Habsmonmouth Online

Welcoming you back safely to school

Welcome back to Monmouth School Girls’ Prep

Dear Parents, Guardians and Girls,

I hope that this letter finds you all rested and in good health. As we draw closer to the beginning of the Michaelmas Term I would like to update you on the work that has been going on over the summer break.

We have been busy planning for the girls’ return to school following the latest guidance from both the English and Welsh governments and have been putting into place a wide variety of measures which are designed to keep all of the members of our school community safe. There will be changes to normal school routines next term, and in particular to movement around the site, but we know that we will all get used to these quickly once term starts. The staff team would like to take this opportunity to offer some reassurance about the steps we have taken and the measures that have been put in place to ensure that our school can operate both in a safe fashion, without losing access to the many creative learning opportunities and unique ethos that set us apart from the crowd.

Our priority is to promote and protect the health, safety and well-being of all our pupils and staff as we enter the new school year, without jeopardising the quality of provision available to the girls. With that in mind, we have developed thorough and realistic plans, assessing how we can return to the new ‘normal’.
Please rest assured that we will continue to monitor the implementation of our new measures and regularly assess the provision we are able to offer our pupils. We understand that government guidance is changing frequently and will ensure that we are quick to respond to any additional measures and advice as they arise.

We have been immensely appreciative of your support during these challenging and unpredictable times, and are delighted to be welcoming all of the girls back to school for the new academic year. We have missed them so very much!

If you would like to discuss any of the contents of this document, or have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I would be very happy to respond to any queries you may have.

Warm regards,

Mrs Jennie Phillips
Headmistress at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep

First day back

We will be introducing a single-file system inside the building at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep from September. Pupils and staff will be advised to walk on the left-hand side of the corridors, in single file, where possible.

Our new measures will be highlighted with new signage on walls and on floors throughout the building.

Our year groups will use difference entrances into the building:

  • Right-hand entrance (facing Inglefield House) for Years 6.
  • Left-hand entrance (facing Inglefield House) for Years 3 and 4.
  • Rear of the building, MGP Hall entrance for Year 5.

Our staff will be encouraged to socially distance from each another and from pupils.

We will have designated zones for pupils in the playground with Year 6 using the tennis courts at breaktimes.

Children will be encouraged to use hand sanitisers whenever they enter a building or a classroom.

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 with the exception of Years 3 and 4. Years 3 and 4 are regarded as one bubble during a number of curriculum lessons, breaktimes and lunchtimes.

Years 3 and 4 will be taught for the majority of the timetable within their form rooms. PE, Art, IT and Music are lessons where they will be taught together.

Years 5 and 6 will be a bubble in their year groups with movement of groups for sets taking place within these year groups. For DT and HE lessons, pupils will be accompanied by two members of staff (wearing hi-vis vests) down the service entrance road and across the Hereford Road. One member of staff will escort a group to HE and another will escort the other two groups to the DT block.

Where possible, teachers will move to form classrooms to minimise the movement of children. Children will move within their bubble year groups to be taught subjects, which have sets, effectively.

Teaching and learning

Children will be taught lessons in their form groups where possible. For some specialist lessons and sets, children will move rooms accordingly but will remain in their bubble year groups.

Year group assemblies will be held in the main hall.

Friday services will take place via video call.

Learning support will take place in Room GPI9 with groups of pupils taught in year group bubbles.

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 sanitised after the lesson.

In each classroom, the teacher’s desk will be positioned 2m from the front row.

Daily logistics

Cloakroom/Changing rooms will be allocated as follows:

  • Front right (facing Inglefield House) Year 6
  • Front left (facing Inglefield House) Years 3 and 4
  • Cloakroom at the back of MGP Hall – 5P
  • Cloakroom on the mezzanine in room GPI9 – 5R

This allows year group bubbles to remain together and for easier supervision whilst changing for PE.

The cloakrooms will be used for storing PE bags only and for changing. Pupils will be allocated pegs so they can be sensibly spread out of their kit within their allocated spaces.

Each year group bubble will have an allocated zone in the playground at breaktimes and lunchtimes. Year 6 will have access to the tennis courts at breaktimes.

No blazers to be worn for the first half term as these items are not easy to wash and parents may wish to wash clothes regularly.

Class teachers will provide clear instructions to remind children of the new designated areas.

Play equipment will be kept at minimal levels. Outdoor climbing equipment will be timetabled for year group bubbles to use weekly. Pupils must wash their hands at the end of breaktimes, as they enter the building.

Unfortunately, the Library Bus will remain closed to pupils until further notice. The collection of books is being moved to each form room.

After-School Care will take place in rooms GPI1, GPI2 and GPI8, with year groups being preserved in their bubbles and designated spaces. When collecting your daughters from After-School Care, parents are asked to ring the doorbell at reception and wait for a member of staff to open the door for you. Parents are not to enter the school building.

Supervising staff will be based in the art area and circulate.

School House boarding

Boarding houses will count as “households” and therefore pupils from different year groups will be able to mix within them, as long as they adhere to the distancing measures in each house, which have been put in place to minimise the danger of transmission of infection. Boarders must only use the bathrooms and other facilities which are designated for their areas of the house. Boarders must also be careful to observe 2m distance from staff members at all times, as is the case during the school day.

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


Breaktime fruit/snacks will be provided for pupils in their form rooms.

If eating inside, table surfaces will cleaned by a staff member before sittings.

Snack will be given to the child by the form teacher. Hands will washed before collecting snack and the snacks must not be shared with others.

Lunch will be served between 11.45am and 12.15pm in the dining hall.

Year group bubbles will be staggered to avoid congestion:

  • 11.45am – Years 3 and 4
  • 11.50am – Year 5
  • 11.55am – Year 6

Pupils will be required to sit in year group bubbles, distanced from each other. Each year group will have access to hot food in the dining hall four times a week and a packed lunch once a week; this is to help reduce the numbers in the dining hall.

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 have access to their own toilet facilities, which will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Any shared resources will be sanitised after the lesson.

All tables will be sanitised between sittings for lunch.

Water fountains are only to be used to fill bottles – not to drink directly from.

Co-curricular programme

We will be operating a reduced co-curricular timetable.

All lunchtime clubs will run between 12.25pm and 1pm, after pupils have eaten their lunch. These clubs will run in year group bubbles.

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 co-curricular programme at the start of term and the programme may change over the course of the term, as government restrictions or guidelines evolve.

There will be no orchestra or choirs until further notice.

All other lunchtime and after school clubs will be run in year group bubbles, with a balance of activities for each year group.

Health and Wellbeing Centre

Some girls may be nervous about returning to school for the first time since March, and this is perfectly understandable. Please encourage them to talk to their tutor or me about how they are feeling and we will offer sensitive and compassionate support. Other staff such as Revd Swartz, the school nurses and the school counsellors will also be on hand to give the girls good advice about managing any difficult emotions. If you wish to arrange an appointment for your daughter with a school counsellor please ask Mrs Moore or me to organise this for you.

Travel arrangements

Pupil drop-off is staggered to reduce congestion in the car park (8.00am – 8.25am).

Parents of pupils in Years 4-6 are asked to drop their daughters off outside the Sports Hall, where possible. Mrs Phillips or Mr Evans will be on car park duty each morning to ensure a safe drop-off.

Pupil collection is also staggered (4.05pm – 4.30pm) to avoid mixing of year groups and to reduce congestion in the car park. Year 5 and 6 pupils are to wait in designated zones outside the Sports Hall. A member of staff will be on duty outside the Sports Hall to ensure a safe hand over.

Parents of Year 3 and 4 pupils are asked to collect their daughters in designated waiting areas outside Inglefield House building:

  • Left-hand entrance (facing Inglefield House) for Year 3 parents.
  • Right-hand entrance (facing Inglefield House) for Year 4 parents.

There will be a member of staff on duty to ensure a safe hand over of pupils.

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

So that we can maintain social distancing on site, the school office is only able to accommodate one set of parents at a time.

Embracing the new measures

It is very important that we all keep to the new rules and hygiene measures as they are designed to keep the whole school community safe. They may seem unfamiliar at first and it will take us all a few days to get used to them, but please ask a member of staff if you are unsure about something. Please show respect and consideration for other people at all times, and remember that some pupils may be feeling anxious about being back in school. It will take some time to adjust to life at school in these new circumstances, and it is very important that we treat one another with respect and kindness.

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.

The school buses services will be running with additional safety precautions in place.

Each child’s up-to-date contact information must be confirmed by parents in case of emergency and collection due to illness.

Parents to provide their daughters with their own water bottles, to be filled up at either of the two designated water fountains.

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