As we move towards September 2020, we know you will probably have many questions about how we will navigate the situation we find ourselves in – ensuring exciting and rewarding educational opportunities, whilst keeping our community safe and healthy.
I would like to reassure you that while we are planning for September and the return to our classrooms - ready to head into our 125th year with enthusiasm - we are preparing for how things may have to be done slightly differently.
Please see below for some Frequently Asked Questions specifically designed for our international families - both those who have already committed to us for the upcoming academic year and those who are still considering schools for their children.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.
With my thanks,
Leila Gold - Director of Marketing, Admissions and Enterprise
How will you make sure all buildings are safe?
We’re currently undergoing a deep clean and sanitisation of all indoor environments, including classrooms, dining hall, laboratories as well as the boarding areas.
Our Household Department has conducted an extensive review of our housekeeping methods and routines paying particular heed to the ever-changing Government guidance.
Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of communal areas and furniture will take place daily including high traffic areas and touch points such as door handles, light switches, taps, sinks, toilets, bannisters.
Once a day, a newly-purchased fog machine will be utilised to sanitise the classrooms and high traffic areas.
We’ve also increased the number of hand sanitising stations across the school, updating them, so they are touch free. We’d also like pupils to bring with them their own small bottle of sanitiser, which can be re-filled from central points throughout the day.
How will you manage social distancing in Boarding Houses?
Full and weekly boarders will be housed in either Mason (boys) or Gibbs (girls) for the first two weeks of the term. They will be allocated bedrooms and bathroom facilities in separate areas or floors of the House and according to year groups. Pupils will be asked to wipe taps after use if they are shared with other pupils from their year group.
- Within the boarding houses, social distancing within a year group is defined as ‘no contact’ but year groups may socialise with each other in Common rooms areas provided 2 metre social distance can be maintained
- Where possible one-way systems will operate in the boarding houses
- Face coverings may be worn in the boarding houses if wished and the new laundry arrangements will be explained by the Housemaster/mistress
- House kitchens will be utilised with permission from the Housemaster/mistress and under new guidelines. Pupils should not share cups, drinks or food
- Unfortunately parents/family members cannot be allowed access to the sleeping areas of boarding houses at drop off
How will you manage social distancing in corridors and classrooms?
Class sizes will be as normal but all classrooms will be set up with desks facing forward. There will be seating plans for every lesson and every classroom and pupils will be asked to wipe down their desk and chair at the end of every lesson. All classrooms will have sanitising spray and wipes available for use by pupils and staff.
One way systems will be in place throughout the College: this includes satellite buildings and into and out of spaces such as the Sixth Form Centre and boarding houses. A map of these will be provided to all pupils and staff.
Signs will indicate to pupils on which side of the door they should wait before entering a classroom
- Pupils will be put into year group bubbles and they will be taught, do sport and activities, take lunch and move around the school with their year group. Year groups will be allocated areas of the school for good weather break and lunch times and will register for fire alarms as year groups rather than Houses.
- Teachers will maintain social distance between themselves and pupils throughout the lesson
- No sharing of equipment will be allowed and so pupils must be sure to bring their own pencils and pens etc. They will also need their laptop or tablet for each lesson
- Any equipment used by more than one group will be sanitised or set aside for 72 hours before use by another group.
Will you be checking everyone for COVID-19 on arrival?
We will be temperature checking all boarding pupils in the morning and in the evening and monitoring all pupils for symptoms.
We will also be asking parents and guardians to complete a COVD-19 questionnaire ahead of the start of term in order to ensure pupils with symptoms do not attend school.
Will there be a quarantine period for those arriving at school?
The UK currently has ‘travel corridors’ in place with 50 countries and therefore if your child is travelling from one of these countries, they will NOT be required to self-isolate.
If your child is travelling from a country that is not on the exemption list, they will self-isolate together in one of our Boarding Houses, creating their own ‘bubble’.
It is likely that lessons for those in the quarantine ‘bubble’ will be taken remotely and in reality, this will only impact the first 10 days (2 weeks) of teaching time.
Although we anticipate the quarantine exemption list to include more countries as we move towards September, we are fully prepared for how we will manage this if there is a need.
If your child is required to quarantine upon entry to the UK, it's VERY important that they arrive by 6th September. If they arrive after this date, they will be required to quarantine at the home of their Guardian.
What if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at school?
In the event of any member of our community testing positive, they will be isolated immediately and we will inform authorities as part of the government’s Track and Trace system.
Should a member of our community become ill, we have adequate, well-equipped and completely contained self-isolation areas and have a close relationship with Bassetlaw NHS Trust should further treatment be needed.
Sport and extra-curricular activities are a big part of an independent education – how will you ensure these programmes can continue?
I have questions about costs – fees, uniform and trips etc. Who should I speak to?
The Admissions Team should be your first port of call. The team works all-year round and are currently set-up in their home offices, so please do give them a ring or drop them an email.
Will pupils be required to wear facemasks?
At this stage, we don’t know whether wearing facemasks will form part of UK government guidelines in September. However, we are already in touch with a manufacturer who is on standby to supply face coverings if this were to be the case.
It is likely that we will ask children over the age of 11 to wear facemasks whilst using school transport, unless there is a medical reason why they are unable to do so.
How will you ensure that school Transport is safe for pupils?
In accordance with the government guidance around ‘dedicated transport’, we will be adopting the following measures on our buses in order to reduce risk.
- Hand sanitiser will be available for pupils upon boarding and/or disembarking
- There will be additional cleaning of vehicles
- There will be an organised queuing and boarding system and distancing within vehicles wherever possible
- Children over the age of 11 will be asked to use face coverings, where appropriate
We are looking at booking flights. What date should my child arrive at school?
Pupils should NOT arrive at school before the morning of Sunday 6 September. If you arrive before that time, you should arrange for your child to stay with their UK Guardian until that time.
If you would like us to collect your child from the airport, please complete our booking form, by clicking here.
Will you still be able to collect my child from the airport?
Yes, we will still be running a collection service for our international pupils. We have a fleet of minibuses, staffed by our own DBS-checked drivers - please click here to book airport collection for your child.
Please be aware that your child must not arrive at school before the morning of Sunday 6 September, so if you book an earlier flight, they will need to stay with their UK guardian until Sunday 6 September.
Will my child have to return home at half term and the Easter holiday?
If you would like our Finance Team to hold pocket money for your child, please can this be transferred into our bank account to avoid the handling of money on arrival.
The bank details are the same as those for bill payments and you should use your pupil code provided on the bill as the reference. (For example, SHORTR)
Please contact the Admissions Team if you would like this information to be resent.