Keeping you Covid-Secure at The Conservatoire

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Following the Government’s easing of lockdown, we are planning to re-open our buildings in September. By this time, our site will have been closed for six months. This has been an unprecedented time for all of us and we are determined to do all we can to ensure our students, staff and tutors are safe returning. Things will be a little different, but the excellent creative teaching and warm and welcoming atmosphere will remain. Below we have laid out everything we are doing and how you can help us, so that you can rest assured when booking. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are so excited to welcome you back!

Risk Assessment

Our first priority is to keep our staff, tutors and students safe. We have conducted a major risk assessment to identify all the measures needed to ensure we satisfy the required social distancing and other mitigation measures necessary to stop the virus from spreading. As much as we would all like things to return to normal, please bear with us and adhere to the necessary measures we will be putting in place.

The Building

  • There will be a clearly sign-posted one-way system in operation with separate entrances and exits to our buildings.

  • There will be hand sanitisers at entry and exit points and in every room (or provide your own), extra cleaning of touch points and instruments, good ventilation from open windows and doors, and distance marking in communal areas.

  • We would like to minimise the number of non- students in the building and ask that you do not wait for long periods of time in the communal areas. If you do need to wait, please use the Creativity Garden or passageway between the Conservatoire and the Blackheath Halls.

  • There will be extra bicycle storage available in the Creativity Garden.

  • We would appreciate you wearing a mask in communal areas. Children under 11 are exempt, although may of course also wear them. There will also be a screen at the reception desk.

  • We will be staggering the beginning of term so that we do not have too many people arriving in the building needing to understand the new measures at the same time. We also know that starting school again for some of our students and their families will be a big change to get used to, and felt it would be helpful to delay the start of group classes by a week so as not to coincide with schools returning. Our individual tuition starts on Monday 7 September as expected, but group classes will start a week later, on Monday 14 September.

Classes and Lessons

  • We have been measuring our teaching rooms and moving classes into larger rooms to allow more space between students and teachers and, in cases where this is not possible, reducing class sizes. We have also considered the safest ways of sitting to ensure classes remain sociable but we reduce any potential droplet transfer.

  • Any unnecessary clutter and furniture has been removed to ensure the maximum space is available.

  • To reduce any possible spread of germs, only tutors will open doors.

  • Some classes have had to be cancelled due to concerns about delivering the class you know and love whilst adhering to social distancing and following Government advice. This mainly applies to The Little Art Venture Club (0–4 yrs), choirs and orchestras. We hope to reinstate these classes as soon as safely possible.

  • For other classes we have redesigned the curriculum so that our students get just as much out of the programme as before! This may mean we have altered some instruments included in the programme, or that we adapt props. More details can be found alongside the affected classes and will be further elaborated upon when booking.

  • We are considering the measures required if there were another lockdown, or a teacher, student or staff member were diagnosed with COVID-19 or had to self- isolate. Alternative arrangements are being considered, including short-term online classes in some situations.

  • If you would prefer to continue to learn at home, some classes will also offer a remote learning option for the whole term, and other classes will only be running online.

Instruments

  • We will operate an even more rigorous cleaning regime, where all shared instruments and music stands will be cleaned between classes and lessons.
  • We will sadly no longer be able to hire out instruments (or anything else your teacher asks you to bring – music, pencils etc.), so please don’t forget to bring yours. The lesson will not be able to go ahead in the absence of an instrument. The only shared instruments will be allocated in particular group classes and will be particularly easy to clean.

Gatherings

  • All exhibitions, concerts and events have been cancelled. We look forward to sharing our students’ accomplishments and offering more fabulous events when it is safe to do so.

How you can help

  • Bear with us! We know things will be a little different but we want to do all we can to keep everyone safe, whilst allowing us all to get creative again!
  • Do not enter the building if you, or anyone in your family group is displaying signs of COVID-19, however mild.
  • Adhere to the Government’s recommended quarantine and isolation periods where relevant and do not enter the Conservatoire.
  • If you have been attending classes or lessons and later test positive for Covid-19, please inform us at your earliest convenience.
  • Follow the signs, routes and directional floor markings.
  • Comply with social distancing to 1m as a minimum in relation to staff, tutors, other students and members of the public.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and use the sanitiser stations.
  • If your child attends a class where an adult accompanies them, please can we ask that only one adult attends. Extra siblings will not be allowed into the class. We appreciate it may often not be possible, but would appreciate it, if, wherever feasible, siblings are not brought to drop-off and collection.
  • Arrive as close to the start and end of lessons and classes as possible and avoid congregating in communal areas. If you need to wait, do so in the Creativity Garden, passageway or café.
  • Wear a mask in communal areas (children under 11 are exempt but may choose to wear one).
  • As we approach winter, wrap up warmer than normal. All of our windows and external doors will be open to ensure the best possible ventilation.
  • Don’t forget your instruments or anything else your tutor asks you to bring (your music, pencils etc.) We are no longer able to loan resources apart from specially allocated ones in group classes with their own cleaning regimes.
  • Enjoy yourselves!

You can download a copy of our Covid Risk Assessment - it will be updated as and when it changes.

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