Our first priority is the safety of all those in the Abingdon 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.
Sport update 14 January 2021
Whole School Update 5 January 2021
Following the government announcement of a national lockdown the campuses at Abingdon School and Abingdon Prep School are closed to all but essential staff and the children of key workers. All departments are working remotely and remain open. Support staff are available via email, please see the contacts section of the website, and teaching staff email addresses can be found here. For general enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whole School Update 1 November 2020
We are looking forward to welcoming the boys back to school tomorrow for the second half of term. Please note the following:
- The School continues to follow government guidance and will remain open physically.
- We will be operating as we did at the end of the first half of the Michaelmas term but we may have to adapt our procedures if government guidelines change. Music and sport will continue as they were at the end of the first half of term until further notice.
- As of Monday 2 November, face masks will now be required to be worn by boys and staff when inside buildings in corridors and circulation spaces such as houserooms. Masks may be worn in classrooms, boarding houses and offices but are not mandatory in these areas. Boys are required to have a clean mask with them at all times and a sealable plastic bag in which to keep the mask when it is not being worn eg when eating.
- School uniform policy is unchanged from the first half of term but boys are advised to wear warm clothes as windows and doors will be open to aid ventilation.
- Boys who use the JBS are reminded of the rules given in the JBS update of 25 September. These are essential to ensure the safety of the driver and all those who use the service. Boys must wear facemasks at all times and therefore there is no eating or drinking permitted. Boys are not allowed to swap seats and must comply with the bus driver’s instructions at all times.
- The risk assessment, health and hygiene measures and the requirement to social distancing where possible, introduced at the beginning of term, remain in place.
- The Secondhand Uniform Shop will not be available during the lockdown period.
Covid-19 risk assessments. Published 1 September 2020 and periodically updated
JBS Covid-19 guidance
Friday 25 September 2020
We would like to start by thanking you for working with us to help ensure that we are able to keep the Joint Bus Service running as effectively as possible. We appreciate that the way we are operating has been different and are grateful for the way the new practices have been adopted.
We continue to track the developments in the local and national context and we are in weekly contact with the local authority and with local public health officials. Inevitably the prevailing circumstances require review and refinement of systems and Abingdon and St Helen’s are working closely together through this process.
In the light of local developments, we are now moving to make some changes to ensure that systems such as test and trace can be supported by JBS as efficiently as possible. We are sure that you will understand that we need to work with the coach companies and local agencies to plan for things becoming more complex as Autumn moves into Winter.
To this end, we are moving to a system which will allocate seats to bus users and these allocations will place students in the same year group together as far as possible and aim to keep students from the different schools separate as much as possible. Seating students in this way will assist in any contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 positive case, and hopefully minimise the number of students required to self-isolate. Allocated seats are final and students cannot switch amongst themselves to sit with friends.
In addition, please note the following:
- Passengers are to arrive at and wait at the bus stop wearing face masks. Face masks need to remain in place throughout your journey to school and until a student reaches the hand sanitising station at their school.
- Masks are to be worn on the bus at all times. This means that no eating is permitted. Masks must be kept safely by students and must not be discarded on the coach.
- Passengers must use hand sanitiser when it is provided on the bus or use their own personal sanitiser before boarding the vehicle. This needs to be done in the sight of drivers/staff on duty.
- Passengers must remain in their seats for the duration of the journey and must not move between seats as other passengers get off.
- As the requirement to wear a mask is now established as part of day-to-day life, students who do not have a face mask will not be allowed to travel and their parents will need to arrange alternative transport for travel to school.
- To ensure that the day to day operation runs as smoothly as possible, please can parents ensure that they have advised their respective school medical centre at least 24 hours before travel in the event that a student has a medical exemption from wearing a mask so that we can ensure that the appropriate coach operator is made aware.
- No student displaying Covid symptoms should set out on a bus journey with the JBS
These changes will come into effect from the return journey on Monday 28th September 2020 and remain in place until further notice.
These procedures are mandatory. Any student not behaving in accordance with these procedures may be refused permission to travel. Students should be aware that they may not be given a warning to change behaviour, permission may be withdrawn as a first measure in order to support the well-being of other travellers. Thank you for your ongoing support.
The Joint Bus Service
School uniform from September 2020
School uniform from September 2020 and until further notice
We are very aware that the 2020/21 academic year will require some adjustments to our normal practices. One of these is a temporary adjustment to our school uniform. A key factor is to try to minimise pressure on our changing facilities. Please see below the school uniform requirements which will be reviewed as and when necessary.
Pupils should wear either summer dress or sports kit (including tracksuit bottoms), as stipulated below:
Summer Dress (no school blazer or jacket)
- Lower School: grey trousers plus white shirt
- Third and Fourth Year: grey trousers plus plain blue shirt
- Fifth Year: grey trousers plus plain blue shirt or striped blue shirt
- Sixth Form: chinos and smart shirt
- Black leather, polishable shoes, not black trainers, but trainers are allowed when wearing sports kit
If the weather turns cold, pupils may wear a plain jumper:
- Lower School and Middle School: plain, NOT patterned, blue or grey jumper
- Sixth Form: plain, smart jumper (of any colour)
On days when boys are exercising, and only on those days, pupils may wear Sports Kit:
Pupils should wear Abingdon shorts, Abingdon t-shirts/games shirts, and Abingdon socks. Pupils may wear trainers.
- ALL pupils MUST wear blue or black tracksuit bottoms (for reasons of safety in Science and practical subjects) but these do not have to be Abingdon branded.
- For reasons of hygiene, pupils MUST bring in a change of t-shirt and a change of socks. Their change t-shirt should be inoffensive and does not need to be Abingdon branded.
PHE guide for parents 24 September 2020
Public Health England has issued a guide to help parents and carers know when and how to book a test for Covid-19 for their child. The guide, linked below, also gives advice on what to do if a child tests positive or is a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
We have also been asked the following additional questions which are answered below:
Q: My child is self-isolating because they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive but he has no symptoms and has had a negative Covid-19 test. Can he come back to school?
A: Your son will not be able to return to school. He has to complete the 14 days self-isolation as there is still the slight possibility that he could develop symptoms after the test was taken. Please follow this link for clarification:
Q: If the School tells me to isolate, is that the same as NHS Track and Trace – or is it just optional? Will I be fined if I ignore the School’s advice?
A: If someone goes against the School’s advice to self isolate then the school is obliged to inform PHE as a matter of protecting the health of the public. The School can give the details of the person/parent refusing to follow advice and PHE will then contact that person and it is at that stage that it can be legally enforced.
Q: What is a ‘cold’ cough and what is a ‘Covid’ cough?
A: Please refer to the PHE guidance below which outlines Covid symptoms as opposed to cold symptoms.
Q&A for parents
We hope that the following Q&A will answer many of the questions that parents, guardians and boys have about returning to the school campus for the Michaelmas term. We will update this document if the government or the School’s own guidance changes and we will notify parents that the document has been updated. Any further queries should be emailed to Mr Dawswell, the Second Master, at email@example.com.
Q&A for boarding parents
We hope that the following Q&A will reassure boarders, parents and guardians that we are committed to reopening the school and the boarding houses as safely as possible. We will update this document if the government or the School’s own guidance changes and we will notify parents that the document has been updated.
Please contact Mr Kendry, the Head of Boarding, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions.
Health and Hygiene - video from the School Nurse
Helen Morris, the School Nurse, explains some of the measures the School is taking for the start of the Michaelmas term.