Messages from the Head
Friday 27 March
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It certainly feels like more than a week since we closed the school site, as so much has happened since then.
You will be pleased to know that all the boys boarders have remained well, having been looked after superbly by our boarding and catering staff and will all have left the grounds by tomorrow afternoon. Most teachers have kept well, although not all, so as I mentioned on Wednesday, after Easter we will be in a better position to cover work for classes should we need to.
As far as online learning is going we have; had excellent results and feedback from many quarters, been able to track which students have viewed tasks, or not, and also become aware that some children are not totally comfortable at being visually online. It would be extremely helpful if you as families, trialled the use of Teams and/or webcams between you, so that your sons and daughters can start to feel comfortable with the medium. Please also check that they have logged into every subject and not just those they prefer!
After Easter our plan is to roll out far more teacher led lessons, although the Maths Department is already doing sterling work in this regard and this experience will inform other areas of the curriculum.
Please find below the following;
On Monday the Chaplain and I plan to present a short Easter End of Term Service to remind us all of sacrifice and rebirth at this very anxious time for everyone – I hope that you will be able to imagine yourself sitting in the Chapel with us as you watch.
Have a restful weekend and keep safe,
With kind regards,
Dorothy A Nancekievill
Wednesday 25 March
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Even this time last week I could not have imagined that the school would be totally silent today however, although your children are not here they are very much in my thoughts and prayers, as are you. Ironically, the school site it looking beautiful, the magnolia trees have blossomed, the daffodils are coming through and we had great excitement yesterday, when the Year 2 chicks hatched!
Online learning has started apace – we are aware that it is not yet perfect, but we will be trialling more face to face tuition with some classes by the end of this week, so that this method can be rolled out to all year groups after Easter. I would be grateful if you checked that your children have joined the various ‘Teams,’ as it became apparent today that a small number have not yet opened the work available to them.
In addition, some staff who have had to self-isolate may be finding it difficult to keep providing work until they feel better. I would therefore ask for your forbearance as we work out a system to manage this problem, between our Heads of Department.
You and your children may have already started to use online reading sites however, if not, you might like to follow this link, recommended by the school librarian, as there are good reading and writing activities for all age groups within this resource.
The anxiety regarding external examinations continues however, do read again the link I shared on Monday from the Government, as it is the best, current information. It will also be helpful if pupils continue working to give us as much evidence as possible, to support any estimations we need to do. Whatever happens, I am happy to confirm that all current Year 11 Farringtons students will be allowed to return to Year 12. We are already aware of our pupils’ academic potential, will have the work that is completed now and after Easter to help to guide the best choices of subjects and happily, we have a wide range of courses on offer. We will also support Year 13 to get to their university of choice.
I was pleased to hear from the Maths Department today regarding the excellent work that has been completed by many pupils, in fact, Mrs Hanson gave some great examples of her students working extremely hard.
There are also lots of great examples within the Creative and Performing Arts with Mr Rowe informing me that, his ‘Year 9 Option Groups are doing an awesome job’ and that he has received some great composition work from them. He also passed to me a sheet produced by one of his Year 9 students, regarding how to add work to an assignment on ‘Teams’ from the pupils perspective – I have attached it for you to share with your children
Please urge your children to check their ‘Teams’ frequently, particularly the posts and the assignments.
Mr Charlton has asked me to remind you the Junior School work is mostly focused on the contents of the orange folders, or work emailed directly to parents.
Should you need to get in touch with the school please email the relevant person rather than calling reception. We are hoping to continue to man the switch board in the morning from 9.00 – 12.00 however, please only make contact this way in an emergency.
As a staff group we will do everything we can to continue educating your daughters and sons of all ages, through this difficult time, whilst being sensitive to the family and health pressures that may come along for you to cope with.
With kind regards,
Dorothy A Nancekievill
Monday 23 March 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
I trust that you are starting to adjust to a very different lifestyle for you and your families.
Social distancing is extremely difficult however, it is imperative that we adhere to the policy.
The government produced an extremely helpful paper regarding public examinations at the weekend and whilst it does not give all the answers, it is does outline the overarching strategy being developed – you can access it by following this link:
Junior School staff members have been looking after a small number of Key Workers’ children today and I have been asked to remind parents that they must remember to bring their orange folders with them, should they be coming into school. In the Senior School, no pupils required supervision however, many staff were here developing their online schemes of work whilst taking social distancing very seriously.
We will continue to do our best to man the school from 8.30am to 3.50pm this week although, as you can imagine, more staff members have had to self-isolate as a result of the government guidelines now in place, regarding living with elderly people and those with medical conditions. FIZ Club will not be running this week and we will take a view about whether to restart it again, after the Easter holidays.
Please find below information below as follows;
1. A message from Mr Garwood for Year 11 and 13 parents and pupils
2. Information about how Visiting Music Staff will continue to work
3. Information about Speech and Drama lessons
In the meantime, we would love some feedback regarding your child’s/children’s online learning activities. If you are happy to share some images that we could post on our social media pages, please send them to email@example.com – we will only refer to those in these photos, by first name.
Thank you to everyone who has sent in supportive and encouraging emails and please keep well.
With kind regards
Dorothy A Nancekievill
1. A message from Mr Garwood for Year 11 & 13 Students and Parents
OFQUAL are continuing to work on the specific details regarding the evidence schools will need to provide so the boards can arrive at students’ “calculated grades”.
In the absence of that detail, we will continue to set meaningful academic work for students on Microsoft Teams. This may, or may not count toward your final grades. We have instructed your teachers to continue to set past papers and revision activities. You must assume that you are working towards your examinations and that the work produced (still) counts toward that end. Where applicable, students still working on coursework, EPQ and NEA deadlines should continue to meet them. In this, the most unusual of circumstances, we accept that your motivation levels may not be as high as they would be in the run up to your public examinations but, it is crucial to keep working for the following reasons:
• We just do not yet know what OFQUAL/Exam boards will specifically ask for (guidance may very well change when we know this)
• So that you can control what you can control
• You may end up having to sit your exams in the event of a contested result, whenever this might be
• You may have younger siblings in the house and it is important that you set the right example
You will agree I am sure, keeping a sense of momentum and purpose is important especially when many other normal activities are not available to us because of the current Government guidelines regarding social distancing.
2. Instrumental Music Lessons – Mr Rayner
• A Microsoft Team has been set up for each visiting music teacher (VMT)
• The list of pupils has been included, just like all the other class teams
• The VMT can set assignments, just like the other subject teachers
• Pupils can video their results and send this within a secure environment, just like the other lessons
• The VMT will then be able to comment on successes and give suggestions for improvements
• This way, although different, peripatetic music lessons can continue weekly as now
• Some VMTs may use Skype or other formats to continue with lessons and they will contact you about this
3. Speech and Drama Lessons – Mrs Freeston
LAMDA examinations, which were due to take place in June, will be postponed. They will be rearranged once school reopens. In the meantime, Mrs Freeston will continue to teach students on a weekly basis, via Teams.
20 March 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
It was good to welcome Year 6 back following their trip to the Isle of Wight and they have had a marvellous time. My thanks to the staff involved and their parents, for supporting the decision to continue with this adventure – they even had a private and exclusive tour around Osbourne House!
It was however, an emotional day for the students who start study leave early without yet knowing exactly how their grades and university places will be affected. We quickly created assemblies for them to get together and to reassure them of the school’s support.
The school will be open next week for the children of key workers during normal school hours and distance learning starts in earnest from Monday. Within the information below we have attempted to give as much structure as we feel able to at present, please use the following email address should you need further IT support – firstname.lastname@example.org
We have five days before the Easter break to trial our systems and for parents to start to establish some sort of routine for your children at home. We will also share further extension opportunities next week and I will continue to communicate with you regularly. Senior members of staff will be in school every day.
There undoubtedly will be issues that we have not yet ironed out however, I would ask you to be patient with us as we strive to provide new ways of learning.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church and its schools, famously said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” It is a great way to live our lives no more so than now.
Be assured of my continued support for you and your families.
With kind regards
Dorothy A Nancekievill
19 March 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians,
It was good to be able to have meetings with all members of the teaching staff today and to thank them for approaching this new method of distance learning with such positivity. We also spent time with Year 11 & 13 reassuring them of our support both now and with regard to university places.
The staff in KS1 and EYFS are working on contact with parents and children via the portal. The Bromley Festival Choir Competition has been understandably cancelled on Saturday.
My thanks to the Key Workers who have already been in contact and I would be grateful if any others that need help, would let me know by tomorrow at 10.00am, so that we can share our plans with all involved.
Below you will find further information from a number of areas within the school as follows;
- Physical Activity suggestions
- BTEC Coursework information
- Year 11 Year book and hoodies
- Duke of Edinburgh expeditions
- Suggestions for supporting your child
These are clearly unprecedented times and we are doing our utmost to ensure continuity of education, while the school is closed to day pupils. We will be as supportive as we can be to those in our community who are experiencing financial difficulties, caused by the current situation. The bursary team will be reviewing our costs to ensure that the appropriate savings are made whilst school is not open and where we are able, these savings will be passed on to parents. However, please remember that we also need to ensure the long term survival of the school, so that our pupils have a school to return to when we are allowed to re-open.
As the day has progressed it has become apparent that some of our girls and boys have not grasped what social distancing means, so without frightening them, I suggest that you reemphasise that it does not mean spending time with their friends socially but will be an opportunity to develop self-reliance skills. In addition, please also monitor usage of social media sites and encourage some sort of physical activity.
Teachers from KS2 upwards, have continued to work with our pupils on Teams and final touches to step-by-step instructions for Teams will be distributed tomorrow. You will also receive a suggested rubric for pupil workload and priorities. I was impressed today to discover that during a language lesson two students who were at home already, had joined in with everyone else. Next week will be a learning opportunity for both families and pupils to work this new approach before we now break for the Easter holiday on Friday, 27th March.
A number of our pupils benefit from the support given by our School Counsellor, Colette Grindley and we are working on ensuring that she can keep in contact with the pupils that need her help the most.
My continued thoughts and concern for you and your extended families,
With kind regards,
1. Physical activity is important for all individuals as we are aware of the benefits to health and mental wellbeing.
The PE Department would to encourage all pupils to take part in some activities:
EYFS & KS1 – www.bbcsupermovers
KS2 and above – www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home
It is important to remember that you can do these activities in your home.
2. BTEC Coursework can be completed electronically and as such the sampling process will continue this academic year. Students have nearly completed their BTEC qualification(s) and we have most of the necessary evidence needed to complete the sampling process.
Reminders for those students undertaking a BTEC qualification:
- Save your BTEC coursework in the one drive, labelled in appropriate folders – They started to do this last week.
- Complete any outstanding coursework for Level 3 by the end of the Easter break.
- Contact your Teacher if you have any issues or Miss Ootim
3. Year 11 - Year book and Hoodies
Unfortunately, we have had to stop the creation of the yearbook. However, students have asked if we can still go ahead with the hoodies. Therefore, a World Pay link will be set up on the portal to enable you to pay online. All orders must be received by Thursday 26th March at 11:59 pm. If you have already paid Mr Jones via cash or cheque, this will have been returned this to your son/ daughter today. The Hoodies will be ordered on Friday 27th March. If, for whatever reason we cannot order the hoodies, then you will of course receive a full refund.
4. All planned Duke of Edinburgh expeditions for this academic year have been postponed. We will hold on to paid fees with hope of deferring and rearranging expeditions to next year. Mr Essex will keep you updated as and when we have further information.
5. Suggestions for supporting your child - https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/helping-children-cope-with-stress-print
Wednesday 18 March 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
The Prime Minister has just confirmed that schools are to be closed at the end of the week, this will give us time to finesse the online Guides that have already been shared within the school. They will be sent digitally to all families by 5.00pm on Friday afternoon, to KS2 and above pupils.
Thank you for organising Senior School pupils to bring in their devices today, other than some issues with Wi-Fi overload, the pupils have done well and the vast majority are set up on Microsoft Teams.
In the Junior School, KS2 pupils have had the opportunity today, as they will for the next two days, to log on to Microsoft Teams to enable them to access work after Friday. For pupils who have been away from school, as stated above, Guides on accessing this application will be sent to all families digitally. Although many students will access Teams through a laptop, or desktop, it is also very easy to download through the Apple App store.
Due to staff shortages, curriculum swimming will not take place over the next two days however, we hope to continue with before and after school swimming club. FIZ trampolining and gymnastics will not be running. We will review the return time planned for the Year 6 IOW Trip, the current thinking is for them to leave first thing on Friday morning rather than later in the day so that we can give them their individual curriculum packs.
With regard to boarders, many have already returned home however, for those still on site, we will do our best to support and if necessary, look after them over the weekend. As with day pupils, we will continue to educate boarders from a distance, therefore it is imperative that they also become familiar with Teams. I would ask parents and guardians of boarders to let us know about travel plans immediately and I can confirm that any absence due to the Covid-19 virus will not need to be reported to UKVI, therefore it will not affect their Tier 4 visa status.
The School Nurse is our expert on site and will of course send home anyone who shows clinical symptoms of the virus. I do understand that it is a very anxious time for pupils and parents however, I have complete faith in Sister Boyle’s judgement and will only be acting on her medical advice regarding the need for sending students home and isolation. She has assured me that we have not had any pupils coughing persistently in any classes today. If your child has any other illness, please do not send them in.
You will also have heard that public examinations have been cancelled this summer which is a massive challenge for our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils, please keep them in particular, in your thoughts and prayers.
The Prime Minister has also asked schools to help parents that are key workers, please therefore contact me directly on this email address: email@example.com if you need help and we will do our best to support you.
These are testing times for everyone but, I have been extremely impressed with your children’s maturity as the situation has progressed and have seen many fine examples of pupils, parents and staff members supporting each other.
I will update you again tomorrow.
With kind regards
17 March 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
The school is constantly checking the official guidance and we have certainly had more students and staff self-isolating today due to yesterday's briefing from the Government. The current guidance for Schools can be read below. This information may of course be superseded by the Prime Minister in his daily bulletin today.
As I mentioned in yesterday's message, please remind Senior School pupils only to bring their devices to school tomorrow. It would be an advantage if the devices that pupils bring to school for the remainder of the week, are the same devices they are familiar with at home. During Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, Senior School and KS2 pupils will consolidate their understanding of the ways in which they can access and use Microsoft Teams in lessons. Microsoft Teams is the remote learning platform the school will use to provide continuity of education in the possible event of school closure.
For those students currently self-isolating, information on how to access the Teams platform will be distributed to parents at the end of the week. If children have been sent home from school due to a persistent cough or high temperature, you must keep them at home for 14 days.
I have witnessed a good number of lessons today that have already started to use this method and it was working well. The staff are having further professional training this afternoon, although there are still some challenges, as Microsoft understandably are struggling to cope with the sudden worldwide usage of their system.
In the Junior School, due to requests from parents of pupils already self-isolating, learning packs will be sent home today with all pupils as a precaution, should the advice about schools change. Year 6 pupils, who are currently having a great time on the Isle of Wight, will receive their packs on Friday.
In both the Junior and Senior parts of the school we have decided to stop large scale activities and gatherings including daily Chapel Services, the Easter Services, the Year 5 Transition Information Evening and all concerts. The Forensic Science Workshop on Thursday has been cancelled too, as has our Governors’ Meeting.
FIZ Club will remain open for Breakfast (7.00-8.00am) and After School Care (3.20-6.30pm). Whilst it remains possible that some of our activities will be postponed or cancelled, FIZ staff will continue to offer a range of activities for the children. Football Club and Chess Club will not run for the rest of this term.
I will keep you updated on all areas within the school on a daily basis, in the meantime, I hope that you and your families keep well.
Dorothy A Nancekievill
Update on GOV.UK website: COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection (Time updated - 9:10pm, 16 March 2020)
Change made - Updated guidance to include information for households with a possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
This guidance is intended for:
- people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home until they are well
- those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus
The main messages are:
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
- if you live with others and you or one of them 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
- if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
- if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
if you have coronavirus symptoms:
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
- testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
Further to my message last Friday please be assured that we are continuing to follow advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education regarding the Coronavirus.
It feels sensible however, to make a few changes this week, 16 – 20th March as follows:
- All Sports fixtures are cancelled
- Parents’ Evenings will be postponed
- The International Breakfast (Yrs 7 – 13) on Friday, 20th March is cancelled
- Concerts and shows, including the Year 4 play will be postponed
- Yr 3 Assembly on Friday is postponed
FIZ Club will continue as normal, as will regular after school activities. The Mother's Day FPA Gift Shop will still take place in the Junior School and has moved to Tuesday, 17th March. The only reason that activities will not run, is if we do not have the relevant staff members to deliver them. If this happens, we will inform the relevant pupils and families.
With the possibility of school closure to day pupils, our teachers are being trained to deliver lessons and activities online. Should this happen, we plan to use a Microsoft package called Teams, which some of you might be aware of through your own occupations.
In the Junior School, teachers have put together packs of learning for children to complete should they have to stay at home. The plan would be that those packs would also be uploaded digitally, for you to access and share with your child.
In the Senior School, on Wednesday/Thursday and Friday of this week, pupils are invited to bring in their devices (laptops/phones/tablets) to school to learn about using Microsoft Teams, please share this request with your daughters and sons.
For all Junior and Senior pupils, more detailed information will be disseminated to families should the need arise to move to online learning, but I wanted you to know that we are committed to continuing all our pupils’ education, with particular emphasis to be given to Years 11 & 13 and our boarding community.
You will be pleased to learn that our Year 6 pupils are currently having a marvellous time on the Isle of Wight and enjoying the great outdoors. Please also see information below from our School Nurse, Victoria Boyle.
Every good wish for your own health and thank you for your support in dealing with this unprecedented situation.
With kind regards
A message from Sister Victoria Boyle
In the current climate it is essential that we all keep as healthy as possible, to ensure our immune systems are in optimum condition to help fight off the Corona virus if we come into contact with it and to relieve pressure on the NHS in general. With this in mind, could we please ask that you do not send your child to school if they are unwell for ANY reason. We are entering unchartered territory and need to err on the side of caution; if we think your child is not well enough to be in school, you will be asked to please collect them.
If you are unable to collect them yourself, please ensure you have alternative arrangements in place; we do not normally allow (older) children who are being sent home unwell to travel home alone.
Having fewer unwell children in school will also prevent ‘muddying the waters’ and allow us to concentrate on any children who develop symptoms which need attention.
We are following the Department of Health guidance regarding Covid 19 and keeping fully updated as the information changes.
As you are no doubt already aware the most recent DOH advice is for anyone with:
a new, continuous cough
a raised temperature
is to self-isolate for 7 days.
Should your daughter or son need to self-isolate, please inform the school – as this type of absence will be marked as authorised.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Dear Parents / Guardians
We would like to reassure you that at this present time, no pupils or members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
We have been informed by a member of the Junior School staff that her husband has been advised to self-isolate as someone he works with has tested positive for Coronavirus. NHS 111 have said that he will be tested within the next 48 hours. As a precautionary measure, we have asked the member of staff to remain at home until the test result is known.
We would like to reassure parents that we are doing our utmost to keep your children safe. We have put the following measures in place:
- Cleaning staff are carrying out regular infection control cleans
- All toilets and washing facilities have antibacterial soap available
- Reception areas have antibacterial hand sanitisers available
- All visitors to the school are required to complete a visitor declaration form
- All staff have been informed to let us know if they have any symptoms that could be related to the virus and to contact 111 for advice
- Junior and Senior School pupils have all attended assemblies highlighting and reinforcing the importance of frequent hand washing
We would also respectively ask parents that if your child has any of the symptoms that could be related to the virus (see Department for Health website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england) that you contact 111 for advice. If you are advised to keep your child at home please can you inform us using the following e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will of course keep you advised if there are further developments.
If you are visiting or planning a visit to Farringtons School and have been in China, Iran, specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy or special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea during the previous 14 days, or have been in contact with anyone who has, please could we ask that you email email@example.com or call 020 8467 0256 to rearrange your visit for a later date.