School Closure Plans

Dear Parents/Carers,

You will already be aware that with great regret we will be closing our school for the majority of students after Friday 20 March, indefinitely. This is due to the government directive to do so. We have been instructed to stay open for children of key workers and for vulnerable students. Public exams this summer have been cancelled. Unfortunately, the briefing by the Prime Minister left many questions unanswered, such as how students due to take the exams this summer will get their qualifications. We have not yet been given any further information but we will share any updates and our plans as quickly and effectively as we can as more details emerge.

I would like to thank you all for your support and also write how proud and impressed we as staff have been with the huge majority of our students. In a time of huge uncertainty and considerable anxiety, so many of them are displaying pragmatic optimism and real consideration for others. They, and we all, will get through this.

One thing we do need to know is if you have a vulnerable child or if you are a key worker and you intend for your child to come to school next week, Monday 23 March onwards. The current guidelines state: ‘Examples of key workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans. A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office.’

We also need to know if you would like your child/children to receive their free school meal. We are working on plans for this and also awaiting details on a possible voucher system. Please could all parents complete the online survey that you can access through the link below, by 8am this Friday 20 March. This will greatly help us in supporting you:

TCS Exeter Road Shutdown Questionnaire

Over the past couple of weeks we have been preparing for a possible closure and as of Monday morning we will be instigating our remote learning procedures as previously outlined. The key point is that students should use their Class Charts account as the first point of call for direction to tasks and further resources and platforms; many teachers will also use Google Classroom or Google Meet. Students have all been emailed their logins for both Class Charts and Google Drive to their school email accounts. Students can contact teachers via their email addresses that are located on the school website and we will post updates on our website and Facebook page as needed.

We are obviously in unchartered territory as none of us have been through anything like this before, but one simple piece of advice I will pass on is that young people will be best served by keeping some sort of routine each day, learning and completing research and tasks during the school day, taking exercise where and when they can, and staying connected socially using technology or otherwise.

Please bear with us as we assimilate the information and look to adapt to what will be a significantly different summer term. Take care of yourselves and your families and I have no doubt that we will overcome the challenges and navigate through this adversity by working together.

Best wishes,

James O’Connell