Beginning of January Term Update

5th January 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Further to the Government’s announcement yesterday evening, I write to update you about the arrangements for the beginning of term and the weeks ahead. I am sorry that the third lock-down launches another time of change. As a School, we understand the frustration that is felt by the constraints of a full lock-down and are mindful of the potential impact on the wellbeing of our pupils, particularly those in exam years. All staff miss the pupils and wish that we could be teaching face-to-face. That said, it is helpful to have some clarity about the next six weeks.

As a School we remain committed to and conscientious about our responsibility to deliver the best possible teaching and pastoral care for all our pupils. Building on the experience of earlier periods of remote teaching, we know that we can, with your help and support, provide all pupils with a purposeful and engaging educational experience. Teachers will be following timetables as published, with the only adjustment being the inclusion of frequent short breaks to allow for some respite from screens.

Our House Parents will be in regular contact to nurture that all-important sense of House identity. As we meet for assemblies and Chapel services, we will continue to foster our community spirit. Mr Harrison is reviewing the co-curricular programme so we can switch from on-site to remote delivery. In line with earlier guidance, this will begin in earnest from Monday 18th January.

Later today and over the next few days, please expect further communication from us. In the meantime, kindly note:

Start of Term – Wednesday 6 January

08:30    Beginning of Term welcome for all pupils

09:05    Lessons begin for pupils in all year groups, taught remotely

Pupils on site

In line with the government guidance, we will continue to look after pupils who are vulnerable and have a boarding need. We are also expecting children of critical workers as defined by the Government. If your son or daughter falls into these categories and you have not yet replied to say that they will be coming to school, please would you advise us today and no later than 5:00p.m. so that we can make appropriate arrangements.

All boarders who are already with us, having booked into the Isolation House, will continue to be looked after and will be supported as they access their lessons remotely.

Exams

Mrs Clarke, Academic Deputy, will be writing to 5th Form pupils and parents tomorrow (Wednesday 6th January) and to the Upper 6th Form the day after (Thursday 7th January) with information about internal and public examinations.

There continues to be some uncertainty about some public exams and how these will be adjusted to reflect the lock-down.  Heads of Department are looking carefully at each exam board’s requirements and will make this information available to you as soon as it becomes apparent to schools.

Who to contact

In anticipation that we needed to continue with year groupings, I have made some key appointments to help support pupils in their learning. The Heads of Year will be overseeing the learning experience of the pupils and will help lead year group communication with you as parents and guardians. They will be in contact to invite you to a Zoom meeting where they will be able to explain what is happening in more detail and how to support best practice in remote learning.

Head of Third Form – Miss Emily Cattle

Head of Fourth Form – Mr Theo Frazer

Head of Fifth Form – Mr Tom Campbell

In QMH, Mr Josh Andrade, Head of QMH and Housemaster, has been in good contact with parents in the First and Second Form. He will be assisted by Mrs Helen Thorpe in all things QMH, with a particular eye on the Second Form and on boarding.

As ever, the Housemasters/mistresses will be an important point of contact for you as they continue to have an overview of every pupil in their House. They are supported by their resident boarding team and the tutors.

If you have a pastoral matter that you would like to discuss, please do speak to your Housemaster/ mistress.

If you have a concern relating to a lesson or subject, then please would you speak with your son or daughter’s tutor in the first instance.

We invite you to keep in contact with us regarding our response to the Prime Minister’s announcement and the delivery of this new phase of KESW@Home.  It is encouraging and helpful for us to have both positive praise and constructive criticism – both will be welcomed.

With all good wishes

Joanna

Head

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