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Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice for parents

Longdean is open for children of key workers and invited students if no other childcare is available, and Year 10 and Year 12 on selected days.

Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

Update from the Head Teacher:

Dear Parents and Guardians

Another week has passed and we are now only two weeks from the end of the school year. I can’t believe how quickly it has passed by but I am excited about seeing more students from Years 8 & 9 in the final week of term and our new intake for September who will be collecting their bridging tasks. I am only sorry I have not been able to offer more students more time in school, especially those in the current Year 7. Having received the guidance yesterday our plans for the new school year are in full swing and I am excited about what this might look like.

Return to Education in School in September:

Today I have reread the guidance about school reopening in September. Having looked at it in detail I feel encouraged that whilst it will be a logistical, rooming and timetabling challenge, we should be able to get everyone back into school from September. As I said yesterday, I will seek to build consensus around anything we do and we will involve you in this process as much as we can.

I do however feel it is important to update you on a few points I picked out today that I did not notice yesterday.

1) Our risk assessment needs to be revisited against this new guidance and will be shared with all stakeholders – staff, parents and trustees. We will do this over the next few weeks.

2) When referring to contact between groups of students it emphasises reducing and minimising contact, rather than using absolutes such as not to do it. This will be helpful when considering delivery of the one year option to Years 9, 10 & 11 from September.

3) If students have staggered starts and finishes to their day, this should not reduce the amount of teaching students receive (5 hours of lessons. This has potential implications to the length of the school day and we will need to carefully consider this.

4) Students are still expected to be self-sufficient for their school day but resources such as textbooks & practical equipment can be shared within a year group bubble.

5) Schools are expected to develop a remote learning model of high quality in readiness for a local lockdown or to support students who may have to self isolate. We will therefore need to consider purchasing on line resources and extra textbooks to issue to students in case of a lockdown.

6) There is specific guidance about music and the playing of musical instruments in close proximity to others and we will need to consider how to implement this.

7) If you are taking a holiday abroad in the Summer I need to advise you to check the quarantine status of the country as this may make your child unavailable for the start of term in September. Wherever possible this needs to be avoided.

8) Non overnight trips within the UK can start from September but must be carefully risk assessed. We will look into this further as it would be good if we could reintroduce some of these important enrichments to our curriculum.

The full guidance can be found here:


Ofqual consultation:

I have also received the consultation document from Ofqual about GCSE and A Level examinations for 2021. Please can I encourage all of you to read it (attached to this email) and respond as an individual if you feel you wish to do so. I will submit a school response on Monday having discussed it with SLT and other staff in school. The deadline for responses is 16th July so quite a quick turnaround. I would particularly ask you to read and respond if your child is in Year 10 or 12.


Options Lessons in the final week:

The survey has now closed and I am really looking forward to seeing 454 students in school in the final week of term to begin their new option subject. Class details will be sent out next week. Please remember your child will need to be in uniform (minus blazer and tie) and have all equipment and a snack for their lesson. Students can wear a PE hoodie in place of a blazer.

And finally:

I hope you have a good weekend. As the visual artist and entrepreneur, Vivian Jokotade said ‘I discovered that a fresh start is a process. A process is the start of a journey – a journey that requires a plan.’ We will begin to assemble the plan for our journey over the weekend.

Set boundaries ✋🏽

Set boundaries. If you have the space, devote somewhere in your home specifically for work, ideally with a desk, supportive chair and good lighting. Clearly communicate the start and finish times of your ‘office hours’ with the people you live with. Of course, staying focused and distraction-free while working from home can be especially tricky for those with children. If you can, try to prearrange with others in your household when each of you can take charge of the kids – perhaps you and your partner can work two hours on, two hours off? If you are unable to share parenting responsibilities, speak to your manager and team to make them aware of any hours you will be ‘offline’ and with your family. 

For those of you still in school the same applies. Ensure that you communicate effectively with your team as I am sure you will have depleted staff numbers and your typical school day has changed majorly


Prioritise the tasks that actually matter for that day. Be clear in your mind on what the key areas of focus are that day. Focus on these only, and communicate any urgent priorities with your team, ensuring they are realistic.

This will ensure you’re all collectively working towards the same aim and concentrating on the right things, whilst also not being overwhelmed by the work needed to be completed in the days and weeks ahead.

By keeping your task list to one day’s activities only, it will also give you a greater sense of achievement at the end of the day, making it more likely that you will log off at a reasonable hour and enjoy your evening

Be mindful of the time 

Don’t let your working hours overrun. Be disciplined in leaving your home office when your working hours are over, at least on some nights of the week, and don’t go back in until the morning!

It can be especially tempting for many people to ‘put a bit of work in’ late at night, especially as stresses and pressures are intensified. However, this could come at the cost of disrupting your sleep schedule and depleting your energy levels the following day.

Switch off 📴

Switch off your work phone if you can. If this isn’t possible, at least limit yourself to only checking your work emails once or twice in the evening.

You should also be logging out of Skype or any other chat or messaging functionality that you may have on your machine.

As much as its important to stay social, it’s also important to switch off at times to allow yourself to recharge and find your inner zen!

Don’t be afraid to say no 

Don’t be afraid to say no. In these changing times, your priorities and areas of focus might shift, almost on a daily basis. That’s why you need to have the confidence and conviction to say ‘no’ to tasks that aren’t going to help you or your business achieve what’s truly important right now.

Habitual over-workers can be ‘people pleasers’ and this is something I find so common within education! We are all caring people and love the job we do.

You need to learn the art of graciously saying no if certain tasks threaten to overwhelm you, and simply aren’t a priority. If an extra task or two really does need to be taken on, try to be realistic about what you can do in the time that you have during your main working day, perhaps offering a partial solution in the meantime.

Take a break! 

Don’t skip your lunch break. Don’t eat from your desk!

If you can, have a space that is nowhere near your desk for eating, or go outside for some fresh air, while respecting your local authority’s guidelines on social distancing. This will enable you to ensure your lunch break feels like an actual break, and in turn, will help you to feel more motivated when you resume work in the afternoon.

Relax 💤

Take time for yourself. It’s crucial to enable your mind to understand that you are no longer working.

Do some exercise, take up a relaxing hobby, spend quality time with your family or housemates or cook a nice meal. I have found cleaning and sorting through that dreaded municipal kitchen drawer to be very therapeutic!

In short, whatever you can do that is different to work, and ideally in a different room to your ‘home office’. Make this consistent, and it’ll become a signal in your mind that the workday is over.

Positive thoughts = positive outcomes 💪🏻

Try not to dwell on the negatives. You may be overworking to avoid paying too much attention to the crisis that is going on around us. So instead, try to focus on the positives in your life and what you have to be grateful for.

Consider what you can do around the house that you’ve been meaning to get to or catching up with friends and family remotely.

In short, there are always things that you can do to distract yourself and use your time in healthy and productive ways during this outbreak, rather than overworking.

Spring 2020

Mon 06 Jan - Term Starts 
Mon 17 Feb-Fri 21 Feb - Half Term 
13:30 Fri 03 Apr - Term End

Summer 2020

Mon 20 Apr - Inset Day
Tue 21 Apr - Term Starts
Fri 8 May - Bank Holiday
Mon 25 May - Fri 29 May - Half Term
13:30 Fri 17 Jul - End of Term

Term Dates 20-21

Longdean School
Rumballs Road
Hemel Hempstead

Page Updated 15/03/2020

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