QE Update
APRIL 2020
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Image of Front of School
Letter from the Headmaster
Dear Parents and Boys

I welcome all our boys ‘back’ for the first day of the Summer Term and trust that you will quickly settle into your remote lessons, having had a chance to relax over the Easter break. Work is now again being set on eQE, corresponding to the timetabled lessons boys would normally be having on any given day.

As these unusual conditions continue, I am happy to report that we will be able to broaden the education offered via remote learning in this Summer Term: our teachers are striving to adapt thoughtfully to the prevailing situation, so that virtual schooling at QE goes beyond just the content of the curriculum. We aim to be more ambitious, creating a rich programme that is well-suited to the specific capabilities inherent in virtual learning.

This will take a little time, and we are also conscious of the need to avoid overwhelming students. Furthermore, the pace of interaction will naturally be a little slower than in a real classroom setting. In such a situation, I appeal to the boys themselves to be resilient and to dig deep to develop their independent learning skills. We have in fact been working with them on just such skills as part of the current School Development Plan. We are, therefore, in a strong starting place because of the work already done, and not just over recent weeks, but for some years past.

We are now looking to replicate a strong online QE experience across all areas of School life, including enrichment as well as pastoral support and guidance. We are looking carefully at everything that would have been going on in School and trying to offer as much of this as possible virtually. To name a few examples, there are: the form forums set up for boys in Years 7 and 8; online music lessons; virtual assemblies to bring year groups together; and, coming soon, careers support via QE Connect for Years 12 and 13.

As we get back into the rhythm of term-time, we still want you, our pupils, to inform us about your remote learning and other activities – show us what you are up to! I ask that all of you get involved in as much as you can, inspiring one another, as we all continue to adapt to these new arrangements.

I am conscious that such a rhythm may be harder to discover or maintain for those who would have soon been sitting examinations, but here, too, we would encourage you to utilise the materials and guidance on eQE to continue your development and even to take inspiration from others, perhaps getting involved in some voluntary service, where safe to do so. The School will be pushing ahead with implementing the processes we have been asked to follow in relation to the awarding of course grades, as I have explained to these families in my letter of last week.

We are here to support all students, in all year groups, in whatever way we can. I am confident that, by working together and capitalising on the excellence of the QE experience in order to build a first-class eQE experience, we can make a very considerable success of the 2020 Summer Term.

With best wishes,

Mr Neil Enright

Our Six Ss for a successful Summer Term


If you have not already done so – and hopefully many have – create an environment to support effective learning. Set aside a study space, or at least one that is dedicated for learning during study hours. This makes it easier to avoid distractions; it places pen, paper and key equipment in easy reach, and it should put you in the frame of mind for work. For some, creating the right environment might mean putting on proper clothes, too!


Much was said in the first QE Update about the importance of a routine; it certainly makes things much easier, both in terms of effective study and of your overall wellbeing. Structure is a good weapon against procrastination; it helps ensure a suitable balance between different subjects (by working on subjects Monday–Friday, as they would be on your timetable), and it gives us a sense of purpose, while helping maintain clear boundaries between work, recreation and rest. Aim to build in sufficient breaks to enhance overall productivity and wellbeing.


Maintaining social interaction is very important for wellbeing, whether that is with your family or with friends and peers. Many avenues for this have emerged, including the form forums on eQE for Years 7 and 8. Think about collaborating and communicating with others about work where relevant, as well as talking to them as friends. Try to look out for one another: with all that is going on, some may be having a harder time than others.


Build in time for rest and relaxation, and switch off from work at the end of the day. It is all too easy to end up glued to electronic devices, so take time away from screens, too. Within the boundaries of the social distancing rules, try to get out, if only for a short while, and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air, thus benefiting from opportunities for exercise, as well as simultaneously boosting your mood and vitamin D levels. In the current crisis, many are turning to mindful activities that are good for their wellbeing, appreciating afresh life’s simpler pleasures.


We do not know how long this situation will all last. Whilst term will not be as high-octane as when we are at School, it is important that a good, even pace is kept up, so that you are covering the material you need to learn and feeling that you are achieving things during this period. We cannot make up all this time when we are back in School, so everyone needs to stay on track.


The greater reliance on independent learning methods is actually a prime opportunity for exploring different ideas and approaches, and drawing on different sources, to aid deeper and broader thinking. There will be greater scope for you to shape the direction of some of your learning, allowing you to develop your own interests within a subject. For those in Year 11 and Year 13, the extended transition to A-level and university provides an opportunity to get ahead by engaging with material that you are drawn to.

Brave New World

Brave New World competitions – poetry marking in motion;
last call for art

QE’s Brave New World poetry competition has seen 60 entries across the year groups. Head of English Robert Hyland says: "That is a very good number, so well done to everyone who contributed! I am now busy reading them through to judge the best."

Entries to the subsequent Brave New World art contest are reported to have been of a high calibre. The competition remains open until the end of today (Monday), so if you have not yet submitted your entry, there is still time to send it via eQE. Submissions can be of artwork in any medium.


Race against time to support the NHS

Hard work continued on-site at the School and in boys’ homes over the Easter holiday to maximise production of PPE.

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Ivin Jose

Leading by example

School Captain Ivin Jose reports on how he has been spending his time since the virus-related restrictions hit.

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Good in a crisis

Good in a crisis

Senior QE pupils have quickly swung into action to help out during the pandemic, continuing the School’s long tradition of public service.


Year 12’s George Raynor was already registered as a youth volunteer at Watford General Hospital, so when a new role of 'response volunteer' was created specifically to help with the pandemic, he was keen to get involved.

This role entails responding to the needs of NHS staff and patients wherever it is most necessary. That can include, for example, managing deliveries and donations to the hospital to ensure they quickly reach the correct wards; making sure doctors and nurses (who rarely get time for a break) are fed and kept hydrated; helping with patient tea rounds (only for non-isolated patients, as they do not enter the isolation wards), and taking calls from relatives of patients who are unable to visit.

"Although not glamorous, our work definitely seems to be valued by the hospital staff and I am really enjoying being able to contribute in a small way to the national effort,” says George. “I would certainly recommend volunteering for your local hospital if the opportunity arises and, if nothing else, it gets you out of the house a couple of times a week!"


Kieran Dhrona, of Year 13, has been collecting food donations from friends and family to give to NHS staff.

"These are people who are working long shifts and tiring hours, risking their lives on a daily basis,” said Kieran, who is part of youthconnectionlondon. “It is so important that the NHS has the public's support, and whatever small things we can do to make sure that our healthcare system can be maintained during the crisis we should do."

Pictured above is some of the food collected and delivered to A&E and other wards at Northwick Park, Hammersmith, Barnet and the Royal Free Hospital.

Separately from this and from the work led by Head of Technology Michael Noonan, Kieran and his family have also made and delivered to hospitals more than 400 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment by contacting suppliers of materials such as acetate and foam and then designing and creating the medically approved PPE, such as visors.

Painting by Aarav Agarwal, inspired by the work of modern impressionist Leonid Afremov<

Keeping busy? These boys certainly are!

Year 9 pupil Pratyush Dutta Gupta’s packed holiday programme of lockdown activities featured sports, baking and making music, to name just three, while other Lower School boys getting creative include Aarav Agarwal, of Year 7, whose painting, above, is inspired by the work of modern impressionist Leonid Afremov.

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Image of Manomay Lala-Raykar

"These unusual times"

Reflections on life and learning in a pandemic, from Year 11’s Manomay Lala-Raykar.

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