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It is with sadness that I am writing to tell you that, in line with the Government’s announcement yesterday evening, from Monday morning Westfield School will not be holding classes in school for the foreseeable future. 

As previously said, we have made contingency plans for this eventuality so that the girls’ learning has the least disruption possible. You will be receiving more detail about how we will continue to educate the girls later today and tomorrow and the remote teaching of the girls will continue until the situation becomes clearer and we are able to re-open.

Our first priority will be to provide the continued high level of teaching and learning for all pupils to continue their education. We will also continue to provide pastoral guidance, assistance and support during these turbulent times. Clearly this will differ in kind from the normal school provision, but it will offer pupils the materials to continue their studies. Pupils will shortly be able to follow every academic lesson that they would normally have on a day-by-day basis and teaching staff will be collecting on-line work completed by pupils, marking it and providing feedback as normal. Pupils will work at their own speed through tasks set by staff.  We would recommend that our older pupils try, as far as possible, to stick to their normal school timetable but this may not be appropriate for younger Junior House pupils. 

In order to help maintain the infrastructure of our community, as requested by the Government, we will remain open to the daughters of key workers. If you are a key worker and wish to take advantage of this opportunity please email Mrs Dryden or Mrs Jokelson today so that we can ensure that we have the resources in place for your daughter. We will also be contacting girls who may need extra support. The current rules about self-isolation still apply, i.e. if your daughter or someone in the household develops a persistent cough or a fever then the whole household must self-isolate for 14 days before any return to school. 

Please continue to raise any concerns you have about your daughter’s progress via email in the usual manner. If parents have any concerns about work not being set please either contact the teacher concerned or email the school on Westfield@westfield.newcastle.sch.uk and this will be passed on to the appropriate quarter to deal with. The online teaching environment should be treated in the same way as you would treat a classroom environment. School staff and senior leaders will still be able to access their emails during normal school hours and can respond to you in the usual way. During the school closure it will still be possible to email office staff with any general enquiries.

If you have any safeguarding concerns, our Designated Safeguarding lead is Mrs Wise lwise@westfield.newcastle.sch.uk and the deputy safeguarding leads are Mrs Meeson and Mrs Alexanders, kmeeson@westfield.newcastle.sch.uk nalexanders@westfield.newcastle.sch.uk Please email them with your contact details and they will deal with any concerns.

We understand how discomforted all our girls expecting to take external exams this year must be. The current statement on the OFQUAL website states: 

“We welcome the certainty that the Secretary of State’s decision not to hold exams this summer provides in these challenging circumstances. We will now work urgently with the Department for Education to work through the detail of this decision and to provide more information as soon as possible.” 

Until we receive any more information about exactly what will be happening our teachers will continue to prepare their classes for whatever assessment may be needed and we will keep girls and parents updated as we learn more.

I’d like to thank all members of our school community for the support they are showing as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times,

Mr Neil Walker

Headmaster

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