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May 19, 2020

Covid-19 Update

Following government advice, St Paul’s School (SPS) and St Paul’s Juniors (SPJ) closed from the end of the school day on Friday 20 March.

Since Monday 23 March, we have been providing an extensive system of remote learning and pastoral support for our pupils. All staff, pupils and parents have been fully briefed about how this new way of teaching and learning works in practice and our staff have been working hard to provide a high quality educational experience. Safeguarding remains at the heart of everything we do and we have issued additional safeguarding guidelines to pupils and staff for the online world.

The school site has remained closed except for essential staff and for the supervision for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, many of them from other schools across the local area that have not been able to provide this service. We offer free breakfast and lunch for all children who are on site.

Our co-curricular offering has also moved online and, although it is more difficult to recreate this aspect of school life virtually, we are pleased to be offering an increasing variety of co-curricular activities for pupils. For further information, please read our article here.

Return to school

Following the government’s evolving guidance, we have undertaken and published risk assessments to enable specific year groups to return to the site.  U2 (Year 6) at St Paul’s Juniors (SPJ) returned to site on 2 June, and Fifth Form (Year 10) and Lower Eighth Form (Year 12) at St Paul’s School (SPS) returned from Tuesday 16 June in small groups, enabling each pupil to attend onsite for at least three days before the end of the school year on Friday 3 July.  All of these returnees are subject to risk assessments, shared with staff and relevant parents, and all are operating in bubbles to enforce social distancing and minimise risk.  L1 (Year 3), U1 (Year 4) and L2 (Year 5) will return to SPJ from  Monday 22 June.

We are also considering opportunities for other year groups before the end of term, but the options are limited because current social distancing guidance severely reduces capacity and restricts any larger gatherings or group work.  A full programme of online teaching continues.

We have undertaken a full risk assessment of the site – including key locations such as the dining room – to create a safe environment for pupils and staff and to ensure that this phased return to school conforms to all the government’s extended guidance on social distancing. We also continue to receive and consider carefully more specific and detailed advice from associate bodies and other sources of expertise in public health.

Admissions

If you have any questions about admissions, please visit the admissions pages of the website or email admissions@stpaulsschool.org.uk

Our future open days are currently scheduled for September 2020 and beyond. Whilst we hope to be able to hold these events at St Paul’s and meet you in person, we are monitoring the government’s advice and if we are unable to meet face-to-face, we will be holding virtual open days instead, including the opportunity for live question and answer sessions. Further details can be found on the admissions pages of the website. If you would like to know more, please email admissions@stpaulsschool.org.uk

Community Support

At this time of national crisis, we are working in various ways to make a meaningful contribution to wider society and we have been supporting our state school and charity partners since the start of the crisis. As well as manifold individual fundraising and volunteering efforts, and providing IT hardware to local schools, our large stock of protective goggles and sterile gloves has been donated to local hospitals and GP surgeries to support NHS staff on the front line.  For further information about our partnership activity, please read our article here.

Some of our families are facing genuine hardship at present.  We have offered help to parents who have had a change in financial circumstances and our intention is to support any family struggling with school fees as a consequence of the Covid-19 epidemic.

We very much hope that we will be able to re-open St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Juniors soon. In the meantime, we hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy.

As at 16 June 2020

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