Full School Closure due to Coronavirus

Gina Murphy / Categories: News

Full School Closure due to Coronavirus

Thursday, 19 March 2020

As you will be aware, the Government has announced that all schools in England will close temporarily for the vast majority of children from end of the day on Friday, 20 March.  This decision has been taken on the advice of medical and scientific experts, in order to manage the spread of COVID-19 and relieve pressure on the health system.
From Monday, 23 March, students’ education will continue from home.  By the end of this week we will send you specific details of how this will operate.  We have prepared well for these circumstances so that all our students can continue their education from home during the closure.  I am extremely grateful to staff across the school for the way in which they have taken on this challenge.
William Hulme’s Grammar School will, however, remain open for two specific groups of students:

  1. Those whose parents are defined as key workers (employed in the NHS, emergency services or elements of the food supply chain);
  2. Those who are particularly vulnerable

I would ask that parents who believe they fall into the category of key workers contact the school as soon as possible and no later than 12 noon on Friday, 20 March, by sending an email as follows:

We will be identifying those students who are in the second category and will be contacting their parents and carers separately.  If you believe your child falls into this latter category and you have not heard from us by 9.00am on Friday, 20 March, please contact us on the above email addresses.
The Government has also decided that no external exams will take place this academic year.  Over the coming days, they will announce plans for how those due to sit them this year will be able to gain their qualifications. I know how important this will be for our older pupils and we will be ensuring that whatever is put in place can be implemented through the school in a way that does not penalise any of our pupils’ places at university or Sixth Form. 

It may be that teacher assessments and predicted grades will be at the heart of the system this year.  If so, it is possible that we will need to justify our assessed grades using pupils’ work on paper and in books.  For pupils in Years 11 and 13, therefore, while preparation for traditional exams will not be the focus, we are likely still to want to work intensively with them in the coming weeks so that whatever is ultimately assessed for qualifications is representative of each pupil’s best ability.

Over the next few days we will be in a position to update you further and provide additional information on ways we will be able to support your child during this time.  In particular, we will be finalising how we can ensure that students on Free School Meals will receive entitlement to food.  We will be doing everything we can to deliver whatever is required of us by Government.
During lessons and assemblies this week, all children have been made aware of access and expectations around home learning.  More details about this learning from home can be found at: www.whgs-academy.org/learning-from-home.  It is vital that you work with us to ensure that this work is being completed.

We are entering times of further uncertainty, speculation and concern and our responsibility as a school, like yours as a parent, is to give our young people the learning, support and reassurance that they will need in the coming weeks.  
We will continue to update you on a regular basis with important information as we receive it.  We will communicate with you by email and text but please do regularly check on the school’s website.  Together, we will ensure that our school community comes through this period of uncertainty positively and well prepared for the future. 
Yours sincerely

P Mulholland  

Adoptive parents looking for additional advice during the school closure should contact Adoption Counts UK.

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