everyone was is good form, with lots of positive stories about the learning curve which staff have been going through this week (never mind the students) as well as recalling some of the delightful interactions that have been had with students too. We have been incredibly impressed and despite the challenges, it has felt like a very positive start.

Microsoft Teams

In the background, our IT team have been busy responding to queries and helping to get Microsoft Teams set up for all our learners across the school. We originally prioritised exams classes, then moved to Years 10 and 11, but we are now delighted to say that all our KS3 students have now been added as well. As staff and students grow in confidence with their use of Teams, students will be encouraged to get involved in some live lessons, chat with their teacher and classmates, as well as being able to access learning resources etc. Between Monday and Wednesday this week we achieved the following:

  • 8,070 messages through chat
  • 764 channel messages
  • 150 1:1 calls
  • 340 active users
  • 200 connections via iOS, 112 connections via Windows, 93 on Android and 16 on a Mac!

That’s quite impressive considering the fact that we only introduced Teams to staff and students in the last couple of days before closure.

Interim Assessments

Your child’s Interim Assessment for the Spring term should now be available for you to view through Edulink. Please have a look to see the progress that has been made over the course of the last term.

Free School Meals

For all our children who are in receipt of Free School Meals, our voucher system is now up and running for your supermarket of choice.

Exercise books

Just a reminder that we have collated all our children’s exercise books should they be required. Just let us know if you would like to collect them (could be part of the daily exercise) and we will ensure they are available for collection any time between 9.30am and 2.30pm next week. I think that’s all of the updates for now – please do get in touch as needed. I hope you all manage to have an enjoyable weekend and we will be in touch again next week, hopefully with an exam update.

Kind regards,   
Miss Lyndsay Watterson Headteacher 

COVID-19 update 25.03.20 

Dear Parents and Carers,  
I hope you are all keeping well and beginning to adjust to the new measures which have now been put in place for us all.   Our students have made an excellent start this week to their on-line learning – I am hoping that this is how it feels from home too, although I am sure that it has not been without some complexities. Thank you for getting in touch as needed and I would just encourage you to keep doing so going forwards, this is a learning curve for us all and there will be shifts and changes as we move forwards and confidence grows with the technology. We have purposefully tried to keep structure to the school day so that this helps to keep an element of routine for everyone, please don’t worry too much if there needs to be a little flexibility around this at home, I know for example, that the Jo Wicks PE lesson at 9am every morning is proving to be a popular option (link at bottom of this page)!   The government has produced further guidelines today in relation to social distancing and I thought it might be helpful if I shared the link with you, should you wish to have a read:   
Government Further Guidelines  
 
Free School Meal Update   For parents/carers with children who have Free School Meals, you will receive either a text message or an e-mail from either the school or a company called Wonde over the next few hours (Please check your junk e-mail as well just in case you can’t find it). Please respond to the communication as soon as possible so that you can select which supermarket you would like to receive vouchers for and then hopefully receive your first voucher before the end of the week.  
The minibus will continue to will to provide packed lunches on Thursday and Friday from the following locations:
QPHS Main Reception – Between 11:30am and 12:30pm
Lache Primary School Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 11:30am and 11:50am
Blacon Parade Stores Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 12:05pm and 12:20pm
If you have any queries regarding free school meal vouchers please email enquiries@qphs.co.uk 
 
Warning - Scam around Free School Meals   Unfortunately, we believe that within the local authority, some parents and carers of children in receipt of free school meals have been targeted by fraudsters, emailing with messages such as ‘If your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed’. The email contains links for you to follow if you want to receive this funding – these links are fake. This is a scam, so please be careful – only respond to the information which we have provided in our update above.   
  
Interim assessments   We hope to make your child’s interim assessment for the Spring Term available to you through Edulink by the end of the week. This will give you an overview of their progress this term across all their subjects.    
Parents of Year 11 and Year 13 students   Apologies, I did say that I would provide you with a further update in relation to the arrangements for the grading of the GCSE and A Level exams this summer. We are still awaiting some concrete information on this which will add any real clarity other than knowing that predicted grades, moderated assessment, mock grades and KS2 data will all potentially play a part. We should know more early next week at which point I will write to you independently and hopefully be able to provide some further reassurance.   I think that’s all the updates for now – please look out for our end of term newsletter next week which should provide some uplifting reading to end the term!  
Take care everyone and look after yourselves.  
Kind regards,   
Miss Lyndsay Watterson Headteacher 

covid-19 update 23.03.2020 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Day 1…….

I am just writing to thank you all so much for your support over what has been a challenging period for us all. It has been a strange day for us in school, as we adjust to the new ‘normal’, which is quite a lonely one to be honest!

Our hearts have been warmed by all the messages coming in from our students though – they appear to have engaged incredibly well with their learning and have managed to be in touch with their teachers as needed.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch as needed – I am sure day 1 for you has undoubtedly had its challenges too. This is no mean feat that we are all trying to undertake. Please see below key information for contacting us – this has been revised since a previous communication so please note the numbers below.

Reception

School reception will be manned between 9:00am and 3:30pm and is contactable via 01244 981500. Emails can be sent to enquiries@qphs.co.uk where we will endeavour to answer queries as soon as possible. Staff can also be contacted through the EduLink app as normal.

In the event of an out of hours emergency, school leadership can be contacted on the following updated numbers:

  • 01244 981502
  • 01244 981550
  • 07557 805840

For students in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) and not attending school

The school has signed up to a free school meal voucher provider called Wonde, who will be emailing parents/carers with children eligible for free school meals over the coming days. Once you receive your email/SMS message, please respond as soon as possible with your supermarket preference as each voucher is tailored specifically for you.

Once you have specified your chosen supermarket, Wonde will email your voucher to you during the following evening. The voucher will be for the full value of 5 free school meal days and can be shown to the cashier at supermarket checkouts.

The school will continue to provide packed lunches for all children eligible for free school meals this week. The packed lunch will include a sandwich, cake, piece of fruit and a drink and can be collected by students/parents/carers from the following locations:

  • QPHS Main Reception – Between 11:30am and 12:30pm
  • Lache Primary School Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 11:30am and 11:50am
  • Blacon Parade Stores Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 12:05pm and 12:20pm

If you have any queries regarding free school meal vouchers please email enquiries@qphs.co.uk

Student books – now available for collection

Today, alongside setting work and responding to messages from students, we have had a big sort out and collected/collated books for students which have been left in school.  We are conscious that some students will need these books in order to best engage with their work and to that end, we are inviting you to come in (or to send a nominated person) to collect the books.

Books will be available this week (Tuesday 24th-Friday 27th March) between 9.30am and 11.30am or between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.  If you (or someone on your behalf, which can include the student if they are well enough) are coming to collect books, can we please request that you wear gloves to do so?

Unfortunately due to the size and weight of the book piles, we cannot send these out by post.

I think that’s everything for now. I will write to Year 11 and Year 13 parents separately tomorrow with an update around exams.
Have a good evening.
Kind regards

Lyndsay Watterson, Headteacher

COVID-19 update 20.03.2020 

Dear Parents and Carers,  
I am writing to you with very mixed emotions today as we say goodbye to most of our students for what could be, a significant period of time. 
 
We appreciate that for you as parents and carers, this is equally a difficult time, with lots of uncertainties ahead. You may have a multitude of questions and we therefore wanted to try and support you as much as possible over the coming weeks by pre-empting some of these. Please be assured that ‘school’ will be carrying on, albeit rather ‘virtually’ in the background – we are still here and available, with the school building remaining operational for the foreseeable future pending any further measures being put in place. 
 
Reception School reception will be manned between 9:00am and 3:30pm and is contactable via 01244 981500. Emails can be sent to enquiries@qphs.co.uk where we will endeavour to answer queries as soon as possible. Staff can also be contacted through the EduLink app as normal. 
In the event of an out of hours emergency, school leadership can be contacted on the following numbers: 
> 07568 371216
> 07568 383954
> 07561 478543
> 07557 805840 
For those students who are coming into school next week:
 We will allow students to choose whether they wish to attend in uniform or not
 A packed lunch will be provided free of charge – it may be helpful to provide them just with a snack        for breaktime though if needed
 Students should bring their books with them so that they can access their learning
 Until Easter, students will be following their normal timetable as set virtually by their teachers in the        LLC, with support from key staff – we will review provision after this point and be in touch
 Breaks and lunches will operate as normal with opportunities for additional activities at these times 
 
For students who are remaining at home:
 Try to keep to a set routine around ‘home learning’ hopefully with some opportunity for physical              exercise too (Joe Wicks could help with this through his Body Coach YouTube channel where he is            running PE lessons from Monday at 9am)
 The school day will start at 9am and all students will be notified that we are ‘open’ and when we                ‘close’ at 3.30pm, although lessons will end at 3pm as usual. Staff will not be expected to respond to      messages after this time until the following morning.
 Students will be able to access the learning set for them through the EduLink app – further                      information is available for you as parents, through the attached documentation 
 
For students in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) and not attending school: While the government continues to finalise its plan for a national free school meal voucher, the school has made the decision to provide packed lunches for all children eligible for free school meals next week. The packed lunch will include a sandwich, cake, piece of fruit and a drink and can be collected by students/parents/carers from the following locations:
 QPHS Main Reception – Between 11:30am and 12:30pm
 Lache Primary School Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 11:30am and 11:50am
 Blacon Parade Stores Car Park (Collection from Minibus) – between 12:05pm and 12:20pm

We will update you for the plan beyond next week once the government has confirmed what they’re going to offer. 
 
Home Learning Please read the information below which gives further explanation around our approach to home learning. Please bear with us as we are all heading into unchartered territories at the moment and we are also having to get to grips with the complexities of technology, which we have a feeling might hit overload on Monday as our nation’s children all go on-line as well. We shall see. 
 
We aim to keep in regular contact with you, giving you updates and adjustments to our plans as the landscape continues to shift. Please look after yourselves and your loved ones, and get in touch if needed. 
Kind regards, 
Miss Lyndsay Watterson Headteacher

Online/Distance learning provision 

Over the past couple of weeks staff have been working hard to ensure that in the event of the school’s closure there is, as far as possible, a continuation of educational provision to our students. We want to ensure that whilst students are not able to enter the building, they are able to access resources and educational materials which will support their education whilst not in direct face-to-face contact with teaching staff. To this end, we will be using EduLink as the main conduit to set work, communicate with students and monitor the continuation of their engagement with their education and ultimately, their learning. 
There will be sufficient work set to cover the timetabled lessons for all students. Students will need to log on to EduLink, either via the website or the mobile App, to be able to access the work/tasks set only at the start of the lesson. Upon completion of the work set, students will then need to check the ‘task complete’ box in their homework log so we can monitor the proportion of students who are engaging in their learning. We have already surveyed students to ascertain who is able to do this remotely and for those who have informed us that they can’t, paper copies of the work will be collated and sent home. 
In anticipation of the closure we received training on the use of Microsoft Teams which is a programme freely accessible to students via an App that can be downloaded onto phones/tablets/PCs from the Apple iStore or GooglePlay. Students will need to login using their school email address (their login followed by @qphs.co.uk). Once logged on they will see their classes listed, once we have set them up on the system. Using this App we are hoping (technology permitting!) that some teachers, where appropriate, will be able to deliver live lessons to students. A range of teachers will be trialling this over the next couple of weeks and will communicate their intentions to use MS Teams to live stream lessons via EduLink so students can prepare to engage in their learning in advance. This approach may become more prevalent in the event of a prolonged closure. 
In relation to the learning and expectations of our Year 11 and 13 students and in light of the cancellation of the May/June examinations we are reviewing what this provision will look like. We have spoken to these year groups about maintaining a work ethic and continuing to hone their future learning skills. Whilst we do not have guidance as to how examination grades will be issued to students yet, or if formal examinations will be offered at another point in the future, this does not mean that they won’t be. It is also important that students are fully prepared as any other years would have been for the next stages of their educational journeys, whether that be 6th Form study, college, higher education, apprenticeships or employment. To this end, we would encourage students to continue to revisit their learning and resources from their courses to ensure that they are as prepared as ever for their next steps. Students who are yet to have a careers interview with our careers advisor will be contacted individually to arrange a time for a phone consultation if they so wish.  
We do appreciate that for some aspects of learning and courses, provision and setting of work may not be appropriate via the online platform. Practical subjects or activities within subjects that require bespoke equipment and materials will not be able to be delivered in the same way or, as we acknowledge, to the same standard we would expect. Where appropriate alternative tasks have been set. However, we are keen to stress that all work set is purposeful and aligns with our normal curriculum. 
It is important that whilst teachers will do their best to respond to questions and queries that arise as work is undertaken, they may not always be able to do so in as live a way as might have otherwise been possible if students were directly in front of them. Similarly, we recognise that teachers too may have their own families at home to take care of and as such whilst they will do their utmost to ensure that students queries are responded to during normal lesson time, this might not always be possible. Likewise, if teachers themselves are ill work will not necessarily be set. 
Attached is a summary of the work students will be completing over the next couple weeks. Where required, hard copies of books and materials will be sent home with students to ensure that they are already prepared for the continuation of their learning at home. For students currently in self-isolation we will contact parents to discuss the best way of getting these materials home. Students whose parents are key workers and who need the school to supervise them from next Monday will be completing this work in our LLC. 
We recognise that this is a significant change to the way we provide education to our students and ask for your patience as we address teething problems we might encounter through the heavy reliability on technology to provide a continuation of teaching and learning. 
If you have any questions relating to online learning please get in contact with us and we will do our best to answer your queries. For any subject specific questions, teachers can be contacted through the EduLink Messaging portal in the usual way. 

COVID-19 Update 20.03.2020 (2) 

Dear Parents and Carers, 
Please find a link to the guidance which has just been provided by the government for school closures from today and what this means for you as parents and carers. 
Government Guidance
As you know, school will remain open next week for children of key workers (which only needs to be one parent now) as has now been defined below, as well as vulnerable students which includes those who have a social worker and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans. This provision is available for you if needed, but is not mandatory. If you think that you would like to take advantage of this provision and haven’t yet informed us, please could you provide information by 1pm today using the link below: 
Provision Response Form 
Communication platforms from schools are struggling a little at the moment due to the increased demand being placed upon them. We will be sending out further information to you today to support you over the coming weeks but please keep an eye on our website too where we will ensure that all key information is posted clearly should we encounter problems. I have a feeling we are all going to be experiencing a number of issues with technology over the coming days and weeks! 
Kind regards, 
Miss Lyndsay Watterson Headteacher 

key worker list 

Health and social care 
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment. 

Education and childcare 
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach. 

Key public services 
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting. 

Local and national government 
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies. 

Food and other necessary goods 
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines). 

Public safety and national security 
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas. 

Transport 
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass. 

Utilities, communication and financial services 
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors. 
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. 
 

Parents/Carers

As per government advice, we need to identify whom among you are deemed ‘Key Workers’ so that we can provide a provision for students whose parent/carers may not be able to remain at home to provide childcare.

A full list of key worker categories has been published by the Cabinet Office, examples include NHS staff, police, prison service and delivery drivers who need to be able to work. To read the full list, please click here: Key Workers

If you believe you may be a ‘Key Worker’, please complete the questions included in the link below.

Helpful information

Tips to help parents cope whilst school is closed website
Talking to children about Coronavirus website
Supporting young people's mental health during periods of disruption website
Joe Wicks You Tube PE Lessons (9am every morning) link
Learning Resources from BBC Bitesize website
Internet Safety - keep children safe online website
Updates on COVID-19: website
Guidance for educational settings: website
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: website

Please find below the latest letters to parents/carers from Miss Watterson (Headteacher) in relation to current concerns around the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.