Coronavirus Information

Please refer to the daily updates below for the latest guidance from QEGS.

We would like to thank all parents/carers for their continued support, understanding and flexibility during this challenging period. We will continue to update you with our response to the emerging situation and continue to prioritise the welfare of our pupils, students, staff and wider school network.

23/03/2020

Important Announcement for Key Workers

Further to this evening’s announcement by the Prime Minister, we have no choice but to escalate the measures in school as part of our partial closure.

From tomorrow morning (24/03/2020) only the following children will be able to access the child care service currently provided by school:

– Pupils with 2 parents/carers who are critical key workers who live at the same address as the child
– Pupils with a single parent who is a critical key worker who lives at the same address as the child

Critical key workers are those working for the NHS, emergency services, education and food/medicinal distribution.

These increased measures have been introduced to ensure social distancing and must be followed. We are only to leave our homes if absolutely necessary, following the guidance introduced by the government this evening.

This is a very challenging time for everyone within the school network and we would like to thank those parents/carers who have already made the decision that it was not essential for their child to be sent into school, ensuring that the provision we are offering is being accessed by those who absolutely need it.

Further Examinations Update

Over the weekend, the government shared further information on examinations for Year 11 and 13 pupils and students. It has now been confirmed that all exam boards will not issue papers for GCSE, AS and A levels this summer, regardless of the levels of Covid-19 in England in the coming weeks. This means that no pupils or students will sit their planned examinations next term.

The main points for QEGS pupils and students are detailed below, with the full government update available here.

All pupils and students will soon be awarded ‘calculated grades’, which will serve as formal grades that universities, colleges and sixth forms can use, with flexibility applied.

OFQUAL is working urgently with the exam boards to set out proposals for how the calculated grade process will work, along with teachers’ representatives to ensure a fair approach is taken. They are also using experience from a similar process that is applied when a pupil/student falls ill immediately before their exam, to apply the best possible approach in these extraordinary circumstances.

The government has confirmed that using predicted grades only would not be fair to all students. Therefore, the calculated grades process will take into account a wide range of evidence combining prior attainment and teacher assessment. As outlined in our last examinations update, teacher assessment includes recent performance, further class assessments since mock examinations, classwork, homework and expected impact of the planned revision that was in place.

The grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years and the aim is to provide these calculated grades to pupils/students before the end of July. The distribution of grades will also follow a similar pattern to that in other years, so this year’s pupils/students are not disadvantaged.  There will also be an opportunity for pupils/students who are disappointed with their grade to appeal their grades, sit an exam as soon as is reasonably possible after schools open again or sit their exams in Summer 2021.

We want to ensure pupils, students, parents and carers that the predicted grades that we submit will be based off everything we know about the pupil/student, not just mock examination results. Ultimately, it is the examination boards, not QEGS teachers, who will grade based on the evidence above to ensure a process that is as fair as possible is applied.

We hope that this offers some answers to your questions and please know, we will continue to seek more answers from OFQUAL and the exam boards, sharing these with you as soon as we possibly can.

20/03/2020

Primary Phase Update

Thank you for your continued support in recent days and weeks as we manage our response to the partial closure of school. We wanted to reassure you that we continue to adhere to local and Government guidance as well as following our internal emergency planning.

It is vital that during this current closure our pupils are provided with home learning, which is age appropriate.

Please see you child’s Class Charts or Class Dojo page to find a timetable, plan and relevant website links for you to use at home next week. We will be uploading similar documents each week to ensure that we provide you with best possible support whilst the children are not in school. Everything that we are sending home for our pupils is saved in folders within this link.

Here is the link . 

Please keep in regular contact with your child’s Form Teacher/s via email and by uploading your child’s completed work using videos and photos via Class charts/ Class Dojo. All teachers email addresses will be posted on their Class charts or Class Dojo page.

Should you require any further support please telephone the Primary Phase office (01254686311) and we will be happy to get back to you.

I want to take this opportunity to thank parents for being so understanding and supportive in what is a very difficult time for everyone.

Best wishes,

Mrs Southworth and the whole Primary Phase Team

Examinations Update

We are still awaiting full guidance from the Government, however we want to reassure you that should predicted grades be used for pupils’/students’ final results, we have been carrying out extensive work to prepare for this so that the grades given would not be based solely on mock examination performance.

Alongside the mock examination results from earlier this academic year, our teaching staff have been working to update all predicted grades, taking into account each pupils’/students’ recent performance, further class assessments that have taken place since the mock examinations, classwork, homework and the expected impact of the planned revision that was in place for the coming weeks, before the school closure announcement earlier this week.

Should they be required, the collation of this evidence and recent information, alongside your child’s target grades will formulate the final grades that we will share with the examination bodies.

We hope this alleviates some of the worry that you currently face and would appreciate you talking to your child about this to help ease their immediate concerns.

As soon as we have further information on this, we will of course share it as a priority.

Whole School Update

Following yesterday’s confirmation, QEGS will close to most pupils as of 5pm tonight (20/03/2020).

School will only open next week to vulnerable children and children of key workers. The Government shared their guidance on key workers yesterday, which can be viewed here.

If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. The Government is asking parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible – schools will remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

However, if your child falls within either of these two categories and needs to come into school during the closure, it is essential you call us today on 01254686300 or email partialclosure@qegsblackburn.com with the following details (unless you have already done so):

  • Pupil name:
  • Date of birth:
  • Any siblings in school:
  • If your child/children will be attending school: Yes/No
  • Parental Job Role and place of work:
  • Reason for attending school during partial closure:

We can confirm that school will open into the Easter holiday (but will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday) to continue to support the families of our pupils and children as they deliver key services to our community.

Children coming into school will be required to wear suitable casual clothing, with trainers so that they can take part in varied activities within the school day. Please note, the bus service will be suspended for this period and reviewed on a daily basis to ensure needs are met in regards to transportation to and from school. No payments for the bus service should be made during this period, through Scopay.

For pupils and students not coming into school from next week, daily work will be updated via Class Dojo (EYFS-Year 2), Class Charts and Google Classroom (Year 3-13) and must be completed on a daily basis. Teachers will either be working in school or remotely and following up on any pupils not submitting work on a daily basis. If you have any issues during this time, the school number will be available and emails will be responded to.

For those children on free school meals, we will shortly be sending out vouchers which can be used. These vouchers will be sent to ensure that families are receiving this support, even if they are no longer attending school. The Government has also confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pays to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

We do not yet have a re-opening date but will update parents and carers as soon as we have this information. We also do not yet have further information on examinations and how this will affect our Year 11 and 13 pupils and students but will share a statement on this today to reassure our pupils, students and family members.

We would like to thank our school community for their support over the past week and as we head into the next phase of a challenging time for us all.

18/03/2020

We are aware that some pupils and students are self-isolating due to the members of the household showing symptoms of COVID-19. For these pupils, please refer to Class Dojo (EYFS-Year 2), Google Classroom and Classcharts (Year 3-13) to complete the work that has been set for you.

17/03/2020

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday (16/03/20), the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household 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.

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here.

Handwashing advice
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport. Watch this short NHS film for guidance.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19

16/03/2020

Given the rapidly-changing situation regarding Coronavirus, we would like to share the following updates with our school community.

Trips

The welfare of our pupils, students and staff is of paramount importance and as a result, we have undertaken a risk assessment of planned school events in the near future. Consequently, we have had to make some difficult decisions to postpone or cancel the following trips:

  • Primary chess on 19/03
  • Y5/Y6 swimming gala on 20/03
  • London trip on 20/03
  • Primary WW2 street party on 23/03
  • Primary NSPCC visit on 25/03
  • Primary Parents’ Evening on 25/03 & 26/03
  • BAE talks on 26/03
  • UCLAN visit on 27/03
  • D of E trip on 28/03
  • Choir event at King George’s Hall on 28/03
  • Y7 Parents’ Evening on 31/03
  • Y12 medics trip on 01/04
  • Visit to Pleckgate High School on 03/04
  • Spring Fair on 03/04

Please note, competitive school sport will also not take place until further notice.

In the Event of Closure

We are closely observing the DfE’s regularly-updated guidelines and following the advice of Public Health England. The Government’s current stance is that no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

If it is necessary to partially or fully close the school, we will of course endeavour to give parents/carers as much notice as possible. However, it may be necessary to close at short notice.

We understand there will be substantial concerns about the possible disruption to learning, especially in the run-up to examinations. Pupils and students in examination years will be prioritised in the event of a partial closure and we will take into account, as far as possible, the ages of children and the impact on childcare arrangements for families.

All parents have been sent further information on the plans for distance learning, should a partial or full school closure be needed. Staff who are well will be working during school hours either from school or remotely, depending on government advice.

General advice

Following the latest guidance released by the Government, it is advised:

  • If your child has a temperature of 37.8 or above and/or a new continuous cough, please do not send your child into school. They will need to stay off school for 7 days from the start of the symptoms.
  • If your child develops these symptoms whilst at school, they will need to be collected immediately and stay at home for 7 days.
  • If your child is self-isolating (for Years 3 to 13) please ask them to check ClassCharts so that they can catch up with missed work.
  • If you are unwell with a temperature of 37.8 or above and/or a new continuous cough we would ask if you could please not enter the school buildings and make arrangements for someone else to collect your child from school.
  • The above rules also apply to all staff.

The latest Government advice includes the following information for those with symptoms:

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency, dial 999.

Further guidance can be found here.