After months of waiting and missing our students, we are delighted to announce that we will be re-opening our school in Portsmouth on September 7th 2020! All of our courses will start on Monday 7th and our exam centre will open later in the month: 12th September for IELTS tests and 26th September for OET exams.
What have we been doing?
The LSI/IH Portsmouth team have been working hard to make sure that we are able to open safely, following safety protocols and social distancing measures and guidance provided by English UK. Take a look at the pictures below to see what we have been doing!
You can see Terry, our Building Manager, making sure students can enter and leave the building safely. Amelia (Reception and Welfare Manager) and Belle (Operations Director) have been going through the risk assessments and consulting staff and host families to make sure they are comfortable with our measures.
And our wonderful Director of Studies Joe and Lewis have been looking at how we can set up classrooms so teachers can continue to teach effectively and students can still practise communicating with their classmates as usual in a face-to-face setting.
As many of you who have previously visited our school know, we are lucky to have a big building (55 classrooms on 8 floors) so we will be able to comfortably adhere to social distancing guidelines while still maintaining the interactive aspect of our classes that make our learning effective and fun.
How did we check the risks?
A thorough risk assessment has been conducted by the LSI/IH Portsmouth Senior Management Team as well as the Building Managers to ensure every aspect of our school is assessed to reduce the overall level of risk. It is important to stress that these identified risks can be managed, but not eliminated. By implementing control measures to lessen the identified risks, we acknowledge that the danger of contracting Covid-19 will still be present, but at a reduced threat.
We have reviewed every area of our provision, including: Academic, Administration, Management, Social Programme, Welfare, Accommodation and Transfers, all whilst bearing in mind the COVID-19 Objectives above. Here are some of the key areas we have been looking at:
- A “Physically Distanced” Reception – the team will still be there to help and support but students will be encouraged to digitally communicate with them (via Whatsapp, WeChat, Email and Zoom) for many enquiries.
- Staggered timetables for different course types to avoid congestion in communal areas and the school’s exit and entrance.
- Frequent cleaning of contact points (stairs, door handles, light switches etc)
- Inspecting and reviewing homestay arrangements so that both hosts and students are safeguarded; making sure emergency accommodation is available should the need arise.
- Book with Confidence: We want to give you peace of mind for your upcoming study plans, so we have revised our T&Cs to make them more flexible.
Which courses are open?
All our English language courses will be open for booking from now – including General English, 30+, IELTS / OET / Cambridge, Exam preparation, Executive and Business English, Teacher Training and University preparation. We will be continuing many of our courses online as well, such as the University Pre-sessional and IELTS preparation courses.
We also know that many people are keen to take exams as soon as possible after months of waiting, so we are incredibly pleased to announce that our exams centre will open in September, too. This includes our IELTS and OET exams. We will encourage people to book their exams online rather than the paper-based application form to lessen physical contact. All of our exams will follow the COVID-19 Objectives in order to minimise risk during the test day.
Are there any special offers?
As this is very exciting news, we have decided to introduce a number of re-opening special offers if you book a face-to-face English course with us in Portsmouth before we open on 7th September: our registration fees will be waived and we will give you a 50% discount card for our fabulous 113 Café at the bottom of the building. So, please get in contact with us if you’re interested in studying English with us and take advantage of these great savings!
We are looking forward to welcoming our wonderful students and staff back – and hear the sounds of laughter and learning around the school again! We cannot wait to see you soon!