20 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

Key workers

The government has now released a list of key workers. They are still asking parents to keep their children at home where possible and schools to remain open only for those ‘who absolutely need to attend’. 

Several parents have already contacted me to state that they are key workers and need care for their daughters in the coming weeks. All qualify under the described criteria which can be found here, and we will be in touch later today. If you have not already contacted me and feel that you may need to use the in-school care facility please do so by return.

We will send out sign-up sheets for the next two weeks later today. In completing this, please may I ask that you pay regard to the government guidance in only requesting sessions for which you are carrying out your role as a key worker and otherwise keep your daughter at home for her safety and that of the wider community.

With thanks, as ever, for your help and support.

Caroline Petryszak
Headmistress

 

We will update this page as the situation develops, and will do our utmost to keep current and prospective parents up to date with relevant information.

To contact the school, please follow the channels below:

General enquiries: nhsadmin@nhs.gdst.net
Admissions: o.cheng@nhs.gdst.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthamptonHigh
Twitter: @NorthamptonHigh
FireFly: https://northamptonhigh.fireflycloud.net/

19 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

School closure

From 6pm tomorrow the school will be closed to all students except those of key workers who have been assigned a place in our in-school care (see below). After this time there will be no further access to the school. We therefore suggest that your daughter takes home everything that she needs; it may be useful for her to bring larger or additional bags to help her to do so.

Guided home learning

From Monday 23 March we will move to guided home learning for all students. This is largely based around Firefly and involves the creation of a range of resources to enable pupils to work, as much as possible, as if they were following the normal school day, particularly for Senior School students.

Guidance is attached to clarify what this means in practice. One of the approaches is ‘live’ sessions, where students and teachers can communicate in real time to ensure the learning and feedback are as spontaneous as possible. In some cases, live links will be in the form of a conversation in text form and this is most useful for larger groups in Key Stages 4 and 5. For smaller groups, mainly A Level, teachers may choose to communicate with live video or audio conferencing technology, via Microsoft or Google. This is only really possible for small groups as broadband and practical restrictions make larger sessions counterproductive. Teachers will ensure students know how to access the conferences. However, should there be technical or other reasons why they cannot connect in this way, it will still be possible to communicate effectively via Firefly and email as appropriate.

Provision for children of key workers

Thank you for your responses and requests for in-school supervision during term time. Please note that this is only available to current pupils where one or both parents are ‘key workers’ and must be requested now. At the time of writing, the government has not clarified the professions that fall into this category, but we expect this announcement soon. If you have requested a place for your daughter, we will be in touch tomorrow to confirm that you qualify and to ask you to select your session(s). Please note that the supervision will be available from 8am – 4pm and that lunch will be provided.

We are also looking at the possibility of extending this provision into the Easter Holiday, but more information will follow and this will be subject to staff availability.

Public examinations

Our U5 and 6.2 students have been commendably calm in light of the news that public examinations will not take place in May and June. The government is expected to give more information on this tomorrow (Friday 20 March) and we will contact affected students and their parents after this announcement with more details about the plans going forwards.

Term dates

Spring term ends on Friday 3 April and we are due to reconvene as a whole school on Tuesday 21 April. Clearly, we would hope to open on this date, but there is considerable uncertainty about this at present and we will be guided by the government and the local situation. If the school is unable to physically re-open on this date, guided home learning will resume.

Key contacts

Whole School

Mrs Caroline Petryszak (Headmistress) – c.petryszak@nhs.gdst.net

Senior School

Mr Henry Rickman (Deputy Head Academic) – h.rickman@nhs.gdst.net
Mrs Adèle O’Doherty (Deputy Head Pastoral Care & Guidance) – a.odoherty@nhs.gdst.net

Junior School

Mrs Chris Bailey (Head of Junior School) – c.bailey@nhs.gdst.net
Mrs Jo Purvey-Tyrer (Deputy Head of Junior School) – j.purvey-tyrer@nhs.gdst.net

I would like to assure you that, although we may be physically closed, it is very much business as usual – albeit from afar. We appreciate that guided home learning may be a challenge at first, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you require support or if you have any concerns. We are also available for any pastoral matters and will continue to support your daughters in every way that we can.

Rest assured that I shall keep you fully updated with developments as I receive them. In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the coming weeks.

Caroline Petryszak
Headmistress

18 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

Covid-19 Update

This afternoon the government announced the closure of all schools from Friday 20 March to all but the vulnerable and the children of key workers. As a result, we will move to Guided Home Learning from Monday 23 March until the end of term. If you are a key worker and would like us to continue to supervise your daughter’s education on the school premises, please may I ask that you contact me directly at c.petryszak@nhs.gdst.net.

The government also announced the cancellation of this summer’s external examinations, which will clearly be a concern for girls in U5 and 6.2 and their families. More information on this, and on the school closure, will follow in the morning.

We are living in extraordinary and unprecedented times but the spirit of the High School is not diminished. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Best wishes

Caroline Petryszak
Headmistress

c.petryszak@nhs.gdst.net

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