Coronavirus Update

Click here for current Government Information Coronavirus-Covid-19-Information-for-the-Public

14:00 30.04.2020

Letter to parents and Carers

12:30 17.04.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you and your family are well and managed to spend sometime enjoying the fine weather over Easter. I do understand that this may not have been possible as we are all under enormous stress at the moment. I thought it important to explain how the school will operate for the next few weeks as it is likely that the school will remain closed to students other than those who are deemed to be vulnerable or have parents who are key workers and are unable to make other suitable arrangements. If you wish for your child to attend school during this period can you ensure you give 24 hours’ notice in order for suitable arrangements to be put in place.

We will continue to set work on Go4Schools for students to complete after the Easter holidays. We still are able to lend students a laptop and exam desk, please contact us directly if this would be helpful. We have taken into account feedback from parents regarding the content and quality of the work set previously and are adapting our provision in light of this. Over the first fortnight, you will start to find that more subjects are setting project-style learning where the resources shared cover a longer period of time than 1 individual lesson, and therefore the deadlines reflect this. All teachers are contactable via their school email addresses if your child has any questions regarding the work. Beyond the first fortnight, we will be looking at the content of our curriculum and aiming to offer an accessible, relevant and streamlined curriculum to our students moving forward. It is important that our Year 10 students complete the work to the best of their ability, supported by their teachers, as the curriculum content will be linked to their GCSE and BTEC specifications. Further information for our Y11 students will follow regarding activities that would be helpful for their next steps, and their Hoodies are being posted out this week. Some Y9 parents have been in contact regarding the options process, Mr Cowan who is leading this process will be in contact with all Y9 parents very shortly to explain the next steps.

As you may be aware, there is currently no firm end date for the current school closure and we will continue to provide parents will regular updates. Please contact the school if you have any questions or concerns as we will be very happy to offer the best help and support we are able to.
Kind regards

Andrew Fell

10:15 09.04.2020

For information regarding Closure of Educational Settings: Information for Parents and Carers click here

12:00 03.04.2020

The Government has published information about how GCSEs will be awarded this summer.

A copy of the guidance can be found here.

A copy of the letter to students can be found here.

Can I reassure students and families that OBHS will be following these guidelines and that students do not need to submit or undertake any new school work.

 

08:00 01.04.2020

Key Workers Provision

Parents and carers needing to access the Key Workers schooling provision should contact the school at least 24 hours before their child's first attendance to allow us to plan staffing and transport accordingly. Requests made over the weekend will not be monitored and Monday attendance will not be guaranteed.

13:00 30.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Many thanks for the overwhelming positive comments from our survey, our staff really appreciate the feedback and to know that their hard work is making a difference to our students. I am sharing the result of the survey with teachers to try and improve the way we are communicating with parents, the type of work teachers are setting and how we give feedback to students. It is clear from the survey that what suits some students in terms of quantity and type of work set does not suit everyone, so teachers are trying to find a happy medium. Another area from the feedback is that of individual feedback, we know all students like some sort of feedback, but understand that giving individual feedback to potentially hundreds of students per week is not always feasible.

A key question that many Y11 students and parents are asking is about their exams, and whether the work Y11 students are undertaking now will ‘count’ towards their final exams. We are hoping to find out more from the Government this week, but what we do know is that any work undertaken now will stand students in good stead for their next stage of education or training so I would very much encourage Y11 students to carry on working.

I would like to reassure parents who have paid for planned school trips that we are working with the Trust to secure refunds as quickly as possible but contacting insurers and travel companies at the moment is proving difficult.

Finally, as we start the last week before the calendared Easter Holidays, I would like to explain our plans for Easter and the summer term. The school is likely to stay open for students whose parents are key workers, staffed by volunteers from the Leadership Team. Teachers will not be setting school work on Go for Schools, but I would encourage students to use some of the websites we have shared to broaden and widen their learning.

I am currently discussing with my Leadership team the curriculum for the summer term if, as likely, schools remain closed. Based on national guidance and the parent survey, it is likely that the format and content of activities will be different, but students will continue to receive the best possible education we can deliver remotely.

Have a safe week, contact me at school if you have any questions and I hope you and your family is as well as you can be in these difficult times.
Kind regards

Andrew Fell

09:15 26.03.2020

We are aware that students’ screen time and use of electronic devices will have increased due to isolation measures in place.

Please click here for information on safeguarding and the use of electronic devices during this time of on-line learning.

09:45 24.03.2020

Year 11 Students, Parents Carers

Important information regarding the awarding of GCSE grades and work set on Go4Schools has been emailed to all Year 11 students and parents/carers. The information can also be found in the Exams/ GCSE section of the website. Please click here.

21:50 23.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers


Following the Prime Minister’s address can I stress the importance that parents only send students to school if it is absolutely necessary and your family meet the criteria set out. In addition communication from the school will be reduced, there will be very limited office support and emails and telephone calls may not be responded to for a number of days. Please help us to help our school’s contribution to the National Emergency announced.


Thank you
Andrew Fell

17:00 20.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to you at the end of one of the most strangest weeks in education that I have experienced in over 30 years of working in schools. The year 11s left today after having a wonderful leavers’ day, being supported by a fantastic group of staff. The arrangements for Monday have been sent to parents, but I do understand there are still lots of unanswered questions. Please bear with us as we try to address these. The school will be replying to contact from families by email on Sunday afternoon to confirm which students are entitled to attend school on Monday. Any students who we have agreed can attend school on Monday will need to bring a packed lunch and drink unless they are entitled to free school meals, and arrive in full school uniform. In addition, I am pleased to say that all children who are entitled to free school meals, whether attending school or not, should receive an email from the Trust with details on how vouchers from a supermarket will be distributed.

Can parents monitor our website and emails regularly as advice may need to change.

Kind regards,
Andrew Fell

12:30 20.03.2020

Important information regarding pupil attendance – from Monday 23 March 2020 click here

08:00 20.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Following the announcement overnight regarding the opening of schools for vulnerable children and children whose parents are key workers - we have not yet reviewed details on how this will operate. Please bear with us and we will inform parents as soon as we have more information. This also applies to other announcements regarding free school meals.

Kind regards

Andrew Fell

19:10 18.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Following the unprecedented news of the school closure that has been announced which will start at the end of the day on Friday it is important that we share with families as much information as we currently have. There are many things we are unclear about and rather than speculate, it is important that we only report what we know is going to happen. Our school is due to open tomorrow and Friday for Y7 and 8 and Y11, however, this is dependent on the current staffing levels. If more staff are absent that planned this may affect our ability to open which I will know by 7.30 a.m. tomorrow and will inform parents immediately if the plans change. Beyond this I have no more information than is in public domain; please monitor our website and emails sent by the school on a regular basis.
Finally, can I commend the students that were in school today, their behaviour was excellent and the atmosphere was calm and purposeful and thank the staff who acted with professionalism and care.

Kind regards

Andrew Fell

15:20 17.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Important Information – Covid 19

Due to exceptional circumstances as a result of a significant number of staff who now will not be in school following the Government advice issued on 16th March 2020, I am afraid I have taken the difficult decision to partially close the school. As a result, the school will be closed for all Year 9 and Year 10 students for the next three days.

The school will keep the partial closure under review and, if we need to sustain a partial closure, we may consider changing the year groups affected. As stated earlier, students will be able to access work set during the school closure via Go 4 Schools. Additional resources are available via the ‘home learning’ link on the school’s website.

I understand the upset and disruption that this may cause and will keep parents informed with all available information. Please contact the school if you have any specific questions regarding the partial school closure.

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Fell
Headteacher

19:45 16.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Following the update from the Prime Minster today 16/3/20 at 5 p.m, which states:

If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.

Parents/Carers need to be aware and take appropriate action, with regards to making a decision whether to send their child/ren to school tomorrow. Following Government advice, the school is not planning to close. However, the school needs to evaluate the implications for staffing based on the new advice and will inform parents immediately if there are any further updates.
Kind regards
Andrew Fell

15:00 16.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers
As you know, the situation regarding the coronavirus is changing rapidly and we have received further information and guidance from the Trust. As of Tuesday 17th March the following will be in operation:

  • They will be no food practical lessons, these will be replaced by theory work;
  • The difficult decision has been made to postpone the school show, a final run-through will go ahead on Friday which we are hoping to record. We will invite Y11 cast crew and musicians back in the Autumn term to be part of the show. The final after-school rehearsal will take place tonight;
  • We will no longer be holding school assemblies;
  • School sporting fixtures and school trips will be cancelled or postponed. The school will inform parents regarding refunds for any trips as and when we receive further information;
  • Non-essential visits to the school will be cancelled, this includes: parent evenings and meetings (other than urgent welfare or safeguarding meetings), peripatetic music lessons, mentoring, careers guidance or similar;
  • After school sporting activities including yoga will be cancelled;
  • Staff will not be attending non-urgent offsite meetings and training;
  • Y11 after school guided study sessions will continue until further notice.

We do not have a date for when these activities will resume, and I will ensure parents are kept informed as and when the advice and situation changes. I understand the disruption that this will cause, but as you know the situation is beyond our control. It would be helpful if parents could talk to their children at home regarding the context of why the school needs to make these decisions, particularly for those children who find change difficult to manage.

Once again thank you for your continued support.
Kind regards,
Andrew Fell

 

9am 16.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers
As you will be aware, the Government announced last night that the UK has now moved to the 'delay' stage of the COVID-19 planning. The advice issued by HM Government includes:

  1. Schools to remain open.
  2. No overseas school trips.
  3. People with fever or persistent cough told to self-isolate for seven days.

Public Health England (PHE) has released new guidance for those staying at home with confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus. The advice states:

  1. Not to go to work, school, or public areas, use public transport or taxis - or even for a walk.
  2. Those with even mild symptoms of infection should stay at least two metres away from other people in their homes and should sleep alone.
  3. Those with confirmed or suspected cases should use a separate bathroom.

The NHS updated advice states:

  1. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: a. new continuous cough and/or b. high temperature
  2. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
  3. If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. This action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.

If your child has either a new cough or high temperature DO NOT send your child/ren to school if they have these symptoms.

Your full cooperation with this is absolutely vital.

The second challenge that I foresee is the potential that significant numbers of our staff will not be able to come into work either because they are self-isolating or because they are having to look after a child or family member who is unwell. There could come a point past which we cannot continue to provide a safe and purposeful environment. We have certainly not got to that point yet, and we have a number of contingencies in place, however, I felt it best to forewarn you that I cannot rule out further adjustments to our operational model.


As stated in my earlier letter, detailed plans are being put into place for online learning via Go4Schools and it is important that parents are familiar with the access arrangements to the platform. There will be ongoing and continuous changes we will need to make and it is important that you check our website for regular updates as well as checking emails from school.

One change which will happen immediately is that the water fountains will be turned off to avoid the risk of cross contamination. and students will not be able to fill water bottles. Please ensure students bring an appropriate supply of drinking water to school. The school will endeavour to supply hand sanitizers in each classroom, however, as you know the supply of such products has been limited. I would encourage students to bring in their own suitable hand sanitizers and note that these should not be shared between students. We will be reinforcing the message from HM Government about hand washing, social contact and ensuring we maintain a calm and proportionate response to this very unusual situation and your continued support is very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Fell
Headteacher

Letter to parents and carers 11.03.2020

15:00 06.03.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I thought you would find it helpful and reassuring for parents to receive an update regarding Coronavirus before the weekend. We continue to follow advice from the government and Public Health England School and will continue to open the school, as normal, unless circumstances change. The school site and practice complies with the Trust guidance regarding handwashing facilities and all classrooms allow students access to hand sanitiser.

If you are concerned about the Coronavirus in general, please follow the Government advice or contact the NHS on 111. If you have specific concerns about the Coronavirus and our School, please contact the school in the normal manner, noting that the answer machine has limited capacity to store calls and you may wish to email instead. Unless the circumstances are exceptional, any contact and updates, if required, will be actioned during normal school opening times.

Thank you for your continued support.

Andrew Fell

 

14:30 02.03.2020

Latest from Department for Education on Coronavirus 

Today, the Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

• No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

 

16.00 28.02.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

To ensure you are kept up to date with the Coronavirus, I thought it helpful to give you an update. The school has not received any information that any students, families or staff have visited any of the infected areas and we have had no students, families or staff that have self-isolated as a result of feeling unwell as a result of contact with anyone suspected of having the Coronavirus. We therefore are expecting all students to attend school on Monday unless we are informed or Government advice changes. As you may be aware we have had a small number of students that visited Northern Italy, but not in the infected areas and these students have not exhibited any symptoms of feeling unwell in any way and do not have any symptoms of Coronavirus. These students have not been in school since Tuesday and are due to return to school on Monday. If you are concerned about the Coronavirus in general, please follow the Government advice or contact the NHS on 111. If you have specific concerns about the Coronavirus and our School, please contact the school in the normal manner, noting that the answer machine has limited capacity to store calls and you may wish to email instead.

Unless the circumstances are exceptional, any contact and updates, if required, will be actioned when the school re-opens on Monday.

Thank you for your continued support.

Andrew Fell

 

15:45 26.02.20

Dear Parents and Carers

Further to my email sent earlier today, there is no new information to pass on.  To reiterate we have, to our knowledge, no students who have been in contact with anyone suspected to have the Corona virus or who have visited areas identified by the Government as high risk. If the situation or Government advice changes, I will inform you immediately.

As you may know there has been a significant number of posts on social media regarding OBHS and the current situation, can I take this opportunity to thank the parents that have contacted the school with messages of support. Could I also ask parents not to post information, including names of students at OBHS, which may be deemed inappropriate or derogatory.

Thank you for your continued support.

Andrew Fell

 

09:00 26.02.20

Dear Parents and Carers

Further to my letter and email sent out yesterday (25.02.2020) I have been made aware of comments and concerns posted on Social Media. Some of the comments are misleading and inappropriate, however I do understand the concerns parents have with regard to the Covid 19 outbreak.

The Government advice has not changed and the school has not been made aware of any students who have recently returned from an area where self-isolation is required. I have been made aware of two students that visited Northern Italy during half-term and the school has been in contact with their families and have followed the Government advice in both cases. As and when the situation and advice changes I will keep parents fully informed.

Kind regards

Andrew Fell

Achieving Excellence Together...
01953 860233 office@oldbuckenhamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk