Coronavirus Update: School closure
March 18, 2020

Following the Welsh Government’s announcement regarding school closures due to coronavirus, Rydal Penrhos will be closing tomorrow (Thursday, March 19).

We are not requiring that pupils come to school on Thursday. However, we do encourage pupils to attend, especially Year 11 and Year 13 pupils. School will officially close for pupils at the end of the day on Thursday 19th March. To reassure any pupils not in attendance,  we will be sending out reminders on how to access the various learning platforms.  (Some pupils undertaking coursework in practical subjects at GCSE and A-Level, may be required to attend school on Friday.)

Senior School Pupils – Regarding preparing for remote learning:

  • All staff have been briefed, and all are preparing for the need to provide online learning packages;
  • The School has agreed on Show My Homework (SMH) as the main platform for communicating learning materials to pupils, with other supplementary programmes as required (e.g. SAM Learning for all subjects secondary;  Hegarty Maths, My Maths, DrFrostMaths.com and Corbett Maths (videos and worksheets especially useful for GCSE level); Active Learn for KS 3  and Y13 Science;  Rhinegold Music Classroom for GCSE and A level Music and Music Theory.net and instruction/practice videos via YouTube for Key stage 3 Music; and for languages, we have the Kerboodle platform among others.)
  • Tutors are working with pupils to ensure they have access to the online platforms they need, including access to their school email addresses;
  • All staff will either use SMH or school email to communicate with pupils, so pupils may direct questions to their teachers by either method, but ideally SMH which has extensive communication tools;
  • SMH is helpful in that parents may also check on the status of their child’s work.  SMH is also a safe method to communicate, to avoid any potential safeguarding or data protection risks;
  • Pupils will be shown how to submit their work online, if they do not already know;
  • If a pupil does not have access to a device other than their phone, dependent on the task, answers could be handwritten and then photographed to be uploaded and submitted online; and
  • Staff will be available to answer any queries during term time.

Contacting Teachers:

In order for pupils or parents to contact subject teachers with any queries, please find attached the form and subject teachers’ contact details.

Support for Front Line Workers (up to and including the Easter Holiday Period):

The School has a significant number of parents who work within the NHS and emergency workers.  We have already offered to Conwy Council our willingness to provide care for the children of frontline workers; this provision will be coordinated by the Local Authority. When we have further information, we will let parents know directly.

Longer-Term Implications:

With regards to GCSEs and A Levels, we all await some guidance, so we are requesting that all pupils continue as normal with their preparations and revision for public examinations. We have just received the following information from the Welsh Independent Schools Council: ‘With the announcement of schools closing by Friday, many of you are understandably worried about your students and their exams that are starting next week for e.g. practical and oral exams.  I have just been informed by Qualification Wales that they are working with Government and WJEC at the moment and announcements will be made shortly. As soon as I receive those announcements, I will, of course, let you know.’

This applies only to Art and Modern Foreign Language exams.

The School will keep examination candidates fully informed as to any development as soon as we hear about them.

Finally, we do receive updates regularly. Below are links to the latest advice received, for your information.  We ask that all members of the School community act responsibly, as we have asked pupils to, so as to ensure that they are doing their best to keep themselves safe, and also to protect the interests of others. On this point, we kindly ask you to follow the procedures, as outlined in the links below, regarding the need to self-isolate (or indeed isolate members of the immediate family in certain circumstances); this will apply in particular when the School resumes operation.

We would also kindly request that phone calls to the School only be made regarding urgent specific issues/queries, as we respond to new government advice and instruction and prepare to update all parents via email. We will, or course, keep in touch with any further information about the timing of the school reopening, as soon as this becomes available.

With thanks for your ongoing support.

Kind regards

Alison Hind

Head of Pastoral Care