Reopening and Covid-19 Q&As

Reopening – your questions answered!

LSI / IH Portsmouth is so excited to be opening our doors and welcoming students back on 7th September!   We will be running all our usual classes – Intensive IELTS, Cambridge and OET Exam Preparation, General English, 30+, university Pre-sessional and Professional English courses.  Our exams centre will also open in September with our first OET exam on the 12th and IELTS on the 26th.  Our team will still provide an entertaining and varied social programme – with activity choice both face-to-face and online.  However, there will be some changes to the way things used to be – and here are some Covid-19 Q&As to help you.

We have also undertaken a comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessment which aims to ensure we can continue to operate in the safest way possible, for our staff, students, visitors and the local community. The risk assessment is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis and you can view it by following this link.

What will the ‘new normal’ look like for students?

The team is working hard to make sure that our school is still warm and welcoming – while respecting the social distancing guidelines in place in both the classrooms and shared spaces.  We want you to make friends from all around the world and enjoy your learning English experience.  We also want to make sure your classrooms are as interactive, dynamic and of course effective as before.  We still want to help you achieve the results you need for your next step in your career, whether that means reaching the IELTS level to go to university, taking the OET exam to work to practice medicine in an English-speaking country, pass your CAE exam or improve your Business English for your job.   To help you imagine what a classroom will look like, have a look here:

If you are thinking of coming to the UK to study English, we are sure you must have a lot of questions.  Of course, the information may change depending on government guidelines but we’ve tried to answer as many as possible here:

Covid-19 Q&As

  1. What date will the school reopen for face-to-face classes?
    Monday 7th September 2020
  2. Is the school fully closed now?
    We never stopped teaching and all our courses are available online.
  3. Will all courses be available face-to-face from September?
    University Pre-sessional
    30+ General English
    IELTS Exam Preparation
    OET Exam Preparation
    Cambridge Exam Preparation
    General English
    Executive English
    Teacher Training only 1:1 and Closed group for rest of 2020 and through 2021
  4. How will my first day in the UK be affected by Covid-19 precautions?
    Before your arrive in the UK you must provide the address where you will be staying in the UK and your contact details, as well as your travel arrangements.
  5. What should I bring with me?
    You should bring masks, your passport and visa copy, laptop.
  6. Do I need to wear a mask?
    Although you don’t have to wear a mask when you are in your bubble (with your classmates and in your host family), you will need to wear a mask while in communal areas and moving around the school.
  7. Will I be socially distanced during lessons?
    Yes, at least one metre apart.
  8. What differences will there be in the classroom?
    There will be strict social distancing in place; all equipment and furniture will be wiped down before and after class and you will have your own desk.
  9. What happens if I have to quarantine on arrival to the UK?
    If you are asked to quarantine you will need to provide the address details of where you are staying for 14 days of quarantine period. You can find your own accommodation or ask us to arrange for you such as homestay, which you will need to pay. During the 14-day period you will have access to online classes.
  10. What are the accommodation options?
    We are able to offer our homestay families.  We also have self-catering rooms in our student houses, though availability is limited.
  11. What procedures are in place to make the accommodation safe?
    * Host will maintain a high degree of cleanliness to communal areas
    * Host will provide support and help with food and other items that you need if you need to quarantine at any point during your stay
    * You will not be able to change homestay during quarantine period
    * Host families will follow all government guidelines on social distancing
  12. How will I get to and from the airport safely?
    * You can book for our private airport transfer. We can only arrange single transfers unless you are travelling with people you know.
    * Please be prepared to wear a mask or face-covering in the taxi
    * Please do not travel by public transport from the airport
  13. How will I get to and from the school safely?
    Most of our home families are within reasonable walking distance of the school and we will endeavour to place you in one of these. If you have to take public transport you must wear a mask or face-covering. Please note buses are operating with a maximum capacity of about 20 people.
  14. How will LSI Portsmouth ensure the safety of students and staff at the school?
    * We stay up-to-date with UK Government guidelines
    * Maximum students for any course is determined by the size of the room
    * Staff and students are required to maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from all other people
    * Classrooms will be sanitized after each session
    * Hand sanitizer will be available on each floor and in each classroom
    * One-way system for using the stairs
    * Maximum of 2 people at a time in the lift
    * The building will be cleaned and sanitized everyday
    * Classrooms doors will be left open for ventilation
    * Teachers and staff are wearing masks if you are not in the safety bubbles
    * Students need to wear masks if you are not in the safety bubbles
  15. Will there be a social activity programme and how will it work?
    Following the success of our online social programme, we will continue to run online activities as well as face-to-face ones.  Of course, when the weather allows it, our social programme will include lots of outdoor activities. The exact activities will be dependent on UK Government guidelines in place at the time
  16. Will I be able to socialise with other students outside of class?
    * Break times and lunchtimes will be staggered to reduce the number of students congregating in communal areas. Our Common room are spacious enough to maintain social distancing
    * It is highly likely that soon there will be fewer restrictions on meeting other people outside.
  17. How will I get food and drink while studying at LSI Portsmouth?
    We are in the center of Portsmouth, there are plenty of shops and food around us. Supermarkets are very close to us. We have our own Café that offers food and takeaway services
  18. What is the cancellation policy if I book a course now and then I am unable to attend?
    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.  Full details can be found here.
  19. What happens if the school has to close during my course?
    * If a student or a member of staff has contracted COVID-19, the school may need to close for up to 2 days for deep cleaning. In this instance, all courses will move online.
    * In the unlikely event of a Government shutdown, all classes will move online, with fees paid recalculated at the lower online course prices.  Should you choose not to continue the lessons online, you will receive a credit note for any complete, unused weeks.  The credit note is valid for 2 years from the original start date.
  20. What happens if I get symptoms of Covid-19 while studying at LSI Portsmouth?
    * You need to let us know straight away if you feel unwell either by calling the school, emailing and contacting any staff or calling the emergency number outside opening hours.
    * A COVID-19 test will need to be requested as soon as possible, you do not need to pay for a test in the UK.
    * You will be asked to have your temperature taken and then asked to return to your homestay or  accommodation.
    * If you have symptoms of COVID-19 then you must self-isolate for at least 10  days. In addition, if you are with a homestay they will also have to self-isolate.
    * Our staff will keep in regular contact with you to ensure that you have everything you need and that you are well.
    * If you need to consult a medical professional you can call 111. We can help you with this if you need to.
  21. Will online courses still be available after September?
    Yes, we will be running:
    * Pre-sessional
    * IELTS Preparation
    * OET Exam Preparation
    * Cambridge Exam: CAE.  CPE and FCE will be available on a 1:1 basis online
    * General English light
    * Executive English 1:1 or Closed Group
    * Teacher training 1:1 or Closed Group
  22. Can I join an online course if I don’t feel safe after arriving in the UK?
    Yes, we are still running most of our online courses while school is open for face to face.
  23. Will I be able to travel to other parts of the UK?
    When travelling by public transport, you must wear a mask and respect social distancing measures.   You can find information here.  You may find it difficult to book online as there is a reduced timetable in operation for train and bus companies.
  24. What happens if I need to self-isolate because I have come into contact with someone who has Covid-19?
    You can continue your course online. If the whole class needs to self-isolate then the class will continue as normal but online. If you are the only person we might not be able to offer you exactly the same type of class if we do not currently run an online version.
  25. What happens if there is a second wave and the UK/Portsmouth goes into lockdown again?
    Any lockdown will be accompanied by government guidelines, which we will follow.  Should we be forced to close the school, lessons will continue online until we are able to open again.  You will be able to stay in your host family / student house during this time.

You can find up-to-date information from the UK government here or from English UK here.

If you have any other questions, please contact us!