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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Information and Updates

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19.

Updates will be posted on this page

DfE Coronavirus Helpline

1st April 2020

Read the full update(s) here:

Coronavirus Bulletin – 1.4.20


26th March 2020


24th March 2020

Read the full update(s) here:

Coronavirus Bulletin – 24.3.20


20th March 2020


19th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Coronavirus – Bulletin – 19/3/20

Following on from the Government’s announcement at 5.15pm yesterday, we have had to respond and make changes to our immediate plans and those going forward.

Partial Closure Changes
All schools close on Friday 20th March to the majority of students and this potentially means it may be sometime before we see some of our students again, particularly those in Years 11 and 13. As Year 11 and 13 examinations and assessments have been cancelled, we have now taken the decision that these year groups remain at home on Friday 20th March. The following year groups are to attend school as normal on Friday 20th March; Years 7, 9, 10 and 12 with Years 8, 11 and 13 to remain at home. It is important that students in Years 10 and 12 who are fit and able to come to school do attend, as these students will potentially miss a significant portion of their academic year and will still have examinations in 2021. We want to ensure we maximise the teaching and learning they have available.

The cancellation of all examinations and assessments for 2020 was always an option and will no doubt be a shock to students and their families. However, we are well prepared to work with examination boards, sixth forms, colleges, universities and employers to provide the right information at the right time. As soon as we know what is required and expected to ensure our students get the grades they deserve, we will update you too. Much of the school work which we recently set for Year 11 and 13 will still have some purpose, value and impact. Particularly for students looking to study particular subjects at sixth form, college and/or to pursue an apprenticeship in one of their subject areas. It is important that students do not have gaps in their learning in the coming months and it will be important to complete topics and units before starting post-16 courses. Staff will now modify the work that has been set and make it more relevant in light of the removal of examinations and assessments for these two year groups.

For Years 11 and 13, we would still like to organise leaving celebrations and proms when the time is right, even if this extends into the next academic year. We are committed to celebrating their time at the school and their achievements. Even today, on hearing this unprecedented news, with very mixed emotions they have been superb – please thank them on our behalf.

Communication

A reminder that non-essential queries are to be kept to a minimum so that we can devote our time to priority and urgent matters.

Should you need to make contact with us, if there is anything that you don’t know and need to know, please email enquiries@qegs.email and refrain from coming into school or telephoning unless in an emergency, as we need to keep our telephone lines as free as possible.

Plans for children of Key Workers and Vulnerable Students
We are currently working on plans to respond to the Government announcement that schools will remain open for these students from Monday 23rd March. We will send a further bulletin regarding this later today. For now, we are focusing our attention and support on Years 11 and 13 who will be experiencing a mix of emotions and confusion. We will be sure to keep parents informed as and when the Government make us aware of further news.

We do not have all the answers at this time. We are trying to do our best in these challenging times with staff pulling together to ensure our students continue to receive the best education we can provide.

Yours faithfully

Scott Garrity
Headteacher


18th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Coronavirus – Bulletin – 18/3/20

We would like to thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding and we hope you are finding our daily bulletin helpful. This slightly earlier bulletin will hopefully assist you with your plans over the next few days. Should there be any further developments during the day we will update you accordingly.

Partial Closure Changes – Whilst we have been able to manage to remain open to the majority of students so far, due to increased staff absence, we will have to adapt our partial closure arrangements for the next few days. Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March, Years 8, 10 and 12 will be required to study at home. Students should access their learning online as outlined below. School will remain open as normal for Years 7, 9, 11 and 13.

Absent Students – For those students who are not in school due to any illness or due to year group absence, school work will be set on GO 4 Schools and/or email. We have found that the Go4Schools website is updated much quicker with students’ work. Yesterday, we had reports of very little work set for students via the App and yet there was significantly more on the website. Work will be set for every lesson for each examination class in Years 10 and 12 whilst they are working from home. Other year groups, the work may be more thematic, project based and/or extended learning.

Please see the attached list of websites that students should use to work online. Many of these can be used by students to work independently without specific work being set by class teachers. These are also available on the school website here: www.qegs.link/usefullinks. If you are not able to access online work, please do let us know as alternatives can be provided, please contact enquiries@queenelizabeths.derbyshire.sch.uk.

Healthy Body and Mind – In the coming days (and possibly weeks) we will also be suggesting challenges and tasks for students to complete with the aim of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Such as baking, taking a walk, reading a book and many other, possibly taken for granted, but worthwhile activities. We will be using our Instagram and Twitter accounts to keep a track of students’ and staff efforts whilst working from home.

Communication – Reminder that non-essential queries are to be kept to a minimum so that we can devote our time to priority and urgent matters. Should you need to make contact with us, if there is anything that you don’t know and need to know, please email enquiries@qegs.email and refrain from coming into school or telephoning unless in an emergency, as we need to keep our telephone lines as free as possible.

We ask that you remind your children to wash their hands as often as possible, certainly at the start of the day, at break and lunch times. The toilets will continue to be open and accessible all day.

To help support students through these uncertain times, please encourage your child to talk to their Form Tutor and/or Progress Leader about anything that is concerning them.

Yours faithfully

Scott Garrity
Headteacher


17th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Coronavirus – Bulletin – 17/3/20

We hope that you and your family are all well and following the Government advice as indeed we are here at school.

Partial Closure – The decision to request Yr9 students to remain at home today (17.03.20) was due to significantly increased staff absence following recent Government advice and our inability to staff all lessons for all year groups. It is always a difficult decision to choose which year groups should be in or out of school and our decision was based around supporting parents by reducing any additional pressure on childcare (we did not feel asking Yr7 to remain at home was helpful); and also to ensure that our examination year groups Yrs11 and 12-13 could benefit from as much lesson time prior to their exams.

I can now confirm that we would also like Yr9 to remain at home on Wednesday 18th March and students should access their learning online as outlined below.

To help parents plan ahead, at this stage we will be looking for Yr9 to return to school on Thursday 19th March and for Yr10 to study at home on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th March. Yr10 study work is currently being set by staff and will be ready for these two days. Yr9 and 10 students, should in theory, be able to follow their normal timetable on the days they are studying at home and this routine will ensure good breadth of learning.

Absent Students – For those students who are not in school due to any illness or due to year group absence, school work will be set on GO 4 Schools and/or email. There can sometimes be a delay with work appearing on Go 4 Schools, so please check later in the day if it not appearing straight away.

Please also see the attached list of websites that students should use to work online. Many of these can be used by students to work independently without specific work being set by class teachers. These are also available on the school website here: www.qegs.link/usefullinks. If you are not able to access online work, please do let us know as alternatives can be provided, please contact enquiries@queenelizabeths.derbyshire.sch.uk.

School Day – We are trying to maintain our normal school routine wherever possible, including rewards and sanctions. Students are to continue to adhere to QEGS expectations; golden tickets, merits and distinctions continue to be awarded, also sanctions such as detentions, which we still expect students to attend.

Examinations – We have no information from the examination boards to date surrounding their plans for the summer series. We will let you know of any changes to arrangements as soon as we know ourselves.

Communication – Reminder that non-essential queries are to be kept to a minimum so that we can devote our time to priority and urgent matters. Should you need to make contact with us, if there is anything that you don’t know and
need to know, please email enquiries@qegs.email and refrain from coming into school or telephoning unless in an emergency, as we need to keep our telephone lines as free as possible.

General Cleanliness – Regular cleaning is taking place throughout the school, particularly the toilets, internal door handles and other high frequency areas. We are paying additional attention to all contact surfaces, applying sanitiser spray at regular intervals when physically possible. We ask that you remind your children to wash their hands as often as possible, certainly at the start of the day, at break and lunch times. The toilets will be open and accessible all day. We will ensure that soap dispensers remain topped up and the toilets cleaned regularly. At lunch, we have introduced more staggered times for the canteen to ease congestion and to help areas to be cleaned more frequently.

Trips – We will provide further information as and when we know more regarding the booking of trips for next year.

To help support students through these uncertain times, please encourage your child to talk to their Form Tutor and/or Progress Leader about anything that is concerning them. Our priority before any learning is to care for our students and to ensure they are safe both physically and mentally.

Any changes to any year group not being in school will be issued as soon as possible by email and put on the school website.

Yours faithfully

Scott Garrity
Headteacher


16th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Updated guidance for education settings

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19.

What you need to know:

  • young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education as normal
  • if young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they will be sent home

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

Handwashing advice
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus


16th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Coronavirus – Bulletin – 16/3/20

We are, as you are aware, in unprecedented times. Whilst we appreciate that there may be some sense of anxiety, we would like to take this opportunity to provide some guidance on some key questions regarding Coronavirus and school.

Attendance – School will remain open and we will follow government guidance on staying open, when the situation and advice changes, we will respond accordingly. That said, if you are uncomfortable with your child attending school at the moment, then we will respect your decisions in this regard. We will not be pursuing fines for non-attendance at the current time but we would request that you continue to log absence in the usual way. If you are isolating your child or family due to medical symptoms, then please inform us ASAP and we will use a specific code for this absence. We appreciate that, as parents, you will be mindful of protecting yourselves, your children, and your extended family.
Please take any precautions you feel necessary and keep us informed.

Trips – At this stage we are looking at whether it is possible to re-book some trips for the next academic year. All foreign and some domestic trips will be cancelled and refunds given. More information around any new bookings will be provided as we know more. Refunds will be issues in due course.

School Show – As we wish to limit the number of visitors to our school site, there will be no external/public performance of the school show this week. However, students will perform internally to students and staff with dates and times TBC. We are also planning a recording of the show. More information will follow once we know more.

Go 4 Schools – Please ensure that you and your child are able to log onto Go4Schools from home and also your child is able to access their school email account. In the event of a closure, this will be the method we will use to communicate with them. If you are concerned at all, please use your child’s form tutor as the first point of contact.

Sports Fixtures – These have been cancelled due to other schools cancelling with QEGS at late notice resulting in unnecessary transport costs. Schools are also unwilling to send their staff and students to other venues such as QEGS and due to this uncertainty we have taken the decision to suspend all sports fixtures at this time.

Parents Consultation Evening – These are cancelled in their current format for Yr 10 – 31st March and Yr12 – 24th March 2020. If school is open on these dates, you will receive a telephone call from the teacher at the time of your booking. If school is closed you will receive an email from the teacher. There are to be no parents on-site for PCE. The timings of the school day and travel arrangements will be as planned for all PCEs with a 2pm finish.

Communication – Should you need to make contact with us, if there is anything that you don’t know and need to know, please email enquiries@qegs.email and refrain from coming into school or telephoning unless in an emergency, as we need to keep our telephone lines free as much as possible. We intend to send a daily bulletin of this type to update parents of the changing situation as we continue to follow advice from the Government and Public Health
England.

Yours faithfully

Scott Garrity
Headteacher


13th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Coronavirus – An update from QEGS and QEGSMAT

Following on from today’s earlier notification, and following on from the Cobra meeting held by Government yesterday the country has now entered the delay phase of the Government’s plans to slow the spread of the virus. The Prime Minister was clear that schools would remain open for the time being, which is a decision we support.

As you would expect we continue to act on incoming information from the Department for Education and from Public Health England. We are following all available advice, particularly around hygiene and are meeting regularly to ensure that we are prepared for all emerging eventualities.

If the school is directed to close by the Government and your child has to stay at home, our plan is that teachers will communicate with your child and set work using Go 4 Schools homework tool and the school email. We advise all parents and students to check they have access and valid passwords to these communication tools. Whilst there is no substitute for learning in the classroom we will do all we can to ensure your child’s education continues as normally as possible. If your child does NOT know their username and/or password, please encourage them to ask their Form Tutor.

Following Government advice on overseas trips, these will be cancelled. Refunds will be issued as soon as possible. We are also in the process of cancelling some domestic school trips and parents will be notified if their child is affected by one of these cancellations. With regards to exams, the planned timetable is still being followed but it is an ever changing situation that we will advise upon should things change.

We are resisting the temptation to send you detailed communications because they are likely to be subject to change as we are overtaken by changing guidance or events. For now, please reassure children that business is continuing as usual and that all precautions are being taken to protect them.

If you would like to know more about staying safe and how you can slow the spread of the coronavirus the latest advice from the government can be found here.

Thank you for your continued support, for communicating with us about yours or your family’s circumstances and for allowing us the time and space to focus on our planning.

If you need to contact the school with general enquiries regarding the coronavirus please use the enquiries@qegs.email which we will endeavour to reply to as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support during the next few weeks.

Yours faithfully

Mr S Garrity
Headteacher


10th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Government coronavirus action plan

Yesterday, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government’s response to COVID-19 remains in the Contain phase – the first phase in the government’s coronavirus action plan.

The coronavirus action plan was launched last week. This document sets out what we have done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next, depending upon the course the current coronavirus outbreak takes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

Yesterday, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

The importance of hygiene 

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The Department for Education helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice – www.gov.uk/coronavirus


5th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Government Coronavirus action plan
On Tuesday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

Action plan overview

The action plan sets out a four phased approach in response to the Coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research. An approach designed by world leading experts.

As there are already cases in the UK, the current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, but planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes – also help in delaying the peak of the infection.

The importance of hygiene
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a public information campaign that focuses on the importance of handwashing. Washing hands for 20 seconds is central to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department for Education helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice – www.gov.uk/coronavirus


4th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Government Coronavirus action plan
Yesterday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

The Department for Education helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice – www.gov.uk/coronavirus


2nd March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Today, the Department for Education launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice – www.gov.uk/coronavirus


27th February 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Public Health England advises that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low.

Advice for those who have travelled recently

Yesterday, the Chief Medical Advisor for England, Chris Whitty updated advice for travellers returning to the UK from specific areas affected by COVID-19, which you can find here.

Please inform school ASAP on enquiries@queenelizabeths.derbyshire.sch.uk if you meet any of the criteria.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information and advice – www.gov.uk/coronavirus


DfE Coronavirus Helpline

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