Junior School September 2020 Frequently Asked Questions
It was fantastic to have been able to welcome so many pupils back to school in June and we were delighted with how those arrangements worked in practice.
We now look forward to welcoming pupils back to school in September and I hope that you will find the following FAQ document useful. This information is subject to change in accordance with any alterations to government guidance but I shall write to you again before the start of term and we will add these questions to the school website and update it as we approach the beginning of the school year.
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 invite you to contact us should you have any further questions and our admissions team will be more than happy to help.
Head of Juniors
If you have any concerns regarding you son or daughter’s health, or they are showing any symptoms of COVID 19 please keep them at home and follow the Government advice. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
· a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
· a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
· a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Following the latest government guidance, it is now possible for the Junior School to become one bubble. This bubble will consist of all pupils from Nursery –Yr6 and will be considerably fewer in number than the maximum bubble size of 240 which the government guidance currently allows. By organising the Junior School in this way, we shall be able to provide our usual level of wrap-around care with Early Morning Club and After School Club operating as normal. Furthermore, this larger bubble will ensure that we can offer co-curricular activities and Games lessons can run with their usual number of pupils.
Pupils will be free to interact with one another though they will be kept apart from the other Senior School bubbles. The government continues to recognise that social distancing is not practical for pupils under the age of 11 and thus pupils will be able to mix freely.
- In order to reduce the risks, we are minimising the number of people who enter the school buildings.
- Pupils in Nursery-Yr2 will enter and exit through the Junior School entrance and can be accompanied by their parents.
- Nursery pupils can be dropped off and collected in the usual manner from the corridor directly outside Nursery.
- Pupils in Reception-Yr2 who are leaving school at 15:30 can be collected from the area outside the Otters’ Building. Parents of these pupils are permitted to enter the Junior School Building through the main entrance adjacent to the Junior School office.
- Pupils in Yr3-Yr6 will enter and exit through Main Reception and should not be accompanied into the building by their parents.
- Pupils in Yr3-Yr6 who are leaving school at 15:40 will need to be collected from outside the entrance to Main Reception. Staff will ensure that these pupils are collected safely.
- Pupils in Reception-Yr2 who have attended an activity and are leaving school at 16:30 can be collected from the coral area outside the Otters’ Building. Staff will ensure that these pupils are collected safely.
- Pupils in Yr3-Yr6 who have attended an activity or prep and who are leaving school at 17:00 can be collected from outside the entrance to Main Reception. Staff will ensure that these pupils are collected safely.
- Pupils in Yr3-Yr6 who are being collected from prep before 17:00 may be collected in the usual manner. Parents are permitted to enter the building to collect a child from prep but they should enter through the Junior School entrance and should be mindful of social distancing arrangements.
- Parents may also enter through the Junior School entrance to collect any pupil who is attending After-School Club.
- The Parent Waiting Room will not be in use at any point.
- Parents are asked not to enter the Main School building or to access the Junior School corridor and its classrooms. If you need to contact the Junior School then please email or phone in the first instance so that an appointment can be arranged.
- Firstly, welcome to the Rendcomb family and please be assured that there is no need to panic! We shall ensure that there is provision in place to make sure that all new pupils and their families are welcomed to school on their first day and we will help parents to familiarise themselves with the school site and various pick-up and drop-off points. I will write to you all before the start of term with further details.
- Lunch will be available as normal though pupils may need to eat in areas other than the Dining Room. Our catering team will constantly manage any additional changes which may be required.
- Pupils are not required to be socially distanced and, whilst desks will face forward in the majority of classrooms, this will be adapted where necessary depending upon the age of the pupils being taught and the nature of the activity they are undertaking. Thankfully we are blessed with relatively large classrooms with high ceilings and good ventilation. It would be fair to say that the majority of teaching will take place as it ordinarily would.
- Senior, Junior and Nursery School pupils will be kept apart and have their own access and facilities. Pupils will be expected to wait outside classrooms and are then allowed to enter and leave under the guidance of the teachers. We will be implementing social distancing measures to ensure that pupils are reminded to preserve space between one another when moving around site.
- As the Junior School will operate as one bubble then toilet facilities can be used as they ordinarily would be. Certain year groups already have their own designated facilities and these areas will be regularly cleaned and pupils will be reminded of the importance of maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene.
- The majority of assemblies will be able to take place as normal. Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend Chapel and we cannot hold our hymn practice assembly. If there is a suitable space available then I hope to hold a weekly Distinction Assembly for pupils. As soon as it is permitted and practically possible, parents will once again be invited to Distinction Assemblies.
- Yes, the library can be accessed and reading books will be issued as normal.
- All pupils will continue to partake in their sporting activities as per the timetable. There will be no inter-school fixtures in the first part of term, this will be reviewed at half-term. We will be running a full sporting programme during PE and Games and ensuring we adhere to government guidance at all times. At present, we have received no communication from Cirencester Leisure Centre in relation to swimming arrangements for our Reception-Yr2 pupils. I doubt very much that any swimming will take place during the first half of term but we shall of course keep you up to date with developments.
- We will be able to run our after-school activity programme albeit with some necessary adjustments. Some activities will not take place initially but this situation will be reviewed throughout the term.
We hope to be in a position to send out the activity list for the Michaelmas term via email early next week so please do keep an eye out for this appearing in your inbox.
Individual lessons will be in person from the beginning of next term, with lessons beginning on
Monday 14th September. Lessons will be run following the guidelines issued by the Government (guidance dated 1st July 2020) and the advice given by the Incorporated Society of Musicians.
- Six large well-ventilated rooms, in various locations throughout the College, have been identified as suitable venues for individual music lessons for the Michaelmas Term. These rooms will only be used for music lessons and will be cleaned and sanitised regularly. The larger of these rooms will be used by singers, woodwind and brass players. The small practice rooms on the top floor of the music department will not be used for tuition until January 2021 at the earliest.
- As advised by the ISM where possible there will be gaps of at least ten minutes between lessons to allow for the room to ventilate.
- If we are unable to welcome parents to this term’s Musical Tea then the concert will take place virtually and will be released on the department's social media channels.
- All rooms in which piano lessons are taught will continue with two pianos, so that pupil and teacher can be suitably distanced and will not have to share instruments.
- The department will continue to loan instruments by the term as normal but will not be able to loan instruments for individual lessons or ensembles in the event that a pupil forgets to bring their instruments.
- Drama lessons for Yr3-Yr6 will continue as normal. At this stage, the Otters’ Nativity has been scheduled for late in the Michaelmas Term and we shall constantly review the situation in regard as to whether or not this event can take place with an audience. If guidance still does not allow us to welcome an audience then the production will be recorded and made available for parents to view remotely. The arrangements for those pupils who receive Speech & Drama lessons from Mrs Phillips will remain unchanged.
- There will be no trips or educational visits in the first half of the Michaelmas Term. We will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any changes in government guidance.
Yes, pupils will be expected to wear school uniform as they ordinarily would.
- The government has not made masks mandatory for children under 11 in any area of society and guidance specifically states that masks are not a requirement at school.
- Again, this is very close to a return to the normal arrangement. Pupils can bring their own pencil cases and materials and will be given textbooks as required. Some practical subjects will require shared resources and a practical cleaning plan will be in place. Once again, pupils will also be reminded of the importance of good hygiene.
- We are following government guidance closely and it appears that we will be able to operate school buses in a very similar manner to last year. Mrs Endersby is currently finalising route details and will be in touch shortly with parents who have expressed an interest in using the bus. For any queries please contact Endersbyc@rendcombcollege.org.uk..
- If a pupil feels unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (severe headache, fever, loss of sense of taste and smell) they should immediately report to reception. A Sister will be called and the pupil will be taken directly to a room in the Medical Centre designated for isolation due to Covid-19 symptoms. There the pupil will receive an examination from a nurse wearing suitable PPE equipment. Should the symptoms be deemed to be Covid related, 111 will be called immediately and a test booked, which will either be postal or at a drive-in centre. If the pupil is a day pupil parents will be called immediately and asked to collect their son/daughter immediately to allow them to be tested. Once the test has been taken the pupil must remain at home until the test results are produced. If the test returns negative the pupil may immediately return to College. If the test returns positive then the pupil must stay off school for 14 days.
- Our Medical Centre will continue to operate as it did in the last school year. There is a fully qualified nurse on-site 24 hours a day from Monday 7am until Saturday 4pm.
For students who are unable to attend school as a consequence of Covid-19, provision will be made for remote learning. The level of service will not be as full as when the College was closed, because we expect pupils to be in school and teachers will be engaged in teaching live classes.
Your child can expect to receive suitable work for each timetabled lesson and contact from the teacher through Firefly. Work that is returned to the teacher will be marked and feedback provided.
- We are extremely proud of how the pupils have managed throughout this difficult time. Rendcomb prides itself on its outstanding pastoral care and there are many ways that pupils can be supported if necessary. Junior School staff will always be available for any pupil who needs assistance and Form Tutors will fulfil their usual pastoral role. The Medical Centre will also be on hand to provide pastoral support and to talk specifically about the Covid-19 pandemic and any worries pupils may have which have arisen from it. If any pupil or parent has any concerns about their child then they should contact their son/daughter’s Form Tutor who will be very happy to help.
- We were very proud of the effort made by all pupils during the period of school closure and we were extremely pleased with the progress they made through remote learning. We will take measures early in the term to assess pupils’ progress in relation to expected standards and will put measures in place to allow for any pupil who needs support.
- Should we have a positive result for COVID19, we will immediately inform Public Health England (or the new alternative) to implement track and trace procedures. We will then follow their advice regarding information and would expect to keep families informed to prevent any spread.