Monday 18th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
As we approach half term, it is a good time for us to pause and consider the situation we currently find ourselves in and the journey we’ve taken over the last couple of months.
I realise how difficult the lockdown is for many families and that, particularly for some of you, the strain on home-life will have been especially challenging. We thank you for your continued support and efforts at home in ensuring that our students continue to be working and thinking hard. I am very grateful to our staff who have also worked tirelessly to make our remote provision a success during this period of lockdown.
As you are no doubt you are aware, last week the government announced its intentions regarding primary and secondary schools and students returning. Whilst the plans are still conditional on the reduced spread of the disease, to date secondary schools and sixth forms have been asked to “offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of Year 10 and Year 12 students who are due to take key exams, alongside the full-time provision they are offering to priority groups.” It seems highly unlikely that pupils in Year 7, 8 and 9 will return before September.
Clearly there is much work to be done in terms of preparations and whilst there has been some guidance issued by the Department for Education, we are still awaiting detailed guidance for Secondary Schools. This is due to be published early this week. As we begin to make our provisional plans in light of this guidance, our overriding aim is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students and staff whilst creating opportunities to restore our connections as school communities.
As always, we will keep parents updated when we have more details whilst ensuring that we listen to your views, concerns and anxieties, as well as ideas, as we move forward.
Unfortunately, our provision over the coming weeks will not only be determined by the guidance we are given from the Department for Education, but also other factors. The availability of staff is determined by the numbers showing symptoms and in isolation or living with those that do. This changes weekly. In addition the boilers in the main school building of King Henry School have been condemned. We had made a bid for funding to replace them last year but this was turned down. We are working hard to ensure that they are replaced as quickly as possible, but we will be without heating and hot water in this part of the school for some weeks. Please be assured that this will be considered in our plans for what we are able to offer when we re-open the school to a wider cohort of students than we currently have.
Mental Health Awareness Week
As you are probably aware this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is kindness and more than ever before this is particularly relevant to all our lives. This is a challenging time for everyone and young people are facing a time in their lives that is very different to that experienced before. Positive support and awareness to encourage healthy minds and bodies will carry them forward into the future with the tools they need to cope (please see the poster underneath this letter).
Here are some useful links to help your awareness of positive mental health now and into the future. Remember to be kind to yourself!
King Henry Parents
Can you please complete the following survey to let us know the supervision requirements for after half term.
We already know the requirements for Townley parents.
Take care and stay safe
Odyssey Trust for Education