Prep school opening to ALL pupils!

19th June 2020

We are delighted to announce that St. Dominic’s preparatory school is opening to all primary year group pupils before the summer holidays!

Our unique position as a small-sized school with spacious areas means we can safely welcome all children in these age groups back in a Covid-secure environment where most other schools in the country cannot.

We are also working towards being fully open to all senior school pupils at the start of the new school year in September and are confident that, like the primary school, this will be a reality.

Head of St. Dominic’s, Peter McNabb, said: “Initial Government plans for all primary pupils to return before the summer holidays can’t be followed due to large classes being unable to follow all the safety guidelines.

“However, more recently, the Education Secretary said he wanted to support headteachers who could allow more children to return in primary year groups if they could follow all the safety requirements.

“St. Dominic’s is an exceptional school and its size enables us to achieve outstanding results and a community that can truly be called family.

“Our small size and large spacious areas mean we can take more children back and follow all the required guidelines. We are uniquely placed in this respect and have been working hard, making plans to bring this to reality.

“We are thrilled to announce that we will be asking primary all year groups to return to school in a phased approach before the summer holidays, in a way which satisfies risk assessments and government guidelines. We believe this is important educationally, socially and for their mental health.

“The safety of the children is our number one priority. We respect the wishes of parents, and if they prefer to continue to receive remote teaching, this will continue over this time.

“Miss Hovland, our head of lower school and logistics, has worked incredibly hard to make St. Dominic’s safe with increased hand washing areas, removal of soft furnishings, cleaning in the middle as well as the end of the day and specific ‘safety bubbles’ for students.

“However, it still feels very much like St. Dominic’s and we have been careful to undertake all these measures in a sensitive manner. The response from all the children and parents who have already returned has been very positive.

“Sadly, we are not currently allowed to have more children from the senior school to return, other than face-to-face sessions with Year 10 and Year 12. However, the seniors are already settled in their virtual school environment and will continue to receive an excellent standard of education and support even though they aren’t physically on the premises.

“We are already making plans for a full September start for every year group throughout the school to incorporate all the children safely and are confident that although some secondary schools might struggle to open in September, like primary schools, our small size will enable all our year groups and classes to return.

“We will phase return the preparatory school over the next couple of weeks. This will allow us to give maximum attention to year groups to settle into new routines before we then divert our attention to the next returning class.

“The phased return will see Years 2 and 4 returning on Monday, June 22, and Years 3 and 5 on Monday, June 29. They will join Reception, year 1 and Year 6 who have already returned.”

If you have any questions, please contact the school office on 01902 850248.