St Marylebone School update letter

Friday 4th September 2020

Dear St Marylebone students, parents and carers,

Welcome back!  

It’s been great to see Years 7, 10 and 12 back at school this week and smoothly re-adjusting to St Marylebone ways.   We look forward to welcoming all students in all year groups back on Monday.  

This letter contains a repeat of information you might already have seen.  

Our plans for re-opening school have been fully risk-assessed and approved by the Governing Body.  The plans are as explained in July, in the video shared with you all.  You can watch or re-watch this by clicking here.   

Importantly, we need all parents / carers to complete a new Home-School Agreement to show that the new rules and expectations are understood.  If you have not done this, please click on this link to open the Home-School Agreement.  This needs to be completed by the date your child starts school in September.   If you have more than one child at the School, you only need complete it once, giving both / all three students’ names and years at once. 

Here are some other updates and reminders.  

  1. Term start dates
    Years 7 and 12 started yesterday, Thursday 3 September 2020

Year 10 started today, Friday 4 September 2020

Years 8, 9, 11, 13 start on Monday 7 September 2020

Students should arrive on-site before 8.30am but not before 8am.

  1. Zones and entrances / exits
    As you heard in the July plan, each year group has been assigned a zone and entrance / exit gate.   This table tells you who goes where:

Year group

Entrance / exit

Zone

Year 7

Reception gate

Humanities 

Year 8

Site-keeper gate

English

Year 9

Reception gate

Business / REP / MFL

Year 10

Astroturf gate

Science (week A) / Maths (week B)

Year 11

Astroturf gate

Maths (week A) / Science (week B)

Year 12

Blandford front door

Year 12 Blandford zone 

Year 13

Blandford front door
(back door on Monday mornings)

Year 13 Blandford zone 

6th Formers should look out for more information from the 6th Form team about your first days on site.

We have staggered dismissal times, which are the same for each year group each day:

Year 7:  3pm

Year 8:  3.05pm

Year 9:  3.10pm

Year 10: 3.05pm

Year 11: 3.15pm

Year 12: 3.15pm

Year 13: 3.15pm

 

Students should leave swiftly through their allocated gate and not gather in large groups outside school. 

  1. Travel to and from school

We are all asked to avoid or limit use of public transport. Walking or cycling is encouraged.  If you cycle, wear a helmet and reflective clothing for safety.

Some students of course cannot avoid public transport to travel to school.  Everyone must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing as far as possible on public transport.  

The School does not have bike racks or secure bike storage.  There are bike racks on Marylebone High Street or in the mews behind the School.  Bikes must be locked securely.  The School cannot take responsibility for personal possessions of this kind.  

  1. Uniform
    All students should return in full school uniform or, for Year 12 and 13, should be dressed in-line with the 6th Form dress-code.  The uniform list can be found on our website here

    On days when students have PE or Dance, they must come to school in the correct school PE or Dance kit for that day.  The changing rooms will not be in use, so they will not be changing in school.  Note: correct school PE or Dance kit means correct school PE or Dance kit, not other tracksuit trousers or hoodies.

The cloakrooms will also not be in use, so if students wear a coat to school, they will keep it with them during the day.  It must go in a bag or on the back of the chair in classrooms. Note: coats must be plain black.

Any family who is struggling to afford school uniform should contact the Head of Year. We want to be able to help you with this.  

  1. Face-coverings
    Students are not obliged to wear face-coverings in school but can do if they choose. The same goes for staff.  The School will continue to review and take advice on this and will update you if our stance changes.  
  1. Food and drink

Update: next week, we are only able to cater on-site for students eligible for lunch being provided.  While we establish the routines around provision of lunch bags, we need everyone to bring food and drink to school with them. We will only be providing lunches to those who are eligible.  By the week of 14 September, we hope to have a system in place for anyone else wanting to order a lunch bag.

Even once this system is in place, we strongly encourage students to bring food and drink to school with them.  This will reduce the numbers collecting school lunches and hence the amount of movement and mixing of students around school. For the same reason, there will not be any catering served on-site at breaktime, again, to reduce circulation and mixing of students. 

However, lunch-bags will be provided at lunchtime for students eligible for Free School Meals and, once the system is established, for anyone who orders in advance. We are establishing this system with the caterers, Harrisons, and another message about how to order will be shared with you soon.

Students eligible for Free School Meals are the School’s priority in all these points on catering. We do not want anyone to go without food.  If you think you might be eligible for Free School Meals but have not registered, visit this page to find out more: https://stmarylebone.school/free-school-meals-application/

Students should bring a filled water bottle with them which can be re-filled at no-touch water fountains on-site.

  1. Equipment
    We ask that students bring to school the following equipment, to support their learning and limit the need for sharing, which in turn limits the risk of virus-transmission:  
  • writing pen 
  • HB pencil
  • 30cm ruler 
  • eraser/rubber 
  • pencil sharpener 
  • glue stick 
  • colouring pencils
  • scientific calculator 
  • scissors (round ended) 
  • protractor 
  • compass 
  • whiteboard marker
  • pencil case 
  • reading book 

We understand that not everyone will get all these items in time for day one.  Students eligible for Free School Meals will be provided with an equipment kit from the School as soon as suppliers allow.  

  1. Advice and information from the Department for Education about the return to school
    The DfE asks parents / carers to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.  There is also guidance from the DfE for parents / carers about supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing you can see by clicking here.  

Our school website also includes guides to keeping children safe and supporting their wellbeing. Click here to see more.

  1. School is opening for all students in September.  

Only in some cases should students not attend. The following must not come to the School site: 

  1. students with COVID-19 symptoms
  2. students who are self-isolating for 10 days having had symptoms of, or having tested positive for, COVID-19
  3. students who should be self-isolating for 14 days, due to contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19
  4. anyone in quarantine for 14 days following a return from overseas from a country which is not exempt from this measure.

This is set out in the Home-School Agreement. 

We know this might be an uneasy time for some students and their families.  We are here to support students feeling anxious about returning or whose experience since March has been difficult. There is advice on supporting young people’s safety and wellbeing on our website here.   Meantime, we have confidence that, even if some things are a bit different, the welcoming, compassionate, creative St Marylebone will be able to welcome and support students.  We are all in this together. 

Thank you for your support, please complete the Home-School Agreement and hooray for seeing students at school again!   

 

Best regards,

Ms Pugh

Year 9 Award Celebration Parent Letter

15th July 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would like to begin by thanking you all for your support of your child’s Year 9 Award this year. I have been absolutely blown away by the incredible commitment shown by Year 9 to their Award, especially in the face of current challenges. The students have displayed the Marylebone 5 qualities both inside and outside of school to a wonderful extent and I am sure you are as proud of their achievements as I am.

At this point in the academic calendar, we would usually gather together in Church to celebrate the students’ fantastic work and they would find out the level they have achieved for their Year 9 Award. Unfortunately, this has not been possible this year and instead, myself and other members of staff have worked hard to put together a virtual celebration for the students instead. This was shared with students on Monday via Google Classroom, so they should already be aware of the level that they achieved. Furthermore, some students were also awarded the Wow Award or Outstanding in the Face of Covid-19 Award, both impressive additional accomplishments.

I would like to invite you to watch the virtual celebration video and join me in extending my warm congratulations to Year 9 upon the completion of their Award. You can find the video linked here

I also encourage you to look through the virtual gallery of Independent Projects that the students have compiled. It has been a pleasure to see their hard work come to fruition and I hope you also enjoy looking at the gallery. You can find the virtual gallery linked here. Please note, if your child is yet to include their work in the gallery, there is still time to add to it, but please ensure this is completed as soon as possible.

Once again, thank you for your support and I wish you a pleasant summer break.

 

Kind regards,

 

Miss Emma Harrison Beesley

History teacher and i/c of Year 9 Award

Free School Meals provision during school closure

Please find updated information here.

https://stmarylebone.school/2020/04/18/free-school-meals/

 

 

St Marylebone families receiving Free School Meals (FSM) should receive another Sainsbury’s voucher today, valid from Sunday 5th April for two weeks.  

Usually schools don’t provide FSM during school holidays but we know how difficult a time this is for families and hope this will at least make a small difference.  

After Easter, St Marylebone will start using the DfE’s scheme for FSM  during the school closure (see details recently announced by clicking here). 
 
If you receive FSM but have not received your voucher by Monday morning, please email info@stmaryleboneschool.com, giving your name, your child’s name and form, and using “FSM voucher not received” as the title of the email. 

St Marylebone School is closed.

St Marylebone School is closed, in line with government instruction. 

Certain vulnerable children and children of keyworkers:
If you are a family whose child falls into one of the categories for which the School is asked to open, you will have been contacted either by phone or via email and a Google Form about this.  The School is risk-assessing its ability to do offer this provision and hopes to have it in place by Tuesday morning.

The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Students learning at home:
As per the closure letters last week, students are all being set work on Google Classroom to complete at home.  All communication with teachers about this school work should be via Google Classroom. In the course of the week, we hope also to have set up a way for parents to get weekly updates about what school work has been set on Google Classroom for their child.  

The situation may change daily or weekly.  We will be in touch if developments affect the School’s position and / or provision. 

We wish everyone in our community safety, health and peace in this difficult time.



School closure

Thursday 19th March 2020

Dear students, parents and carers,

In line with last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister and Education Secretary, we are closing St Marylebone School from tomorrow until further notice.  

Tomorrow (Friday 20th March) only Year 11 and Year 13 students will be coming to school for final arrangements and assembly.

Other than arrangements for Year 11 and 13 tomorrow, all lessons, all school activities, clubs, trips and enrichment are cancelled for all students from now on.  We realise that this is very disruptive for the education of our young people. 

Last night’s announcement also suggested that schools are to open for certain students, including children of keyworkers and some children in other categories.  We have not been given full guidance on how this will be operationally possible and safe. When we do have clear information on this, we will let you know. Please bear with us while we try to find the best way forward. 

How will students’ learning continue during the school closure?
All students have been informed about accessing learning activities via Google Classroom, as they would usually for homework.  They should log into this daily to ensure they complete school work at home. Teachers will be making every reasonable effort to set work which students can do off-site.  Students’ engagement with and completion of work via Google Classroom will be monitored. The expectation is that all students complete the work set for them. 

Please note: the setting of work will not be timed according to the exact time when lessons would have happened.  We are not able to do real-time lessons from home-to-home. Students will be set (eg) History work to do, with a reasonable deadline of a few days or a week. Students are not expected to log in at the precise moment when they would have had (eg) a History lesson.  Students are doing homework, in their own time, at home. Each piece of work should come with instructions about length or time to spend on it. All communication with teachers about the work should be done through Google Classroom; students can ask questions, submit work and learn from each other via Google Classroom.

We are establishing a system which will update parents and carers on what work is on Google Classroom for your children also.   Please bear with us as we adjust to a new way of working under strange and difficult circumstances.

What if we don’t have internet access at home?
We are also making every reasonable effort to support the learning of students who do not have online access at home or who have additional learning needs which make the use of Google Classroom difficult. Resources are being gathered to post to you.  If you do not have internet access at home and you don’t think the School knows this, please contact your child’s Head of Year as soon as you can.


What about trips and extra-curricular activities and events?
All trips and activities are cancelled or postponed until further notice.  All overseas trips have already been cancelled for this school year. Other local and national trips will be re-considered when the School re-opens.  We are seeking refunds for trips for which parents / carers have paid and will be in touch about these when we are able. 

What about the GCSEs and A-Levels?
It was announced last night that the public exams are cancelled.  The School learned about this just as you did: on the news last night.  We have held assemblies with Years 10, 11 and 13 about this today and have sent messages to their parents and carers separately to this letter.  As soon as we have any further information about the plans for the awarding of qualifications this summer, we will communicate it to you. All students across the UK will be in a similar position.  

Can we come to school to get belongings or books or see a teacher about something? 

The school site will have only very limited access, for health, safety and security reasons. We hope you understand why that means we cannot agree to let parents, carers or students on-site during the closure.

My child receives / I receive Free School Meals; how will these be arranged? 
We know that Westminster Council are making plans for this and as soon as we know that plan, we will let you know.

What about students with mental health and wellbeing concerns?
Some students will already be familiar with these great sources of support for mental health and wellbeing: 

https://www.kooth.com/  

https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/

Do use these and refer to the health and wellbeing pages in the Student Planner for more ideas.

What if I have a Child Protection or safeguarding concern?
Child Protection or safeguarding concerns should still be directed to our Designated Safeguarding Officers: KS3: Mr Winn, Head of Lower School  (p.winn@stmaryleboneschool.com)
KS4: Ms Sainsbury, Head of Upper School (e.sainsbury@stmaryleboneschool.com)
KS5: Ms Read, Director of Post 16 Education (f.read@stmaryleboneschool.com)
Ms Sarah Swan, Deputy Headteacher (s.swan@stmaryleboneschool.com)

 

Where can I get more information about what is happening with the Coronavirus?
Information from Public Health England is available from gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus


It is important to support young people’s understanding of the Coronavirus and what is going on. 
Here is a useful article for parents / carers about discussing this with your children: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51734855
BBC Newsround is also a good source of explanation: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51204456

The DfE’s helpline for schools, staff, students, parents, carers can be accessed by phone or email:
Phone: 0800 046 8687     Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk 


During the closure, the School will continue to follow Public Health England and Department for Education advice. We will keep you updated with any developments, notably when we have information about re-opening. 

Meantime, please stay safe, follow Public Health advice and look after each other and yourselves.  We are calling on everyone’s good community spirit and sensible, calm, can-do attitude to help our young people and all our community through this very disruptive and unsettling chapter.    You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Peace, courage and love to you all.

 

Ms Pugh

Headteacher

Partial closure of St Marylebone School from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Partial closure of St Marylebone School from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March

This is the second message you will have received from us today.  It really is a very rapidly-changing situation and we really appreciate your support at a time when no doubt this is difficult for you also to manage.  

In response to last night’s advice from the Government about managing the spread of the Coronavirus, an increasing number of staff and students are following Public Health advice and are not coming to school.    As a result, with lowered staff levels, we cannot safely and effectively staff the normal running of the School and so we will have to close partially.

As such, starting tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March, we will open school for students in Years 10, 11 and 13 only.  We are prioritising students with imminent public examinations. This means that students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 12 should not come to school tomorrow until further notice.  We regret that this is short notice for parents and carers.

Students are all advised to do school work at home independently.  They all know how to log into Google Classroom and complete work and all students have private reading books either from the school library or of their own.  We will of course step up all reasonable efforts to enable learning to continue at home. Currently the staff who are here are very busy ensuring we can effectively teach and supervise lessons in school.

I must emphasise that at this point we do not have any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus at the School and all action being taken is in response to Public Health advice.


Further information
Last night’s announcement by the Government’s Health Secretary can be found at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/controlling-the-spread-of-covid-19-health-secretarys-statement-to-parliament

In terms of attendance for staff and students at school, these are the most important words from his speech to note: “… we are today advising that if you or anyone in your home has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you should stay at home for 14 days.”   If this applies to you, please follow this advice and inform the school of your child’s absence in the usual ways.

Meantime, the latest information from Public Health England for schools can be found via this link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19#contents

Meantime, in case you did not see it in this morning’s letter, we have have had to take mitigating action on the following things:

1. As mentioned last week, we have had to cancel overseas trips.  This process can take some time so please bear with us as we work through each trip and make contact with the relevant travel agencies and families.   We are also in the process of re-risk-assessing local and national trips and will communicate with families in good time about these.

2. With regret, we are also cancelling the following school events:
– A-Level Dance Showcase: Wednesday 18th March, evening
– Spring Concert, Thursday 26th March
We are cancelling these as they are large public gatherings, asking many visitors and families to come into the School. We will use our energies better in the coming weeks on teaching and learning.

3. We are also cancelling Academic Review Day on Friday this week, 20th March.  Lessons will run for students in years 10, 11 and 13  usual on Friday. This is because we want to make the most of teaching and learning time and we know we are better able to staff a normal teaching day than, in the event of staff absences, Academic Review Day.  Please ensure your child knows that Friday is a normal day of lessons and comes to school ready to learn as usual.

The School continues to inform and advise students of the importance of good hygiene, notably use of tissues and hand-washing.  Please do the same at home.

In terms of your child’s attendance at school, please use the usual means of informing us.  Please note that the School cannot diagnose your child’s symptoms. If your child is unwell and has symptoms that concern you, please follow Public Health England advice.

We understand that this is a very unsettling situation, causing anxiety and alarm for many.  The School will continue to try to keep you informed as relevant and meantime, we thank you for your ongoing good communication and support. 

You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Best regards,

 

Ms Pugh

Headteacher