Published at 16:00 on Wednesday 18 March 2020
I am writing with an update on d’Overbroeck’s’ position regarding the Covid-19 virus and the forthcoming Easter holiday break.
In view of the evolving situation in Europe relative to other parts of the world, it appears that the escalation of the shutdown in the UK is something that has accelerated beyond the school’s ability to continue to operate as normal. If the UK’s Covid-19 growth numbers follow a similar pattern to other European countries, confirmed cases in the UK are projected to peak during the Easter holidays or at the start of the Summer Term. In this changing situation, we have reassessed d’Overbroeck’s’ position, and to provide a continuity of education for all of our students I would like to inform all families that we intend to deliver online lessons only from Monday 23 March.
Students should therefore not come into school after Friday 20 March. You can find separate details of our online programme here.
Because our students are in a variety of different situations, I would ask you to read through the following points carefully:
- All lessons will continue as normal till the end of School on Friday 20 March
- Monday 23 March will see all students required to undertake a full timetable of online This will be for years 7 – 13, day and boarding.
- Online learning will cease for the Easter break at 1pm on Friday 3 April
- During the period Monday 23 March – Friday 3 April, there will be no access to Leckford Place for Students
- Currently, school will resume as planned on Monday 27 April Any change in this date will be communicated at the latest in the week beginning 13 April. Updates will be issued at regular intervals.
For those students at 7-11:
- For those parents of students in Years 7 – 9 at Leckford who may experience problems with childcare, we are able to offer ‘remote supervision’ of studies at This means that students will access our online education programme in one of the classrooms at 333, with supervision being shared between two or three classrooms. This will be available whilst the Government maintains its position of not shutting schools. Your son or daughter will need to bring their own device to access their classes. Should you need this provision, please contact Sarah Squire at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch will be available as usual for those who remain.
For those students at the International School:
- Whilst many boarding students have left early, d’Overbroeck’s we would encourage those who are still here to travel home for the holiday period and take advantage of the extensive programme of online study. As stated, this online study programme will follow their normal academic timetable running from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April at 1300hrs.
- Boarding students who have air tickets booked between Monday 23 March and Friday 3 April, are welcome to remain in a boarding house. There is a possibility that this will not be in their current accommodation. Their programme of online study will take place in the International School. For those abroad, we appreciate that the time difference might be a challenge and we are hoping to build some flexibility into the programme for
For students at Sixth Form:
- Whilst the government are not instructing schools to close, students can remain in boarding until the Friday 3 April where they can have access to online teaching. They will not be able to study in the main 333 building, although meals will be provided as normal.
- Those students in host families, should also make alternative provision, unless there is an agreement in place with their host family that enables them to act in loco parentis. As per the boarding house, students are able to stay with families until Friday 3 April but not beyond this time. Please contact Emma Brett email@example.com for more information.
- Due to the return date for ALL students of 26 April, Upper 6th Mock exams will now not take place.
- Students who have returned home for Easter should allow time to adjust physically and mentally for the challenge of public examinations. This is likely to include a period of quarantine.
- Boarding students who return to d’Overbroeck’s in the summer term can expect to be quarantined for a period of 14 days (on current advice). If this isolation coincides with a public examination, special arrangements will be made to allow the student to sit the exam. We recommend all students travel back in good time to allow for the end of a quarantine
- Boarding students and those within host families will not be allowed into the boarding houses or their families to serve their quarantine period and arrangements for the quarantine period should be made independently of the
- All boarders should return to school on Sunday 26 April at the latest to return to full-time lessons on Monday 27 April. Of course, this date is subject to change depending on how the situation evolves.
Please be aware, that advice on quarantine is subject to change. Please email Felisa.firstname.lastname@example.org if you require clarification on this.
Overall, the logic of these recommendations is to allow the outbreak ‘to pass its peak’ by the time the majority of students return to campus and for warmer weather perhaps to slow the spread of the virus generally. The return home also has the added benefit of giving children the chance to spend time with parents, family and friends with all the emotional and mental-health benefits this will bring. The early move to online study also allows the school to fulfil its commitment to a full timetable of lessons even with increased levels of staff self-isolation.
Of course, at this challenging time, it is only sensible that we acknowledge that there are many unknowns. We do not yet know if the UK government will shut schools, we do not know if the examinations boards will postpone or cancel public examinations and nor do we know if we can rely on virus projection numbers. There is an obvious risk in any choice that we make. However, accepting all these potential outcomes, it is the belief of the senior leadership team here that this is now the best way to continue to provide a high quality education with significantly less risk to our community.
There will be a number of further emails from d’Overbroeck’s in the next few days giving you greater detail of academic and pastoral arrangements. As always please stay in touch with us and correspond as follows with senior members of staff:
- For academic matters: to Andrew Gillespie (Academic Director) email@example.com
- For pastoral matters: to Sarah Squire (Director of Pastoral Care)firstname.lastname@example.org
- For International School matters: to Ted McGrath – Vice Principal, Head of TIS email@example.com
- For Sixth form matters: to Alasdair MacPherson – Vice Principal, Head of Sixth Form firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Palmer – Deputy Head of Sixth Form Kate.email@example.com
- For Boarding House matters: Felisa Deas – Head of Boardingdeas@doverbroecks.com
To reiterate, we are intending that school should recommence for the start of the Summer Term on the published date of Monday 27 April. Any changes to that date will be communicated to you.
Finally, please forgive this revision of our planning. I hope that you share with me the view that these are extraordinary times requiring an extraordinary level of flexibility. I know that Mark will be in contact in the coming days to offer you further reassurance over the change to online learning.
Jonathan Cuff, Principal