COVID-19

Please visit this page for the latest information regarding our measures surrounding the Coronavirus. Scroll down to find downloads of the all the letters and updates sent to parents and guardians.

A letter from the head

Dear Parents,

Further to the latest developments and government steps to suppress COVID 19, it is with tremendous sadness that I announce the closure of Thorpe House’s doors at 5.15pm on Friday.

It is important to note that only our physical doors are going to be shut. Our virtual doors will remain open and we are committed to providing continued high level teaching and learning to your sons. We will also continue to provide guidance, assistance and updates during these most turbulent times. The boys will 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 as normal and providing feedback.

If you experience any difficulty over the next two days logging into Google Classroom or any other online platform or simply have any questions about working from home, please contact your son’s Form Tutor or Head of Section in the first instance. We are also updating our website with additional information. Communication channels with the school will remain open and we will aim to respond to all e-mail enquiries within 24 hours.

As I mentioned in my Google Meet talk last night, which has been followed up with a transcript of what was said, over the past few weeks we have been working towards contingency plans for this eventuality. Details of these plans will be sent out to all parents tomorrow including the codes to access each of your son’s Google classrooms. No doubt there will be many questions and I will hold a further Google Meet on Friday at 6pm, the link for which is as follows:

https://meet.google.com/adk-hxgc-chv

As before, if you have specific questions that you would like me to address, I would be grateful if you could send these to me at headmaster@thorpehouse.co.uk by the end of tomorrow and I will do my best to answer them. I will obviously follow up with a transcript for parents should they not have been able to join the group.

In terms of immediate practicalities, I will be addressing all the boys via Google Meet tomorrow morning in their form groups, both to avoid bringing them all together in a confined space but also to demonstrate to them what they can be expecting in the coming days. I will do this at 8.50am tomorrow and I will be available prior to that to speak to parents outside the front of the school from 8.30am.  We will also continue to be open next week for the children of key workers, as outlined by the Prime Minister and it would be helpful if parents could indicate if they fall within this category so that we can anticipate accurate numbers. Just to reiterate, virtual classrooms will also be in place next week until Wednesday. Our minibuses will continue to run until Friday evening this week but will cease after that. For the younger pupils in Reception to Year 4, materials will be available online, with specific details provided tomorrow. However, we will also ensure that for these younger boys, a physical pack of materials will be available for collection from the school from Friday afternoon and this will provide work to keep them going until next Wednesday when we are due to break up. If you are unable to collect these materials, they will be posted out to families.

Whilst it may all look very bleak at the moment, I hope we can take some encouragement from looking at where China and Hong Kong are now finding themselves. Their education system has continued to run effectively despite the physical schools being closed and indeed they are looking to return to normal and open their doors again in the next week or so. Whilst the government today have not specified a timeframe for schools being re-opened, I would hope that this at least provides us with some kind of indicator of a return to normality in about two months’ time. Our preference would always be to have the boys in school and if a short delay enabled us to do this that would be wonderful but we are also prepared to recommence as per our normal term dates with virtual classrooms. We will be monitoring closely what the government say in order to ensure that we provide the boys with the very best available education in these extraordinary times and we will continue to keep you informed in response to the direction the government provides. To that end we will keep a very open mind to the flexibility of our term dates in the weeks ahead.

I have no doubt that you will be feeling deep frustration at this time, we all are. If these unprecedented times have taught us anything, it is that communities of people come together to share messages of hope, care and support in the face of adversity and that has been evident here in our own community in recent weeks and I thank you for the support you have shown. The staff at Thorpe house remain dedicated to keeping our virtual doors open until the real ones are opened again.

Yours faithfully,

home-page-pre-prep

Nicholas Pietrek
Headmaster

Google Meet on Friday, March 27th at 6pm

No doubt there will be many questions and I will hold a further Google Meet on Friday at 6pm, the link for which is as follows:

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