Monday 23rd March 2020

 Dear Parents and Carers 

Firstly, thank you to parents and carers who have followed the Government advice and kept their children at home today. Please continue to do so for theirs and others safety during this pandemic. The schools in the Trust have arrangements in place for the children of key workers who have no alternative childcare and vulnerable children. These arrangements follow guidance on social distancing and handwashing. Any students who come to school and exhibit symptoms will be sent home once parents have been contacted. 

A reminder that the school opening times for these children is 8:30am to 3:30am. From this week we will also follow the shorter Monday timetable with school closing at 2:30pm. We will close gates to students and visitors from 9:00am each day. No other students should be coming into the school unless by prior agreement. Only the main entrance to the school will be in use, this will be the main reception at Townley and the Student entrance at King Henry. 

Please send your children in with a packed lunch. We will not be able to provide food from the canteen. From Tuesday, students at school may wear more casual clothing to enable this to be more easily washed each day. This is a recommended precautionary measure to reduce the risks associated with the COVID 19 virus. 

It is important for Year 11 and 13 to continue with their work where possible, since this may well be considered. We will be providing further guidance on grades when we have more information. 

Free School Meals 
If your child is eligible for free school meals, we are purchasing vouchers from local supermarkets. These will be posted out to families on a weekly basis. They will be for a weekly value of £20 and it will be up to parents and carers to ensure that they are used to provide a daily nutritious meal for your child. It is not currently possible to provide these online and arrangements may change if the government issues new guidance/instructions. 

Home Learning 
We may be looking at a very prolonged period of home learning and so it is important that regular routines are established at home from the outset. It will be much harder to do this later. Where possible, follow the timetabled day. We will be aiming to provide resources in a similar way and our teachers are currently preparing these resources. They will continue to do so and to assess and feedback on work completed. 

Bear in mind this may not be as frequent as you might expect. Additionally, our senior staff will be monitoring the work set and may follow up with contact home to ensure that students are learning and making progress. Please follow these useful guidelines at home: 

  1. Provide a quiet place for your child to work, away from distractions. 
  2. Build in regular breaks, ideally two in the day at the usual school day times. 
  3. Remove access to mobile phones and games while they are following the school day. 
  4. Check their use of social media. During this time with the potential increased use of social media young people are at higher risk online from predators and those that wish to exploit them. We will provide the necessary and appropriate links to online content and while your child might benefit from additional resources it is important that you supervise this carefully. 
  5. Find time for your children to exercise regularly. 

We will aim to provide a regular bulletin at the end of each day where there are updates. They will always be labelled in the same way, as this one is, so you can easily identify them in your inbox. There is much that may change over the coming weeks and months so these arrangements may change too. Whatever happens we will make the welfare and education of your children our priority. 

Take care and stay safe. 

Thank you all for your continued support. 

Desmond Deehan 

CEO/ Executive Headteacher 

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