Returning to school
The RIC staff are busy preparing to reopen our beautiful campus and welcome our students back.
We are pleased to let our international boarders and their families know that we will be open from Friday August 21st. This will allow students travelling from countries that need to quarantine to do so comfortably in the College, cared for by our staff. Boarding students should already have heard from the team here to arrange their arrival date and time on an individual basis.
"I should like to say how amazing you all are at RIC. Your communication throughout has been fantastic, and your stance has been measured and sensible. When we picked RIC less than 2 years ago, we knew we’d found a gem, and this only serves to reinforce that belief. Thank you for everything you are doing for our children and for how you are responding to the ever-changing situation. As a governor in a primary school, I know what a challenge this is for schools." Year 8 Parent 2020
BSA Covid Safe Charter
Rochester Independent College is adopting the Boarding Schools' Association 'Covid Safe Charter.' The Charter confirms that we will be following all government guidance and rules as well as the additional requirements of the Charter with regard to student safety and welfare.
The BSA Covid-Safe Charter includes measures that schools must implement or undertake prior to reopening. These include deep-cleans of school environments, testing procedures, isolation areas, and clear advice to parents and agents about school policies on contact sports, trips, provision of boarding during holidays.
For when schools are operational, guidelines cover social distancing measures, the provision of sanitiser, enhanced cleaning procedures, ensuring equipment is not shared, and allowing staff and pupils to wear face masks.
Specific measures for international students in the BSA charter cover areas such as ensuring that students are met on arrival by a named person aware of appropriate social distancing guidance and wearing a face mask at all times in proximity to the student. Journeys must be direct and in vehicles that contain sanitiser and wipes.
Upon arrival at school, schools must ensure all changes to routines are fully explained and ensure that pupils have an opportunity to “discuss their fears, worries and concerns with a trusted adult”.
Boarding staff ensure new students are picked up from the airport, welcomed and shown around Rochester and the College.
At RIC student accommodation is located on the urban campus, so commuting from classes to boarding facilities is not required. All pupils are closely supervised by resident staff in a safe and secure environment.
We will manage the arrival of international boarders in September 2020 in a proactive, caring and safe manner. Our commitment is based on both the current and projected situations and may well change before September 2020 accordingly.
We will continue to uphold the highest of standards in hygiene, health and safety in order to mitigate the risk of infection and to care for our students in a supportive, comfortable environment.
If this becomes part of college life in the autumn, it will be managed practically and effectively and may include different mealtimes; a suspension of some school trips; a maximum number of students and staff congregating at any one time and guidance on socialising in college and in the wider community, including any local travel. Students should not visit each other’s rooms.
Students and staff will be advised to wear masks which cover nose and mouth; use the sanitising gel provided before each class and meal and on entering any college building and to use any other protective equipment as relevant to the activity undertaken.
Where possible RIC will be sourcing eco-friendly PPE products.
The college buildings will undergo a ‘deep clean’ prior to the start of term and again after two weeks. All classroom, laboratory, dining room and common area surfaces will be cleaned throughout the working day. Students should keep their own areas tidy and clean.
Students should report any symptoms of cough and/or fever to their house staff or college Nurse immediately.
Safety and confidence
Please find below a short document that outlines the steps we are beginning to take to ensure that RIC is a safe environment for our students and staff to return to with confidence when the time comes. More detailed guidance will of course be issued well before our reopening to reflect changing government advice.
Rochester Independent College responded to the Covid-19 crisis with a vibrant and inspiring online school offering, RIC Without Walls. We removed the walls of our lovely listed buildings on Star Hill and established a creative, academic and community based learning environment in the homes of our students, whether they be just around corner or on the other side of the world.
These systems will be used in the event of a further local or national lockdown and in circumstances where students are self isolating and unable to attend school. Online tuition will also be used where international students are not able to join us for the start of the new school year.
Pupils feel very secure within the school and boarding environment and know how to stay safe. Boarders say that they are well cared for if they are unwell. Standards of cleanliness are good and the houses are well maintained. Rooms are cleaned daily.