Spring Term 2021
With the recent Government announcement that all areas are moving into Tier 5, we know that you will have questions regarding the Colleges operation and student support.
We have a fantastic team here at Rendcomb College lead by our Head of College, Rob Jones. Teachers, support staff and the leadership team are well prepared for this eventuality.
As we move once again to a period of remote learning, we ask parents and students to read all communications from Rendcomb College as this most recent Government legislation comes into effect.
Our planning and response team will be updating the below list of Frequently Asked Questions to assist both our international and domestic families who have any queries.
We invite you to contact us should you have any further questions and our admissions team will be more than happy to help.
Current Government estimate is that schools will return after the February half term. We will of course update all parents if this changes.
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
- We will be open and ready to accept boarders from Tuesday, 5 January 2021. Pupils will learn remotely in houses and we will ensure that a suitable pastoral and co-curricular provision is in place to ensure that they are supported while throughout this lock down period.
- The Prime Minister has said that GCSE and A level exams will not take place this summer but will be replaced by an alternative that is being prepared by OFQUAL (the exams regulator) and the Department of Education. When we get further details we will be sure to share them with you. We are also investigating the current situation with the BTEC exams that are due this month.
- Senior School pupils will be able to stay at home (and therefore reduce the transmission risk) however we will be able to provide support for pupils of Critical Workers if required. We will be in contact to establish demand in due course.
- While pupils will continue to socially distance there will be times where this is not possible. Following Government guidance, the College is going to be split into five ‘bubbles’ of pupils. Pupils within each bubble can interact with one another and are kept apart from the other bubbles. The bubbles will be
- Junior School
- Years 7-9
- Year 10-13
- There will then be a separate boarding bubble for times outside of the working day.
The pupils have been organised in this manner to minimise the potential spread of the disease, while also ensuring that we can continue to offer excellent pastoral care, sports and activities. The biggest bubble is approximately 140 pupils which is in line with government recommendations and considerably less than the 240 maximum.
- In order to reduce the risks, we are minimising the number of people that come into and out of school buildings. Parents are asked not to enter houses so that we can preserve our bubbles. If you need to contact the College please email or phone in the first instance. If you do need to come into the College please contact Reception so that we can book an appointment at a time of low footfall through the Main Building.
The College will have multiple drop off and collection points as detailed below. Pupils will then sanitise their hands on entry to their boarding house or 6th Form Centre.
Drop off and collection points are as follows:
Junior School – in front of Main Building
Years 7 –9 Boys – outside Old Rectory
Years 7-9 Girls – outside Godman House
Year 10-11 Boys – outside Lawn House
Year 10-11 Girls – outside Stable House
Sixth Form – outside Main Building for pupils to walk to the Sixth Form Centre
- Breakfast will now be taken in houses with food being delivered from the school kitchens. Lunch times will be segregated according to bubbles, with lunch being served in the dining room. Dinner for boarding pupils will be served in the dining room and will work as a complete boarding bubble. Our catering team will constantly manage any additional required changes.
- All classrooms have been assessed and adapted to meet with the government guidelines. Desks will face forward and be spaced to give maximum space between pupils. Thankfully we are blessed with large rooms, high ceilings and good ventilation in our classrooms.
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.
- In order to reduce the risk of transmission in common areas, pupils will use toilets in their houses thereby preserving bubbles. Godman House –years 7-9, Lawn and Stable –years 10-11, Sixth Form Centre years 12 and 13. These toilets will be subject to additional cleaning. Boarders and day pupils will have different facilities to preserve this boarding bubble.
- Chapel and Assemblies will be shown in tutor groups via Youtube or live stream.
- Arrangements for library access is currently being reviewed
- Once pupils are in school, the Library will only be open to pupils in Year 10-13 in order to preserve bubbles. We will make alternative arrangements for pupils in Years 7-9 as required.
- All pupils will continue to partake in their sporting activities. For Seniors (Years 11-13) this will be Monday and Wednesday afternoon and for Juniors (Years 7 to 10) this will be Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Due to the Government’s requirements to maintain bubbles throughout the school we will be unable to run inter-school fixtures, which will be reviewed at half term. We will be running a full sporting programme, including touch rugby, hockey, football, badminton, basketball, gym and dance. This is liable to change due to government guidance and a full plan will be published to pupils at the start of term.
- We are looking to run our wide-ranging activity programme as usual with some slight tweaks. Due to the bubbling of year groups we will ensure that all activities are undertaken within the Year 7 to 9 and Years 10 to 13 bubbles. This will mean a slight change to how some activities are grouped throughout the week. Those activities which take place off site, such as horse riding, will not take place initially and will be reviewed throughout the term as to when we are able to transport pupils for off-site activities.
This is being reviewed as of Tuesday, 5 January 2021
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, as follows:
· 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 for obvious reasons.
· 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.
· 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.
· The termly Pupils' Concerts will take place virtually in the Michaelmas Term, and will be released on the department's social media channels.
· Coffee Concerts which take place within the school day will continue, but will be dedicated to bubbles. The audiences for these events will be restricted to the relative bubbles, and unfortunately will not be open to parents. These events will also be recorded and released via social media channels.
Strict adherence to bubbles and to Government guidance, which currently restricts ensembles to 15 or fewer pupils, means that this term the College Choir and College Orchestra will not be able to run. Ensembles will begin Monday 21st September. The department's exact co-curricular offering will be confirmed in September, but is likely to include the following:
· Chamber Choir (year 10-13)
· Lower School Choir (year 7-9)
· Senior Show Choir (year 10-13)
· Lower School Show Choir (year 7-9)
· Lower School String Ensemble (year 7-9)
· Senior Woodwind Ensemble (year 10-13)
· Lower School Woodwind Ensemble (year 7-9)
· Senior Rock Band (year 10-13)
· Lower School Rock Band (year 7-9)
· Lower School Piano Duet Club (year 7-9)
· Supervised practice will be available in bubbles
- There will be no overnight trips at present and any day trips are restricted to those required by exam boards.
What happens to school uniform?
- In order to make it easier to change and wash clothes we will not be asking pupils to wear jackets or ties. It will therefore be summer uniform at the start of term and this will be reviewed on 1st October.
Pupils can wear plain colour masks if they chose to do so but it is not a requirement in school. If pupils wish to visit the tuck shop then they must wear a face covering.
In addition to wearing facemasks we are organising a rota to reduce the queues at the tuck shop. As always, a teacher or prefect will be on duty at key times to oversee queue management and social distancing. We will aim to ensure that year groups can visit the tuck shop on at least one occasion each day. A rota will be published in houses at the start of term and this must be stuck to completely.
Pupils will be expected to provide their own materials and will be given textbooks as required. Sharing resources will be kept to a minimum and will be subject to a cleaning plan.
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.
Pupils will be allowed to stay until 6pm but, in order to preserve boarding bubbles we will not be able to run late stay or occasional boarding this term. Pupils who regularly flexiboard will be able to continue to do so.
If a boarder requires a test, then depending on the advice from 111 this may be a postal test, or it may be at a local drive-in testing centre. If at a testing centre, a member of the Medical Centre team will accompany them. Once the test is taken the pupil will return to the Medical Centre where they will remain in a Covid-specific room until the test results return. The pupil will be looked after by the medical team throughout this period. If a test is negative, then the pupil may return to College immediately. If the test returns positive, then the pupil must remain in a Covid designated room for 14 days under the care of the medical team. This may either be in the Medical Centre or in Garden House (situation dependent) and can carry on with their schoolwork remotely if they are well enough.
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.
Once a pupil has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and a positive test has been returned the boarding pupil will isolate in the designated Medical Centre rooms for patients. They will have their own washing facilities and meals will be delivered. As they improve, or when they are able, they will be able to join the remote learning programme on offer. If required, we have made arrangements for an overspill location on site that pupils recovering may be housed in. Again, all meals will be provided there. All symptoms should be reported immediately to the Medical Centre via the reception desk as stated earlier.
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. Over the weekend period a fully-qualified nurse is on call to open the Medical Centre if required. Pupils exhibiting symptoms should immediately report to reception and will be taken to an isolated room in the Medical Centre and the process as above will commence.
Pupils from the following countries need to quarantine before the start of term. The current countries that are exempt from quarantining are listed here :