Covid-19: Important information for Parents
During the current lockdown (January 2021 onwards), Rookwood School has continued to provide a full curriculum online, covering all subjects (depending on age: Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Design Technology, Drama, English, French, Food Technology, German, Geography, History, Humanities, Information Communication Technology, Maths, Music, Personal Social Health Education, Philosophy, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Science, Textiles Technology). Furthermore, individual learning support lessons have continued, where appropriate.
The school has remained open to eligible children, including boarders (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision)
Reception Class to Year 4
These classes follow a blended learning model, where the classroom teacher teaches those children attending school and those online simultaneously. Additional in-class support is provided, dependent on the age and needs of the class, so that children at home can access the lesson. Core subjects (for example, literacy and numeracy) are taught in the morning with specialist subjects (for example, French and PE) in the afternoon. On some afternoons, Years 3 and 4 follow a remote learning model (see below).
Years 5 to 11
These classes follow a remote learning model, where teachers and pupils attend lessons through Microsoft Teams. Children physically attending school are supervised in computer rooms.
The timetable has been rewritten so that all PE is at the end of the day. This allows those children at home to exercise for longer if desired as they do not have to return to lessons afterwards. Classes up to Year 9 have two double periods and Years 10 and 11 one double period.
In recognition that every pupil’s home learning experience will be different, pupil attendance in online lessons is encouraged but not mandatory. Teachers monitor attendance and record lessons so that pupils can access them afterwards. Where attendance patterns become a concern, tutors and pastoral staff will contact home and explore intervention strategies to support the child. If necessary, the safeguarding team will follow ‘Child Missing in Education’ protocols.
Online lessons are 45 minutes duration to allow for comfort breaks and ‘reset time’ between lessons.
8.45-9.00 Form Time
9.05-9.50 Period 1
10.00-10.45 Period 2
10.45-11.15 Morning Break
11.15-12.00 Period 3
13.00-13.45 Period 4
13.45-14.15 Afternoon Break
14.15-15.00 Period 5
15.10-15.55 Period 6 (Year 3 upwards)
Monitoring and Feedback
Rookwood School is continuously monitoring its provision and welcomes feedback from staff, parents and pupils. This can either be done by contacting form tutors or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Reopening from Monday 8th March
General information for all
Nobody (pupil, staff or parent) is allowed on site if they, or a member of their household, has any of the Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell). Instead you must self-isolate and follow the Test and Trace advice, including obtaining a PCR test.
You or your child must not come into school if instructed to self-isolate due to being a close contact of someone diagnosed with Covid-19, if required to shield due to being clinically extremely vulnerable, or if required to quarantine having travelled from overseas.
If your child develops any Covid-19 symptoms whilst in school, we will follow our protocols, as recommended by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Protection Team. This will involve isolating your child whilst we check their symptoms and, if the symptoms are confirmed, sending your child home with further details as to what you need to do next. It is imperative that, in any case of suspected Covid-19, your child is collected without delay.
Please note that parents should wear masks when on the school site. During the current precautions, parents should not enter buildings, except the main entrance to Highfield. Door bells have been fitted to buildings used for after-school supervision (e.g. Rookery and Paddocks).
It is important to remind your child of the general precautions necessary to keep everyone safe:
• Washing or sterilizing hands regularly (washing with soap for 20 seconds is preferable)
• Coughing or sneezing into, and then binning, a tissue (or using an elbow if no tissue is available)
• Wearing a mask indoors (Senior School pupils), see later for more detail
• Keeping a 2m distance from others (1m if outside) unless in their bubble
• Even within a bubble, to avoid touching each other’s hands or faces
• Having rooms well-ventilated (it is acknowledged that this more difficult in cold weather)
• Following one-way systems, where available
It is acknowledged that some of these are more difficult to achieve with the very youngest children, but we should aim to follow these precautions wherever possible.
One-way systems / out-of-bounds areas
Please may I remind all parents and pupils that the garden wall footpath behind the Rookery is one-way and for Little Rooks drop-off and collection only.
Furthermore, the black door linking the Highfield car park and kitchen area will be out-of-bounds and kept locked. The exception is when it is required by the catering team to collect deliveries. This is due to the close proximity to the kitchens and the difficulties experienced in ensuring appropriate social distancing. People should now walk around the side of Highfield when accessing the site (not along the road next to Food Technology). I apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.
From Monday 8th March, Little Rooks will return to its normal operating hours. However, specialist lessons will not restart until after Easter. I apologise for any inconvenience this will cause.
Timings of the day
The school will revert to the Autumn Term timetable, including split break time to allow for social distancing.
To help with traffic flow and social distancing, Years 3 to 6 can be collected from 3.50pm.
Please may I remind parents to vacate the site as soon as your child has been dropped off or collected and ask you to maintain an appropriate social distance from those in other households?
Transport and wraparound care
The school bus network will restart on Monday 8th March. Any queries or changes should be sent to email@example.com.
Breakfast Club will restart on Monday 8th March. This should be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the logistical challenges involved, we will not be running after-school extracurricular clubs before Easter. However, we will provide supervised study until 5pm (collected by 5.15pm) for any pupils (Reception to Year 11) whose parents require this and it is “reasonably necessary to support them to work, seek work, undertake education or training, attend a medical appointment or address a medical need or attend a support group”. If you would like to use this additional supervision, please email email@example.com. Please note that Senior School pupils may need to wear masks during this session, as outlined in the later section.
Due to the additional restrictions regarding mask wearing in the Senior School and the consequential impact on how we need to use the Dining Hall, we will provide a packed lunch until Easter. This will include a wide variety of choice, including sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt, desserts and cooked items.
Mask wearing (Senior School)
Senior School pupils, unless exempt on medical or other grounds, will be required to wear masks whenever inside buildings. This includes in corridors, communal areas and classrooms, including during lessons. There are limited exceptions to this:
• When in an enclosed private space (e.g. toilet cubicle)
• When sat down to eat in the Dining Hall (all tables will be spaced 2m apart)
• When their teacher has ensured that there is appropriate social distance (e.g. 2m) between pupils and has given permission
We appreciate that this will have an impact on the classroom experience and that some pupils will find it difficult to wear a mask for extended periods. Therefore, where possible, teachers will introduce ‘mask breaks’ so that pupils can go outside and remove their masks.
Due to the extended use of masks, it is also recommended that pupils bring two clean masks to school so that the first can be replaced when it becomes damp (this is a natural consequence of extended mask use). Pupils should also:
• Avoid touching the front of the mask during use or when removing it
• Dispose of temporary masks in normal waste (not recycling)
• Keep reusable masks in a plastic bag when not in use
• Wash or sanitise hands after handling their mask
Whilst we recommend that pupils provide their own masks, we do have a supply of disposable masks, available from main reception, for any child who has forgotten theirs.
The importance of the mask wearing rule must be stressed. It is part of the government’s measures in order to allow schools to reopen and therefore does need to be followed. I am aware that a very small number of pupils did regularly avoid putting on their masks last term and it is essential, for everyone’s safety, that they now do so. Where necessary, I may have to insist on individuals remaining at home if they cannot follow the new rules.
Please note that regular mask wearing is not required in the Boarding House as this is classed as a household bubble. Mrs Dwyer will be in contact with parents of boarders over the coming few days to discuss any arrangements specific to the Boarding House.
Earlier today, I sent further information to parents of Senior School pupils about our Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing. This is where pupils receive two tests per week, with the first three happening in school and then testing at home. These tests will be provided by the school.
In addition to this, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is rolling out LFD testing for those who live with or are in support bubbles with school staff or pupils of school age. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/all-households-with-children-of-school-aged-to-get-rapid-covid-19-tests-per-person-per-week?utm_source=1%20March%202021%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19
Uniform and PE kit
Pupils should return in full school uniform.
PE in the Lower School is unaffected by the new rules; however, we have had to make some changes in the Senior School. On the days where pupils have PE, they should arrive in their PE kit (with legs covered – e.g. tracksuit bottoms) and their school uniform in their PE bags. They will then change into their uniform after their PE lesson. If their lesson is at the end of the day, they will be given the opportunity to change back but may choose to go home in PE kit (provided it is in a suitably clean state after the lesson).
The days pupils should arrive in PE kit:
• Year 7 – Mondays and Tuesdays (no PE on Monday 8th March)
• Year 8 – Tuesdays and Fridays
• Year 9 – Wednesdays and Thursdays
• Year 10 – Thursdays (plus GCSE group – Tuesdays)
• Year 11 – Fridays (plus GCSE group A – Mondays, group B – Wednesdays)
Easter Holiday Club
Whilst not linked to re-opening on Monday, I can confirm that Miss Brown is currently reviewing the regulations to see whether or not she can run a club over the Easter holidays. We will write again to parents with more details as soon as possible.
Finally, I wish to thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time. I look forward to welcoming the whole school back on Monday, albeit from a safe social distance.