The Ridgeway School & Sixth Form College Parents & Students

COVID-19 School Status


All WHF school open next week for Key Worker families and Vulnerable Children

Dear parent or carer,

May I start by thanking you for your support and understanding during such unprecedented and challenging times, your support is invaluable in helping us to keep your child safe.

Overnight the Government gave us some greater clarity about the role that schools will play in supporting its aspiration to slow down the progress of the COVID-19 viral threat.

Our position is very clear based on this guidance

“All WHF schools will remain open to parents of vulnerable children and key workers. BUT we are being asked to increase social distancing and reduce social interaction so therefore parents should only send their child to school if they are one of the aforementioned and have exhausted every other childcare option in-line with government guidance”

The Government has given us 3 guiding principles by which we will be expected to operate. These are:-

  1. Wherever possible children should stay at home.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has parents who are both critical workers, then the Ridgeway School will be open to them during normal school hours, if they are not able to work from home safely.
  3. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

Please may we remind you that these are Government guidelines and the expectation is:

“…schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend….”

I would like to reassure that we will continue to support your child, staff will continue to set bespoke lessons for each class via the Student Portal. It is extremely important that students continue where possible to retain the structure of the school day and continue their lessons in a sequential order.

So how do we intend to manage this?

  1. 1. For the children of key workers/vulnerable children not able to work from home, the school day is 8.45 – 3.15pm
  2. 2. All students will be completing online lessons whether working remotely or in school.

"It’s not going to be an educational setting, they’re not going to be teaching the national curriculum, but it’s going to be safe place for people who are key to combating this virus and keeping the country moving forward." Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State, 18th March 2020

  1. 3. While in school, food will be provided, but it is likely to be a limited menu. Please let us know if your child has any allergies.
  2. 4. During this time, we recommend that you regularly check the “School Status page” on our website.

Contacting staff

All children are encouraged to email their subject teacher if they have any problems or questions. Staff will be available during the normal school hours (8:45-3:45pm) and able to respond to any learning related queries. Please be aware that there may be a delay in replying to emails where there is a high demand and for communications sent outside this time.

On a happy note, I am delighted to be able to share the fantastic outcome of our most recent OFSTED inspection. Please see attached for the full report. Thank you for your continued support in these challenging times. By working together I believe we can continue to provide excellent support and learning opportunities for all students in our care.

James Povoas,
The Ridgeway School & Sixth Form College

Dr Nicholas Capstick OBE,
CEO The White Horse Federation

LAST UPDATED ON 19th APRIL 2020 AT 21:10

Key Messages:

The school is partially open for critical key working families and vulnerable children

The sixth form is currently closed

Year Group Status:

Year GroupStatusNotes
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Year 12
Year 13

School Services Status

Breakfast clubCancelled
Lunch cateringCancelledChildren who collect Free School Meals will have vouchers issued to them.
After school clubCancelled
Swimming lessonsCancelled
Holiday clubsCancelled
Residential tripsCancelled
Overseas tripsCancelled
Public letting of facilitiesCancelled
Public letting of sports facilitiesCancelled

Further Information

Just a few tips to help with the transition from school to home! Please don’t forget Ridgeway staff are available between 9am and 4pm to help. We do ask for your patience and understanding as many of us are faced with teaching are own children or caring for family members. We will reply and offer assistance as soon as we can!

Take breaks

“A bit of experimentation should identify what works best for you. You might find 30-minute blasts followed by 10-minute breaks help keep your concentration up. Alternatively, you might prefer to work for longer periods at a stretch and then enjoy a longer break. “Boring as it might sound, giving your learning a predictable structure and routine does help to make sure you get everything done.

Get rid of distractions
“It’s really hard to focus when the TV’s blaring, the radio’s on or there is lots going on in the place you’re working, so try and get rid of the distractions. Also, concentrating is easiest when you’re in a quiet, comfortable place, so play around with how you study – sitting, standing or lying down, inside or outside, with lots of light or without – and find a method that helps you concentrate.”

Divide up the work
“Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself when faced with a really big or difficult task. The best solution is to break it down into smaller pieces, planning out the various stages that need completing before you start. This way, you’ll know what needs doing and you’ll get a good sense of progress as you work.”

Get lots of sleep
“It’s an accepted fact that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll find it harder to concentrate, learn and retain information. The trick is pretty simple – get some sleep! Most people between the age of five and 11 need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, while 11 to 18-year-olds need 8 to 10 hours.”

Don’t multi-task
“Sometimes, particularly when there’s a lot of work to be done, it can be hard to resist the urge to multi-task and try and get lots of jobs done at once. This is best avoided though, as, in essence, you’re dividing up the amount of brainpower you have available to a given task, meaning you might miss out on important bits of information.”CLICK TO PLAY

Make sure they’ve got a space to work and the equipment they need
Set up a desk in a quiet corner of the house where your child can keep their laptop, textbooks and notes - they’ll find it much easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal.

Set good habits around phone use
Teens spend a lot of time on apps speaking with their friends anyway - and isolation will only increase their desire to communicate socially. While some communication will be positive for their mental health, the opposite is true when social media fuels feelings of isolation and anxiety. You’ll need to set some ground rules for how phones are used during the day, and keep an eye on your child’s mood.

Help them organise their day (and make sure they go outside)
Without the structure of the school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation and energy can take a dive. Help your child set up a timetable that’ll work for them and covers the subjects they need. Divide up periods of study with active breaks. Make sure your child moves, goes outside, eats meals at the appropriate times and has offline conversations.

Have some go-to resources lined up

You’re likely to run into situations where your child doesn’t understand some of their course content and you’re unable to help.
In these situations, having some resources ready is wise. Look up the specifications for the subjects your child is studying from the relevant exam boards and bookmark any online resources that can help you out.

Look for online support
Self-study is an incredibly hard skill to master and secondary school pupils may struggle without someone actively explaining concepts to them. Don’t forget staff are available for support and are working remotely.

Keep an eye out for mental health issues
Don’t panic. We’re more set-up than ever before to manage a situation like this. Remember, lots of parents (about 50,000) choose to home school their children regardless of coronavirus. What is important is to look out for signs that your child isn’t coping mentally with a home set-up. Despondency and withdrawal or anger and higher-than-usual levels of irritability can all point to stress. There are lots of great services you can call on for support such as Kooth and YoungMinds.

Read our FAQs for parents
Key Worker Questionnaire
Read our COVID-19 Health Information

Useful Links

During the time whilst school is closed, pupils may feel worried, anxious, or unsafe.

There are a number of organisations they can contact for support.


Free telephone number: 0800 1111
Calling the number above will connect you to a one to one counsellor, who you can talk to about your worries.


The Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk anytime you like in your own way.
Free telephone number: 116 123

Young Minds

Young Minds is a mental health charity for young people.
If you need support in a crisis or just need to talk to someone, Young Minds are there to offer support.

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The White Horse Federation