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September 2020 Return to College Plan

As families around the world start to look ahead to September 2020, we know that you will have questions regarding the safety and wellbeing of students returning to college.

Like most families, our priority is to look after, protect and support those in our care. To assist in this, we are delighted to have signed up to the BSA's Covid Safe Charter and adhere to it's principles.

We are very optimistic that students will be able to return in September. Our magnificent natural setting offers our students a fantastic environment to learn and develop in, providing significant advantages for their protection and wellbeing and parents peace of mind.

Under the circumstances, things may need be done slightly differently than normal. Our planning and response team have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to assist both our international and domestic families who are joining, and considering joining us in September.

We invite you to contact us should you have any further questions and our admissions team will be more than happy to help.

Rob Jones

Head of College

What is the COVID 19 situation in Gloucestershire and Rendcomb? 
  • Rendcomb is based in the South West of England which has been the lowest region for COVID 19 cases throughout the pandemic. As of 13th July there have only been 1,837 cases recorded in Gloucestershire, with 202 of those in the Cotswolds where we are located. In June there were only 12 new cases recorded in the Cotswold region.
How is Rendcomb college able to manage COVID 19? 
  • Rendcomb College is in a remote, countryside location away from main cities and commuter routes which helps with social distancing.
  • The college is situated on a large 230 acre site (175 football pitches) with a small number of pupils.
  • Our small class sizes allow us to easily accommodate pupils in our classroom spaces.
  • Full time boarders have their own personal room and space.
  • Rendcomb College has full-time medical cover and a Doctors’ Surgery in the Village, with easy access to two local hospitals; neither of which have got close to capacity during the crisis.
How will International pupils get to Rendcomb? 
  • We will run dedicated transport from airport to College where required. This will be overseen by a member of Rendcomb’s pastoral team. The transport will be fully disinfected and dedicated to airport transfers only during this period.
  • If it is required we are planning to allow pupils to complete a fourteen day quarantine at school. Pupils will have access to parts of our 230 acre estate before term starts. We will make arrangements to keep them busy on the school site.
How will the college restrict contact with non Rendcomb people? 
  • Pupils will not be required to leave school grounds for the first half of term and this will be extended as required.
  • There will be limited access to the whole of Rendcomb College by people who do not either live or work here. The students will have access to a limited number of staff on site.
  • Boarding pupils will be allowed to stay at school throughout half term and until the Christmas Holiday so that we can maintain an infection-free school.
  • Pupils will not be expected to play fixtures or attend any trips before half-term and this will be extended for the full term subject to government guidance.
How will pupils be kept safe in school? 
  • We are adhering to the BSA's  Covid Safe Charter 
  • We are implementing a plan to make the most of our space and allow social distancing throughout the day. This includes various one-way routes with a minimum 2 metre spacing and associated signage and sanitising stations.
  • We are putting in place measures to make the best use of our considerable site. Classes do not exceed 20 and most are less. A level Groups do not exceed 15 and are normally less than 10.  
  • Meals will be staggered timings to allow pupils to social distance.
  • The dining area has been adapted to allow social distancing as required by the Government.
  • We will ensure that break and lesson times are staggered to allow smooth movement around the site.
  • Any ‘whole school’ event will be streamed or recorded until such time as it is safe to gather in larger groups.
  • Pupils and staff will be encouraged to report any concerns.
How will boarders be kept safe?  
  • Unlike most UK boarding schools, Rendcomb does not have large dormitories. From Year 10 upwards every pupil will have their own room in the boarding house meaning that they have a safe space that only cleaners will need to enter.  From Year 7 to 9 bedrooms usually have two pupils in them. 
  • Boarding Houses will be adjusted to allow easy flow of pupils with limits on communal areas.
  • Communal areas such as dining, sports halls, library, classrooms and all other school facilities will be adapted to maintain safe spaces.
  • Deep cleaning of all spaces will take place on a regular basis.
  • Staff have been trained in the safe management of boarding houses under the new guidance.
What actions are Rendcomb taking to protect pupils and to prevent any spread of disease?  
  • All staff and students will be required to adhere to the appropriate social distancing rules in all areas of the College.
  • We need to be confident that we can test, track and trace pupils who have been infected with COVID 19 and we are in discussion with occupational health providers as to the most effective way to do this.
  • Public testing in the UK is now open to everyone and we can make use of that facility locally. Those with symptoms will have their care overseen by the school doctors and nurses, and tests and subsequent actions will be carried out as per the government guidelines.
  • Pupils are allowed to wear face masks if they desire but we will not be requiring this unless government guidance changes. These can be purchased locally and delivered straight to school.
  • We have a rigorous cleaning programme in place including frequent deep cleaning.
  • If a pupil or staff member shows symptoms they will be isolated and a test will be arranged.
  • We have a dedicated space (Garden House) away from other pupils for safe self-isolation and this will be fully staffed to support the children.
  • The Medical Team and Doctor’s Surgery will support all pupils in conjunction with the pastoral staff. Normal medical interventions will continue including all vaccinations or other requirements.
  • Hand sanitisers will be available in multiple locations throughout the College and Houses and pupils will be required to wash their hands regularly and as they move around Campus.
  • We require regular hand washing by pupils and staff.
  • PPE equipment will be available as required.
  • We will display notices explaining the new procedures.
  • Pupils will be educated to ensure that equipment is not shared, other than when appropriate cleaning has taken place.
How will Teaching and Learning work if my child cannot attend school at the start of term? 
  • Our teaching staff have delivered exceptional remote teaching to all our current students during the lock down phase.
  • We will make provision for the continuation of remote teaching for pupils who are unable to come to school.
  • We will be flexible on start time for international pupils to allow a delayed return if needed.
  • Any ‘whole school’ event will be streamed or recorded until such time as it is safe to gather in larger groups. 
General Preparation and Planning  
  • We have completed a full risk assessment in preparation for pupils to return to Rendcomb College and we will continue to update as the situation develops.
  • The return of younger pupils has allowed us to test and develop our procedures.
  • All utilities have been kept in working order throughout the lock down with all checks being carried out as usual.
  • All fire equipment has been serviced and maintained throughout the school closure.
  • Fire drills under social distancing procedures have been planned and we will conduct a drill straight after reopening.
  • Laundry will be managed hygienically and safely.
  • Kitchen safety protocols are in place to ensure social distancing requirements are adhered to.
  • Visitor protocol is being adapted to minimise contact with people from outside of Rendcomb.
Will my child need to quarantine? 
how long will my child need to quarantine for and where will they quarantine?
  • If required, your child will have to quarantine for two weeks.
  • We will be running a quarantine set up in Park House from 24th August as this is two weeks before the start of term.
  • Pupils who arrive later will have access to remote learning if they miss the start of term. 
will the school buses run and what will this look like?
  • We are working closely with all of our travel operators who are continually monitoring the situation.
  • We will adhere to Government guidelines and will be providing more information in due course.  
if my child cannot attend school in September what will school look like for them?
  • We will be offering remote learning to those pupils are unable to return initially.
  • The remote learning will work alongside lessons. More details to follow.
what is the testing process if my child becomes ill as a boarder?
  • We will follow the government’s test and trace programme.
  • Pupils will be supported by on-site medical and house staff who will ensure that they are tested, kept safe and isolated where required.
what is the plan for mealtimes?
  • We are extending mealtimes to ensure that social distancing can be adhered to in the dining areas.
  • There is a strict one-way system, and pupils will be sat at tables with regulation spacing between them.
who do i speak to about visas?