We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our students, both day and boarding, back onto campus in August for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
Ahead of our return to school at TASIS, our planning focus is on protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our entire school community, inclusive of students, parents, and staff while onsite. With this in mind, we are developing plans to address all aspects of our school operations, and you will be able to find the most updated information for each area below.
These measures are informed by the UK Government guidance for the full reopening of schools. Included within this document are essential measures which include:
- A requirement that people who are ill stay at home;
- Robust hand and respiratory hygiene;
- Enhanced cleaning arrangements;
- Active engagement in the National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace;
- Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts, maximize distancing between those in school wherever possible, and minimize the potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable.
We are confident that these preventative measures will significantly mitigate risk and we are fortunate to enjoy a beautiful and spacious campus, small class sizes, and plenty of scope for outdoor learning.
Important dates to remember:
- Wednesday, August 12: Arrival of boarding students who are traveling from countries that are excluded from the UK Government “Travel Corridors” list.
- Monday, August 24: Day student induction; please see further details below.
- Tuesday, August 25: Arrival of boarding students who are traveling from countries that are included in the UK Government’s “Travel Corridors” list (the "exempt list").
Wednesday, August 26: First day of classes.
The updated 2020-21 Calendar can be found on your Parent LMS linked HERE.
Unfortunately, due to UK Government guidelines for Staying Safe and Social Distancing, we will be unable to host our usual Welcome Picnic. However, on Monday, August 24, we look forward to welcoming some of our day students and families for induction into the 2020-21 school year. These groups will be notified by Admissions regarding the time for their induction as we will be running four rotational sessions to reduce the number of people on campus. The groups are:
- All Lower School day students
- Grade 5 day students
- Grade 9 day students
- All new Grade 6 - 8 day students
- All new Grade 9 - 12 day students
The Important Role of Families
Families play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are unwell. We want to work with families to support their child’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home. To support this effort, prior to the start of school, we will provide helpful information and orientation to help transition students to a COVID-safe campus.
We understand that there are families with higher-risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all play our part in adhering to UK Government recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.
We also expect that you will have questions and welcome your feedback and suggestions. We are eager to listen to and help each family navigate any concerns they may have. Please feel free to contact email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Click on each icon to read more information about our plans and initiatives to return to school safely.
All members of the TASIS England community have a shared responsibility to play their part in preventing the spread of illness when they are aware or suspect that they have contracted a communicable disease.
To help keep students, staff, and faculty safe it is imperative that all members of our school community remain committed to the safety policies and procedures listed here and in future communications. By enrolling your child at TASIS England, you agree to the following requirements:
- Travel. Please avoid unnecessary travel and adhere to any UK Government quarantine procedures based on your travel (visit this website for the latest updates on entering the UK from various countries).
- We strongly advise all parents who are traveling this summer to ensure that their children are ready for school on Wednesday, August 26, having completed any necessary quarantine requirements.
- We urge all in our community to regularly review the information related to the "travel corridors" list to ensure that all students and employees meet all requirements related to quarantine by Wednesday, August 26.
Our boarding houses will open on Wednesday, August 12, so that those boarding students who need to quarantine can self-isolate comfortably and safely, ready for the start of school.
- If your family is subject to quarantine at the same time as when school opens on Wednesday, August 26, your child can engage with classes from home via our Hybrid Learning program until the mandated quarantine period has passed.
- Follow UK Government Guidelines. All families are expected to adhere to the directives of applicable UK Government guidelines regarding social distancing in public and other measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (updated guidelines can be found at this link). We also wish to draw your attention to the recently published guidance "Staying alert and safe (social distancing)" and, in particular, to Section 2 - Meeting family and friends. Among other things, this guidance states we should all limit the number of people we see socially, especially over short periods of time, and that we should not hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction.
- Engage NHS Test and Trace Process when Necessary. If you, your child, or someone in your household displays symptoms related to COVID-19 (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste), follow NHS guidance by staying at home and getting a test as soon as possible. If your child or a household member tests positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Health Center nurse and the Head of School Section for your child as soon as possible.
- Stay Home if Unwell. If your child is unwell, you are expected to keep them home from school.
- Stay Home if Exposed. If anyone in your household has been notified by the NHS Test and Trace system or by the School that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you are asked to notify the Health Center. Based on the circumstance, you may be asked to keep your child home from school for 14 days. During this time, your child will be able to continue classes via our flexible learning program (please refer to the "Hybrid Learning" section).
- Temperature Checking. The School will check the temperatures of all day students upon arrival at school each day. If your child presents with a temperature that is higher than 37.8ºC/100ºF, your child will be sent home. If a boarding student presents with a temperature at the daily check before breakfast, we will follow our Care, Isolate, Test & Trace protocol for Boarding.
- Face Masks. We are currently reviewing our position regarding the use of face masks in school:
- Students using the CoachHire bus service must wear a face mask while on the bus to and from school.
- Although the UK Government has not mandated the use of face masks in educational settings, we are considering their use in Middle and Upper School classrooms.
- Face masks will not be required outdoors on the school campus, but social distancing will be expected at all times.
- More information will follow on this before school starts on August 26 however, as a precaution, families should ensure that each student, and especially each student using our bus service, has access to a clean face mask each morning and has been instructed on how to safely wear and remove a face mask. This infographic from John Hopkins Medicine provides useful information.
- Note that the UK Government has now made the use of masks mandatory in shops and supermarkets from Monday, July 24.
- Hygiene. Practice and reinforce good hygiene practices at home, in particular, the importance of frequent hand washing.
- Students’ Personal Items. Limit the items your child brings onto campus each day and reinforce that supplies and other items should not be shared with other students.
- Medical Forms. Parents must complete and submit all required student medical forms prior to the first day of school. This information must include at least one emergency contact.
- Emergency Contacts. Please ensure that your family's contact information is up-to-date and accurate by using the button "Update Family profile" in the LMS. You are required to provide at least three contacts. For day students, at least one of the contacts must be able to pick up your child from the School as soon as possible if your child presents with a temperature or becomes ill during the school day.
All students and faculty/staff will be temperature checked. The data related to temperature is unique to each measurement and this data is not stored or recorded over time on any individual.
We have installed temperature-checking stations across the campus and all students, faculty, and staff will go through a daily temperature check upon arrival. While this test relates to only one symptom of the COVID-19 virus, by checking everyone on campus each morning we can ensure that students or faculty/staff with a higher temperature, signaling the beginning of a fever, can safely return home, follow guidance on testing, and rest until the fever has passed.
- Students and faculty/staff who display a high temperature of 37.8ºC/100ºF or more will receive a secondary check. Results of the secondary check will determine our next steps:
- If the secondary check displays a temperature below 37.8C/100ºF, the student or faculty/staff member may proceed on to campus;
- If the secondary check confirms a high temperature, the student or faculty/staff member will be required to return home.
- We will follow UK Government guidance and NHS testing advice for anyone who displays a high temperature. In the event of a negative test, once the fever has passed the student or faculty/staff member can return to school. In the event of a positive test, the school will initiate a track and trace process to inform all with whom the student or faculty/staff member came into contact and to advise them on the steps they must take to ensure we limit the possible spread of the virus.
All visitors, contractors, and parents must access the campus through Security and will receive a mandatory temperature check before being permitted onto the campus.
- Bus Students: Bus students will have their temperature checked prior to boarding the bus. We will not require a second temperature check once they arrive on campus.
- Boarding Students: All boarding students will be temperature checked prior to leaving their boarding house each morning.
- Day Students (not traveling by the school bus service): For all students traveling to school via walking, cycling, and/or car drop-off, temperature checks will occur for Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. Lower School student temperatures will be taken at the Lower School Drop Off area.
We are fortunate to have so many entrances to facilitate student travel to school from their homes or boarding houses. Each morning we will support your child’s arrival by directing them safely from their drop off to their classroom while maintaining social distancing. Our campus will be open from 8 a.m. for drop off and bus arrival.
Lower School Entrance Arrival
Lower School parents should continue to use the Lower School entrance just off Coldharbour Lane. If a Middle or Upper School student is dropped off with a Lower School sibling, once they have been temperature checked (at the Lower School entrance), staff will assist in guiding them on the routes shown below.
For our students traveling on the school bus service, the following routes will be signposted and staff will be in place to support their arrival as a separate stream apart from car drop-offs. The routes they will take are demonstrated below:
Security Lodge Entrance - Main Drop Off for Middle and Upper School
Middle and Upper School families should continue to drop off at the Ten Acre Lane entrance. Staff on duty will support the students in following the routes below and receiving their temperature checks.
Whatever form of transportation is used to arrive and depart from TASIS England, all students, faculty, and staff must use sanitizer as they enter and exit school. Sanitizer stations will be placed at entrance and exit points and will be available throughout the campus.
School Bus Service
UK Government guidelines currently state that dedicated school transport is exempt from the social distancing guidelines and capacity restrictions that apply to public transportation provided that a number of measures are in place. The following steps will be taken to ensure that your children are safe on the bus service:
- We will issue bus drivers with non-contact, infrared forehead thermometers. Any student with a temperature above 37.8ºC/100ºF should remain at home and will not be permitted to ride the bus.
- All touch points on the bus will be cleaned and disinfected prior to each service.
- Students and driver will be required to wear a face mask while on the bus.
- We will ask the driver to dismount the bus at each stop and have students sanitize their hands before boarding the bus.
The current guidance from the UK Government states that capacity on the school bus service will not need to be restricted. Please note that guidance changes regularly in response to the course of the pandemic. We will monitor this guidance and revise our plans as required.
- From Monday, June 15, all students, faculty, and staff who use public transportation must wear a face covering on public transport in England. You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined.
- It is important to wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching your face covering.
- For a safer journey try to:
- travel at off-peak times
- use quieter stations and stops – get off a stop early if it’s less busy
- keep changes to a minimum, for example, between bus and train
- walk for more of your journey, for example, the first or last mile
- book your tickets online in advance or pay by contactless
- The latest UK Government advice for public transportation can be found here.
As we navigate the current health crisis, TASIS England is committed to two important goals: to provide safe, in-person instruction for all students and to keep all of our faculty and staff members safe to the best of our ability. The pursuit of these goals requires the School to make significant financial investment across a broad range of efforts, including:
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures
With safety as our highest priority, TASIS England is investing significantly in enhanced COVID-19 safety measures. Some of these measures include the following:
Thermal scanners will be used for fever detection, as mentioned previously.
Hygiene and Cleaning
- We will ensure that students clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms, and before and after eating. Regular and thorough hand cleaning will be necessary for the foreseeable future and will be achieved by:
- Strategically placing hand sanitizer stations throughout the campus and providing sanitizer in all classrooms and offices.
- Adding almost 20 additional hand washing stations to those already available throughout the campus.
Touchless water bottle filling stations – all water fountains have been converted to water bottle refilling stations to mitigate against contamination.
Amplified cleaning practices – all work spaces, shared facilities (toilets, dining halls, boarding house common rooms, etc.), playground equipment, and frequently touched surfaces will receive additional cleaning throughout each day and evening.
Anti-bacterial cleansing wipes will be provided in each classroom and office to ensure the frequent cleaning of hard surfaces and touch points.
Tissues will be provided in each classroom – the “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach continues to be very important, so we will ensure that we have enough tissues and bins available to support students, faculty, and staff as they follow this routine.
A stock of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is available for our nurses, in each classroom for those who will support our boarding quarantine solutions, if a boarding student tests positive for COVID-19.
Large posters highlighting social distancing, hygiene, and cough/sneeze etiquette will be placed around the campus.
- Windows will be open in classrooms and shared spaces throughout the day for a minimum amount of time (to be determined).
- For poorly ventilated areas, we are working on providing solutions such as installing filters.
- We have already determined the maximum capacity of each room to accommodate social distancing rules.
- Prior to the return to school, we will communicate with our faculty, staff, students, and parents as to whether they will be required to wear face masks on arrival and/or during school hours.
- We will provide clear guidance on what is required in relation to any shared school supplies, in terms of how they are used and cleaned.
- We will establish cleaning practices for toys and other classroom resources.
- We are currently reviewing how we can provide lunch to our students and employees to ensure we minimize contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
- More information will be provided prior to our return to school.
- To facilitate adjustments to the daily schedule, school will now start at 8:10 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. with after-school activities following the end of the regular class schedule;
- The daily school schedule for each school section has been adjusted to ensure we can operate as seamlessly as possible both on campus and online. Consideration was given to:
- Minimizing the number of transitions we make during the school day between classes;
- How we can distance school sections and keep distinct groups separate while offering our full curriculum;
- Children’s ability to distance – for our younger Lower School students, it is likely that we will emphasize maintaining separate groups. For our Middle and Upper School students, we will focus on social distancing between each other and faculty/staff where possible; and
- Continuity of learning which can be achieved both on campus and online through our flexible learning program (please refer to the "Hybrid Learning" section).
We will continue to update this section as we finalize our plans to deliver exceptional and uninterrupted teaching and learning to all of our students. More information related to the schedule and how we have planned it will be forthcoming from our Heads of Section.
Movement Around the School
- Clear signage and one-way movement systems on main pathways will be marked throughout the School to promote awareness of social distancing.
- Movement will be restricted where possible.
Please DOWNLOAD THIS PDF that also includes our arrangements for:
- Schedule, Groupings, and Transitions
- Classroom Set-up
- Cleaning and robust hygiene practices
In this video, Head of Boarding Matt Kiely talks about TASIS England's plans for the safe return of our boarding students prior to the start of classes on August 26, 2020. These plans are also detailed in the drop-down sections below. If you have any questions about the information provided here, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Kiely at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In anticipation of the ongoing and evolving challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future, TASIS England is developing a hybrid, flexible learning program that will enable both in-classroom and online learning. This hybrid learning program, as outlined in the diagram below, will ensure that we can achieve our School Mission and our desire for continuity of learning through a seamless transition between on-campus and virtual learning.
Our prior experience with online learning throughout March - June 2020 has helped us to see that there are opportunities to enhance and transform our approaches to teaching and learning. While our commitment to on-campus learning remains paramount, the hybrid learning program will empower our teachers and students to move with flexibility between the two models of learning and assist us in adapting to any sickness-related absences or possible localized lockdowns.
- We are preparing for student learning to take place both on campus and online;
- We strongly encourage all students to attend school on campus while adhering to government social distancing guidelines;
- If students are unable to attend school on campus due to a lockdown or a requirement to self-isolate, etc. they will still take part in daily learning through a combination of synchronous (during actual scheduled class time) and asynchronous (not occurring during scheduled class time) activities;
- We have created a new daily schedule based on best practice to reduce transitions and associated contact between different groups. The new daily schedule will also operate fully online should a local or school lockdown be necessary;
- Teachers have been working hard this summer to ensure the success of our Hybrid Learning model and have undertaken specialized professional development;
- To aid consistency and streamline learning, Middle School and Upper School will be using Google Classroom as the common platform for assignment details, submissions, and student feedback. Lower School will continue to use Seesaw in all grades along with Google Classroom in third and fourth grades. All three sections will be using Zoom for synchronous learning; and
- The Parent and Student LMS will continue to host the school calendar, attendance, gradebooks, directories, etc.
We will continue to update this section as we finalize our plans to deliver exceptional and uninterrupted teaching and learning to all of our students through our hybrid learning program.
The Sports & Activities department continues to monitor UK Government guidelines for schools and recommendations from individual sports governing bodies for each sport to establish which co-curricular (after-school) sports and activities we will be able to offer in the fall. We are currently looking to provide an amended, Covid-safe sports and activities program for the fall (August-November).
Sports & Activities
Whatever restrictions are in place, we will endeavor to offer opportunities for students to participate in a sport and/or activity at the end of each school day. We recognize that the sports and activities program is vitally important, not only from a physical fitness perspective but also because of the social and psychological benefits that sports and activities provide students. However, COVID-19 guidelines relating to social distancing can potentially be revised on a daily basis. Therefore, we may have to adapt or, indeed, change some offerings depending on what we feel we can safely offer, both when we return to school in August and possibly throughout the next school year. The result may be that some sports and/or activities that involve contact or sharing equipment will be adapted to suit any COVID-19 restrictions/social distancing measures that may be in place.
From a sports team perspective, we continue to work with the other London School Sports Association (LSSA) schools such as ACS, ASL, and Marymount to identify solutions to the current issues surrounding travel, indoor gymnasiums, swimming pools, contact sports, and the sharing of equipment. A decision on what the competitive schedule will look like for LSSA schools is to be decided before school reopens in August.
The proposed sports/activities schedule for the fall season (August 31- November 13) were sent via email to TASIS families on August 3. This communication provides the co-curricular options for each area of school (LS, MS & US) and further information about sign-up options for sports/activities starting in late August.
Sports & Travel
Unfortunately, international travel for sports teams will not take place until 2021 at the earliest. Therefore, any International Schools Athletic Association (ISAA) tournaments in the fall will not take place in November. This decision is mirrored by many other schools and sports organizations throughout the world. We are currently working with other UK-based schools to see if we are in a position to create bespoke tournaments for the fall season that will provide TASIS students with the best possible opportunity to take part in end-of-season competitions.
TASIS Sport Coaching Sessions in August
Due to the social distancing measures currently in place, we will not be able to offer the annual TASIS Sports Camp in its traditional format. The camp would usually take place the week before the start of school. However, we have been busy trying to establish which sports/activities we can offer in the form of coaching sessions in line with the latest UK government and National Governing Body (NGB) Covid-19 guidelines/restrictions. We are delighted to inform you that we are now in a position to confirm a number of coaching sessions to take place between August 17 - 25.
The Sports & Activities office recently sent out an email communication to TASIS families which provided a list of the coaching sessions we now have confirmed are available between August 17 - 25. If you are yet to receive the email or have any questions or concerns about the coaching sessions, please contact the Sports and Activities office - email@example.com
Enrolled families will also be able to find the most updated information about our sports and activities program via the LMS, including some very useful online sports and activity resources for TASIS families.
Access to counseling for students
- Day School: Students will have regular access to counselors during the academic day for group and 1:1 sessions.
- Boarding School: In addition to school-day access to counselors, boarding students will have access to a school counselor during the evening from Monday to Thursday for group and 1:1 sessions.
Wellness programs for students
- Start-of-year orientations will focus on pastoral support, relationships, and well-being.
- Learning opportunities: The PSHEE program will start the school year by looking at how students can maintain their mental health and well-being.
- We are looking into the option of offering mindfulness courses/opportunities throughout the School.
- We may also offer a mental health first-aid course to eleventh and twelfth grade students in the second semester.
Wellness programs for staff/faculty
- Careful consideration is given in planning how we can help all of our faculty and staff stay physically active and socially connected within the guidelines set by the UK Government.
- Experiential learning opportunities include mindfulness and meditation courses and team fitness courses with external partners.
- Support Services include access to confidential counseling services through the faculty benefits package.
The Health Center is committed to the health and well-being of each student. The center provides a medical service for all students and is staffed full-time, with fully qualified nurses who can be contacted at any time in an emergency. The center has four en-suite bedrooms in case any of the boarding students are unwell (with an illness other than COVID-19) and cannot attend lessons during the school day.
- If your child presents during the day with a temperature that is higher than 37.8ºC/100ºF, your child will be sent home. For any boarding student presenting with a high temperature, we will follow our Care, Isolate, Test & Trace protocol for Boarding.
- We have equipped a dedicated space for quarantine coverage with assigned nursing and medical best practices in our Wellness Center.
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): We have sufficient supplies of face shields, masks, gloves, aprons or coveralls, storage containers, etc. available and in stock.
- Medication distribution: Rotas for nurses are already in place.