Skip to content ↓

Lent Term 2021

COVID-19 Latest School Information

Parent and pupil information for returning to school in the Lent term 2021

In summary we will be following DfE guidance and operating a staggered start to the Lent Term.  On Wednesday 30th December, the government responded to rapidly rising cases of the new, more transmissible variant of coronavirus by triggering the education contingency framework and pushing back the staggered return for secondary schools.

The contingency framework will be implemented in Reading, which is an area of the country with high rates of incidence or transmission of the virus.

Information for Reading School parents and pupils

We are following all relevant Department for Education, Public Health England and health and safety advice to operate Covid-secure sites.  In accordance with advice please see revised plans for the coming weeks which could be subject to further change, depending on local conditions.

All pupils must make sure they are set up for remote learning, pupils should try to think about what will make their workspace at home as suitable as possible for learning.  Ideally a light and open area in the home, and free from too many distractions. Any problems with the technology or any other worries should be directed to Assistant Head, Mr T Evans at  

Week Commencing Monday 4th January

Monday 4th January will be an INSET day as previously scheduled. The school is closed to all pupils.

From Tuesday 5th January to Friday 8th January the school will only be open to those students of key/critical workers and vulnerable students.  Assistant Head, Mr T Evans is kindly overseeing the arrangements for key worker children and vulnerable children.  If you are expecting your son to attend school during this period, please email These students will be supervised in the LRC to access remote learning with all other students.

Year 7-10 lessons will be delivered on Microsoft Teams. Reading Way activities will not be live, though some staff and departments may upload work or activities for pre-existing groups.

The Year 11,12 and 13 timetables will also be delivered via Microsoft Teams. Importantly, all academic afternoon activities included in the Reading Way timetable will be sustained as part of the mandatory timetable.

Year 11 Mock exams scheduled for this week will be rescheduled for the week beginning February 1st.

Any boarders who can attend during the week beginning 4th January as children of critical workers may return to boarding from 6.00pm Monday 4th January.

Week commencing Monday 11th January

Year 11 and Year 13 students will be taught face-to-face in school according to their normal timetable.

Year 13 mock exams will proceed as planned according to the published timetable.

Year 11 Reading Way lessons will also proceed on site as per the timetable.

All other lessons will be delivered remotely for all year groups. The Year 12 timetable will continue to include Reading Way activities online in the afternoons.

Boarders in Years 11 and 13 and those boarders who are children of key workers, are vulnerable or who have a boarding need will be welcomed to return to boarding from Sunday 10th January after 6:00pm.

Week commencing Monday 18th January

It is currently anticipated that all students will be taught face-to-face in school according to their normal timetable from Monday 18th January.

Year 11 mock exams will proceed as planned according to the published timetable.

Year 11 Reading Way lessons will also proceed on site as per the timetable.

Some Reading Way activities may be sacrificed to maximise the efficiency of the mass testing programme (see below).

All boarders will be welcomed to return to boarding from Sunday 17th January after 6:00pm.


We understand that the changes made to the start of term for our boarders may provide challenges for some families. We will continue to work with all our boarding families to provide support where exceptional circumstances exist and thank the whole community for understanding that these steps are a required safety measure.

Boarding parents are invited to contact Mr Teixeira or Mr Sanchez if they have any questions at all. Boarding staff will be making phone calls home from Tuesday 5th January with further updates.

Summary of current Lent Term arrangements

Day School January 2021

Week Beginning

Students in School

Remote Learning

Tuesday 5th January

Vulnerable students and children of critical workers only

All Year groups

Monday 11th January

Year 11 and Year 13 face-to-face in School
Vulnerable students and children of critical workers

Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12

Monday 18th January

All students

Students in self-isolation


Boarding January 2021

Week Beginning

Boarders in East Wing and South House

Boarders at Home

From 18:00 Monday 4th January

Vulnerable students and children of critical workers

All Year groups

From 18:00 Sunday 10th January

Year 11 and Year 13 boarders face-to-face in School
Vulnerable students and children of critical workers
Some boarders with ‘Boarding Need’

Majority of boarders in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12

From 18:00 Sunday 17th January

All boarders

Students in self-isolation


It is our intention to engage with the Government’s COVID-19 testing in schools’ programme. We are persuaded that routine testing of pupils and staff using the rapid testing programme will help us to keep our school as safe as possible.

Testing is optional. Staff and pupils do not have to be tested, though it does seem likely that the higher the proportion of students and staff we can test, the safer the school will be. The only published exception relates to those who have tested positive in the last 90 days. These individuals should not retest because fragments of the virus can still be detected up to 90 days post exposure. Therefore, unless the person has new symptoms they should not be retested.

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. For under 18s, staff can oversee the swab process.

Testing will be offered free of charge and we expect it to begin on Tuesday 5th January for staff, on Monday 11th January for Year 11 and 13 students as well as boarders, and on Monday 18th January for all other year groups.

Setting up this programme in schools is a complex operation and we are still awaiting more detailed guidance.

We anticipate providing more details and an online consent form by Thursday 7th January. For now, the most detailed information can be found here.

As can be imagined, much might change over the next few weeks but please rest assured that we are monitoring the situation very carefully and liaising regularly with partners including the Department for Education, Public Health England, Reading Local Authority, and the Boarding Schools Association.

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

It is worth noting that in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, cases are rising rapidly, and indeed Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire Council on Wednesday 30 December declared a ‘major incident’ as a result of the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases.

Testing alone will not keep our students safe, and we therefore ask all parents to continue to encourage adherence to all the legally required social distancing measures, as well as continuing to encourage ongoing use of face masks, hand washing and hand sanitiser usage. Further information continues to be available via the NHS.

When students return, please could all parents help us, by emphasising to their son(s) just how crucial it is that they wear masks, that they do not mix outside of their year group bubbles, that they always sustain social distancing, that they wipe desks and hard surfaces down before use and that they wash their hands for 20 seconds regularly, as well as using hand sanitiser. We appreciate your support in this.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via Request a Covid Test or call 119.

All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’. Further information is available here.

By way of a reminder, if your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 here or by phoning 111.

We wish you a healthy and Happy New Year!

Useful Links

#ReadingSchoolFamily #2021 #ViaRedingensis #ReadingWay #BuildingGoodMen #LentTerm