|Lent Term 2021
Letter from the Headmistress
I would like to thank you for your understanding, support and kind words of encouragement as we move on through our first case of Covid at school and deal with the knock on effects of the mounting number of cases of this disease in Kenya.
A Case of Covid
As you know Sarah Percival is in isolation and she is kindly continuing teaching her classes online. Joe and the boys tested negative but they too are in isolation for two weeks and, like Sarah, Joe too is teaching his classes virtually. I am most grateful to the Percivals and the team at school for supporting us in making this happen.
We were also visited by the Department of Public Health yesterday to inspect the school and check that all was as it should be. Our two inspectors felt comfortable with all they saw and following their tour of the grounds they made a few minor recommendations.
We continue to test as and when asked or if we suspect a member of staff may not be well. So far 18 tests have been carried out and we have received one positive case.
In response to this case we have moved into the red zone. All staff and children wear their masks unless socially distanced outside, we continue to take all our temperatures daily and we wash our hands regularly. We have discouraged all engagement beyond our boundary. Our aim is to mitigate risk as much as possible.
To this end and following advice from the Department of Health we have changed this coming weekend into a closed weekend. We understand that there will still be some Juniors who will go home and the odd exceptional circumstance, but we feel that it is right essentially to ‘lock down’ to the best of our ability.
We would also like to cancel exeat and keep all the children at school for this time. Lessons can then go ahead on Thursday and Friday and we will put our sports day at the weekend.
We then propose to make the following weekend 20th/21st a closed weekend and then close school on Friday afternoon 26th March for local families or Saturday morning 27th March for those who need to travel further afield.
This means we would lose the last 3 days of school and the weekend prior to this. However, we feel that it is sensible to fit in as much teaching time as possible now and compensate you for the loss of exeat and the closed weekends with more time at home in the holidays.
Activities at the Weekend
We will do all we can to take advantage of this extra time at school over the weekends. This weekend, for example, the Year 8s have requested revision slots for Saturday and Sunday. We also have play rehearsals and a riding weekend with a brand new cross-country and show jumping course, not to mention the Year 7 team building which will involve camping, baking around the campfire, games of flashlight and much teamwork along the way. Whenever asked what is their favourite part of school life, so many children reply that ‘free time’ is quite definitely the best bit. With 140 acres to explore, these weekends at school will allow for lots of fun and games during free time!
Over the Border Parents
We have also written to all our ‘over the border’ parents to inform them that should they wish to make their travel arrangements somewhat earlier, to allow for the possibility of a positive Covid test, then they may do so. Such over the border children will go home with a pack of work and may liaise with their teacher over any difficulties. However, we will not be carrying out online lessons as such or starting hybrid teaching.
So the term ahead looks like this:
Saturday 6th & 7th February
Yr 7 Team Building, Riding Weekend, Yr 8 Revision, Activities for all the school.
Saturday 13th & 14th March
Sports Day - Inter-House Athletics, Night Boats
Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st March
Easter Games & Easter Dinner
Friday 26th / Saturday 27th March
End of Term
In this way we hope to maximise the teaching time at school and afford some extra flexibility to those families that live over the border. These are unprecedented times and we hope that by responding to changing circumstances in this way we can make the most of the term ahead and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Should matters change we will of course respond accordingly. We understand that each family is faced with their own set of unique circumstances and we will do all we can to help. We also appreciate that the weeks ahead will involve travel plans, flights and long journeys to consider, so we feel that we must give you the most notice possible.
As always please do not hesitate to reach out for help or advice and we will do all we can to make a plan to help you.
With very best wishes,