The Grey Coat Hospital

Church of England Comprehensive School for Girls



Parents' Home Page


Message to the Grey Coat community on 31st March 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)


Thank you all very much for your determination, patience and hard work in getting back to physical school.


Despite the many stresses and strains of the past months, we have been able to enjoy many aspects of our wonderful school community life once more.


Your kind words of support and thanks, as well as your constructive comments, have been gratefully received and have helped us to navigate through this pandemic.


We had an inspiring piano recital earlier this week, which was attended by a number of staff in a socially distanced manner. Our student line-up was impressive and the music was wonderful.


The following girls are to be congratulated on their performance, which speaks of many hours of practice and a great love of music:


Theadora Lynch – Waltz in A minor by Chopin

Yasmin Lumme – When the Love Falls by Yiruma

Estelle Bowden – Prelude in B minor by Chopin

Amalia Beeko – Waltz in A flat by Chopin

Marie-Sol Glendza – Sarabande and Gigue from English Suite No. 2 by Bach

Amelie Duroux – Clair de Lune by Debussy

Jasmine Chauhan – Le Pastour by Grovlez

Isabella Scott – Sonatina by Kapustin

Louise Malaluan – Flood Time by Thiman

Mr Burgess – Intermezzo from Carnival Scenes from Vienna by Schumann

Miki Keric – Liebestraum No. 3 by Liszt



I wish you all a peaceful and restorative Easter break.


Kind regards,


Susanne Staab






Message to the Grey Coat community on 26th March 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers, 


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 


We are hurdling towards the end of Term 4 after another busy week of lessons and a wide range of other activities!


Students in the Chemistry Department participated in the 2021 Chemistry Olympiad and several students are to be congratulated for achieving certificates: 

  • Bronze: Lottie W, Katie K, Jerry O, Michael A and Beatriz M 

  • Silver: Rhianna G, Tina H, Sabiha M and Francesca W 

  • Gold: Susannah S 

Year 7 and Year 12 students and parents were invited to participate in a virtual workshop by the RAP Foundation, which gives advice to young people on how to stay safe on social media and generally.  


We continue to see the benefits of regular home testing. Today, we were notified of an asymptomatic positive case of Covid-19 in Year 11. The student concerned had carried out her rapid test last night and has since been isolating at home. In accordance with government advice, she has been asked to now carry out a lab-based PCR test within 48 hours. If this should be negative, and if she should have no symptoms of Covid-19she will be able to return to physical school immediately. Eleven students in her year group, with whom she had had close contact, were also asked to self-isolate as a precaution; however, if she now has a negative PCR test these close contacts will also be able to return unless they have symptoms. The household of a close contact does NOT need to self-isolate unless anybody in the household develops symptoms of Covid-19. All of this suggests that society can begin to reopen and that restrictions can slowly be eased. We will keep a close eye on government guidance over the Easter holidays and if anything should change, we will let you know promptly. We also keep our school calendar events under regular review and will adjust these as appropriate in line with government advice. Meanwhile, we strongly encourage everyone in the school community to continue testing themselves twice weekly throughout the Easter holidays, three to five days apart.  


April is “Stress Awareness Month and you may find the below newsletter from the mental health charity MIND of interest.  


CYP Newsletter April 2021


This week, all Year 11 and Year 13 students have been issued with an information letter and an overview of planned assessments during Term 5. Today, we received further information from examination boards, regarding the grading process this summer, and will update you again shortly. 


Arrangements for the final week of Term 4 will be as follows: 

  • Monday 29th March – a normal school day 

  • Tuesday 30th March – last day in school for students with lessons in periods 1 and 2; a virtual Easter Service in period 3 and a virtual Talent Show to followmorning break canteen service only; dismissal of all year groups at midday 

  • Wednesday 31st March – staff training day; no students in school 

Thursday 1st April is the start of our Easter break and Term 5 will begin on Monday 19th April 2021.  


Best wishes and God Bless, 



Susanne Staab 




Message to the Grey Coat community on 19th March 2021



Dear students and staff, parents and carers, 


“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) 


We have really enjoyed welcoming all year groups back into physical school. We have had a full week of lessons and many other activities have taken place alongside these.  


Click to enjoy a short video in which staff and students share their reactions to this significant moment of full school re-opening after weeks of lockdown. We cannot wait for all the restrictions to lift now and to enjoy Grey Coat school life in all its glory once more! 


Student attendance in physical school has been high this week at 96.25% which is well above the national average of 85% for secondary schools. 


We are now in our third round of testing and will finish testing all those who have consented by next Tuesday. Our consent rate is over 90% and in total, we have only had one positive case so far. This is excellent and not surprising given the positive news that the virus is retreating in London and that vaccination rates continue to be high.  


As each year group is coming to the end of their planned lateral flow testing in School, we have started issuing students with home testing kits. These contain instructions on how to carry out this simple test at home. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.  The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace website at If the result of the test is unclear (“void”) you should do another test. 


Your child should carry out a test twice per week, three to five days apart. We suggest that she/he should test at home each Sunday and Wednesday evening.  

Please inform the School promptly on if your child should test positive.  If anyone tests positive, you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You should also order a confirmatory PCR test for your child.  


So long as your child feels well, she/he will be remoted into lessons via TEAMS. Please remember, however, that a negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. We all need to continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face covering, regularly washing your hands and observing social distancing. If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines. 


We continue to work hard on the details for Year 11 and 13 GCSE and A level grades and will be in touch once these are ready to share. Final guidance from examination boards is still awaited. Meanwhile, we continue teaching and supporting our exam groups in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. Support sessions continue for both year groups. In this context, Year 13 students and parents should also check the message regarding study groups which was sent out earlier today.


Best wishes and God Bless, 


Susanne Staab 


Message to the Grey Coat community on 12th March 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers, 


“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (Peter 5:10) 


Since Monday of this week, over 90% of students in Years 7-13 have had their first Covid-19 test and we only had one positive test result in Year 10. Today, we began the second round of testing with Year 11 and 13; and this was equally successful with no positive test at all. Next week, we will continue with round 2 of the testing. Our staff have all been offered home testing kits and these will be rolled out to students after their third in-school test, too.  

Today, it was exciting to have all year groups back in school together for the first time since December 2020. Students have been settling in well, working with focus and enjoying “real time” with their friends. 


Year 8 students have been involved in the 'Messiah Re-imagined' project with the London Handel Festival and Pimlico Music Foundation. The students have shown fantastic commitment to this project and have really impressed the organisers with their creativity and enthusiasm. This is a collaborative project with several other choirs, and each choir has been attending similar online sessions over the past month or two. The next step is for all four of the participating groups to meet for an online sharing session on Monday 22nd March from 6.30 - 7.30pm. We greatly look forward to the final performance of the Project! 


Our sixth form STEM prefects deserve high praise for developing and leading an effective remote engagement programme to celebrate British Science Week. The team includes Grace HumphreysElla ManKalin MihaylovAmna AliMay Lyster and Nicole Xu. Furthermore, our Head of Science, Mr Evans created a wealth of additional resources to celebrate British Science Week including documentaries to watch, podcast to listen to, practical activities to do at home, competitions to enter; and an opportunity to learn about recent science graduates with a focus of diversity in the science workforce. 


We are currently working on a detailed plan to map out the remainder of the academic year for Year 11 and 13, with a submission date of all GCSE and A Level grades by 18th June 2021. Each school is trusted to work out its own approach based on the draft guidance, and further guidance which has yet to be received. The timeline must allow for marking, internal grade submission, departmental moderation, and moderation by the Senior Leadership Team, as well as preparation of the final moderated grades for submission. Our staff already have a lot of assessment evidence across the whole of the GCSE and A Level courses, as assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process here at GCH. There is some time to carry out some more class-based assessment in physical school now. We may rely on ready-made papers provided by examination boards, but this is not obligatory for any school, and we have yet to receive these. We intend any further assessment to be measured and to build on the evidence we already have. Assessment will be based only on what students have learnt; and it will be mapped so that it is spread out and manageable. We appreciate that these are uncertain times for our examination groups; but we will update you in detail shortly and will continue to do our very best for our students. 


Best wishes and God Bless, 


Susanne Staab 




Message to the Grey Coat community on 5th March 2021



Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Psalm 20:4)


Amidst our extensive preparations for returning to physical school from next week, we have continued to enjoy a wide range of exciting activities and wonderful achievements remotely.


Our Year 12 and 13 A Level Fashion and Textiles students participated in an online workshop on Gender in Advertising with staff from the Museum of Brands. Run by museum educators on Zoom, the students looked at the proliferation of gender stereotypes throughout history and considered how this has changed (or not!) over time. Our students were full of ideas and all brought their own insight to the ensuing discussions. This was excellent preparation for looking at more of the wider issues associated with the fashion and design industries - they did us proud!


Our Year 9 debaters won their second round of the Urban Debate League. The team included Giulia de Vivo, Ruby Ager, Aelwen Hamley and Phoebe Korsell. All girls spoke beautifully, engaging with the topic at hand and answering challenging points from their opponents in a polite and appropriate way. They will now be invited to compete in the Final in May. This is an amazing achievement and the girls worked incredibly hard to get to this point. 


The Year 10 debaters - including Tiwe S, Sammah F, Ava D, Shola M, Rosie W, Ava M, Alice G, Lucy B and Samara B - crushed their opponents in the second round of the Urban Debate League, meaning that our School is currently unbeaten in this competition. The judges applauded their style, skill, teamwork and knowledge as highly impressive.


Furthermore, the Year 10 British Parliamentary Team - featuring Tiwe S, Ava M, Lucy B and Alice G -attended the Oxford Union Debating Competition, where they were the only team below sixth form age. They stood up against some off the toughest teams in the country and did us proud by defeating a number of opponents from private schools.


We were also delighted to hear that Jenny James in 9R raised £368 for the NHS during the first Lockdown, cycling every day for nearly one and half month. This charity work took place alongside Jenny’s efforts to help a Year 5 pupil with their English schoolwork. Bravo, Jenny – we are proud of you.


We are also eagerly awaiting further guidance on how to award GCSE and A Level grades this summer. On 25th February OFQUAL  published draft guidance for heads of centre, heads of department and teachers on how to generate the evidence that will be used to determine their students’ grades this summer. It is clear that the grades submitted to exam boards must reflect a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the student’s performance across a range of evidence, on the curriculum content that they have been taught. To promote this, exam boards will set out detailed quality assurance requirements and a consultation process will close on 11th March. We expect the guidance to be published before the Easter holidays and will confirm our plans for the coming weeks and months as soon as possible thereafter. Meanwhile, be assured that our staff know their students extremely well and will continue to work hard to do the very best for them.

Thank you very much for supporting us with your child’s education over the last few months, and for your many kind messages of praise. We are proud to be working with you all and look forward very much to seeing you once more in physical school.
Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab



Message to the Grey Coat community on 4th March 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers, 

I am very pleased to write today with a full update on how we will manage the return to physical school, alongside offering mass testing on site, from 8th March 2021.  

In preparing for this next step, we have taken on board all related government guidance and the associated DfE evidence summary and have reviewed our risk assessments. We have also considered any lessons learnt from how we operated during the autumn term; and our experience of carrying out lateral flow testing in School from January this year. Governors have scrutinised our plans and are happy for us to proceed.  

The return to physical school will have to be staggered in order to accommodate the mass testing programme for those who have consented. Students who have given consent will be tested three times in School in the course of the first two weeks back, after which testing kits will be issued for use at home twice per week. Students who have had their negative first test result will join physical lessons in school the next day. Those students who have not given consent for testing will still be allowed to join their year group in physical school on that same day. Students will be educated remotely up until the day that their year group is tested.  

Receiving a negative test result does NOT mean that a person can stop adhering to the protective measures. These must be observed by everyone, all the time, until instructed otherwise.  

When operating in physical school, all previous protective measures will continue to apply. These served us extremely well during the autumn term, when we felt very blessed to only have had seven positive cases in schools. The lateral flow testing will be an added element of the system of controls as will the wearing of face coverings. A reminder that everyone must follow these rules for the safety and reassurance of the whole school community: 

  • NOT coming to physical school if experiencing a temperature of 37.8 degrees or higher; a new continuous cough; a loss/change of taste or smell; in this case, the person must stay at home, get a test and follow NHS guidance 
  • compulsory wearing of face coverings in ALL situations indoors (including corridors, communal spaces, classrooms) where 2m social distancing is difficult – those who were previously exempt will continue to be exempt 
  • the “Hands, Face, Space” approach 
  • no touching, no sharing of food, personal equipment or any other personal items 
  • socialising with people in your year group only 
  • ventilation of indoor spaces by opening windows and (in St Michael’s Building) maximising the air exchange management system 
  • cleaning down equipment and work surfaces after use 

We will continue to follow the shortened school day structure with an 8.30am start and a 2.30pm finish. This approach served us well during the autumn term. It means avoidance of the end-of-day rush hour whilst still allowing for targeted support sessions and co-curricular activities after school. Lessons will continue to be 45 minutes long in physical school and 35 minutes long remotely to facilitate management of the equipment and short breaks away from the screen. Lessons will follow the published timetable. All our approaches will be kept under regular review and will be amended if necessary.  

The Nurture Group remains in operation until all year groups are back in school on Friday 12th March. Students in the Nurture Group will re-join lessons in line with their year group. The Nurture Group will be relocated to St Andrew’s Building from Tuesday 9th March. 

Our Caterer will provide a break and lunch service from Tuesday 9th March onwards. This service will be similar to that which was provided in the autumn term, with individually packaged sandwiches and other items at morning break; and one hot lunch option.  

Attendance in physical school will be compulsory once more. Please note that Only those who are ill; are isolating due to Covid-19; or have been told to shield will receive remote education once the year group is back in physical school.  

All testing will take place in the Sports Hall at St Michael’s Building. An external testing team will supervise the testing process and assist students. This team has received the required training and has operated in School from January 2021. The swabbing is being carried out by students themselves under the direction of the trained external staff. Senior school staff will also be in attendance to support students and to ensure that the process runs smoothly. Students should bring their mobile phone with them to the test as this will allow them to register their test and receive the result after about 30 minutes directly to their phone. Alternative, the testing team can register their test for them and inform them afterwards. Students should also bring a reading book as they will be required to wait for their result, before returning to class. If a student’s test should be “void” they will be asked to repeat it.  

If a student’s test should be positive, they will be advised by a member of SLT; parents/carers will be informed; and arrangements will be made for them to return home and self-isolate for 10 days. SLT will conduct contact tracing and close contacts of the person who has tested positive, will also be asked to self-isolate for ten days beginning the day after the last point of contact. All those who are isolating due to Covid-19 will be “remoted in” to lessons. There is currently no need for a lab-based test to verify a positive lateral flow test, although this advice is being kept under review.  

Below is an overview of the days when the different year groups are scheduled to have their tests. You can see that Years 11 and 13 are tested on 8th March and will therefore start in physical school on 9th March. This pattern then continues for all other year groups as the week progresses. The fields marked yellow show the dates when each year group will be begin physical school.   

On the day of ‘Test 1’ there will be no remote lessons for those year groups being tested, due to the unavoidable disruption caused by mass testing. Students in those year groups should use the time to catch up or do extension work around their subjects. For tests 2 and 3, students will be taken out of physical lessons.  

Year group/day 

Monday 8th March 

Tuesday 9th March 

Wednesday 10th March 

Thursday 11th March 

Friday 12th March 

Saturday 13th March 

Sunday 14th March 

Monday 15th March 

Tuesday 16th March 

Wednesday 17th March 

Thursday 18th March 

Friday 19th March 



Test 1 

No live lessons 

In-school learning 




Test 2 





Test 3 





Online Learning 

Test 1 

No live lessons 

In-school learning 





Test 2 



Test 3 




Test 1 

No live lessons 

In-school learning 



Test 2 





Test 3 





Online Learning 

Online Learning 

Test 1 

No live lessons 


In-school learning 




Test 2 



Test 3 




Online Learning 

Online Learning 

Test 1a 


No live lessons 

Test 1b 


No live lessons 

All in 




Test 2 



Test 3 

GRY online 

CTH in school 



Online Learning 

Online Learning 

Online Learning 

Test 1 

No live lessons 





Test 2 



Test 3 



Online Learning 

Test 1 

No live lessons 



Test 2 





Test 3 




Each year group will be emailed on the working day before their first test to advise of the time slot during which their form group should arrive at school for the test. 

I look forward very much to working with you all again in physical school. 

Best wishes, 


Susanne Staab 


Message to the Grey Coat community on 26th February 2021

Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (Peter 1:3)


This week, we were able to enjoy the first signs of spring alongside running our busy schedule of remote learning; hosting the mixed-age Nurture Group on site; and holding a very well attended Year 9 online parents’ evening.


A superb range of wider opportunities has continued remotely during Lockdown and we are delighted that the following students have been accepted on the prestigious Trinity College and Target Oxbridge Year 10 Programme:


  • Emmanuella Boateng
  • Sola Meghoma
  • Mahlet Yared
  • Kayle  Wynter
  • Aml  Ali
  • Rosie Warren
  • Keira Hamilton-Kiladejo


More details about this programme can be found here: There are also plans to launch a parent newsletter, which will feature tips and advice for parents on supporting their students with their aspirations as well as on how to make competitive applications to selective universities. Anyone wishing to receive this newsletter should follow this sign up link.


This week we also received two major announcements – one on the return to physical school from 8th March alongside a mass testing programme; and the other on the way in which GCSE and A Level results will be awarded in summer 2021.  


Return to physical school from 8th March 2021  


On Monday afternoon of this week, the Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons in which he introduced the Government’s ‘roadmap’ out of Lockdown and the Pandemic; and announced that schools and colleges will reopen to all pupils from 8th March. The reopening of education settings to all is being prioritised due to the significant impact caused by being out of school to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of children and young people.


We very much look forward to resuming face-to-face teaching and are in the final stages of planning for this alongside offering the required mass testing programme to every one of our pupils and staff. More information will follow next week but please be aware that the return to school will be staggered in order to accommodate the testing programme .


Consent to lateral flow testing


We strongly encourage every member of the School to participate in this programme, for the benefit of everyone’s safety and reassurance. Lateral flow testing will complement the rigorous protective measures we will implement, once more, to minimise the transmission of Covid-19.


You will remember that these protective measures, which were so well observed by everyone in the School, meant that we only had a total of seven cases in physical school throughout the whole of the autumn term. No staff member contracted Covid-19 as a result of being in physical school.


Therefore, we urge all parents and carers to reply via this link below in order to give consent for their child to participate in lateral flow testing. Please kindly reply as soon as possible and no later than Monday 1st March 2021.



Assessment and awarding of GCSE and A Level qualifications in 2021


Yesterday, a series of announcements and publications were made on this important issue. In summary, key features of the approach will be:


Submission of grades

  • The final deadline for submission of grades will be 18th June 2021.


Assessment and evidence

  • To determine the grade each student should receive, teachers must assess their students’ performance, only on what content has been delivered to them.
  • Teachers can use evidence of a student’s performance from throughout the course to inform their judgement.
  • Teachers should determine the grades as late in the academic year as is practicable, and not confined to a defined window, to enable teaching to continue for as long as possible.
  • Schools and colleges should use a broad range of evidence across the taught content to determine the grades before submitting the grades to the exam boards.
  • Heads of centres will have to confirm that students have been taught sufficient content to allow progression to the next stage of their education, although minimum requirements of content that students must have been taught will not be set.
  • Students should continue to work on their non-exam assessment (NEA), including for project qualifications. NEA will be marked by teachers and will contribute to the overall grade, whether or not it has been completed, but exam boards will not be required to moderate it.


Support materials

  • Exam boards will provide a package of support materials to include questions, mark schemes, data about how students typically performed in individual questions and exemplar materials, as well as advice for teachers about content coverage, topic selection, marking and making grading judgements. This will be based on past questions and will include a proportion of previously unpublished questions for every subject.
  • Teachers will be able to use the support materials immediately following publication and until the deadline for the submission of grades.
  • Use of these exam board support materials is not compulsory; they will be part of the range of evidence teachers could use to determine the grade.


Quality assurance (QA)

  • Centres’ internal QA arrangements will include consideration of the centre’s profile of results in previous years as a guide to help them to check that their judgements are not unduly harsh or lenient.
  • Exam boards will put in place arrangements for external QA to check each centre’s internal QA process and, in a sample of centres, to review the evidence for one or more subjects. Sampling should be both random, and risk based.
  • Exam boards will process the grades submitted by centres only after completing, and being satisfied with, any external QA.
  • Exam boards will require centres to submit a declaration by the head of centre, confirming that the requirements for internal quality assurance have been met.


Appeals and results

  • Students will be able to appeal their grade.
  • A student who is unhappy with their grade will first ask their centre to check whether an administrative or procedural error had been made.
  • Where a centre does identify an error in the grade submitted to the exam board, it can submit a revised grade and a rationale for the board to consider. If the exam board is satisfied with the rationale, it will issue a revised grade.
  • Where a centre does not believe an error had been made, a student can ask the centre to appeal to the exam board on their behalf. The centre will submit the student’s appeal to the exam board and provide the evidence on which its judgement had been made; the exam board will consider whether, in its view, the grade reflected an appropriate exercise of academic judgement. If the exam board judges that it did not, the exam board will determine the grade that the evidence would support. The exam board will also check that the centre had followed its own process.
  • Results days will be on 10 August for AS and A level, and 12 August for GCSE results.


Here at GCH, we know our students extremely well and want the very best for all of them. We will continue to work closely with our examination groups in teaching, assessing and supporting them. We will also ensure that as last year, our process for determining grades is rigorous, transparent and fair.


I look forward very much to working with all of you once more in physical school very soon.


Best wishes and God Bless.


Susanne Staab


Message to the Grey Coat community on 12th February 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers, 


"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) 


Despite all the challenges of these past few weeks and months, the Grey Coat spirit has continued to shine brightly. Our Term 3 Newsletter is brimming with examples of talent and creativity; resilience and determination; leadership and service. It makes me immensely proud to share this with you today and I hope you that reading of our exploits will inspire and uplift you.  


Click here to read the Grey Coat Hospital Parents' Newsletter January/February 2021


Our School is a diverse and inclusive community which embraces the guidance for Church of England schools on challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, encapsulated in Valuing All God’s Children. You will be aware that February is LGBTQ+ History Month and I am delighted to report that our Diversity and Inclusion Club has been very active. The group, which includes students and staff, have recently created a narrated PowerPoint which was sent to all students; given an LGBTQ+ History assembly to various year groups; and delivered a ‘Speakers’ session to Year 12 and 13. They have also developed resources for different departments and signposted a wealth of interesting links from various institutions including the Museum of London at, BBC Sports at and the British Music Collection at


On Thursday this week, we celebrated International Women and Girls in Science Day. This day was established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate and promote women's excellence in science. It also serves as a reminder that science and gender equality must advance hand in hand. This year’s central theme was Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19. An exciting range of activities was advertised and run by the Science Department, including an online event in English and French which featured Professor Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University, Dr Megan Hochstrasser from the Innovative Genomics Institute and Dr Anggia Prasetyoputri from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.  


The Science Department also celebrates and promotes students at GCH who stand out in the sciences. Eva Moradi of Year 9 has recently created her own website called “Lightbulb”. It contains fascinating articles, ideas for home experiments, quotes and explanations of scientific concepts from homogenous reactions to quantum entanglement theory! You can visit her website at You can read about this, and much more about the Science Department’s exciting activities, in the Term 4 Newsletter.  


We are very grateful to have reached the end of this term with only one confirmed case of Covid-19 arising in School and only six students having to self-isolate as a result. No staff member has, to date, contracted Covid-19 as a result of being in physical school. Rapid testing for staff who work in physical school will continue to be offered twice per week; and students in our Nurture Group who have given consent will be offered testing again in the first week after half term. We await further update guidance on the expectations of schools regarding mass and serial testing next term.  


Attendance at, and engagement with, virtual lessons has continued to be very high throughout the whole term, and there has been a daily flurry of praise emails for individuals and whole classes across all subject areas. All this testifies to the love of learning at our School and to the willingness of staff and students to go the extra mile to enjoy and achieve, even in the most challenging conditions. However, remote learning is a very intense experience. This half-term holiday, therefore, should focus on time away from the screen; time away from work; and time to rest and refresh both body and mind.  


In planning for the next three terms, we anticipate government guidance around mid-late February. For the first two weeks of Term 4 at least, we will continue to operate remotely with only our Nurture Group and selected staff on site. This is in line with the government’s plan that schools will not re-open physically until 8th March 2021 at the earliest, in order to continue to control the rate of transmission of Covid-19. We will continue to update you as soon as we receive new guidance.  

Best wishes and God Bless, 


Susanne Staab 





Message to the Grey Coat community on 5th February 2021



Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

(Thessalonians 1:3)


The fifth week of national lockdown is nearing its end and it gives us hope to hear the latest news today suggesting that we may have passed the peak of the pandemic. This news must be accompanied by prayer for those whose lives the pandemic has claimed – including Captain Sir Tom Moore – and those it will inevitably still claim. However, a milestone has been passed this week with over 10 million people in the UK having received vaccination against Covid-19. We eagerly await further information of when schools may be able to re-open and will share this with you as soon as receive any updates.


Here at GCH, we continue to recognise the huge importance of wellbeing and mental health on young people’s personal and academic development – never more so than during this pandemic. This is why, despite the need for protective measures, we have continued to offer the full breadth of our curriculum including all creative and practical subjects; encouraged regular engagement in physical activity within and beyond PE lessons; promoted wider opportunities for creativity and self-expression; extended our work with the charity MIND; added to our Safeguarding Team; and doubled the hours of our school counsellor. Our remote lesson schedule allows for structured live coverage of the curriculum but also gives small breaks away from the screen. Regular online assemblies and information events provide additional guidance. Daily collective worship promotes reflection. One-to-one chats between students and pastoral staff give additional personal support.

First launched in 2015, the UK has this week been marking Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme for this year is Express YourselfExpressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good. Being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself. You may find the attached Children and Young People’s Newsletter, produced by the charity MIND, of interest.

A number of senior students joined Mr Evans, Head of Science for the launch event of the 2021 Rosalind Franklin Science Prize. The group included Mary Abay, Amna Ali, Aya Alshaalan, Aven Alqadhi, Soraya Chaudhari, Grace Humphreys, May Lyster, Wanna Magadi, Laura Matilla-Gutierez, Zainab Matoq, Jemima Miller, Victorious-Benedicta Olamona, Aubrey Rose Permison, Chloe Sanni and Ellie Regan. Students attended a range of talks organised by King’s College London and presented by Professor Simon Hughes, Professor Brian Sutton and a range of PhD students. They engaged with topics including Rosalind Franklin, X-Ray crystallography, photo 51, muscle contraction and fluorescing zebrafish embryos. We will encourage these students to begin organising work experience/shadowing placements in a hospital, laboratory or similar environment as part of the next phase of the Rosalind Franklin Science Prize.


Jessica Grant, Omowunmi Alouoke –Oladosu, Isabel Andrews and Grace Adul have all made us proud by gaining places on the Step Into Dance 2021 Ambassador Programme. Their training sessions will lead towards them gaining a Bronze Arts Award qualification with the Royal Academy of Dance. We wish them much joy and the best of luck!

Congratulations are also due to our amazing Year 9 debating team who have won the first round of the Urban Debate League against Sydenham School. They are now through to the nationals and will compete in April. The team included Ruby AgerGiulia De VivoAelwen HamleyEva Moradi and Phoebe Korsell. They all spoke with maturity and empathy, addressing and developing important issues with conviction. We keep our fingers crossed for the national round!

A group of sixth form students including Emma Leggio, Susannah Scott, Lauren Sutherland and Tilda Huscroft took part in the annual French Debating Competition at St Pauls' Girls' School. It was a marathon four-hour evening and the girls were patient, focused and dynamic throughout. They smashed their way through the debates and the opposition which included some of the top independent and grammar schools in the country. They thrashed Dulwich College and Tiffin School, kept Henrietta Barnett and Bede's on their toes and gave Winchester School a run for their money in a debate which ended in a draw. On some debates they scored a magisterial 9/10 and the judges were heartily impressed across the board with the sophistication of their argument, their mastery of the French language and their inimitable “sang-froid”!


I know you will take pleasure, as I do, in reading this wonderful array of events and achievements which I hope will set you up for a restorative weekend.


Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab




Message to the Grey Coat community on 28th January 2021




Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)


The Prime Minister announced yesterday that schools will not open more widely until 8th March at the earliest subject to a review of the public health evidence. We would all like nothing more than come back together as a community in physical school as soon as possible. However, we accept that this decision was based on an expert review of the evidence and was made in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity. We will explore the implications of this announcement across a range of issues including assessment and grade awarding, remote education and well-being. We will also continue to work hard to support each and every one of our school community through these trying times.


The deadline for submission of consultation responses to OFQUAL, regarding the way in which GCSE/A Level & VTQ grades should be determined this summer, is 29th January 2021. Schools, students, staff, parents and carers can all respond individually. The consultation, we understand, has already received more responses than any that OFQUAL has previously run. We suspect that these responses will also show a wide range of views and will share the outcome of the consultation with you when we receive it.


On 27th January each year, we pause to reflect on Holocaust Memorial DayThe Holocaust is considered the single greatest crime against humanity that the world has ever seen. Six million Jews were murdered alongside other minorities in concentration camps akin to industrial death factories by the Nazis as the Second World War raged. In less than four years, almost two thirds of Europe’s Jewish population had been obliterated. Despite commitments that this kind of tragedy will never happen again following the Holocaust, there have been millions murdered in subsequent genocides around the world. It is therefore vital to preserve the memory of the Holocaust as a constant reminder of what happens when hate goes unchecked; and to remember the horrors of persecution at a time when prejudice against minority groups is high on the news agenda. This year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day was “Be the Light in the Darkness” and you can learn more about the Holocaust and wider issues here.  


The enthusiasm, energy, creativity and determination of our students continue to inspire and motivate us – even, or possibly more so, during these challenging times.


Lola OsbourneAby InyundoReem GirmaiLucy BarkerElizabeth Greeney and Alice Gelosi - all in Year 10 - have been volunteering at the Oxfam Books Charity Shop in Strutton Ground for some time now. They are featured in the Oxfam end-of-year video for 2020 and have received high praise from their supervisor. Most recently, they have been working on creating a Holocaust Memorial Day window.


Praise is also due to Faith Nutt of Year 7 for gaining a place on the Step Into Dance 2021 Ambassador Programme. All of her training sessions will lead towards her gaining her Bronze Arts Award qualification with the Royal Academy of Dance. We wish her the best of luck in her first  online training session which is scheduled on Sunday 7th February!


Polly Dean in Year 11 and Amy Knotts in Year 10 must be commended for gaining places in the London Sports Leadership & Coaching Academy. There were hundreds of applications from across London and the selection process was extremely tough. The programme develops leadership and coaching skills and gives insight into the requirements of being an outstanding female coach. The girls will attend four virtual training sessions followed by a period of deployment which will enable them to put their knowledge and learning into practice. The programme could lead to gaining a place on the Active Coaches Camp at Loughborough University. We are sure they will have a great time and wish them success!


Please be reminded that Friday 29th January 2021 is a planned training day for staff and that students are not expected to be in physical or remote school.


Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab




Message to the Grey Coat community on 22nd January 2021





Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)


As we approach the half-way point of Term 3, the drive to increase our technology provision in support of remote learning is gaining further momentum. Having distributed over 90 laptops to GCH students since the start of the pandemic, we are excited to have confirmation of 54 laptops from Westminster City Council; 20 desktop computers from Emmanuel School, a member of the United Westminster and Grey Coat Foundation; 30 laptops via the post-16 Bursary Scheme; and 85 laptops for use in the sixth form from the Department for Education. We are now in a position where every GCH student in receipt of Pupil Premium can be loaned a laptop for remote learning if needed. We will continue to allocate these devices to GCH students in strict order of need.


This expanding technology provision further enhances our strategy of delivering remote live lessons to all year groups in line with the planned curriculum and timetable. A daily flurry of praise emails testifies to very high attendance, excellent engagement and wonderful work from our students.  Please be reminded that all students must have their cameras switched on throughout each RTC so that the teacher can monitor engagement. The real-time contact sessions with teachers are supplemented by structured resources and homework tasks set on TEAMS which must be completed on time and to the best possible standard. Attendance, engagement and quality of work are carefully tracked on a daily basis. Please note that sickness absence should continue to be reported through the usual channels.

We continue to offer exciting wider opportunities for our students despite current restrictions. Year 12 Drama students have been participating in a series of online workshops with Take the Stage at the Donmar Warehouse. This brilliant work will culminate in the group creating a piece of theatre online. Meanwhile, Year 13 Chemistry students have taken part in the Chemistry Olympiad today and we eagerly await their results.

This term so far, our in-school Nurture Group, which comprises students from key stages 3, 4 and 5 has varied in size between 17 and 32 students who work in physical school whilst participating in their timetabled live lessons. We continue to observe all protective measures in school and are grateful that since 5th January, we have only had one positive case of Covid-19 in School.


Lateral Flow Testing for Covid-19 of staff and students working in physical school is now well underway and we are reassured that to date all tests have been negative. You may have heard of the latest Government decision to pause daily testing of those who have been in close contact with a positive case in school whilst more research is carried out in the context of the new variant of the virus. However, as expected by the government, we will continue to offer testing twice a week to all staff and students who are working in physical school. Testing is optional and requires consent from participants and students’ parents/carers.


We have enrolled 38 of our Year 11 students in the National Tutoring Programme. This is a partially government funded, sector-led initiative to support schools to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on pupils’ learning. Students will have 15 hours of specialist tutoring in either Mathematics, English or Science over the course of the next term. 

Please be reminded that Friday 29th January 2021 is a planned training day for staff and that students are not expected to be in physical or remote school.


Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab


Message to the Grey Coat community on 15th January 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) 


As we settle further into the routines of remote learning, it is wonderful to read the many praise emails from staff to their classes, year groups and individual students. These highlight determined effort, thoughtful contributions and high quality work. They also demonstrate that students are making the most of the opportunities provided by the School.  


Please be reminded that RTCs are compulsory and that any sickness absence during term time should be reported through the normal channels by parents and carers. Cameras must be switched on by all students, with a neutral background, in order for staff to be able to monitor engagement. Parents and carers should report any technical issues. Staff will continue to contact home promptly with any concerns over attendance, work completion or lack of focus. We continue to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of our provision and welcome your feedback.


This week, the Music Department was extremely proud of the 28 students in Years 7-11 who successfully passed their Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Exam with flying colours. Entries ranged from the beginner’s Grade 1 to the proficient Grade 8. To put this into context, a Grade 4 is the standard requirement for GCSE performance and a Grade 7 is required for A Level Music. These formal exams are extremely demanding and rigorous and are highly respected worldwide. Most of these students have been receiving their instrumental lessons online since March 2020. Their success is even more impressive considering the difficult circumstances in which they have been learning. We are hugely grateful to our instrumental teachers who have worked tirelessly on screens from home; and to Ms Bertolaccini for organising and running the exams brilliantly. Specific mention must be made of Charlie Swann in Year 11 who achieved their Grade 5 in Singing with the highest mark we have ever seen in a singing exam, dropping only 4 marks overall out of 150!


Today, we began the process of Year 9 GCSE Options Choices with an introductory assembly from Ms Watson and Ms Young. This will be followed by the full range of subject presentations and individual discussions with students to ensure that they make choices which suit their strengths and allow them the best possible progression to post-16 level.


Since the start of Term 3, our Caterer has been providing daily meal options at morning and lunch breaks for students and staff working in physical school. Students who are entitled to Free School Meals and who are attending our Nurture Group are catered for in School. Alongside this, whilst we await the re-launch of the nationally coordinated government voucher scheme, we are emailing out electronic Free School Meal vouchers again to those students who are entitled to this provision and who are working remotely. The vouchers are backdated to 5th January 2021 and can be redeemed in the same way as previously.


Early next week, we will begin trialling the Lateral Flow Testing for Covid-19, for our staff who work in physical school, after which we intend to extend this optional opportunity to the students in our Nurture Group. The aims of this testing are to control the spread of the virus by identifying and isolating asymptomatic cases quickly; and to facilitate a swifter return to physical school of those who were identified as close contacts of a positive case. Participation is voluntary and consent is required. Next week, we will be sending out information regarding this process, along with a link to an electronic consent form for you to complete, so that we know whether you wish your child to participate or not. 


The Education Secretary has written to OFQUAL’s Chief Regulator outlining the process to agree alternative arrangements for exams in 2021. Once this process has been finalised, we will be able to determine next steps and share information and guidance with you. Meanwhile, it is absolutely vital that students in the examination years continue to work with focus as in-school assessment and tests will continue to be set and will form part of the evidence base used to submit final grade recommendations. Please be assured that we know our students extremely well and that we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that they are fully supported in learning and wider development and that they achieve their potential.


Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab



Message to the Grey Coat community on 8th January 2021


Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:2-3)


You will have heard that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident" today due to the fast increasing Covid-19 infection rate. Our compassionate thoughts and prayers are very much with those whose health or livelihood are affected by the pandemic or who have lost a loved one as a result of this virus.


At this difficult time, it is uplifting to see how effectively our arrangements for remote learning are working; how well our remote pastoral and mental wellbeing support is received; and how strongly our community spirit shines through. It is never more important than now to hold on to these positives, since the Prime Minister indicated in his announcement on Monday that the new lockdown may be in force for some time and that schools are likely to work remotely until at least February half term.


Since the first lockdown in 2020, we have issued a significant number of laptops from our own resources, which have since been augmented by additional devices from the Department for Education. Laptops are being allocated to those students who are most in need. We are now able to provide all students with remote live lessons (RTCs) in line with their timetable. There were very few technical issues reported  this week and student and staff feedback was very positive. Attendance at the RTCs was very high and engagement was very good. We have been able to respond to any reported issues swiftly and continue to welcome your feedback.


Please be reminded that RTCs are compulsory and that any sickness absence during term time should be reported through the normal channels by parents and carers, who should also advise us of any technical or other issues at home that might prevent a student from attending timetabled RTCs.


Learning online all day is a very intense experience and must be carefully balanced with breaks away from the screen. Additionally, dealing with technical issues may also take a little time. Our RTC schedule is tailored to take these factors into account and punctual attendance is therefore vital:


• 8.50 – 9.25 Period 1


• 9.35 – 10.10 Period 2


• 10.45 – 11.20 Period 3


• 11.30 – 12.05 Period 4


• 13.05 – 13.40 Period 5


• 13.50 – 14.25 Period 6


The real-time contact sessions with teachers are further supplemented by structured resources and homework tasks set on TEAMS, in line with our planned curriculum delivery, which must be completed on time and to the best possible standard. As always, staff are carefully tracking attendance at RTCs as well as monitoring the completion of set tasks for all year groups. Regular assessment and feedback continue online and our usual high expectations apply. Staff will contact home promptly with any concerns over attendance, work completion or lack of engagement.


All year groups have had online assemblies with their Head of Year this week and Father Myles has been sharing his Thought of the Day to boost our spirits. The PE department has encouraged students to partake in online yoga in order to promote wellbeing. These and other events will continue throughout this period of lockdown.


Our in-school Nurture Group comprises students from key stages 3, 4 and 5. The size of our Nurture Group suggests that everyone is taking the government’s message of “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” very seriously. Only those who cannot work from home should request to be supervised doing their RTCs in School. This approach allows us to implement social distancing and our other protective measures very effectively, which helps to make everybody on site feel safer and more comfortable. We have organised students in their separate year groups for their RTCs and also for their break and lunch spaces. We are grateful not to have had any cases of Covid-19 in School this week.


Our Sports Hall in St Michael’s has now been prepared so that we can carry out testing of staff and students in School soon, in line with government expectations. We are currently finalising staffing and training and will write to you with further detail once we are ready to begin this process.


Please note that with effect from Monday 11th January 2021, St Andrew’s Building will be closed until further notice and all our activities will take place in St Michael’s Building.


Earlier this week, the Education Secretary announced that GCSE, A Level and BTEC examinations cannot take place in the way they had been planned, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19. We now await detailed guidance so that we can develop our approach and share it with you as soon as possible. Meanwhile, it is absolutely vital that students in examination years continue to work with focus as in-school assessment and tests will continue to be set and will form part of the evidence base used to submit final grade recommendations.


These are anxious times - but please be assured that we know our students extremely well and that we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that they are fully supported in learning and wider development and that they achieve their potential.


Best wishes and God Bless,


Susanne Staab


Message to the Grey Coat community on 31st December 2020


Dear students and staff, parents and carers,


“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)


I hope you have been enjoying a peaceful Christmas break as much as possible at this turbulent time! Amidst ongoing anxiety and uncertainty, there is now also some hope of a better year ahead and we need to take courage from that.


Following yesterday’s government announcement and subsequent written guidance, I write today with a full update regarding the start of Term 3.


Please note that the arrangements outlined below REPLACE any previously communicated arrangements including those for the Nurture Group.


Protective measures from 5th January 2021 until further notice:

  • Enhanced cleaning and “fogging” (a disinfection technique) has taken place during the Christmas break in both buildings.
  • All previous measures will continue to apply - including meticulous hand hygiene, regular clean-down of work spaces and frequently touched surfaces, one-way system to manage crowds, maximum possible ventilation, and social distancing where possible.
  • Face coverings will once more be compulsory in all situations and spaces indoors, except when people are eating and drinking, or when they are working individually and are apart by 2m or more. This includes classrooms, corridors and communal areas. Those who were previously exempt will continue to be exempt.
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable persons will once more have been asked by the NHS to shield and should liaise with the School to arrange working/studying from home.


Please note that School will continue to start at 8.30am and end at 2.30pm each day until further notice. RTC timings will be as attached.


Arrangements for Week 1, starting 5th January 2021:

  • The Senior Leadership Team and selected support staff will be in physical school.
  • Almost all other teaching and support staff will be working remotely that week to reduce transmission of Covid-19.
  • All activity will take place in St Michael’s Building only. Students must not enter St Andrew’s Building.
  • The Nurture Group (mixed ages) will be supervised in physical school following remote timetabled lessons.
  • All other year groups will follow remote timetabled lessons at home.
  • Selected sixth form students will be invited into physical school to support them with online university interviews.
  • The remote lesson timings will apply (attached) to facilitate management of the technology and allow short breaks away from the screen.
  • Preparations will take place for delivery of mass testing in School and the process may begin that week, depending on resourcing, training, staffing and receipt of consent. More information will follow next week in a separate communication.
  • Mass testing/serial testing will require the Sports Hall and this facility will therefore be out of bounds until further notice.
  • Canteen service will be provided in St Michael’s Building only.
  • No extra-curricular activities will take place.
  • The library at St Michael’s will be in operation.


Arrangements for Week 2, starting 11th January 2021:

  • Almost all teaching and support staff will be in physical school. 
  • The Nurture Group (mixed ages) will be supervised in physical school following remote timetabled lessons OR physical timetabled lessons if in Y11/13.
  • Year 11 and 13 will be in physical school following timetabled lessons; all those who cannot attend School for a Covid-related reason will be remoted in and resources/instructions will be placed on TEAMS.
  • All other year groups will be taught remotely at home using TEAMS.
  • Mass testing may be in progress in the Sports Hall and more detail will follow.
  • All teaching activity and form activity will take place in the normal timetabled rooms in both buildings.
  • There will only be form time that week. No assemblies will take place.
  • Canteen service will be provided in St Michael’s Building only.
  • No extra-curricular activities will take place.
  • The library at St Michael’s and St Andrew’s will be in operation.


Arrangements for Week 3, starting 18th January 2021 (these are subject to a further government review)

  • Almost all teaching and support staff will be in physical school.
  • All year groups will be in physical school following timetabled lessons; all those who cannot attend School for a Covid-related reason will be remoted in and resources/instructions will be placed on TEAMS.
  • Year 13 mock examination will begin in accordance with the previously published schedule.
  • Mass testing may be in progress in the Sports Hall and more detail will follow.
  • All teaching activity and form activity will take place in the normal timetabled rooms in both buildings.
  • Assemblies will resume.
  • Canteen service will be provided in both buildings.
  • Extra-curricular activities will resume.
  • The library at St Michael’s and St Andrew’s will be in operation.


Attendance at Nurture Group from 5th January to 15th January 2021

Regrettably, due to the current very high rates of transmission of Covid-19, we will have to minimize the numbers attending our Nurture Group. Please disregard the previous invitations sent. All students should work at home if at all possible. If you feel that it is impossible for your child to work at home during this period, please complete the very short questionnaire below by 12pm on Saturday 2nd January 2021.


Fill | The Grey Coat Hospital - January Supervision Request Form