Learning in lockdown

Government Advice
For latest Government, NHS and travel advice, we recommend regularly checking the www.gov.uk website.

The school continues to take and to follow advice from appropriate agencies including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health England (PHE), the NHS, the Department for Education (DfE), the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Department for Education: Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak. Latest information can be found via the link. 

National lockdown
On 4 January 2020 the Prime Minister announced a new national lockdown involving the closure of schools and colleges and the transition to remote learning for all pupils until February half term.

Schools will, however, remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. At Tonbridge, we will also continue to accommodate and support those boys returning as international boarders, who will be able to access remote learning safely here on site. 

The Government has stated that domestic GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled this summer, but that currently international qualifications, including IGCSE, are expected to go ahead. The School is continuing to focus on delivering and completing GCSE and A-level courses for the Third Year and Upper Sixth respectively while we await further information and guidance, which is expected in February.

Teaching and Learning: Tonbridge Online
Teaching staff continue to deliver learning remotely in the Lent Term, and Housemasters, Tutors and Matrons continue to support the boys pastorally within their Houses. We are also delivering an educational programme on-site to children of critical workers. 

Our brochure, Tonbridge Online, summarises our educational programme during this period, which will run until at least the February half term break. The content includes Timetables, Pastoral Care, Co-Curricular plans, Tonbridge Connect and Rules and Expectations for Learning Online.

As in the Summer Term last year, we are committed to ensuring that the very large majority of lessons are live, fully interactive and engaging for our boys. As before there will be access to some outstanding online resources. 

The School also has a strong commitment to maintaining a Co-Curricular offering to boys, as an important outlet beyond academic lessons. The Co-Curricular programme will feature, among other activities, fitness and exercise classes, music lessons and rehearsals, drama performances, cookery classes and community-focused and voluntary pursuits.

Covid-19 testing at the School
Despite the National Lockdown, and the fact that the School is currently open only for vulnerable children, the children of critical workers and some international boarders, we have a number of staff who are still working on site.

In line with Government guidelines, the School will be continuing to operate as safely as possible and to take all measures it reasonably can to support those boys and staff on site; these measures include running a Covid-19 screening and testing programme.

In addition to symptomatic testing we are able to undertake on site if necessary, we have now completed the start-of-term screening programme for all boys on site and for staff who have chosen to participate. A second phase of screening will take place when the School reopens fully.

The School is now setting up to deliver routine testing once a week for teachers and other staff, and also to deliver the Rapid Testing Programme for Schools and Colleges, supported by NHS Test and Trace. 

Wellbeing and Online Safety
A section entitled Wellbeing on the Portal has links to online resources which may be of interest to pupils and parents.  

The Deputy Head Pastoral will also be re-starting a weekly Wellbeing Survey for boys, so that we can continue to support them throughout this period of distance learning.

School events, sports, trips
In the light of national guidelines, and in the interests of safeguarding pupils and the wider School community, it has of course been necessary to cancel or postpone many events, including sports fixtures and school trips, until further notice.

EM Forster Theatre
The Theatre is closed until further notice. See website for more details.

Tonbridge School Centre
The TSC is closed until further notice. See website for more details.