Dear parents,
 
In the light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, and the departure of various pupils at the College due to parental concerns over transport bans, we have decided to make the following emergency arrangements.
 
The College will close early for Easter on Friday 13th March. Where necessary, boys will be looked after until Monday at the College while parents make transport arrangements. 
Pupils should return on Monday 27th April by bedtime (with classes resuming on Tuesday 28th April), presuming that the situation will have improved by this date.
 
For boys in Year 11, 12 and 13, plus the two pupils taking the Brevet exam in Year 10, we will continue internet-based teaching. They will need to be ready to work from home, guided by their teachers, many of whom will be online most of the day to help them at fixed times and by individual arrangement. 
 
For other pupils in Years 7-10, the academic year will be extended until Friday 17th July to make up for time missed.
 
The situation regarding public examinations is not clear at the moment. It is possible that some examinations may be postponed until some time in July, or cancelled altogether. The most likely outcome is that they will take place at the normal time; but we cannot be sure of this. If the exams take place at the normal time but after a period of disrupted school sessions, then the French and UK governments will take this disruption into account when it comes to deciding grades. There is no need to worry about this. 
 
We hope and pray that the situation will have calmed down by 27th April. The good news is that the virus already seems to have reached its peak in China, so there is every hope that the same pattern will follow in Europe and other places, especially as the warmer weather is likely to hinder its spread.
 
Let’s continue to pray for a quick resolution to this. It reminds us all of how fragile many things are: our lives, our society, our economy,  our institutions. That beautiful psalm of Sunday Vespers come to mind, in which David compares the grandeur of the true God to the folly of those who worship idols:  “Deus noster autem in Coelo, omnia quaecumque voluit fecit!”  … “Our God is in Heaven; He can do whatever he wills!” (Psalm 113). That is just it. He can do whatever He wants. And one thing He often does is to draw good results out of bad circumstances.
We are all going to be helped to make a very good Lent this year. When I fell off the roof in 2011 and broke my hip, God made me take a 3-month retreat. It helped me a lot.  “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away … Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job, 1:21). Let’s accept our retreat of quiet prayer and study as a gift. Everything will be OK. 
 
I am available to help or advise any parents who need clarification on any point. Just email me first to set up a time for a telephone conference.
 
God bless you and your family.
Sincerely,
Ferdi McDermott
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