We have been praised by our families and academic agents across the world for our response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the way in which we have adapted to the many challenges this has presented.
Our aim at all times has been to ensure that our pupils continue to receive a high-quality education and the necessary support to deal with the challenging situation we all find ourselves in. At Lomond School we pride ourselves on our sense of community and the individual approach to each child; it was of the upmost importance for us that this approach continued as we moved to a remote schooling model.
When will Lomond School re-open?
The Scottish government has announced that pupils in Scotland can return to school on 11 August 2020. Using the latest advice and guidelines from the government, we have been able to determine that we will be in the position to be able to welcome back ALL of our pupils from Junior 1 to Senior 6 to school and back into full time education from that date.
Our small class sizes, high pupil to staff ratios and flexible working spaces mean we are confident of being able to provide a safe environment for both pupils and staff.
Will the boarding house reopen and will pupils have to be quarantined?
Our boarding house, Burnbrae, will open in August along with the main school.
Currently we anticipate that overseas boarders may need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival to the UK and we will accommodate this within the boarding house with on-line learning in place. Hopefully as Trace and Protect develops this time frame will be eased – other countries for example plan to test on arrival in the country with a 24-hr isolation whilst the test is processed. We are of course dependent on when flights will start operating as to when our pupils can return, and we will continue to deliver home-learning until our boarders are able to re-join us. Our boarding team are currently working through how the specific regulations will impact the operation of the house.
What measures will be in place to safeguard pupils and staff when they return?
With clear guidelines now available from the Scottish Government we have been able to look at our facilities and asses how best to approach the return to school of our staff and pupils.
Cleaning and Infection Control
All classrooms are being cleared of all non-essential equipment and materials ahead of a deep clean prior to the school re-opening.
Pupils will be asked to wash their hands-on arrival at school and encouraged to do so through the school day. Antibacterial hand gels will be widely available, and cleaning of high contact touch points will be a continual process.
Where possible, each year group will have access to a designated toilet facility and a separate exit/entry from outdoor areas.
Pupils will attend school in their PE kit to avoid using hard to wash items such as blazers and parents will be asked to launder clothes every day. Staff will also be permitted to wear casual clothes and likewise wash clothes on a daily basis.
We have reviewed the spaces available to us and have the taken the approach of creating zones for each year group within the school. Year groups will be split into further smaller groups who will have their own ‘home rooms’ which will allow for pupils to be socially distanced to the required level. Pupil movement will be kept to a strict minimum with teachers moving around classes.
Initially, we will not be offering a hot lunch service to pupils and staff to avoid large groups of pupils in one area of the school. For boarders, a packed lunch will be provided by the catering team.
Staggered start and finish times as well as staggered break times are also being considered.
If guidelines stipulate that face coverings are required, pupils will be required to wear a re-usable face covering that can be washed. Should this not be a requirement from the authorities at the time of opening, any pupils and staff wishing to use face coverings will be welcome to do so.
As guidelines evolve, so will our plans and we will advise of changes to the above as and when they happen. At all times, the health and safety of our pupils and staff will be paramount.
How is Lomond School communicating relevant information?
We are in regular contact with our parents, pupils and staff via a variety of channels. Current parents should ensure they check their registered email on a regular basis. Current pupils should be checking their relevant google classrooms for information.
Prospective families can continue to contact our Registrar and alumni can contact us on the usual email address.
We also have regular updates and news on our social media channels and website which are a great way to stay in touch and keep up with everything we are doing.
I am interested in sending my child to Lomond School, can I book a visit?
Although we are unable to welcome prospective families into school at the current time, our admissions office is still open and ready to assist you with any questions you may have. Virtual meetings can be arranged with our Registrar at a time convenient to yourself and our website has a wealth of information to give you a feel for the school and what we do.
What does home learning mean?
For our pupils, home learning has meant a mix of live face-to-face teaching, supported by digitally based activities; these have been appropriate to each age and stage. Pupils are provided with a timetable which helps provide structure and focus and work is set on a daily basis to keep communication regular and manageable. In addition to their day to day schoolwork, all pupils belong to a pastoral group which meets once a week with a dedicated teacher. This gives pupils the opportunity to come together and chat about anything they may be concerned about or have questions about. It also provides teachers with the opportunity to ensure that our pupils are well and identify any additional support that may be required. We recognise the importance of closely monitoring pupil and staff wellbeing during these challenging times.
What has Lomond School been doing to help the community?
The idea of service and helping others is embedded in school life through our guiding principles and values. Our pupils dedicate a significant number of hours of voluntary service via the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award each year and our Charities Committee, music and drama groups all regularly contribute to the wider community in a variety of ways.
Throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, we have supported the local council and local charity, Visiting Friends, by delivering food parcels to vulnerable residents in the Helensburgh and Lomond area. Our Principal and her family, along with a number of staff and senior pupils, continue to run a fleet of five school buses to deliver these essential food parcels every week.
Many of our staff and pupils are contributing in their own way with some helping at local foodbanks and making reusable masks for example.