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Return to School September 2020

As we start to look ahead to the start of the Autumn Term in September, we know that many families have questions regarding the safety and wellbeing of students returning to school. Leweston’s first priority is to look after, protect and support those in our care including our students, staff and visitors.

We are optimistic that students will be able to return in September and are planning accordingly but things may look a little different to normal. Our Senior Leadership Team, in consultation with the Health Centre and school doctors, have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to assist students both returning and joining in September. These will be updated as and when necessary.

Of course if you have any questions then please contact us, we would very happy to help.

John Paget-Tomlinson and Alanda Phillips
Head of Senior and Prep Schools

WHAT IS THE COVID 19 SITUATION IN THE AREA SURROUNDING LEWESTON?

  • Leweston is based in the South West of England which has reported the lowest number of COVID 19 cases throughout the pandemic. As of 17 June there are 367 cases in the Dorset Local Authority Area, a population of 378,508. We have not had any confirmed cases of COVID 19 at Leweston.

HOW IS LEWESTON ABLE TO MANAGE COVID 19?

  • Leweston is set in 46 acres of parkland in the county of Dorset. Our rural location combined with a low local population density and absence of commuter routes supports with social distancing.
  • The size of our campus combined with a relatively small number of pupils allows us to maximise individual space.
  • Leweston has a team of dedicated boarding staff, its own Health Centre staffed by two registered nurses and support from the Apples Doctors’ Surgery in Sherborne. If necessary, the school has easy access to two local hospitals; neither of which have got close to capacity during the crisis.

HOW WILL PUPILS TRAVELLING FROM OVERSEAS GET TO LEWESTON?

  • Leweston will be providing a quarantine facility for students entering the UK from countries where this is a requirement. Click here for a full list of countries exempt from quarantine. Students are asked to arrive on Tuesday 18 August when they will travel to school to complete the regulation 14 day period. They will be able to join other returning and new pupils at the start of term on Thursday 3 September. For more information about quarantine at Leweston please contact Mr Bawden on [email protected]
  • Our long term travel partners, Hounslows, will be collecting students from the airport and bringing them direct to school. The transport will be fully disinfected and comply with all necessary guidelines.

HOW WILL PUPILS BE KEPT SAFE IN SCHOOL?

  • The School has appointed a COVID Manager who will overseas all practical and operational aspects of keeping the school community safe.
  • Leweston has committed to the BSA's COVID Safe Charter.
  • We are implementing a plan to make the most of our space and allow for social distancing throughout the day. This includes various one-way routes and associated signage and sanitising stations.
  • We are putting in place measures to make best use of our site. Classes do not exceed 18 and most are less.
  • At the start of the day the school will conduct random temperature checks at a point on the drive, any student found to be unwell will be sent home before they have a chance to enter the school. Parents are asked to check day pupils’ temperatures every morning before travelling to school.
  • There will be two entry points to the school which will be allocated by Year group.
  • Meals will have staggered timings to allow pupils to social distance and the school caterers will apply all appropriate protocols as communicated by Public Health England.
  • We will ensure that break and lesson times are staggered to allow smooth movement around the site.
  • ‘Whole school’ gatherings such as assembly or mass will not happen until such time as it is safe to gather in larger groups until then as many a possible will be delivered virtually.
  • Visitors will have their temperature checked when they arrive at school. 
  • Pupils and staff will be encouraged to report any concerns to the COVID Manager.

HOW WILL BOARDERS BE KEPT SAFE?

  • Dormitories at Leweston are small. Year 11 to 13 will have their own rooms and the boarding team will ensure that boarders in Years 10 and below have maximum allocation of personal space.
  • The Boarding Houses will form individual ‘households’ with their own entry and exit route and limits on communal areas.
  • Deep cleaning of all spaces will take place on a regular basis.
  • All boarders will have their temperature checked each morning at breakfast.
  • Staff will be trained in the safe management of boarding houses under the new guidance.

HOW WILL TEACHING AND LEARNING WORK IF MY CHILD CANNOT ATTEND SCHOOL AT THE START OF TERM?

  • The teaching staff have delivered exceptional remote teaching to all our students during the last few months of lock down.
  • We will make provision for work to be sent to pupils who are unable to come to school because they are isolating at home.
  • If a student travelling from overseas is unable to travel we will provide work for them to complete at home.  
  • Where possible we will be flexible on start time for international pupils to allow a delayed return if needed but this is subject to the curriculum requirements. Please contact the Director of International Students, Mrs Taylor, [email protected] if you would like to discuss this.

GENERAL PREPARATION AND PLANNING

  • We have completed a full risk assessment in preparation for pupils to return which we will continue to update as the situation develops. Updates will be shared on this web page.
  • The return of our Prep 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 Leweston.



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