Habsmonmouth Online

Welcoming you back safely to school

Welcome back to Monmouth School Boys’ Prep

Dear Parents, Guardians and Boys,

I hope that you are all well rested over the summer. I am writing to you with regard to the reopening of Monmouth School Boys’ Prep in September. We are delighted to be in a position to reopen the school fully and we are very excited about seeing all the boys again.

We are very proud of the breadth and depth of our remote learning provision during the lockdown but even so we know that nothing fully replaces the face-to-face learning experience. We have missed the daily contact with our pupils so much and are really looking forward to reopening the school for the academic year 2020-2021. We have been working hard throughout the summer to ensure that the return to school is a happy, secure and safe experience as possible. We are focusing on providing the widest possible curricular and co-curricular programme whilst still taking key steps towards minimising risks in order to keep everyone in our school community safe.

Of course, we are in a very dynamic situation, which can change very rapidly, and as such, this document is also going to grow and evolve dynamically and we will post updates here regularly.

We will also stop and review the temporary measures that we have put in place to ensure that we continue to strike the best possible balance between delivering a highly effective education and minimising risk, as the term progresses.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome a number of new families who have joined the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ community either during the lockdown or over the summer. We look forward to meeting you in person very soon.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly if I can be of any further assistance to you.

Warm regards,

Mr Neil Shaw
Headmaster at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep

First day back

We will be introducing a single-file system in the corridors and restricting the boys’ movement within The Grange as much as possible.

There will be clear signage on the walls and floors.

All boys will enter and exit the building through their own classroom doorways and will be spending significantly more time being taught in their own classrooms, thereby reducing the risks of cross-infection in corridors and shared paces.

Class teachers will fully brief the pupils on the expectations of their safe use of communal spaces.

The following will apply:

  • Year groups will be allocated “zones” in the playground.
  • Use of playground equipment will be minimised in the short to medium term, but year groups “bubbles” will be provided with their own balls, goal posts etc.
  • In corridors, boys must keep to the left, keep in single-file lines and must not dawdle.
  • The library will, sadly, be out of use for a while but boxes of library books will be maintained in each classroom/year group “bubble”. Boys are encouraged to bring in reading books from home.
  • There will be a one-way system in place around the library area for boys accessing the other side of the school, the art room or the ICT suite.
  • Staff have been instructed to socially distance themselves from each other, from parents and from pupils.
  • Parents will not be allowed to enter the school building this term without having made an appointment.

If you have an administrative enquiry please email, telephone or make an appointment. Thank you in advance for your support in this matter.

Year group bubbles

The UK government uses the term ‘Bubbles’ for groups of children who are able to mix without the full 2m social distancing. Each year group is classed as a bubble.

Pupils will still be taught in their classes, but can come together as a year group ‘bubble’ for PE, Swimming, Games plus breaktimes, lunchtimes and year-group assemblies.

Where possible, teachers will move to form classrooms to minimise the movement of children. There will be no teaching in sets.

Teaching and learning

Children will be taught lessons in their form rooms where possible. For some specialist lessons, children will move rooms accordingly (Science, Art, Music and ICT). Wherever possible, pupils will be provided with their own resources for each lesson.

Pupils must bring in their own pencil cases and stationery.

Peripatetic music lessons will be taught in a designated area with staff sanitising all equipment before and after each lesson.

Any shared resources will be kept for the use of a ‘bubble’ or sanitised after each lesson. In each classroom, the teacher’s desk will be positioned two metres from the nearest student desk.

Boarding houses

Detailed information has been provided by the Head of Boarding, Mr Alex Peace. Please click here.

Uniform, kit and changing

We would like to simplify this as much as possible to reduce the burden of regular washing.

Boys will not be required to wear a tie or blazer in school for the short-term, although you may still wish to have one because we have formal portrait photographs scheduled for the first week.

Boys may keep their kit in their own classrooms and change in their own classrooms for PE and Games. It may be possible to change in the Sports Centre changing rooms but only if it is safe to do so, appropriately distanced and if the changing rooms can be sanitised between use.

We may request that boys come to school in their PE kit on certain days, to reduce the burden of changing. If this is the case you will be informed which days on the first day of term.

After-School Care, sport and clubs

After-School Care from 4pm to 6pm will be held in the hall. This is the largest space available to safely distance multiple year groups. Collection will be via the side fire exit to the hall (next to the kitchen door). Adults collecting pupils will not be able to access the building.

We will be operating a reduced co-curricular programme. We are looking at ways of enabling Band and Orchestra to be resumed but believe they will not be able to go ahead safely in the first instance.

It is our intention, following guidance, to proceed with rugby as the main sport in the Michaelmas Term. We also hope to be able to provide PE and Swimming as well. If you are unable to source any items of kit please do not worry. We will be flexible with regard to kit requirements. It is unlikely that we will be able to hold competitive fixtures against other schools for the first half of term at least. We will give you further information about the sporting programme at the start of term and the programme may change over the course of the term, as government restrictions or guidelines evolve.

A range of after-school activities will be available between 4pm and 5pm. These will commence on Monday 14th September and will be for year group “bubbles” only. Choir will be for one year group only and a maximum of 15 boys, in the first instance. We will open this more widely as soon as it is safe to do so.

Mealtimes

Lunch will be served between 12.40pm and 1.40pm in the dining hall. Year group bubbles will eat together to reduce the risk of cross-infection.

Hot supper will be served in the dining hall for boys booked into the final session of the after-care facility.

Tables will be sanitised between sittings.

Hygiene measures

Hand sanitiser will be available in every classroom for children and staff to use regularly.

Children will be encouraged to use hand sanitisers whenever they enter a building or a classroom. Pupils must wash their hands at the end of breaktime.

Year group “bubbles” will be instructed as to which toilets they are allowed to use. Toilets will be cleaned regularly and deep-cleaned several times a day.

All boys must have a water bottle in school. Water fountains are only to be used to fill bottles – not to drink directly from.

Travel arrangements

We have extended the drop-off period to reduce congestion in the car park. Please drop off between 7.45am and 8.30am – using this staggered drop-off facility to help ease congestion and also facilitate your access to the other Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools if you have more than one child in the schools.

Parents are not allowed to pass further than our side blue gate.

All boys in Year 5 and Year 6 will be supervised in the main yard “zones”. Boys in Year 3 and Year 4 will be supervised in the side yard “zones”. Collection at the end of the day will be from the main yard.

We have extended the pick-up period from 3.45pm to 4.15pm to help ease congestion in the car park and reduce the need for social distancing.

We ask that all parents adhere to social distancing guidelines when on the school grounds and do not allow their children to play on the play equipment or mix with children other than in their own year group during drop-off and pick-up time. We thank parents for the important part they can play in helping to keep the community safe during these times.

School buses will run as normal and you must wear a facemask for the duration of the journey; this also applies to public transport. Please sit with members of your year group or household and apart from pupils from other year groups on the bus.

Embracing the new measures

We will encourage the boys to adopt and embrace the new measures and remind them to do so as they adjust to school life under the new circumstances.

Please can all parents emphasise the important role that their child will play in helping reduce the threat of infection within our school community.

Keys points to emphasise:

  • Please keep to the social distancing recommendations by minimising contact and mixing.
  • Excellent personal hygiene in terms of hand sanitising or washing.
  • Hand sanitisers will be available at places throughout the school and the boys will be required to make use of them regularly.
  • Boys can bring in their own hand sanitiser and tissues if they wish to.
  • Good respiratory hygiene (Catch it, Bin it, Kill it).
  • Please do not engage in any harmful behaviour in terms of spreading the virus.
  • Any boy who wishes to wear a face covering indoors will be permitted to do so.
  • If your child has any queries, questions or needs reassurance, please ask a member of staff.

Helpful tips

Face coverings:
Children below Year 7 will be allowed to wear a face mask or face visor indoors if they wish. All pupils from Years 7 to 13 must wear a face mask or visor indoors unless eating in the dining room or in the classroom or are exempt on medical grounds. All children will be responsible for supplying and looking after their own face coverings. When not in use, reusable face coverings should be stored in a small plastic bag and disposable face coverings should be deposited in lidded bins.

Pupils with symptoms of Covid-19 must not come into school. Pupils presenting with the symptoms of Covid-19 whilst in school will immediately be isolated and contact made with parents. We have full access to the school nurses to help support any poorly child. Further measures will apply for pupils who have been sent home with symptoms. Parents must notify the school if their child or anyone in their household has shown any Covid-19 symptoms and adhere to isolation guidance and stay away from school. The school buses services will be running with additional safety precautions in place. Each boy’s up-to-date contact information must be confirmed by parents in case of emergency and collection due to illness.

Personal hygiene:
Please ensure excellent personal hygiene in terms of hand sanitising or washing and excellent respiratory hygiene (Catch it, Bin it, Kill it).

Hand sanitisers:
Please use the hand sanitisers at places throughout the school and you may also bring in your own hand sanitiser and tissues if you wish to.


Please note that details are subject to change.

Updated: 1 September 2020