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Peterhouse Girls

From the Rector's Desk - 8th September 2020

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,


As per correspondence sent out on 2 and 3 September, this letter provides you with more specific detail of our plans for the return of pupils to school on Monday 14 September.

Arrangements for Monday 14 September

While understanding that Monday 14 September is a work day, please note that to help facilitate the smooth and efficient return of pupils to school, we will need to stagger the times of the pupils’ return. The return times are as follows:

A Block (IGCSE) 09h00 – 11h00. Please do not enter the school before 09h00 as we need
time to set up the Covid Testing Centre.
Vth Form (AS Level) 11h30 – 13h30.
VIth Form (A Level) 14h00 – 16h00. The school gates will be closed after 16h00 and pupils will
not be able to enter the PHB or PHG campuses after this time.

If you have children in two blocks, please utilise the later time.

Please appreciate that our endeavours for minimising the Covid risk to all our pupils and staff requires us to run a very intentional return process. Pupils unable to return on 14 September will be required, on returning to school, to present a negative Covid test that was taken 48 hours or less before their time of arrival on the school campus.

All returning pupils (PHB and PHG) will need to complete a number of formalities on the PHB campus. PHG parents, please note, you must go to the PHB campus before arriving at the PHG campus.

You will be required to complete three entry procedures. These are:
• Present or complete the necessary Financial Clearance requirements for the beginning of term.
• Complete and return a new Peterhouse indemnity document. This document will be provided to you on entry to the school. Please bring your own pen to complete this document.
• Complete a Rapid Results Covid Test (pupils only).

On entering the PHB campus you will be directed by staff to stations for each of these processes. It should be noted that parents should remain in their vehicles during the entire “drop-off” exercise.
After completing these processes you will then be directed to drop-off zones near the boarding houses, or you will proceed to PHG. At this point you will need to bid your son/daughter farewell. Parents may not proceed beyond the drop-off zones. Please do not compromise house staff, who will direct pupils to their houses and their allocated areas in the houses.

Toilet facilities for parents will be available at the Jubilee Pavilion.

Out-of-Country Returnees
Please note that the re-entry process is being managed by Mrs Helen Allott (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). All enquiries with respect to returning to school are to be directed through Mrs Allott’s office. The school is currently working with a number of ministries to help facilitate as smooth as possible a return for our out-of-country pupils. Please understand that this is a complex, and, at times, frustrating exercise, given that the rules pertaining to returnees to Zimbabwe can and do change fairly rapidly.

Pupil Requirements
It should be noted that those returning to school will need to bring their own facemasks (x3). These masks should be plain and have no designs or branding. All masks should be labelled with the pupil’s name. It is advisable that each pupil have their own supply of hand sanitizer, which will, in addition, be provided at key points around the school. Please make sure that all clothing is correctly marked – pupils may not share clothing or uniform.

Campus lockdown
The primary motivation for locking down campus and trying to minimise the risk to the Peterhouse community, is to ensure that all our pupils can, and will, write their examinations. Consequently, please note the following arrangements for Fixture Free Weekends.

There will be a Fixture Free Weekend, as published, from Friday 2 October to Monday 5 October, for both pupils at Peterhouse and on Digi-school. However, if pupils leave the Peterhouse campus that weekend, they will be required, on their return, to have a Covid test at school before returning to the boarding house. This test will be charged to your school account. The fixture free weekend from 4 - 10 November will be for Digi-school pupils only. Throughout the period 14 September to 18 November, we will be monitoring and limiting access to the school.

Digi-school will end on Friday 4 December.

It has been a long five months, and we are very conscious of the fact that, for many of our pupils, it will take some time to readjust to school routines. Nonetheless, all school rules will apply for those returning to school, and I would like to ask that our pupils return appreciating that our expectations in terms of discipline remain unchanged, despite the five month break. Please assist us in making sure haircuts and general appearance expectations conform to school rules. Equally, and appreciating that there is much to be done in the next two months, there will be high expectations of the pupils from the staff. Obviously, new rules around managing Covid will apply, and these will include social distancing and the management of teaching, eating, and boarding spaces. No one is immune to Covid, and it is only through displaying the appropriate disciplines that we can avoid the transmission of the virus.

It has been an incredibly difficult year for schooling, and we want to ensure that all our examination candidates are best prepared for the upcoming examinations. We have, in determining our Covid protocols, made every attempt to minimise risk. Obviously, it is impossible to provide any guarantees in this current environment, and hence we ask that every pupil, staff member, and member of the Peterhouse family, appreciate and share the responsibility for managing the school’s Covid environment.

It is not business as usual – it is much more about ensuring the examination process proceeds as smoothly as possible without disruptions to the candidates or our community. As parents, your point of contact with the school will be through Housemasters/mistresses.

We have been looking forward to, and planning for quite a while, the return of pupils to the school. We look forward to reconnecting with them, and, hopefully, providing them with all the necessary tools to master and succeed in the upcoming examinations.

I sincerely hope that we have, in our planning, covered all the necessary bases to getting the school operational. Sincere thanks must go to all those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we fulfil our obligations in being Covid compliant.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford