Principal's update Covid-19

Dear Parents and Carers

As we face times of uncertainty and all the implications of the Coronavirus, my thoughts are drawn to the New Testament book of Philippians.  In Chapter 4 the apostle Paul exhorts us to “Rejoice in the Lord always… be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” May we all live in this promise of serenity and share it by finding ways to lovingly respond to the human need across our community.

Grace College will remain open until we are told to close, or until such time we are unable to provide a safe and purposeful environment for staff and students.  I recognise that this is a difficult time for students and families.  

It is vitally important that we follow the latest government guidance: 

  • If you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
  • The symptoms are a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) and/or a new, continuous cough.  The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance 

 

Please note that:

  1. Students who have either “a new, persistent cough or temperature” must not come into school and must ensure that they self-isolate along with all members of their household. We will require students to go home if they come into school with either a temperature or a new, persistent cough. We recognise that a persistent cough can be difficult to judge. Our approach has been, and will continue to be, cautious and erring on the side of protecting the wider school community and society as a whole. It is our understanding that this is what is being asked of us all at this time.
  2. We will no longer run any non-essential activities, including co-curricular activities, after school detentions or booster study sessions. These will not run until further notice.
  3. No visitors will be permitted to visit College, with the exception of contractors carrying out essential work (although this will be avoided where possible) and any individuals providing vital welfare or emotional support services to students. Parent meetings should be avoided, with a phone conversation taking place instead.

With a large number of students now at home we would like to draw your attention to the wealth of support available through Office 365. Students have access to Office 365 and the suite of apps.  Teachers have been working to prepare resources for this online platform. Many of these are now available for students to use. Priority for online support will be given to Year 11 and Year 13 classes but resources will be added for other year groups to ensure all students are catered for.  

Office 365 is available for student use and can be accessed online in any browser or by using the Microsoft Office app on mobile devices.  A link is also available from the Parent and Student Hub on our website.  Students have a designated school email in the following format – username@esf-schools.org.uk (where their username is their student ID, for example 1150199), e.g. 1150199@esf-schools.org.uk).  Students should remember their password – it is their usual network password.  And if for any reason they need support relating to learning at home they can contact our IT support team using: ITstudentsupport@gracecollege.org.uk

Let us continue to support and care for one another. Together we are stronger and together we will overcome this.

Yours faithfully

Mr Mark Hall

Principal