Chiswick School praised for way in which it’s dealing with first Covid-19 case

Parents at Chiswick School have praised the way in which the school has dealt with its first case of Covid-19.

“My first thought was for the child” head teacher Laura Ellener told The Chiswick Calendar “and thankfully they have mild symptoms which is common with most children who catch the virus”.

The child is in Year 8. The school worked with Public Health England, Hounslow, to identify any close contacts of the confirmed case and found it was limited to within three class groups within the year. They are now teaching the entire timetable online to the three Year 8 classes which have to remain at home.

Julia Evans posted on Twitter:

“Huge thanks for the amazing support / setting up of home learning for Y8Y today following isolation procedure. A full day’s learning from the start. Really impressed with your ability to ensure continued learning at home. Thanks to all involved!”

Eddy Leviten posted:

“So impressed with the organisation and planning”.

The school was prepared

“The school was prepared for the news” said Laura Ellener “and clear procedures supported next steps”.

The school has divided each year group into what is known as a ‘bubble’. The bubbles have their own classrooms and their own play areas. The teachers move between the bubbles and teach at a distance of two metres.

“This is a new experience for everyone and it is working well” she said. “Chiswick School is fortunate to have so much space and we have been able to ensure our year groups don’t mix”.

Over the summer holiday Chiswick School made a number of adaptations on site. They created new entrances, and moved walls to create new and larger classrooms. They relocated the Special Educational Needs and Disability department so that it was out of all the bubble areas, installed hand sanitiser stations in each classroom and redeveloped the sixth form centre. They also redesigned the timetable so that year groups would have lunch at different times, and year 11 students would have an extra hour of school each day to help them catch up with any learning lost during lockdown.

Over lockdown, Chiswick School delivered teaching to its Y12 students through live virtual lessons. Lower down the school, teachers delivered live and pre-recorded lessons so that learning could continue. As a result of this the teachers at Chiswick School are now confident in delivering lessons through Google Meet, said Laura.

“We took Tuesday to get ready and then, on Wednesday, we began teaching the entire timetable to the three Year 8 classes that had to remain at home though live lessons. We begin with tutor time at 8.40 and then teachers log on throughout the day to teach the lesson remotely. Last week we had 93% attendance to the lessons and we are glad that students can keep learning and stay in touch with their teachers and each other. We miss the children and we are looking forward to them returning to us on 2 October.

“The students at Chiswick School are working incredibly hard and constantly amaze me. The support we have received from the community is much appreciated and very important to us”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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