Our Coronavirus Precautions
We are visiting schools this autumn, and like you we are taking precautions to keep our teachers and your children safe.
Where Things Stand
We have returned to schools as normal this autumn. The latest government guidance, published 2nd July 2020 and updated just before the start of the year, states that peripatetic teachers may visit schools. That said, your school leadership will need to consider whether they are comfortable with visitors entering the school. We are happy to take a provisional booking to reserve a day for you while your leadership team makes that decision — there is no obligation while the date is in “pencil”.
If we cannot visit in person, we have new options we can offer.
Introducing Virtually Off the Page
Our teachers have created a new experience that aims to be “Covid Secure”. It offers all the enrichment, immersion and fun of our full-day workshops, but in a way compatible with coronavirus health requirements for schools. We are calling it Virtually Off the Page.
We adapted eight of our most popular workshops to fit the new Virtually Off the Page model. Topics currently offered include:
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Greece
- Roman Britain
- Viking Britain
- Saxon Britain
- Great Fire of London
- Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole
- History of Toys
A ninth workshop, adaped from our Homefront ’40: Operation Pied Piper Day, is also being considered.
We are currently taking bookings for both our full-day and virtual workshops. Many schools are making provisional bookings at the moment — there is no obligation while the day remains “in pencil” — and making plans to use the virtual day as a back-up plan as necessary.
Moving forward, we would prefer to make more “firm” bookings if your school is comfortable doing so. This will allow us to better assess and coordinate our diary for the coming months.
Our in-school days are active and hands-on for the children. The activities roughly approximate crafts and trades from the time period. Because many of the tools may be new to the children, we usually request that 6-12 adult helpers (depending on the size of the group) be recruited to oversee the workstations.
We are aware many schools have restricted parent helpers from visiting the school. Although we are modifying our days to reduce our dependancy on extra adults, some adult help is still necessary. Please let us know if you will have trouble bringing extra adults into your classroom — you may want to consider a virtual workshop if you are not able to have extra adults participate.
Health and Safety
For your children’s safety as well as our own, we have made adjustments to our work practice. These include regularly disinfecting our kits, social distancing, and of course not attending a school if the teacher feels sick.
Among the other changes we are making:
- We are limiting our visits to two classes (up to 60 children) to reduce exposure to the virus.
- We are resting kits for 72 hours between visits.
- We are eliminating food and drink from our “feast” afternoons (such as Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Castles, etc.) More emphasis will be placed on performances.
Please note that we still require adult helpers for in-school days. If this conflicts with your schools coronavirus policies, please let us know — a virtual workshop might be a better option for your school.
We are happy to provide information that can help your school form your own risk assessment for the day. Feel free to contact us to learn more.
As the pandemic took hold, we waived all cancellation fees for bookings lost to coronavirus closures. We will need to apply cancellation fees as normal this school year for non-coronavirus-related cancellations, but it is our hope to continue to be flexible and reasonable with the virus still present in the UK.
We recognise that we are still in a pandemic — we all face the unknowns of local lockdowns or people becoming ill. We would hope to work cooperatively with schools through this crisis. If a sudden situation made our visit impossible, we would hope to either reschedule a cancelled day, or substitute a virtual day if the required topic is offered.
We are humbled by the outpouring of support schools have shown us through this crisis. Many of you have reached out with words of encouragement, hoping we would again return to your schools. We are incredibly grateful.
We will continue to update this space as the guidelines for the reopening of schools beome clearer. Thank you for your assistance and understanding.
We hope you, your families and your school communities have stayed safe and continue to do so. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Updated Monday 21st September 2020