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School Closure on 20 March 2020

I am sure you are all very much aware that, following the decision by the government to close all schools in England until further notice, The Burgate School and Sixth Form will be closed from 15.00 on Friday 20 March 2020.

The school staff will continue to support the learning of all of our students and this will be carried out remotely. INSIGHT will be used to set classwork in the same way as we currently set homework and your son/daughter will be expected to complete the work. If students have any questions, or are required to submit work, they should contact their teachers via email through the student and staff school email accounts.  We would also encourage students to continue to use on-line digital resources such as Seneca, MyMaths, Kerboodle and ActiveLearn.

The government have said that no external examinations will be taking place in May/June and we have met with Year 11 and Year 13 this morning to reassure them that we will be doing our utmost to make sure that they are not disadvantaged. Once we have a clearer picture from the Department for Education as to how they will manage the situation regarding the awarding of examination grades, we will notify you.

We know this will be a very unnerving time for our students, and their mood may be affected more than usual. Our young people may be feeling more stressed, anxious, worried and low as they absorb and react to the evolving Coronavirus situation. If during this time you have any pastoral concerns please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s Head of Year using their school email e.g. HoY8@burgate.hants.sch.uk. Additionally, the ThinkNinja app is available to support students with their mental health and emotional wellbeing in this time of uncertainty. It can help in the following ways:

  1. Keeping calm when stress levels rise by accessing the Skill Zone for breathing and distraction exercises.
  2. Helping to address unhelpful thoughts related to Coronavirus in the CBT Skills section and My Challenges section.
  3. Boosting their mood with various PowerUps.    
  4. Connecting via text chat with a 'live' Healios mental health professional, if required, all within the app.

For more information, visit https://www.healios.org.uk/think-ninja-assets

In the first instance, parents of students who receive free school meals will be entitled to collect food bank vouchers from ‘The Branch’ in Fordingbridge High Street or the Salvation Army Hall. There may also be a government led initiative for families who claim free school meals and we will help to coordinate this for you when it is introduced.

From next week, schools will have a new purpose. We are being asked to help support vulnerable students and families most in need, in particular ‘key workers’ involved in the immediate response to the Coronavirus outbreak. My understanding is that the government will be issuing further guidance regarding which parents qualify as key workers. We are keen to support families where being key workers presents childcare challenges and we have also liaised with Fordingbridge Infant and Junior Schools Federation about their plans to facilitate this. In order to prepare for a partial opening of the school from Monday 23 March, I would be grateful if you could contact me directly through headteacher@burgate.hants.sch.uk if you require your child to attend. For further guidance on children left alone at home please see: https://www.gov.uk/law-on-leaving-your-child-home-alone

Additionally, we are planning to provide ‘keeping in touch’ drop in sessions for our students who receive additional support at school, such as counselling. Details of times and location will be communicated early next week.

We appreciate this is an exceptionally challenging situation and that we are living in unprecedented times –  we therefore thank you in advance for your support in helping to ensure that your child’s education can continue during the period of school closures. I send you all my very best wishes and look forward to welcoming the school community back to The Burgate when normality returns. In the meantime – please look after yourselves and each other.

Mr David Pover
Headteacher