Our first priority is the safety of all those in the Abingdon Prep community and we have put in place appropriate measures in order to operate safely.

The situation is dynamic and the guidance we are able to give parents is often dependent on the information we receive from the government. We will update this page and notify parents when further details become available.

Covid-19 arrangements for Autumn term 2021 - update 1 September 2021

At the end of last term we wrote to parents in the weekly mailing about the arrangements for Autumn term 2021. Below is an update on our plans which are in keeping with government guidance at the current time. Please particularly note section 2 below which gives details of Covid-19 testing for Years 7 and 8 before the start of term and during September.

We are hoping to return to pre-pandemic school life as much as possible. However our first priority remains the safety of our whole school community and we will continue to emphasise the need to respect each other’s personal space and to ensure good ventilation, hand-washing and the use of hand sanitiser. We also have contingency plans to implement infection control measures in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak.

1. General arrangements:

  • There will be no bubbles. We will have a normal timetable with a return to the usual access to all of our facilities, including a return to lunches in the hall for Years 3-8. There will not be a packed lunch on alternate days.
  • Children who are close contacts of a positive case will no longer need to self-isolate but they will be advised to take a PCR test by NHS Test and Trace.
  • In keeping with government guidance, we will not be notifying parents of positive cases in school. However this may change if we need to implement contingency planning in the event of an outbreak.
  • If a boy tests positive for Covid-19 they need to self-isolate in line with government guidance and notify the school by email: school.sec@abingdonprep.org.uk and also notify your son’s form teacher and rachel.pairman@abingdonprep.org.uk.
  • Face coverings/masks are not compulsory for boys, except when using the minibus service and when travelling to away fixtures for school trips on the minibuses or coach.
  • Sport, Music, Drama and the Other Half will all return to a full programme. Spectators are welcome to sports fixtures and live audiences to productions and concerts.
  • Trips – there will be trips during the Autumn term, please refer to the school calendar.
  • Risk assessment – the School’s Covid-19 risk assessment for the Autumn term 2021 will be published on Friday 3 September and will be available here.

2. Covid-19 testing for Years 7 and 8 before the start of term and during September:

Before the summer holiday we wrote to parents with the Department for Education’s, DfE’s, guidance about Covid-19 testing at the start of the Autumn term. The guidance is that boys in Year 7 and above should all take two Covid-19 lateral flow tests (LFD) at the start of term and that schools should offer onsite LFD testing. The DfE’s stated explanation was “We are asking these tests to be carried out onsite as testing participation rates amongst students [onsite] are much higher than when testing at home”.

We will therefore be offering LFD tests at school on Monday 6 September at Cox’s Pavilion (our playing fields) between 11.00am-12.00pm to all our Year 7 and 8 pupils. We will then undertake a follow-up test in school on Thursday 9 September.

Whilst the school recognises that testing is not mandatory, we strongly encourage all boys in Years 7 and 8 to take a test before the beginning of term. However, we understand that some families may prefer to use the home testing kits that they already have and are familiar with.

Should home testing be your preference, please can we emphasise the importance that this is done prior to the return to school (we suggest Sunday 5 September as part of re-establishing the usual Sunday/Wednesday twice weekly routine) and we would ask that you please fill in this brief form to confirm the result of the test once it has been completed.

Parents are advised that boys who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 90 days should not take a lateral flow test, however they should notify us that their son has tested positive within the last 90 days by completing this form.

If you do not have enough LFD kits, they are available directly from the government (follow this link) or pharmacies but they can also be collected from Abingdon Prep School Reception between the hours of 9am-4pm from Thursday 2 September. The advice is that twice weekly testing will continue at least for September.

Should you have any questions, please email rachel.pairman@abingdonprep.org.uk.

Covid-19 risk assessment - published 3 September 2021

Home testing for Years 7 and 8 only

This notice only applies to pupils in Years 7 and 8.

We are following government guidelines for the testing of students in schools to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we very much appreciate the cooperation of parents and pupils in keeping our community safe.  Further information on how to take a test is available here and from this government leaflet and video.

Boys in Years 7 and 8 will be given Covid-19 home test kits and we would ask that parents supervise their sons as they carry out the tests twice a week.

Reminders will be sent on the days that boys are asked to take tests. Results need to be logged with NHS Test and Trace and also on the School’s Google Form.

If a boy tests positive, please email the Headmaster, the boy’s form teacher and Rachel Pairman as soon as possible so that we can undertake close contact tracing swiftly.

Consent is not needed for self-testing at home and a privacy notice is linked to here.

More testing kits are available to any household with a student in school by following this link to the government’s website. They are also available from local pharmacies.

If you have any questions regarding the undertaking of the tests, please contact our school nurses: school.nurse@abingdonprep.org.uk