Hello from Henry B – Edition 9
20 May 2020
Dear Parents and Students,
I hope you and your families are all keeping well.
It is hard to believe that we are 2 days away from the official half term. Trying to keep track of dates and structures has become quite difficult but I know that a break from the on line work will be of benefit to everyone. Hopefully the good weather will also continue and you can make the most of the lift in restrictions to going outside.
I hope you are all looking forward to the ‘Feel Good Friday’ challenges which are available to look at in the hbX folder. You will need to view them in advance of Friday so you can decide which ones you are going to tackle. Don’t forget to take photos and send them in for the HB archives!
Mrs Briggs also has your hbx challenge for the week which has been designed to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of The Henry Beaufort’s Hearing Impaired Resource Base which is a very important part of our school community. We would like you to help us celebrate this anniversary so that we can recognise the wonderful support provide by the Hearing Impaired Resource team. I think a special cake is called for once we are all back in school!
I appreciate that a number of parents have paid a deposit for trips that were due to take place this term. We are working with the trip providers to ascertain how and when refunds will be available. However, this is proving complex. If we cancel a trip at this stage then we lose our right for refunds so I am sorry but it is a case of waiting for further information at the moment. The Local Authority are aware of these complexities and they are supporting us through this process.
As I mentioned to you last week we have been exploring how we can work on line with you so that we complement the work at home programme on the school website. Zoom is not an option for us and only this week there have been reports about more than 120 'Zoombombing' child abuse cases now being investigated by UK authorities.
We will be undertaking a pilot using Microsoft teams starting after half term. The pilot will begin with Year 10 in preparation for a potential return to school later this term [more on this later]. Mrs Scott will be sending out detailed information and instructions to Year 10 families, in the first instance, about how this will work.
There are bound to be a few glitches along the way, which is why we are only rolling out to one year group at first, but we hope that we will be able to use this approach with other year groups as the term progresses.
The safeguarding of our young people and my colleagues is paramount in all of this and we will reserve the right to withdraw from the on line platform if we feel that safeguarding is being compromised.
After half term Years 7, 8 and 9 will be continuing with at home learning and work will be placed on the website keeping to the structure we have put in place for the last 7 school weeks. We intend to add in a few more ‘Feel Good Fridays’ as well, each with different activities and or themes.
As the debate continues about a return to school for some students we have begun planning for a potential return of Year 10 at some point in the next half term. There are a number of obstacles that will need to be overcome at national level first but we want to be ready if and when there is agreement.
In the week after half term Year 10 parents will receive a google form from Mr Coe that will help us plan. I would be grateful if all Year 10 parents could return this form by the deadline.
Any return to school for Year 10 will be on a rotational basis so that we can adhere to social distancing and effectively manage break, lunchtime and the use of toilets, as well as providing transport that also adheres to social distancing rules. This will mean Year 10 that you will have to be in small groups in a social bubble for the days that you are in school and you will not be able to socialise with other groups on site that day. I realise that this will be hard for you but we have to keep all of you as safe as possible. This means that there will be additional rules to follow. We will make sure that we explain all of this to you on your first day and in that explanation we will also explain why it is necessary to put these rules in place. I fully appreciate that families will also have concerns about the return to school and so we will make sure that our information to you covers what we believe these concerns will be. Well-being for all of those on the school site will be at heart of our plan.
More information will come out to you nearer the time and it will be detailed so that you are reassured that we have covered all aspects to ensure that your child and my colleagues stay safe. I will try to keep it shorter that the 500 pages that I have currently notched up on instructions in preparation for re-opening!
In the meantime we have another great recipe to try from Mrs Golding which this week is for cheesecake.
A message from Mrs Ireland
To all students - enter our 'Guess Who!' library competition this week for your chance to win a £10 Waterstones Gift Card!
Teachers and support staff have been caught with their noses in their books but can you guess who each reader is? Find the competition in the 'Guess Who! Library Competition' folder in the Student Resources area and an answer sheet to email back to Mrs Ireland for your chance to win.
We have 3x £10 Waterstones gift cards to give away to the top three students with the most correct guesses! You have until Friday 29th May to enter and winners will be announced in the following newsletter.
It has felt a long 9 weeks since we saw you in school. I know you are missing your friends but we know that we will get back to a new normal at some point. At that point we will celebrate our school community being back together even if we have to do it through Microsoft teams in your tutor bases. I’m already planning the assembly!!
With my best wishes to you and your families.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline: The DfE have 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.email@example.com Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).
Please use these links to find out more information: