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With more changes to guidance in 2022, many of our families have questions about the school day, what teaching looks like at the moment, and how we will keep everyone safe.

Last updated 14th January 2022

COVID related changes for the return to school, January 2022

We are very much looking forward to welcoming returning and new pupils to The Prebendal School for the start of another academic year. We are aware that they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holidays. We are sure there are a number of questions about what school may look like and so please find advice from ‘The Education Hub’

1. Mixing and ‘bubbles’

Keeping pupils in year group or classroom bubbles to reduce mixing is no longer a requirement. However, for prudence, we restrict movement around the school as far as possible. 

2. Tracing close contacts

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace. Education settings are no longer expected to undertake contact tracing. We keep a log of visitors to the school and ask that anyone developing symptoms within a week of visiting the school could please inform us. Equally, we would inform any visitors of any likely exposure.

3. Face coverings

Face coverings are necessary for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas. 

4. Testing

Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of infection within schools. Years 7 and 8 will continue to undergo frequent testing and sufficient test kits will be provided for this purpose. Parents should log their result twice - once via the school's own recording platform, and also with the NHS system.

So, what will stay the same?

Coronavirus hasn’t gone away so there will still be a need for schools, pupils and staff to follow basic measures to avoid the spread of the virus:

  1. Ensuring good hygiene including frequent and thorough hand cleaning and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  2. Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes.
  3. Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated.
  4. Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  5. As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, parents are still required to drop off and collect their children from the main school gates.

But what if there are a number of cases at Prebendal?

If there are a number of cases in our school, there is advice in place so teachers and staff know what to do.

Families should all work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school. If there were a number of cases amongst staff and appropriate supervision could not be maintained, some groups of children may be sent home to learn remotely.

There will always be provision for Key Worker children.

More information on the guidance issued to education settings is available on the following website: Contingency framework: education and childcare settings.

Please see the document Prebendal@Home Remote Learning Guidance for further information about how to access Teams, and the expectations placed upon pupils.

Possible scenario

Plan for Teacher/cover

Points to remember

Teacher isolating, not feeling unwell, but class still in school

Live stream or record a welcome to settle the class.


Any pre-recorded or live lessons should be used to start the session only, not for the entire session.


Work should be uploaded to Teams, and pupils may return it in the same way on "Assignments".

Member of staff on site to manage behaviour and support pupils.

Teacher and all/most of class at home

If well enough, teacher to plan and deliver lessons as above.


If not well enough, lessons will be planned and taught by another member of staff via Teams

Remember to ensure background is appropriate whilst at home (staff) and cameras off (pupils).


No live teaching if only one pupil is logged on.

Some pupils in school, some at home.

Teachers to livestream the lesson via Teams. Livestream should be the input, not the focus.


Significant staff illness

Prebendal may not be in a position to be open for all pupils, and parents would be informed as soon as possible.


A class sent home because of staffing shortages will access work remotely, taught by another member of staff. An alternative, temporary timetable may be put in place.

If the catering team is depleted in number, we would consider asking parents to send in a packed lunch. The provision of food for Boarders would continue if possible but, if not, then we would consider temporarily closing the boarding house.

Parental contacts must be up to date. Parents should be ready to collect children from school at short notice if required.

School closure

The school will remain open for Key Worker children, those with an EHCP, and those whom the school identifies as vulnerable or whose families are involved with social care.


As before, these pupils will access the work on Teams as they would at home, but whilst under the supervision of school.

A staff rota will be put in place for those staff on site.


  • Staff members, and families at home, may well have children at primary school age, who are also at home. Pre-recorded lessons may be more suitable time to work around working families.
  • Engagement – we know that some pupils find it hard to be in front of a screen all day. Activities to be varied, and time built in for walks/breaks.
  • If Teams fails to work, additional work will be sent to year groups via ClarionCall or via the school website.
  • Keep it simple! Pupils will struggle if every step is not modelled or explained very clearly.
  • Lay down the ground rules in the first instance so that your expectations are clear to all.