–Important Update —
22 March 2020
Studio Interruption… Covid-19
So we have all been washing our hands and trying hard to keep ourselves to ourselves over the last week or so. However, I am sure you are all aware that this virus is still spreading. Last week the Government had to put in new measures which included social distancing and to close all schools and colleges in an effort to help slow this down. Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘has called on the public to join a “collective national effort” and follow social distancing guidance.’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51991887)
Our duty of care for our students and team is to ensure they are safeguarded whilst attending the studio and so we have made the solemn and responsible decision to follow the guidelines set out by the Government regarding Schools and Colleges. We sort of knew this day would come eventually based what has been happening around the world, although we did think it would be a few weeks away. Last week some our students were anxious when arriving at the Studio and we talked with them about what was happening with the virus and mentioned that we may have to close temporarily in the near future too. We have of course been really torn to make this decision and understand that some of students will find this very difficult to understand. However, we feel that there is no alternative than to temporarily close. 😦
So it is with great sadness 😦 that we will be cancelling all our sessions in the Studio from 10.00am tomorrow until further notice. This includes all gaming and Saturday events too. We are so sorry this is such short notice and we have spent all weekend trying to work around not closing but to close for now seems to be the most responsible thing to do to keep our students and our team safe.
The Good News 🙂 is we will be putting alternative provision in place via online sessions. Which we hope will help our students to stay engaged with the studio and have something to look forward to throughout their week. Our online sessions will run on the same days that the studio is usually open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. In addition, we are hoping to offer some regular online gaming events too and other sessions on some Saturdays. We will work out a full schedule and let everyone know hopefully by the end of this week. All our sessions will be interactive in some way so students get to talk with one another, see each other and see Josh and myself too. There will also be other online tools available for anyone who wants to try something new or continue on a project. On all of these days Josh and myself will be contactable, so we can engage as much as possible and ensure we stick to our Ethos of Imagination, Communication and Confidence.
Some of things we are looking to offer may take a little time to put in place so we ask for your patience, others may be a lot faster. By Wednesday we should have in place a forum and communication channel where all our students can be included. This will be private and safe so no waifs and strays from anywhere else on the internet are allowed in. This will be our main port for students to sign in on their sessions and make contact. Students will also be able to call us during certain hours which we will advise later this week. We will be looking at video calling and various other forms of communication to keep our students in touch including webinars.
All this does take technology so we need parents and carers or students to complete some questions we will email out to everyone individually towards the end of this week.
Thank you for your understanding at this very difficult time.
Jane and Josh