A Guide for Parents and Pupils
We are very much looking forward to welcoming pupils back to Pre-Prep and Prep at the start of the new academic year. This document outlines how pupils, staff and parents can safely return to physical schooling in September 2020.
At the end of the last academic year, we were able to return Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 to physical schooling and of course, we remained open throughout the entire lockdown period for the children of key workers. We learned a great deal from those experiences and have spent the summer months adapting elements of the normal school routine accordingly. In drawing together this plan, we have followed (and in most cases exceeded) Government guidance and built on our own experiences, guidance from the DfE and the Boarding Schools’ Association, as well as utilising group support within United Learning. We are very excited about seeing all pupils and colleagues back in school in September. There may be some families who will need to continue to shield for medical reasons and we will arrange teaching and learning as necessary. We will also move seamlessly back to a virtual provision for all pupils should the need arise in the months ahead.
Mrs Fiona Thomas
Welcome Back to School
1. The number of taught lessons each day will remain the same but there will be a staggered start and end to the day for pupils in different sections/Year groups of the school.
2. The morning bus service to and from school will run as normal, although with a slightly later departure time to facilitate the staggered ending to the Senior School day.
3.Pupils will be in their year group “bubbles” for lunch, break times, after school clubs, games etc.
4. Mixing between year groups will be kept to a minimum and will always be appropriately distanced.
5. For subject specialism, the various teachers will visit the children in their class/form room where most lessons will take place. Subject specialist rooms such as music and the science lab will be operational and cleaned down between groups.
6. All staff, visitors and pupils will wear face coverings while transiting around the school.
7. Lunch times will also be staggered and pupils will only sit with those in their year group “bubble” and spaces have been modified to enable year groups to have an adapted lunch provision each day. Further details will be circulated by Jane Stone, Bursar, regarding our lunch provision. Initially we are running our adapted provision for the first half of term at which point it will be reviewed.
8. We will be running after school clubs, with each year group given a daily choice. Prep will not be on offer every day as staff will be needed to run clubs.
9. Creche provision will run at both Pre-Prep and Prep according to staggered timings
10. The games programme will run throughout the week in line with the guidelines we are working to and will inevitably look and feel a little different whilst Government restrictions are in place.
11. We are still waiting on further information whether swimming will go ahead at Pre-Prep.
The key principles in planning our response to the Covid-19 crisis have been, firstly, the safety and wellbeing of all of our pupils and staff, closely followed by the need to provide continuity of an outstanding education to all of our pupils. The headline adaptations to our routine and expectations for September are:
THE SCHOOL SITE
(Pages 5 - 7)
Preparation before term starts
THE SCHOOL DAY
(Pages 8 - 15)
Timings of the School Day
Pre Prep & Prep
After School Clubs and Sport
MEDICAL CARE & HYGIENE
(Pages 16 - 17)
Preparation Before Term Begins
All staff are returning to school as usual for INSET training and this will be focused on training in the Covid-safe measures we have put in place. We will also ensure that there is training and information provided to all pupils as they return to school. We will also ensure that there are constant reminders to pupils and staff about how to stay safe, along with visual reminders and signage around the school site reinforcing these messages. Your support in reinforcing the fundamental principles outlined by the UK Government about how to leave our homes safely is welcomed.
• Following Government self-isolation and test and trace guidelines at all times;
• Keeping your distance from people outside your household;
• Keeping your hands and face as clean as possible;
• Avoiding being face-to-face with people;
• Avoiding crowds;
• If you have to travel, think about how you travel;
• Keeping indoor places well-ventilated;
• Face coverings serve a purpose, but do not replace social distancing.
The School Site
Cleaning teams will be present in school buildings throughout the day where they will be regularly cleaning toilets, touch points and classrooms.We have been fortunate in having been able to source a number of sanitisers which has greatly increased our capacity to sanitise large areas at speed.In addition, all areas will be cleaned thoroughly overnight (teaching areas) or during the day (boarding areas).
We require pupils and/or staff who have travelled from countries that currently require a 14-day quarantine period to have adhered to the Government guidance and completed quarantine and been passed fit before they are allowed into school. A number of our international pupils from countries that require quarantine will have completed their 14-day period of self-isolation at school – we have opened the boarding houses early to enable international pupils to start term in September safely.
Wherever possible, the school will continue to use technology to enable meetings to take place without the need for visitors to come on site. However, where only an in-person meeting is suitable, pre-booked appointments will be made.A ssurances will be required to ensure the Government’s self-isolation guidelines are followed before the meeting takes place. No other visitors will be permitted at this time. We ask all parents to remain at the school gate or designated entrance when collecting or dropping their sons and daughters.
Parents’ evenings will be held virtually for all of next term – we will advise you of any change to this in good time.
For prospective parents and pupils, no tours will take place during the week. During the first half of term we will run school Open events on a Saturday. Also we will not be able to host taster experiences for prospective pupils, certainly during the first half of term. We will continue to monitor and review.
In addition, any contractors or other external organisation used by the school will be required to follow our Covid-safe arrangements including confirming compliance with the self-isolation guidance, regular hand washing/sanitising and the wearing of a face covering when inside school buildings.
We have adapted our classroom and dining layouts to ensure that pupils are sat at an appropriate distance and in classrooms are not facing each other. In addition, classrooms have been organised in such a way that specialist subject teachers, who teach across year groups will be at a 2 metre distance from pupils during lessons.
For the foreseeable future we will not be holding large gatherings in school and assemblies will be conducted in year group bubbles or two year group bubbles that are appropriately distanced. We will ensure that Friday Talent Assemblies are recorded and sent out to Parents so you can see your child receiving any awards.
Timings of the School Day
Creche – Drop off between 7:45-8:10 am only. Pupils to enter school unaccompanied and proceed to the Hall
Years 5 and 6 – 8:20-8:30 p.m.on playground. Form Tutors will meet pupils on playground. In wet weather Yr 5 will meet in Foyer and Yr 6 meet in Hall
Year 3 – 8:30- 8:40 am – back entrance drop off (staff car park)
Year 4 – 8:30 -8:40 am – Playground – Form Tutors will meet pupils on playground.In wet weather – pupils to meet in foyer
End of Day:Arrangements:
Year 3 – 3:40 pm. – Back courtyard entrance
Year 4 – 3:40 pm– Playground
Year 5 – 3:50 pm– Playground
Year 6 – 4:00 pm– Playground
In the event of inclement weather staff will escort pupils to the main entrance or courtyard entrance for Year 3 to be dismissed.
Offered between 5:00 - 6:00 pm only. When collecting your child from crèche, please speak to office staff via the glass partition and a member of the administration team will inform the crèche leader of your arrival.
For those parents with children across multiple year groups or across both sites please speak to your child’s teacher with regards to the best timings to follow.
Once formal lessons have been completed for the day pupils may go home or remain at school. If pupils are remaining at school they must join an after school year group club (Prep). As we will be offering separate year group clubs the range of clubs on offer will be more limited than usual.
As detailed in the transport section below, our bus transportation service will run as normal with only a slightly later departure time.
Timings of the School Day
We kindly request that parents strictly adhere to the timings for Pre-Prep and Prep and that parents leave both sites promptly after drop-off and pick-up.
All pick-ups and drop-offs will be from main school gate. Staff will meet pupils at the gate at the allotted time in the morning and escort pupils to the gate for afternoon pick-up.
Creche– Drop off 7:45 - 8:20a.m at the office.
Reception- 8:30-8:40 a.m.
Year 1– 8:20 – 8:30 a.m
Year 2– 8:40-8:50 a.m.
End of Day Arrangements:
When collecting your child from crèche please speak to office staff and a member of the administration team will inform the crèche leader of your arrival.
Reeption – 3:30p.m.
Year 1 – 3.20p.m.
Year 2– 3:40p.m.
Creche will be in the Damant Hall. Pupils will be kept in separate year group bubbles with assigned resources.
The School Day
Pupils will remain in their class/form room for most of the day except for specialist subjects such as Music, Science (Prep only) and Art (Prep only). Teachers will move between the class/form rooms to teach lessons, so the pupils will be taught by their regular subject teachers. We will continue to teach practical subjects as part of the curriculum and put in place enhanced cleaning procedures to ensure that the handling or use of specialist equipment or spaces is Covid-safe. Learning support lessons will also be offered as normal with appropriate safety measures in place.
Pupils will be separated into year group “bubbles”.
These “bubbles” will be their classes and year groups in which they will remain throughout the school day, including for sport and after school clubs. The class groups will be based in their class/form room and teachers will move to the pupils. Wherever possible, desks will be separated within classrooms to enable social distancing within rooms.All classrooms will have a hygiene station so that pupils can sanitise their hands on arrival and departure. Pupils will be reminded to regularly sanitise/wash their hands, follow the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ guidelines and to distance themselves from others wherever possible. Tables/desks will be forward facing so that pupils are not directly facing one another in groups.
Break and lunchtimes will be staggered. When more than one year group bubble is outside at the same time they will have an allocated play area. Each “bubble” will have their own outdoor play resources.
For crèche, which will take place in the hall both at Pre-Prep and Prep, they will be distanced from other year groups and will have their own year group resources.
By zoning the outside space and separating year groups we will be able to monitor more effectively any potential transmission issues should they arise and, in so doing, be able to retain physical schooling for the rest of the school population.
After School Clubs and Sport
We will continue to offer a co-curricular timetable to pupils, some of which will take place during lunchtime (music) and others after school. We will share these activities with you prior to the start of term.The clubs offered will be for separate year groups and there will be at least one club on offer most nights of the week for your child’s year group at Prep. If your child does not choose to partake in an after school activity they will need to be collected at the designated time for that year group unless Prep is on offer. Year group clubs will also be on offer at Pre-Prep as well as crèche according to usual timings.
In addition, we will be running a games programme during the week. Fixtures between schools will not take place during the first half of the term and will be reviewed at the half term break in October.
Music lessons with peripatetic music teachers will continue as normal with enhanced safety measures.
Our boarding provision will continue as normal from September. Pupils in the boarding houses will be in their Boarding house bubbles.
Weekly boarders will also be able to go home at weekends into their own family bubbles before returning into their boarding bubbles whilst at school. Weekly boarders will be accommodated together in dormitories.
All of these measures are designed so that we can track and trace pupil interaction effectively in the event of any symptoms, and isolate pupils appropriately.
As advised by United Learning non-residential trips can go ahead with clear guidelines in place and adherence to all government procedures at this time. Residential trips are not planned unless guidance changes.
We will be running the normal school transport service with a number of changes to enable appropriate risk mitigation measures.
• Pupils will be given fixed seating in the vehicles so that they sit next to the same person on all journeys;
• The seating plan will place pupils from the same year group together (unless separate arrangements are in place e.g. with siblings sitting together);
• Drivers will be wearing face masks or visors;
• All pupils will be required to wear a face covering for all journeys;
• All pupils will be required to sanitise their hands both before entering the vehicle and when leaving it;
• All vehicles will be sanitised before each journey.
A relaxed uniform code is in place for Pre-Prep and Prep for the first half-term; please refer to July communication. When pupils have games sessions/PE they may come to school wearing an LMS tracksuit and games kit to minimise the need to change clothes during the school day. Clothes do not need to be washed more than they would normally. Pupils will be given a Games/PE timetable on the first day of term.
Chartwells (our school caterer) have ensured that all of their food preparation and serving activities are Covid-safe and that all their staff are trained in these measures. We will continue to use the dining rooms at both Pre-Prep and Prep with enhanced safety measures in place. Lunchtime will be staggered with pupils sitting in their bubble year groups. There will be gaps between bubbles so that tables and chairs can be sanitised between uses of groups.
All pupils will be required to sanitise/wash their hands before and after meals. There will be no self-service food items available, however, we will continue to provide a choice of nutritious meals. Individually portioned salad bowls and desserts will also be available.
Pupils displaying Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to the medical room. Day parents will be contacted and asked to collect their children at the earliest opportunity and pupils will wait in the medical roomfor collection and will be supervised by a member of staff.Additional rooms have been identified for boarders who are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or who have tested positive.
Regular washing of hands remains one of the most effective ways of controlling the spread of Covid-19. Pupils will be asked to sanitise their hands at the start of the school day and as they enter and leave classrooms. We have installed hand sanitiser stations around the school in key locations and there will be a hygiene station in each classroom. Regular washing of hands with soap and water will also be carried out at key points during the school day.
We ask all parents to check their children’s temperature each morning and to keep them home from school if they have a raised temperature and to follow the Government’s testing requirements if showing Covid-19 symptoms.
Any pupils who have a raised temperature whilst at school will be sent home to self-isolate and obtain a Covid-19 test if a day pupil.Boarders who have a raised temperature or are showing other symptoms of Covid-19 will be cared for by the School Nurse and House team.
Medical Care and Hygiene
As with all matters, we are monitoring Government and DfE guidelines and taking advice from health professionals as necessary as well as United Learning. Currently the DfE states that face coverings are not recommended or required in schools because pupils are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. United Learning have asked all their schools to follow these guidelines. Therefore, unless Government requirements change, pupils will not be required to wear face coverings within school other than where they are displaying Covid-19 symptoms and are asked to do so by the School Nurse. Some staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment where a specific risk assessment requires this – such as if a member of staff, school nurse or a member of the Boarding team is caring for a pupil showing Covid-19 symptoms.
For those pupils using school transport, face coverings will be compulsory. We ask that pupils provide their own face coverings.
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We have gone to extreme lengths to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all pupils and staff. We are all in this together as a school community and we trust you all to follow the guidelines as laid out in this booklet in order to avoid any issues that non-compliance may cause.
Thank you for your patience and continued understanding.