STUDENTS at a Herefordshire secondary school are now learning from home after it was forced into a 'firebreak' closure amid a 'high and rising' number of coronavirus cases.

Kingstone High School's executive headteacher David Bennett said the temporary move to remote learning was needed as 'in person' teaching was no longer possible.

The move to online study from home started today (Thursday), said the school, which has around 400 pupils.

Called a firebreak closure on its website, similar to the four-week lockdowns in England and Wales last Autumn in a bid to break the chain of transmission and bring down infection rates, the school said it would reopen on Monday, October 4.


In a letter to parents explaining how remote learning will work, head of school Lee Butler said normal timetables for lessons will be followed.

"Thank you for all your support in ensuring students’ learning is not affected by this unexpected event," the letter to parents said.

Explaining home learning, Mr Butler said: "Lessons will follow a whole - part - whole format, where every lesson is started by the teacher giving the learning instructions before setting students off on tasks. Students should then return after a period of time to consolidate learning and to check understanding.

He added: "A register of attendees will be downloaded during each lesson so that we can check if your child is able to engage in the remote learning. This will be supported where required by the head of year or pastoral lead."

Executive headteacher David Bennett said it the closure was needed because of "staffing constraints" and the number of students not in school, "affecting the continuity of provision".


"Unfortunately, we have to announce the temporary move to remote learning at Kingstone High School, after discussion with Public Health England," Mr Bennett said on Wednesday.

"This is due to the high and rising numbers of positive PCR tests."

The school has not said how many students have had positive results from the laboratory-processes PCR tests.

But Government figures for the week to Friday, September 17, showed cases in the area, Kingstone and Kingsthorne, had been rising.

Some 42 cases had been confirmed in the seven-day period, up 16 on the week before.

And those figures do not cover the period between Friday and when the school made the decision on Wednesday to close.

He said the school, around seven miles from Hereford in the village of Kingstone, had been in discussions with Public Health England before the decision was made.

Children of key workers, such as those whose parents work in the NHS, can continue to go to school, he said.