COVID Update – January 2021

Posted: 12th January 2021

As for the rest of the UK, 2021 is starting differently to how we might have imagined at Burgess Hill Girls. We were so excited to welcome everyone back after the Christmas break! But we completely understand the need for a new National lockdown and must put the disappointment behind us and welcome the new challenges that 2021 brings. 


All our families have received detailed correspondence on how the school will operate under the new COVID lockdown in January and February 2021. But here follows a summary of the key procedures we are following.


  • Remote learning for the Senior School and Sixth Form started on the 6th January for Years 7 to 13 and on the 7th January for the Pre-Prep and Prep School. 
  • For the Senior School and Sixth Form the school day starts with registration at 8.30am, pupils then attend lessons remotely (via Google Meets) with a 20 minute morning break at 10.00am and a lunch break between 1.00 and 1.50pm. The school day finishes at 4:00pm.
  • For the Prep School the school day starts with registration at 8.45am and finishes at 3.40pm. Pupils have a lunch break from 12:20 – 1:30pm. This gives pupils a bit more time, so they can hopefully get outside and enjoy some physical exercise. Lessons are also conducted on Google Meets but pupils will be given work they can do independently during this time to ensure they are not screen-bound for the whole day.  
  • All parents and students in the Senior School have access to a hybrid learning handbook which explains how remote learning works for their particular year or school section. View an example Senior School Handbook.


  • According to recent Government announcements, 2021 GCSE and A Level exams will be cancelled. Whilst we wait for further information on how grades will be generated, we will keep the educational programme for students in their exam years as stable and as productive as we can. 
  • Year 11 will take adapted mock exams at the start of January. Students have worked incredibly hard to prepare for these exams so it is important they have the opportunity to take them. The planned mock exams will be adapted into assessments that can be conducted remotely. These assessments will take place over an extended three week period starting from the 11th January.
  • Year 13 will also be completing assessments in January to determine their level of subject understanding and further enhance their skills and abilities. We are hopeful that their mock exams will continue as planned in March but we are preparing alternative arrangements should the need occur. 


  • More than 50% of our Boarders have stayed with us over the Christmas period or have chosen to come back at the start of January. We are delighted to have them all with us and are doing everything we can to keep them safe and happy. 
  • Boarders will access the school’s remote learning programme from their boarding house. 


  • As per the government guidelines our nursery continues to remain open from 8am to 6pm. 


  • As with the previous lockdown, children of key workers are able to attend school from 8.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday. 


We were fully prepared to welcome all students back to school at the start of January with plans in place for hybrid learning and mass testing. Although these plans have had to be put on hold due to the new National lockdown we will be ready to act as soon as we hear that schools can reopen. 


Until then, we are sure that, like us, you will continue to put on your positive hats and rise to the challenges that the next few weeks bring us. 


We Are, We Can, We Should, Together We Will!


Liz Laybourn, Head, Burgess Hill Girls