10th June 2020
Several important changes have been made to the way we have arranged desks in classrooms, and indeed the entire physical environment. Most importantly, we have given much thought to the way our students are expected to conduct themselves in school while concern about the risk of infection remains.
All our staff are attending a briefing meeting on 11th June to discuss our Risk Assessment, which is now online for you to view HERE.
With kind regards,
21st May 2020
I wrote separately this week to parents of students in Years 10 and 12 to inform them that, in line with the recommendations from the Government, we intend to open the school to these students with effect from Monday 8th June. This is, of course, subject to the national and local situation, which I hope very much will continue to improve. Please find HERE, for your interest, the Guide for our return to school which was also sent to parents of students in Years 10 and 12. It is worth emphasising that the total number of students in the school will not exceed 60, and the total number of staff will be fewer than 40. This will enable first-class social distancing procedures to be in place as we emerge from enforced lockdown.
With kind regards,
6th May 2020
Two weeks into our Virtual Learning Programme for the Summer Term, you will be pleased to know that our provision is attracting the attention of other schools near and far. Feedback from our own parents make it clear that some initial teething problems before Easter were quickly resolved, and students are happily engaged with both their academic studies and wide ranging activities and extension programmes.
Full details of our Programme can be found HERE.
The advantages of our BLENDED approach become clearer as the days progress, with our students enjoying the healthy mix of appropriate and timely input from teachers alongside the opportunity to develop the skills of a more Independent approach to Learning.
I continue to be impressed by the support provided by all parents in these difficult times.
I am sure you will be pleased to hear that the Senior Leadership Team is meeting on a regular basis to construct a viable plan for the return of our students to our lovely buildings and grounds. Much depends, of course on the announcement on Sunday, after which we will update you when our plans have been finalised.
With kind regards,
I am very pleased that initial reports from parents have been almost entirely positive about the online learning experience of our students so far this week, and I am very appreciative of all the feedback given.
As you know, several Mount House pupils are children of key workers, so the School has been open to date to be available to care for these children. However, having spoken individually to every key worker, I have been assured that alternative arrangements have now been made, and this means that the School site has no need to remain physically open.
Therefore, from 1600 Wednesday 25th March 2020, the School site will be closed, with all our teachers and support staff working from home to ensure continuity of learning for our students.
We will review this position on Monday 20th April.
In the meantime, I hope you remain safe and well throughout this testing time.
With kindest regards
Maintaining Our Pupils’ Education
Whilst this is a time of uncertainty, we have been anticipating and preparing for the continued learning of all pupils, and all staff at the School are doing everything they can to maintain high quality resources and guidance for children to work on, and enhance the education and pastoral welfare of all our students. The following summarises the plans we have put in place:
1. Our students have been directed to establish a daily working routine, and to follow their normal School timetable of lessons.
2. Lessons, tasks and activities will be posted on Show My Homework by 9am each day during term time. In addition, where possible, teachers will be using Microsoft Teams to live-stream lessons. All students and staff have access to this via their School email and password.
3. All students are expected to complete “classwork” and homework in the usual way.
4. Completed work can be submitted to teachers for marking by School email. Assessed work will be returned to students via email.
5. Weekly PSHE activities and resources are being made available to all students.
6. We will conduct weekly assemblies online via video using Microsoft Teams.
7. Led by our English Department, students are all encouraged to contribute to the “Covid Chronicle” – a student led publication showcasing work that has been completed by students throughout the week.
8. Virtual House events will also be happening.
This is a worrying and upsetting time for everyone, including our students, and so to protect the wellbeing of every student, and maintain the high-quality pastoral care our families have come to expect from Mount House, all form tutors will be maintaining personal contact with pupils by phoning them three times a week during term time.
To reduce the risk of the spread of the virus, we continue to implement an increased and sustained programme of sanitising and cleaning of the School to maintain meticulous hygiene standards, and we will undertake an additional thorough deep clean of the School over the Easter break.
We are extremely proud of our School community in how they have dealt with the uncertainties, and we thank you for your on-going support throughout these challenging times. If we pull together as the supportive community we are, we can together ensure that our children make the best use of their time at home.
With best wishes