Posted: 23 March 2020

Coronavirus Update 23rd March 2020 – New resources on POODLE

Coronavirus Update 23rd March 2020

This has to be the strangest Monday! On our first day of partial closure, I have to express my huge gratitude to parents who have heeded the Government’s advice and kept their children at home this morning. I know that this is an extremely difficult time and for those who are involved in work that is critical to containing the spread of coronavirus, the challenges of juggling work and childcare probably seem almost impossible. We are able to provide limited emergency supervision; in order for us to plan effectively and have as few staff as possible in school, can you please email by 4pm the day before if your child will be coming in the following day.

We’ve also been hearing, both from our own students and teachers, as well as in the media, that many of the online sites with resources for students to work from have been crashing. I’m sure that these sites are working hard to get them back online – but this is probably just the first of many unforeseen problems that we are going to face. I would urge your children to keep trying, or use an alternative site – we have access to a wide range of resources, and if all else fails – reading a book is always a good choice! We have also updated POODLE this morning and teachers are continuing to add work to ClassCharts on a daily basis – departments are doing this is slightly different ways; some are uploading weeks’ worth of work in one go whereas others are doing it on a lesson-by-lesson basis; we have also ensured that all teacher emails are available on the website and during school hours they will be very happy to answer questions and support your children. We are exploring different ways of delivering live online lessons in addition to the resources already provided and some staff will begin trialling this later in the week in certain subjects; nevertheless we are mindful that not all students will have the same level of access to this so will continue to provide work through a variety of means.

We have also added a Year 11 section to POODLE; despite the announcement that public examinations will not take place this summer, we’re still not entirely clear how exam grades will be awarded, so I would urge students to keep working. I know that at the moment September seems a long time away – and who knows what will have happened by then – but for those planning to continue their studies either here or elsewhere, it’s really important to maintain good study habits. It’s also a good opportunity to remember that exams are not everything and that learning exists as a positive activity in its own right; the chance to develop and extend knowledge is always a worthwhile pursuit.

This remains a very fluid situation; it is very hard to plan too far in advance when we don’t know what the situation will be from day-to-day, but I am in frequent contact with my senior team and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible to any queries from parents, and to the guidance from the Government as this is updated.

However you are managing this situation, please keep in mind the key piece of advice #stayhomesavelives – I know only too well myself that weeks at home with your own children can be difficult, but the usual fortitude and determination that I see from our local community will help us all get through!


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