19th March 20
Following last night’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Education that all schools will close tomorrow, work continues apace with academic staff building a bank of courses to ensure your child’s academic development is not hampered during this temporary period. Staff are working hard to protect the academic wellbeing of our pupils, but also their physical and mental health that will likely be tested over the coming weeks.
With just one week left of the Lent term children will, of course, be looking forward to their normal Easter holiday; albeit with obvious restrictions in place. When the Summer term begins on 22nd April our temporary online academic programme begins in earnest with additional technological resources at our disposal including live online video lessons beamed from the classroom to homes. We recognise, in particular, the importance of creating opportunities for important social interaction between pupils using these forums. Instructions to access remote learning will be published by Mrs Wilkinson (Director of Studies) and Miss Fecher (Head of Pre-Prep) shortly. Mr Greenaway (Designated Safeguarding Lead) will communicate clear protocols on the safer use of this technology too. From Monday our newly-formed remote technical support team will go live and will be available during working hours. They can be contacted directly by emailing techsupport@princesmeadschool.
In addition, Prince’s Mead will be proudly supporting those pupils whose parents are ‘key workers’ every weekday from Monday 23rd March. We are still seeking urgent clarity on this definition but, at this stage, we plan to step up our support for children of NHS workers, the Police, Fire & Rescue Service, the Armed Forces, Social Care, Social Services, and private medical practice. We acknowledge that it is unlikely that key workers will be enjoying Easter holidays so Prince’s Mead will be operating in full support of these families over the Easter period too. Thank you to those families who have highlighted to us your roles as key workers and I encourage any other parents who feel they fit into this (currently ill-defined) category to make yourselves known to the School Office no later than midday tomorrow (Friday 20th March) where will be in contact with you those families thereafter with further details.
We are in no doubt that the measures we are implementing at Prince’s Mead, as part of our nationwide effort, will directly contribute to saving lives through delaying and flattening the peak of this epidemic. As we look ahead to making changes to our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the wider community and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them, thank you for standing by us as we stand by you. The next few weeks will present a significant level of challenge for us all but we will be stepping up in support of our community when they need it most and we will all be back stronger for it as we turn that tide.