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Whole School Closure Update

Ridgewood will now be closed to all students in each year group until Monday 14 December.

30 November 2020

We know the current situation will be causing concern amongst the school community and we want to reassure you that any decision we take is in swift response to advice. Please read the updated information below carefully and share any relevant information with your child.

Contacting us during temporary closure

We are thankful to those parents/carers who have sent a website enquiry via ‘Contact us’, offering messages of support and/or asking specific questions. During temporary school closure this will remain our main communication tool. Please use this facility rather than telephone to ensure we receive all messages and can respond in a timely manner.

Further confirmed Covid-19 cases

Unfortunately, today we have received confirmation that a further three members of staff have tested positive for Covid-19. Students who have been identified as close contacts of the new confirmed cases have been contacted this afternoon by InTouch message, to self-isolate for 14 days. The students identified should stay inside and not go out into the community until their self-isolation period ends.

Any students whose parents/carers have not specifically been contacted, via InTouch, are not required to self- isolate during the period of temporary school closure.

Extended temporary school closure

Despite few students being directly affected by this outbreak, many other members of our staff now have to self-isolate. This, in addition to those staff that are already self-isolating (as a result of contact tracing or testing positive) has presented more complex staffing problems for us over the next two weeks. As such, we regret to inform you that we have made the very difficult decision to close the school to all students until Monday 14 December. By this date, we are confident that we will be able to ensure the appropriate level of staffing for both teaching and other essential functions of the school.

Initial arrangements for remote learning

During school hours, all Ridgewood students must engage with remote learning and must not go out into the local community.

Teachers will communicate with students via Microsoft Teams and/or email, regarding all remote learning.

From today, live lessons for most Year 12 and 13 classes have begun on Microsoft Teams, following students’ usual timetables. Students in all other year groups are using the independent remote learning resources on Microsoft Teams.

From tomorrow, live lessons for most Year 10 and 11 classes will begin on Microsoft Teams, following students’ usual timetables. Where live lessons cannot tal‹e place (for a variety of reasons), teachers will direct students to use the independent remote learning resources on Microsoft Teams. Staff are having to adapt very quickly to working from home and are continuing to do their upmost to support all students. All staff will do their very best to provide live lessons for Years 10 and 11 students from tomorrow and this will continue throughout the temporary closure of school.

Key Stage 3 students will continue to learn independently using the resources on Microsoft Teams. We will review this over the course of the week as we adapt to this temporary situation. We will update parents/carers regarding any changes.

A ‘how to’ guide for accessing remote learning resources on Microsoft Teams is available in the ‘Covid-19 Provision’ section of our school website.

Social media

We ask that parents/carers do not speculate about the school’s announcement on social media as this can lead to incorrect information being shared, which causes confusion amongst our school community. Parents/carers can support the school by trusting that we will provide accurate information.

If you have any urgent queries during this time please submit a website enquiry via the ‘Contact Us’ facility on our website, rather than telephoning. This will enable us to respond to any enquiries in a timely manner whilst staff are working remotely.

As always, we fully appreciate your co-operation during this challenging time for our school community. The deep clean of our school buildings will start tomorrow and we are confident that our school will be safe for everyone to return on Monday 14 December, for the final week of this term.