Returning to School Information
For the planned return to school in September all pupils will be required to wear full school uniform. Please click here to view the Summer holiday opening hours of The School Uniform Shop and the Second Hand Shop.
The College Covid-19 Safe Charter can be viewed here.
We are currently finalising revised plans for the planned return to school in September in accordance with Government guidelines. The below information will be updated shortly.
COVID-19 - Reducing the Risks
We take the threat of COVID-19 extremely seriously and have put measures in place to reduce risks as far as possible for the College community. We are following the direction provided by the Department for Education and referencing our approach with other national and local agencies. Like all other schools and businesses, we are not able to guarantee that COVID-19 will not enter our premises, but our preparation and approach aims to vastly reduce that risk and further contamination if it does. We are dependent on all parents playing their part by remaining alert to the symptoms and not to bring children onto the College campus who are symptomatic. These measures will change in line with government advice and we are currently waiting for guidance on reopening Senior School, full Pre-Prep and Prep School year groups.
Our approach has been to review all teaching and other routines to identify how they should be adapted to reduce the transmission of the virus. Our key mitigations are to:
- ensure pupils, parents and staff stay away from the College if they are symptomatic;
- ensure pupils and staff are socially distanced wherever possible;
- minimise contact and mixing by forming bubbles or pods of pupils and staff wherever possible;
- ensure frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene;
- implement regular cleaning and sanitising of areas.
Parents, staff and pupils are asked to follow the instructions given here to protect themselves and others from harm.
Our overarching principles for the College Community are that:
- Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (self-shielding) pupils and staff will continue to be taught or work remotely.
- Pupils and staff with members of their household classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, Clinically Vulnerable (High Risk) or pregnant can attend school but need to adopt stricter social distancing practices. If this is not possible then they must be taught or work remotely (where practical).
- No pupil or member of staff will be allowed on site if they demonstrate the current COVID-19 symptoms.
- Parents will not be allowed into school buildings or out of cars (except briefly in the case of releasing young children from car seats). All communication with staff must be via email.
- Parents must leave school immediately after drop off or collection and not socialise with other parents within the College grounds.
- If staffing levels drop, the College will determine if teaching at school is still possible or alternative methods should be deployed.
- Perspex screens will be put in vulnerable places to protect staff who may come into close contact with others.
Pupils and staff are encouraged to report any concerns about ways to improve COVID-19 prevention.
Before reopening, we will take the following actions and cleaning measures:
- Supply services and fire points will be checked.
- Building entrances will have standalone high-volume sanitiser dispensers for pupils and staff upon entry.
- Soap, sanitiser and paper towels will be restocked and refreshed upon each clean.
- Door handles, touch points, rails, toilets and surfaces will be cleaned and bins emptied in buildings in use morning, lunch times, and at night.
- Cleaning processes are in line with Government cleaning advice. We are also moving towards all class bins having sealed flip lids.
- Main corridors have social distancing markings on floors, and where feasible corridors are one way.
- Buildings in use will have distancing signage at appropriate points inside and outside.
- Unnecessary furniture has been removed to allow free flow in corridors.
- Outside play equipment is out of bounds, except to the Pre-Prep who will clean it between uses and equipment which is specific to each “bubble’ group in the Prep School (PS), which is cleaned every day.
- Toilets are marked with a maximum number of people allowed in at one time.
- “Hot desking” will be avoided but, where unavoidable (such as IT labs), keyboard wipes will be used and the desk cleaned by users.
- On site water fountains have been disconnected until further notice.
- Gates between schools are locked day and night until further notice; pupils and parents can only use gates of the school they attend. These will be
- PP Reception via drop off system from Great Hadham Road;
- Shell via one-way system drop off School House Drive;
- PS via the PS gate on Maze Green Road leading to the Sports Hall car park;
- Senior School (SS) via School House (SH) Drive - pupils then go direct to a designated classroom.
Specific points for pupils are:
- They will be regularly reminded about social distancing, hand washing and hygiene.
- They must observe all COVID-19 signage at all times.
- They must use hand sanitiser as they arrive and leave buildings and when entering and leaving classrooms.
- They must wash or sanitise before and after eating food.
- Breaktimes and lunch times may be staggered and/or segregated to avoid unnecessary social contact.
- Arrival times for each school may be staggered between 0800 and 0900 to avoid queuing and congestion.
- Pupils are welcome to wear protective face coverings if they wish.
- Pupils will sit 2m apart in classrooms where practicle with desks facing in the same direction.
- Pre-Prep will be in “pods” of no more than 10 throughout the school day.
- Prep School classes will be of no more than 12 pupils and one teacher (the same continuous teacher and same room all day only if possible).
- Senior School should normally have no more than 12 pupils per classroom. It is recognised that pupils may have to move to other classrooms or labs but will be kept to essential moves only.
- Teachers will dismiss classes in turn to avoid corridor congestion.
- When the Dining Hall reopens, staff and pupils must sit 2m apart and face the same direction.
- The Senior School Houses for day pupils will be closed except for collection of books and resources at key times and will supervised by staff.
- The Drama and Sports departments will always, without exception, follow the 2m social distancing rule.
- Until advised otherwise, pupils need to wear clothes which are clean for each and every day. N.B. school uniform is not to be worn, nor are ties.
In addition to the points above and in relation to Boarding:
- Boarders and staff will have a temperature check each day at morning House Registration.
- There will be staggered meals and boarders will use only designated segregated areas to avoid unnecessary social contact.
- Senior School Boarders will normally be in single rooms and will not allow any other boarder in their room. In quad rooms (for younger pupils only) strict social distancing instructions must be followed and the rooms well ventilated.
- Boarders in Grimwade will have an empty bed between each pupil and will have a strict bathroom rota.
- There will one ‘in’ and one ‘out’ door for each House with clear social distancing signage.
- Boarding houses will receive extra cleaning during morning breaks, at lunch times and during afternoon breaks, seven days a week.
- We will not allow guardians or parents into a House nor should they leave their cars, even if collecting sick pupils. All communication with staff must be via email.
- Boarding House staff will ensure fresh air is circulating and the windows will be opened regularly.
- Boarders must always carry a College-provided personal hand sanitiser bottle.
- Shared resources will be reduced to avoid transmission of the virus. Xbox’s and games may be used, but they must be wiped with disinfectant wipes before and after use.
- Boarders will not be allowed into Laundry Rooms. There will be a laundry collection process established to enable social distancing.
- Boarders must always sit 2m apart in the common rooms and in other areas.
- Where ensuite facilities do not exist, there will be allocated toilet and shower areas (e.g. for pupils in Young or Grimwade House) which only they must use.
If a boarder displays COVID 19 symptoms.
- Government regulations require the pupil to remain in their own room with no visitors for 7 days – food and medical care will go to them.
- The entire House will be sealed, and staff and boarders in the same House will remain in quarantine for 14 days. They may move around the House unless they display symptoms. Medical checks will be taken frequently of all staff and pupils.
- Food and services will be taken directly to the House.
- The cleaning of the House will be maintained but not in the suspected case room (s). Full PPE will be worn by cleaners. Once the lockdown is over, the entire House will be deep cleaned.
In addition to the relevant points above, our staff will:
- Always promote and use good hygiene practices.
- Receive training in the use of any PPE if needed for work.
- Only have staff meetings by video link.
- Not use any kitchens or tea-making facilities on site and bring in their own refreshments.
- Be supported by their manager (on site or those working/furloughed or isolating at home) and their welfare monitored.
- Ensure shared equipment e.g. in Labs or in the Music Department are wiped down with sanitising cloths after use.
- Until advised otherwise, wear smart, respectful and tidy clothes to work – suits and ties are not necessary.
- Avoid where possible sending home paperwork and books.
- Be allocated office areas that have correct social distancing measures in place.
- Work from home when they are not needed to be at school until further notice.
If a pupil has COVID-19 symptoms whilst at school, we will:
- Ensure the teaching staff wear the correct PPE from the emergency COVID kit in each classroom.
- Take the pupil directly to their school designated isolation room with appropriate adult supervision depending on their age.
- Contact the parents/guardians to collect pupil (boarders will be taken to their rooms to isolate and have medical attention)
- Not be allowed back pupils until parents confirm that a doctor has declared the pupil is COVID-19 negative.
- Clean all areas used by the pupil with normal household disinfectant as per Government advice.
If a pupil has been at school and COVID-19 is confirmed, we will:
- Inform parents of the that class and group that they must self-isolate for 14 days.
- Sanitise all known contact areas in accordance with latest Government advice.
The College Transport Service will operate in the following way:
- The College Transport Service will not operate for the foreseeable future.
- No more than 7 pupils will be allowed on any one minibus at one time and will sit one pupil to a double seat.
- The minibus drivers and chaperones will wear FS2 standard face masks for personal use and gloves.
- Pupils are to wear their own face coverings supplied by the College.
- Where the demand for seats exceeds 7 pupils per route, consideration will be given to alternative pick up and drop off methods or alternatively, the route may be cancelled if not financially viable.
- No pupil with COVID-19 symptoms may use a bus and parents must wait at pick up point to ensure their child is allowed on a bus after a visual check by staff.
- There will always be good ventilation in the vehicle.
- Staff only may sit in the front seats. Pupils will sit behind the Perspex screen partition.
- All touch points in the buses and seats will be cleaned before and after use.
- Bus passenger will disembark in an orderly fashion leaving 2m between each other and the bus will fill up from the back seats forward.
- In the event of a breakdown, if safe to do so, passengers will disembark and wait safely ensuring social distancing is maintained. If it is safer to remain in the vehicle, all windows must be opened.