Post lockdown reopening. What’s new?

Firstly, Anne and I want to thank all those who responded to our request for how you would like us to operate in future. The majority – about two thirds of those responding – preferred us to stay open in Morley’s Place with the balance preferring distance learning via Zoom.

In view of the current Coronavirus restrictions and in order to try to maintain fees at current levels, at least for the present, we have had to totally rethink the layout of the premises. To this end, the waiting area has been transformed into an extension of the teaching area and Anne/admin has been relegated to the kitchen.

With the safety of your children and staff members uppermost in our minds, we have introduced the following changes:

• The new one-way system will enforce isolation of individuals at all times.

Student Entry
Only students will access the teaching areas by entering through the rear door of unit 5 from the car park area. This will allow parents with younger students to see them safely into the centre.

A hygiene station immediately inside will be used by all students before they follow the trail of blue footsteps on the floor to reach their designated workstation all of which have been repositioned facing a wall at least 2 metres apart to minimise exposure to coughs, sneezes and physical contact.

Toilet Visits and Exit
Students needing the toilet, will follow the yellow footprints. Anne will ensure that suitable hygiene is completed before letting them return to the teaching areas via the back door of unit 6 and the car park area in order to re-enter unit 5 where they will reuse the hygiene station again and then return to their workstation following the blue footsteps once more.

Parental Collection
Only one parent will be allowed in at a time to collect students. Parents will indicate their arrival at the front door of unit 6 using the intercom and, once inside, will follow the red footsteps exiting via the back door of unit 6 into the car park.

Alternatively, parents can indicate their arrival using the intercom, return to the car park and we will ask their student to follow the yellow footsteps, bypassing the toilet, to meet them outside in the car park.

Feedback will be via email until such times as we are advised that the pandemic is officially over at which point normal operation will resume.

Admin Matters
Much admin is currently achieved via email or, if urgent, by phone. To minimise delays after lessons, personal matters such as payment of fees, for example, can be conveniently achieved using BACS or by passing card details over the phone. If at all possible, please avoid using cheques.

• All members of staff will wear gloves and a face mask/visor at all times. If you prefer your child to wear any protective equipment whilst at the centre, please send it with them.

The water machine will still be available to maintain hydration, but we will no longer provide cups so please equip your child with their own personal water bottles.

Due to the difficulty in sanitising pens/pencils etc., please ask your child to bring the pencil case, calculator, etc. they normally use at school.

Previously, snacks, bottled drinks, etc. have been allowed. This may continue provided the student takes all wrappings, plastic bottles, tin cans etc. away with them.

However, NO food products containing nuts will be allowed at any time.

• The time normally allocated to parental feedback will be used to sanitise equipment such as desks, monitors, keyboards, etc. using an ultra-violet light source in readiness for the next group of students.

We believe these changes will give you the confidence necessary to allow your child to safely attend the centre once more. Ideas to improve these precautions will be most welcome.

The survey result has encouraged other changes; some of which were long overdue:

• Geoff has decided to take early retirement and we are pleased to welcome Jess as his replacement. In addition to English language support, Jess is also able to support English literature students at GCSE and A level. In addition, she has several years’ experience teaching students with additional needs.

• Expanding the teaching area into the waiting room area was more easily achieved by upgrading the workstation technology to communicate wirelessly. Although this has delayed the reopening, we have taken the opportunity to upgrade all workstations. This has the added benefit of fewer items to sanitise after each student’s visit.

• I have been using Zoom over the last few months and, generalising, I have observed that younger students appear less comfortable in a one-to-one environment whereas older, more introverted students find these sessions more useful and less ‘embarrassing’ and become more willing to take personal responsibility to follow an active learning role.

As a result, I plan to continue to offer Zoom maths lessons for those who prefer this version of support. However, these lessons will need to be carefully scheduled around the group lessons.

Teaching, and consequently learning, has been somewhat variable these last few months and all students will undoubtedly be in need of bringing up to speed ready to start the new academic year in September. We will be open all summer to help bring students up to speed.

    Finally, the centre will reopen from 10am on the morning of Thursday, 23nd July.

Phone Anne direct on 07951 063459 or email now to schedule your preferred times and dates. We are now operating our holiday timetable, i.e. 10am starts, reverting back to normal opening times once the new term starts unless there is an evening demand in the meantime.