WE ARE VIRTUALLY OPEN…

While our physical doors are currently closed, we are very much open to continue the education of all our students, providing remote learning packages for those at home and care for the children of key workers within the school itself. Being part of the Cognita family has enabled us to learn from the experience of our schools across the world who have faced the same situation a few weeks earlier than ourselves. As our schools have closed, we have put in place a remote learning package which includes both task-based homework and lessons conducted online – find out more in the ‘Remote Learning’ section below.

Sadly, we do not know when the school will reopen but we will continue to provide support, latest updates and advice on this page as well as through our social media channels.

If you are looking for a place for September or would like to join us earlier to take advantage of our remote learning packages please visit our Admissions page to find out more.

Latest Advice

We will keep you up to date with any changes through this difficult period and we are committed to keeping our children on track with their learning (see Remote Learning).

The larger school community is incredibly important to us, so we would ask you to follow the latest Government guidance while the school is closed.

We also know how important it is that both our pupils and parents do their best to maintain their wellbeing during this challenging time. To try and help, we have put together a few useful tips that will also make it easier to keep our pupils on track educationally:

  • Timetable. Set clear boundaries between work and play or relaxation. Try to stick as closely as possible to the ordinary school timetable.
  • Space. It is important that a clear workspace is established and that you allow for physical and emotional space for your family to avoid friction.
  • Sleep. Maintain your child's normal sleep routine.
  • Physical activity and diet. It is vital that we all do our best to stay as fit and healthy as we can at this time. Eating well, drinking plenty of water and doing some exercise is good for both body and mind.
  • Connecting, doing and giving. Community is more important now than ever. Providing help to those who need it, in a safe and sensible way, can help with your own mental health.

You can see our full guide on the Cognita website where we have also put together a guide for teenage students in how to deal with a school closure.

Latest Updates

18 March 2020

17 March 2020

Coronavirus Update 17 March 2020

Mr Thorpe, Mrs Roberts and Mrs Conlan

16 March 2020

13 March 2020

REMOTE LEARNING

To begin we are providing remote learning to children in the form of homework packs so that parents and children can get used to working at home and establish a routine.

Very soon, we will start online learning where children will benefit from face to face sessions (dependent upon age of child), ideas and resource sharing, assessment and feedback. The only difference to our usual lessons is that children will access them online rather than being in the classroom together.

It has also been confirmed that there will be no public exams held this year. We appreciate the enormity of this announcement and will communicate further with affected parents and pupils on this shortly as more exact information becomes available.

We are committed to keeping our children on track with their learning at all times.

REPORTING SYMPTOMS

As the school is closed, you do not need to contact us to report any symptoms your child or your family might be experiencing.

However, as a member of our school community we urge you to follow the latest Government guidance. Current advice asks you to stay at home for 14 days if anyone in your household has either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

The Government has provided further details on how to isolate, when to stop the isolation period and what to do if a member of your household is particularly vulnerable. We recommend that you read this on their website.

WHO TO CONTACT

Although the school is closed, we are still working hard to ensure our children stay on track with their learning. All teachers will be on their school email and will be contactable either directly or through the school office.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please get in contact:

Head, Downsend School: Ian Thorpe

Head, Downsend Pre-Prep (Ashtead): Tessa Roberts

Head, Downsend Pre-Prep (Epsom and Leatherhead): Vanessa Conlan

The Department for Education has also set up a dedicated helpline for parents, teaching staff and education leaders to provide support and advice on coronavirus.

The helpline will be open Monday to Friday, from 8am until 6pm. It can be reached by calling 0800 046 8687.

Reducing Risk

To help stop the virus from spreading:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards – for at least 20 seconds
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often and particularly after:
    • before and after cooking or eating
    • after using the toilet
    • before leaving and after returning home
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

Useful Links

There are a number of additional resources that you may find useful for further information on the coronavirus, the Government and international response and how best to talk about the outbreak with your children. Links to these can be found below:

WHO: Hand Washing

BBC: Talking to Children

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