We are looking forward to welcoming all the boys back to the school campus for the Michaelmas term. Our first priority is the safety of all those in the Abingdon community and during the course of the summer we have put in place appropriate measures in order to open 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.
JBS update 25 September 2020
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
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 also gives advice on what to do if a child tests positive or is a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
NHS Test and Trace - letter to parents 23 September
The following letter is from NHS Test and Trace
23 September 2020
Dear parents and guardians,
This is an important letter to share some information on how we can work together to make sure we can continue to give children and young people the best education in the safest way possible.
One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We all have a duty to make sure that the right people have access to get tested at the right time. Every time a test is used inappropriately, a person with Covid-19 symptoms may miss out on getting tested.
Therefore, I ask that you all follow these principles:
▪ You should only book a test if your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms:
1. a high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature)
2. a new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
3. a loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal
▪ Your child does not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
▪ If you are unsure about whether to get a test, please check the official list of symptoms on the NHS website, which is reviewed regularly: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
▪ Only the person with symptoms should get a test. You do not need to get a test for anyone else in the household unless they also have any of the three symptoms listed above. All members of the household need to self-isolate whilst waiting for the test result.
▪ If the person with symptoms’ test comes back positive, other members of their household should continue self-isolating for 14 days and only get a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
▪ If a pupil in a class or bubble tests positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self-isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms.
No one else in the same class or bubble as the symptomatic person needs to take any action unless advised by the school. Schools have detailed guidance and access to a Department for Education and Public Health England helpline for advice and support.
Contacts of a person who has tested positive must follow the guidance carefully and in full, which means they must stay at home for 14 days. This is because it can take several days following contact with an infected person before an individual develops symptoms or the virus can be detected. Students should only book a test if they get symptoms.
The NHS has produced some guidance to help parents understand when their child can and cannot attend school which you may find useful: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/
It is vital for children’s learning and future opportunities that they are able to return to school and college. It is therefore vitally important that all we work together and do our bit to make this possible.
Professor Viv Bennett CBE
Chief Nurse and Director Maternity and Early Years | Public Health England
Head of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Public Health Nursing and Midwifery
Follow me on Twitter: @VivJBennett
Dr Susan Hopkins
Interim Chief Medical Officer | NHS Test & Trace
Deputy Director | Public Health England
Consultant in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology
Royal Free, London
Q&A for parents 21 August 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q&A for boarding parents 21 August 2020
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 email@example.com if you have any additional questions.
Sports update 21 August 2020
Please follow this link for information from the Sports department regarding sport for the Michaelmas term.
Music update 21 August 2020
Please follow this link for information from the Music department regarding music for the Michaelmas term.
JBS update 21 August 2020
JBS procedures for students September 2020
21 August 2020
Buses will run as normal from the beginning of term in terms of routes and timings; if you are unsure about the timings of your route, you can check them on the JBS website. Students will need to travel on the coach that they have booked and cannot re-book for an earlier or different coach. All our coach operators have processes in place to ensure their buses are kept clean at all times. This document is to ensure that students understand their obligations in keeping themselves and others safe.
In order to protect the bus drivers and their fellow students (some of whom have underlying health conditions or families where there are shielding concerns) we are asking students to take responsibility for protecting themselves and others during their journeys to and from school.
In addition to their usual health and safety requirement to wear a seatbelt at all times, the following Covid secure procedures need to be adopted. This applies to everyone using the JBS, irrespective of age. These procedures are mandatory. Any student not adopting 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.
As the bus arrives the bus driver will disembark, students will need to give the driver at least ‘one metre plus’ social distance. Students must use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance to the coach.
Students must wear masks at the bus stop and throughout the duration of the journey. Should a student have a medical issue that compromises their ability to do this they will need to contact the health centre at their school in advance of their first journey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In preference, students should use a named, clean fabric mask every day, rather than a disposable mask. Students should not eat or drink on the bus as this would mean the removal of their mask.
On arrival at school, students should be careful about their mask, storing it in a named plastic bag. If they absolutely have to use a disposable mask they must ensure that it is disposed of safely.
Where possible, students should only bring bags that can be left in the racks above them or held on their lap during the journey and avoid bringing luggage that needs to be stowed underneath the coach. This is to limit cross-contamination in the luggage area as much as possible.
The coach will load with the students at the earliest stops going to sit at the back. Students joining later should go to the furthest available seat. Where possible, boys should sit on the left-hand side of the bus and girls on the right-hand side. When the bus arrives at their destination, students should be patient and wait for others to leave ahead of them when unloading.
Students should not share any items eg headphones on the journey and should face forward at all times.
At the end of the school day students should be wearing masks as they enter the bus and, if possible, sit towards the back if their stop is later and towards the front if they get off sooner.
Sixth form and older students will be expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, ensuring that these procedures are followed. They will be expected to report any issues. Coach drivers will also be asked to report and the internal coach CCTV may also be reviewed.
All students will receive a video about these procedures which they must watch. Abingdon students will be sent the video by Mark Hindley before the beginning of term. We would be grateful if parents could ensure that their sons have watched the full video.
We appreciate, at the start of term, new parents sometimes like to bring their child into school by car but in the current situation we would appreciate if all students would use the bus service from the start of term in order for everyone to quickly adjust to the new procedures.
Should you have any queries about JBS travel, please contact admin@Jointbus.co.uk.
St Helen and St Katharine
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.
School uniform update 3 July 2020
School uniform for September 2020 return
We are very aware that September will require some adjustments to our normal practices. One of these is temporary adjustment to our school uniform. A key factor is to try to minimise pressure on our changing facilities. Given all this, please see below the school uniform requirements for September. These will be reviewed at the end of September.
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.