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The Charter School

East Dulwich

Coronavirus information and Headteacher's update Friday 27 March 2020

We are sharing the latest information regarding the current Coronavirus outbreak to ensure that you have access to all the current available guidance. 

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus and there is currently no reason why your children should not continue to attend school as normal. 

The information below is to ensure that you are well informed and will know what to do if you have any concerns.

Friday 27 March

Dear Parents / Carers.

This has been a week filled with formative experiences - and not only for children and young people. The sight of our community on our streets clapping for our health workers will certainly stay with me for the rest of my life. Applause is also due to our students for are adapting to new ways of working and to you, their parents and carers, for the resilience you’ve shown in being conscripted into a National Education Service in the role of learning support assistant.

I would like to express my appreciation for the dozens of emails I have received thanking teachers for the quality of support being provided to students over Google Classroom. I am also conscious of the small number of parents who have expressed concerns about their children’s workload. To some degree, this is a timely reminder that your children work hard in school. But it is also a reminder that we are only five days into this great experiment.

We are all learning and refining our working practices and we will continue to do so. Attached to this message you will find a revised version of our Home-School Learning Agreement, called a Distance Learning Agreement, that sets out a clearer set of expectations of students, parents and teachers while the School remains closed to almost all students. Central to this agreement is the expectation that teachers will prepare schoolwork at a modestly reduced volume than would be expected of students in school.

It is important to note two things:

  • This represents our considered judgement of the minimum amount of schoolwork needed over the next several weeks to avoid doing lasting harm to your child(ren)’s education; and
  • This is a guide, not a fast rule.

None of us can know how individual children will respond to the conditions imposed by the public health emergency or to working in this way. Some children will find this volume of work too light; others may find it too heavy. Some children will be comforted by the structure this commitment requires; others will rail against it. When your children are in school, we routinely exercise judgement about how to balance their wellbeing with the demands of their education. While they are working at home, we can continue to advise on this delicate balancing act, but the burden of decision-making must rest with you, their parents and carers, who see them every day.

The Distance Learning Agreement is designed to help you in this role. Please take the time this weekend to read through the Agreement with your child(ren). (You may also wish to linger over point six under ‘Learner’s Responsibilities’.) Please communicate with your link teacher or subject teachers any decision you make that would involve your child(ren) significantly deviating from this strong guidance. We will always support informed decision-making that supports children’s wellbeing, even where that involves a cost to their education. We just want to ensure that those costs are understood by all parties.

These revised expectations of all students will take effect from Monday, 30 March 2020.

I would like to provide parents with advance notice that teachers will not be setting routine lessons over the Easter holidays. My colleagues are continuing to work throughout the lockdown, many of them despite childcare commitments or bouts of ill-health. They also require a break. I am acutely aware that the prospect of two weeks without structured activity may be forbidding for some families. I will write again next week with further information about activities the school is both creating and curating in order to provide its students with a continued sense of structure and purpose.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Mr. A. Crossman