18 Mar 2020

Alex Hems: Coronavirus Update March 18 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

You may well be aware by now of the First Minister’s announcement today, that it is inevitable that schools will close by Friday, based on scientific advice and increasing levels of self-isolation. I am therefore writing to let you know, that from Monday 23rd March, St George’s will move into supported home learning mode. We will not be delivering face to face education for the time being, but teaching and learning will continue until the end of term through all the e-learning channels that we have in place. Between now and Friday afternoon girls should take home with them all equipment that they need to have in order to study effectively. Teaching staff have already explained to your daughters how to access work, and how they will be remaining in contact with their pupils. Mrs Hay will be in contact directly with Junior School families. We recommend that, during this period, the girls aim to follow their school timetable as much as possible, in order to maintain a routine in their day.

I am immensely grateful to the boarding families, who have already responded so helpfully to this ever-changing situation. Mrs Bryce will be in contact later today to give you further information about our on-going support for our boarding community.

Summer term
We have plans in place which will enable us to continue to deliver education next term, with appropriate pastoral support and contact for the girls as well, should this situation persist beyond Easter. I shall be in contact with you in more detail about that in due course.

As it stands at the moment it is envisaged that the Scottish Qualification Authority examinations will go ahead as planned next term. I would encourage all students currently preparing for those examinations to continue to prepare with that in mind. As yet I have no information about the GCSE examinations, and therefore it would be sensible for girls to continue to prepare on the assumption that they will go ahead. I shall let you know as soon as I have any further clarification about that.

Critical Workers
We expect a statement tomorrow afternoon which will cover the impact of these developments on families of key workers. In the meantime, in order for us to prepare for any provision that we may be able to make, I would be grateful if you could let us know, using the Reply link, if you are an employee of the NHS and would be deemed a critical worker.

St George’s will continue to support you and your daughters in any way that we can while these unusual and testing circumstances continue. School Post will be my main communication channel with parents. My colleagues and I, unless hindered by illness ourselves, will remain available to you all by email or telephone as usual.

With my warmest wishes to you and your families,

Mrs Alex Hems MA Oxon
Head, St George's School for Girls, Edinburgh


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