10 May 2020 - In light of the most recent announcement, we are working through our plans for a phased opening for those year groups outlined by the government. We will communicate further details of those plans shortly.
The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly and numbers of cases continue to rise. Our pupil and community wellbeing is, as always, our main priority so we have prepared some guidance surrounding the key questions Plymouth College parents and guardians may have at this time. We also hope to reassure families who are securing places for their child(ren) in the near future.
We are doing all we can to keep you up to date with developments as they happen, but please do get in touch if you have specific questions and we will do our best to answer them.
We have sent a lot of letters home in the lead up, and throughout, the period of school closure. Please find our whole-school correspondence below -
Following the government announcement on Wednesday 18 March, the School will be closed from the end of Friday and our Home Learning Plan will be fully implemented. We ask that parents who have been identified as a key worker contact the School so we can establish how we may assist them.
Key Workers have now been defined in the following document issued by the government -
Those parents that contacted us by 14:00 yesterday have already been added to a list and an email will be sent later today. We expect to open our doors to more pupils now to support the Key Workers identified in the newly published document. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by midday if you fall in to one of the categories outlined by the government.
Please rest assured that we will continue to provide the highest levels of care for our entire boarding community until parents and guardians can arrange transport home.
Thorough preparation has been made to ensure staff and pupils are aware of the learning plan and that everyone is aware that our priority is to ensure we continue to provide teaching and learning throughout this period of school closure.
Below is a table of the closure dates to ensure clarity -
|Monday 23rd March||Home Learning Plan|
|Monday 30th March||Easter Break|
|Monday 6th April||Easter Break|
|Wednesday 15th April (boarders return on 14th April)||Home Learning Plan, unless government advises otherwise.|
Regarding the news of public examinations, we await further clarification from the government and will be in touch again as soon as we know more.
Home Learning Plan (with links to our YouTube videos) can be found on the portal:
The School has been following the advice from PHE (Public Health England) and various other regulatory bodies such as the Boarding Schools Association. Hand sanitiser units are available around the school and in the dining hall and pupils have been educated and encouraged to adopt a scrupulous hygiene regime, including washing their hands regularly with soap and water. We are also encouraging social distancing as per government advice.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance on washing hands:
Staff and pupils have been asked to be mindful of their activities outside of school and in line with government guidance, avoid social venues and mass gatherings.
Individuals who have recently started to suffer from a new onset temperature of 37.8°C and above, and a new persistent cough (dry or otherwise) for over 4 hours and without explanatory conditions should be isolated immediately.
We will implement these measures as follows:
We will ask parents to collect their son/daughter who are presenting symptoms outlined above, and the same will apply for boarding pupils, as an extended period of isolation within a boarding house is impractical and detrimental to individual well-being. International pupils will be required to travel to their Guardian. In the unusual event that a pupil cannot return to a family member or Guardian, the School will make the best possible arrangements to care for them in isolation whilst prioritising the safety of the community.
Following the government changes in advice regarding self-isolation, which came to light on Monday 16 March, we are supporting anyone in the Plymouth College community who finds themselves having to self-isolate. We have staff members who fall into the 'at risk' group, including pregnant women and over 70's and so continue to follow government guidance about ensuring the wellbeing of all our staff and pupils.
Our Home Learning Plan which was communicated on 12 March can now be found via the banner at the top of our School portal:
We have completed staff and pupil training and will continue to monitor the government announcements for any school closure that may be enforced. At this point we will re-share our guidance.
Read&Write is a piece of software that works as a ‘toolbar’ in conjunction with familiar tools such as Word, Google Docs and web browsers. It offers a range of powerful support tools to help students gain confidence with reading, writing, studying and research.
Our Admissions team is very much operating on a business as usual basis and will maintain the current level of work.
If you are interested in a place at Plymouth College for your child(ren) then please do contact the Admissions team and they will advise you on the next steps.
Further to Ofqual’s guidance issued today (detailed here), we continue to work with exam boards in order to comply with the guidance regarding the award of GCSE, ALevel and BTEC grades. Our Heads of Department, Mr Grey, Mr Carr and Miss Venon are working on collating all the necessary information required to send to the examination boards. We will continue to offer pupils the chance to take part in the optional assessments after the Easter holidays and Mr Grey will be in touch about the arrangements for this soon. Whilst we are not encouraged to seek additional pieces of evidence from Ofqual, we feel we would like to offer our pupils the chance to take part in these assessments, should they wish. Rest assured they will not be disadvantaged, if they either chose to take this opportunity, or not. One important point to note from Ofqual’s guidance today is that the information provided to the exam boards must remain confidential and so we as a school will not be able to discuss the information we provide to the examining bodies. I ask both parents and pupils to respect this. Many thanks for your ongoing support in this matter.
Should you have any immediate questions regarding this, please contact email@example.com.
Please find our letter regarding the new Home Learning Hub for Year 11 and Upper Sixth pupils
Information video from Ofqual 17 April 2020
In a statement from Ofqual -
Our response to Gavin Williamson's statement on summer exams
Published 18 March 2020
We have written to parents regarding our plans for the summer term and the examinations of our year 11 and year 13 pupils.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide.
Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information, including advice on quarantine while you're abroad, insurance and entry restrictions.
Our policy is as follows -
• Plymouth College will not allow any staff to travel to high risk areas on School business, nor allow any visitors, including parents and recruitment Agents, to visit the School from those areas unless they have completed a 14-day quarantine period away from those countries.
• Adults or pupils who travel to a high risk area will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period before they return to Plymouth College.
• Pupils who meet others (adults or children) from high risk areas will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine from the last point of contact before return to Plymouth College, unless the person they meet completes a full 14-day quarantine virus free, in which case no further quarantine is required.
Please also be aware that some countries are likely to put the UK as high risk area and flights may well stop to the UK from these countries. These are unprecedented times so we advise you seek clarification before travelling.
Supporting our boarding pupils during this uncertain time is paramount and so we highlight some key information below –
All trips have been postponed and we will be communicating directly with parents. It is hoped that trips at the end of the summer term will still go ahead but again, we will await government guidance.
We have decided that it is a reasonable precaution for the school to postpone non-essential events that entail mass gatherings. As such, the following events have been postponed and we hope will be re-arranged in due course:
|Monday 16 March||Year 7 Parents’ Evening|
|Wednesday 18 March||Senior School Spring Concert|
|Tues 24 & Weds 25 March||Addams Family School Production|
|Tuesday 24 March||Year 3 & 4 Swimming Gala|
|Thursday 26 March||Infant Spring Concert|
|Thursday 26 March||Senior Leader’s Farewell Dinner|
|Thursday 26 March||Year 2 Swimming Gala|
At the Senior School, assemblies will be replaced with Tutor time. At the Prep School, all assemblies are cancelled, including the Mother’s Day and Easter assemblies but we will continue with the PTA tradition of distributing Mother’s Day and Easter gifts.
All sports fixtures and training sessions have been cancelled for the duration of the school closure. Once we are back at school, decisions will be made about any fixtures scheduled after our return, based on Government advice. The welfare of our pupils and staff will always remain the priority.
We will be uploading videos and sharing useful links with pupils so that they can undertake effective training at home as often as possible. Coaches will be on hand as they normally would be to answer questions and offer support and advice. Follow @PlymColSport on Twitter for updates.
All on-line instrumental lessons are now underway, individual teachers will have made contact about this. These lessons will be delivered in line with the code of conduct for the delivery of one-to-one on-line lessons which they will go through with you.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Director of Music Mr Green on firstname.lastname@example.org If your concern is a safeguarding matter please contact email@example.com
World Health Organisation - https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Public Health England - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
National Health Service - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Independent Schools' Council - https://www.isc.co.uk/sector-info/coronavirus-information-for-schools/
Travel Advice - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Boarding Schools' Association - http://boarding.org.uk/media/news/article/13464/Coronavirus-disease-COVlD-19guidance-update-as-of-2-3-20
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual
Other sites -
We are delighted to share with you our new virtual tour of Plymouth College. Here you can have an insight into our impeccable facilities from the comfort of your own home.
We also have a Virtual Open Morning on Saturday 16th May, starting at 09:30. To register, click on the link below:
We look forward to seeing you!