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Well Being Information & tips during Covid-19

Christmas Arrangements Advice on Track and Trace/School open 18/12/20

Parent Flowchart Q & A Covid related absence

 Attendance Expectations as from 1st September 2020

Definition of Clinically Vulnerable Children

Guidance on what the new national restrictions mean for education and childcare settings

We have published information on what the new national restrictions mean for education and childcare settings. This guidance is for early years providers, schools, further education providers and children’s social care settings.

We have also published information for higher education providers on how the new national restrictions affect the higher education sector.

Guidance on school attendance

Our guidance on the new national restrictions makes it clear the government is continuing to prioritise the long term future of children and young people therefore early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.

It is very important for children and young people to attend their education setting for their wellbeing and long-term development.

School attendance continues to be mandatory although the expectations have changed for children who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Schools should consider any concerns from pupils, parents and households, who may be reluctant or anxious about attending school and put the right support in place to address this.

The usual school attendance powers and duties continue to apply, including schools and local authorities’ ability to use parental responsibility measures, such as fixed penalty notices, where appropriate.

Further information can be found in our guidance on recording attendance in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable staff and children

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance advises individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home and not to go into work. Individuals in this group will have been identified through a letter from the NHS or from their GP. Staff should talk to their employers about how they will be supported, including working from home where possible, during the period of national restrictions.

All other staff should continue to attend work, including those living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

We now know more about the virus, and most children who were identified as clinically extremely vulnerable at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are no longer identified as such. Schools should encourage parents to speak to their GP or specialist clinician, as soon as possible, if they have not already done so, to understand whether their child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Where a conversation with a GP or specialist clinician has not taken place, the public health advice is that the child is still clinically extremely vulnerable and they are advised not to attend school. In these situations, we expect schools to be able to offer clinically extremely vulnerable children access to remote education, in line with previous guidance.

Guidance for clinically vulnerable staff and children

Staff and children who are clinically vulnerable or have underlying health conditions but are not clinically extremely vulnerable, may continue to attend early years, childcare and school settings in line with current guidance.



After school club advice


Actions for Schools


Guidance for Parents attending after school events

Important message for Parents/Carers


It has been great to see so many children and young people returning to school and the work that has been conducted locally to ensure a safe return.  It is inevitable that for some children and  young people they will feel unwell and for many this could include Covid related symptoms. 

This message contains important information about how you can get a test. You cannot get a test by arriving at the Testing Centre without an appointment and you should not go to the hospital (Emergency Department) or your GP for a test.


Evidence to date has shown that children usually have much milder symptoms and they have tended to pick up the infection from home rather than from school.  However it remains extremely important that any child with symptoms of Covid stays away for school, to avoid the risk of spreading infection to others, including the more vulnerable.  These symptoms are:


•            high temperature – feeling hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

•            new, continuous cough – coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

•            loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different from normal


Over the last week we have seen a number of children being referred for a Covid 19 test in accordance with national guidance. If your child has been in close contact with a confirmed case, they will be asked to self-isolate at home. Please DO NOT try to get your child tested unless they have developed the symptoms of COVID19. A negative test result does not mean that they can go back to school; it simply means that they had not fully developed the illness at the time of the test, and they could develop the illness at any point in the 14 days.


We are very aware that in Plymouth, as elsewhere, there have been delays in accessing tests. This is a national issue as laboratory capacity for analysing tests is being directed to areas in the country with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases.  We are doing all we can to work with national agencies to increase the capacity available.


We understand how frustrating this can be, particularly with children returning to school and being asked to stay off school until they can get a COVID-19 test. However, it is crucial that we keep our schools open, and continue to keep our children and communities safe.


We therefore ask that you continue to follow government guidance and keep your child at home, and book a test as soon as you are able. You only need to get a test if your child has the symptoms listed above.  If your child has these symptoms, it is really important that you do not send them to school. The test is best done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.


The current routes for getting a test are :

•            Parents book a test online at or by calling 119

•            If parents or carers are unable to book a local slot then they can email explaining that the test is for a child attending a Plymouth school and they will be supported to access local testing.


If you cannot book a test immediately, we ask that you try again as the system is currently very busy and your patience is appreciated.


If you are not able to secure a test, it is important that your child remains away from school for the 10 day isolation period. As part of creating a Covid safe school, children must not return before the isolation period is over.  Please work with your school to keep all children and young people safe.


You can also use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: 

•  you're worried about your symptoms

•  you're not sure what to do

Call 111 if you cannot get help online.

More advice on what to do can be found here.


We would like to reassure you that we are working hard to put additional local arrangements in place to boost our local testing availability until national testing capacity can be increased and we will update you as soon as the situation changes.



Judith Harwood
Service Director for Education, Participation and Skills
Education, Participation and Skills
Plymouth City Council
Windsor House,

Tavistock Road



Dear Parents and Carers,

We have attached some guidance on talking to children about the death of a close friend on our website under the Parents Tab.

There is also a link for you to place your condolences onto our website directly.

 We will be opening a condolence book also for you to write your memories and thoughts into it, which we will give to Mrs Yorke’s family. Please wait for any further instructions. We will let you know about dates and times of the funeral if we can go and any key events and memorials, book of condolence, and the ways we will remember Debbie as soon as we have agreed this with the family.

Please recognise that the feelings we are experiencing are normal. Don’t feel guilty if you are struggling. Reach out to others in school who might be finding it difficult too, but you will be able to help each other, so don’t become isolated. You can use the MS Teams opportunity to communicate with class teachers and also the usual office channels of communication.

We are finding out about flowers but we may opt for donating on the Go Funding site instead as a form of remembrance. This link was shared last week.

Talk honestly with your children about both facts and emotions that you and they may be feeling. With a younger child you may need to give information in small chunks. It’s OK to let them know if you don’t know the answers to some of their questions. Don’t make promises that it will go away or all be OK,  but reassure them that they are loved and supported.

§ Use words that children understand and are age appropriate.

§ Give the information a bit at a time, allowing them the opportunity for them to ask questions. Older children will want and be able to handle more information.

 § Tell them that you are sorry such an event as a death of a staff member has occurred and you want to understand and help them.

§ Encourage children to ask questions and answer their questions honestly and simply.

§ Accept that some things can’t be ‘made better’.

§ Remember that ‘super parents’ or ‘super teachers’ don’t exist. Just do and say what you can.

§ Don’t be afraid to show children how you are feeling.

§ Tell them that the reactions they are having are normal.

§ Pay extra attention, spend extra time with them, be more nurturing and comforting.

§ Reassure them that they are safe.

§ Don’t take their anger or other feelings personally. Help them to understand the relationship between anger and trauma. Help them find safe ways to express their feelings e.g. by drawing, taking exercise or talking.

§ Do not be surprised by changes in behaviour or personality. They will return to their usual selves in time.

§ Emphasise that they did not choose for this to happen and that they are not to blame.

§ As well as advising the child about appropriate use of social media, monitor their use, particularly during this vulnerable time on MS Teams.

 § Some children may want to discuss what has happened, while others may want to be left alone.

Particularly for Year 3 and those children who were taught by Debbie or were in her ELSA or RWInc groups, acknowledge their loss. Say, “I’m sorry that Debbie/Mrs Yorke died. I know that you are sad. It is ok to cry”. It’s ok for you to cry too.

K Duggan


Help & Advice from PLP about children experiencing loss

Back to school 1st June for Nursery, Foundation, Year 1 and Year 6 only plus priority children from the other year groups [Y2,3,4 and 5]


Parents and carers, as we will do also in school,


  • Tell them that it is normal to be anxious and concerned returning to school
  • Tell them they are safe, secure and loved both at home and in school
  • Remind them to trust each other
  • Remind them that routines may have changed

          That they may have a different class base

          That they may have a different adult looking after them, teacher, sports coach or teaching assistant

           That they will eat in their class bases or outside and not in the school hall

           That priority children from the other classes are in the hall

          That there are no assemblies

           That playtimes and lunch times are different for each group

           That there is a one-way queuing system

  • Remind them of the 2 m social distancing rule and that they must try to keep within a span of their outstretched arms away from others
  • Remind them to behave
  • Remind them that there is a one-way system in the corridors, in and out of school and that they will have to queue with you in the mornings on arrival on the red markings outside
  • Remind them that they will see tape on the carpets in corridors and in classrooms at 2m spaces
  • Explain to them that they will have different play times, lunchtimes, arrival and leaving times
  • All classes will be well ventilated, with hand gel pump sanitisers, tissues, disinfectant spray, hand pump soap, towels and a bin to throw away waste
  • Explain to them that their bubble and square is theirs and that they should not move into someone elses unless it is free
  • Remind them that no one will be told off if they forget this, especially as we do not think that the youngest children can manage this
  • Explain to them that they are wearing mufti and trainers so that they can go outside for PE and play without needing to change but also it helps you wash their clothes daily so that they can arrive with fresh clothes
  • Remind them that sporting activities will not be contact games and that equipment will be washed with disinfectant between groups so they will need to be patient
  • Explain that they will be washing their hands in the morning on arrival, before leaving and before and after eating or going to the toilet for 20 seconds
  • Remind them that there will be only one person in the toilet at any time so they need to ask to go, and not leave it to the last minute. Staff will let children go immediately
  • Remind them that there is an isolation room next to the first aid room but they should not worry about this.
  • Remind them that no adult or child needs to wear a face mask, but that any first aiders will have face masks and some will have a face shield if the circumstances warrant it. These are both disposable and washable.
  • If you choose to send your child in with a face mask, they will not be asked to remove them if that is what you wish
  • In the first week we will have a fire drill practice for each class separately. There will be no siren only a walk-through practice
  • Reassure any child who is in Year 6 that we are planning to do end of school career events, and they will be able to sign shirts, autograph books will be provided, awards will be given and we will have a social distanced banquet.

There will be opportunities to talk and write about lockdown, their experiences of learning, new ways of playing and any concerns or worries that they have. They will be encouraged to express their feelings and emotions around missing their friends and trusted adults. Any worries or concerns will be communicated to you by phone. If there are serious behaviour issues, we will contact you to collect your child and discuss this with you. You will not be able to discuss matters with us in the foyer entrance or at the hatch, but we will arrange a telephone call back or an appointment for you to come into a room where we can use social distancing rules.


Thank you for your understanding and support,







Dear Parents and Carers,

Here are the arrangements we have made to open school including the nursery from 1st June.

Thank you.

Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you as parents and carers for your understanding and cooperation since we had to close [to the majority of children] from 23rd March. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare, if you have children with special educational needs or a disability, or if you are a single parent.

I am pleased to let you know that, further to the government’s announcement that our school will open from 1st June (subject to scientific advice), we are working hard to take the necessary steps to be ready to welcome back all children in those years groups of Nursery, Foundation, Year 1 and Year 6. We will open to more children including the year groups 2,3,4 and 5 only if the government confirms that their five key tests justify taking this step. The school will be closed every Wednesday for an enhanced clean until further notice. More realistically, it depends on the staff I have available to manage the Educare in school. You need to know I have 8 members of staff shielding or off on long term sickness, who fit the Government’s categories of Extremely critically vulnerable people. This will make further opening extremely difficult going forward.

Which children can attend from 1st June?

As you are aware, we have remained open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children known as priority children since the start of lockdown and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We will remain open for them until wider opening is confirmed.

The government is now encouraging all eligible children to attend in the Nursery, Foundation, Year 1 and Year 6, and it is no longer necessary for parents of eligible children to keep them at home. Please do contact us if you fall into one of these groups by filling in the survey link on the text message or phone the school and would like your child to take up their place. However, tomorrow Wednesday 27th May, is the cut-off point. We are very close to capacity for the staff we have in school and any decision will be on a first come, first served basis on timed survey responses. Priority children will take the first places. I remind you that you still have the choice to keep your children at home for safety and health reasons if you wish. Also children should not attend if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.

From the week beginning 1st June, we will welcome back children, if the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time. We are told by the Government that for the vast majority of children, coronavirus is a mild illness. Some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should not attend. If you are unsure whether your child should attend the setting due to a health condition that they or someone they live with has, please contact us so we can discuss the details with you.

Protective measures we are taking in light of coronavirus (COVID-19) to reduce the transmission.

First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.

Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:

  • Asking that anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the school. That includes children and staff who work here.
  • We have completed a full Risk Assessment which has been accepted by the MAT and Local Governing Body.
  • Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other groups around the school. Crossing in the corridor briefly is allowed.
  • Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered. There are posters displayed around the school and in each setting and classroom base. We have hand gel and sanitiser units in all areas. Disinfectant wipes are also being used.
  • Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout each setting.
  • Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including toilets, tabletops, door handles, handrails and play equipment.
  • Each child will have their own zippy wallet and individual equipment and a new named water bottle which can be washed daily.
  • Classrooms are marked out with tape.
  • The School will be closed each Wednesday for an enhanced clean to take place. No children will be in school on Wednesday. Unless I receive different guidance, this means also the priority children will not attend on the Wednesday. We have been operating an enhanced clean during the day as well as in the morning and evenings and after equipment has been used. This regime cannot be done with the extra year groups and increased numbers in school due to the likelihood of cross contaminating groups and additional contact.
  • Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household. The school has been marked with 2 m distancing bands and a one-way system. You can ONLY enter school from the Co-op end nearest Victoria Road. You can ONLY leave through Trelawney Avenue. There are three holding bays for you to wait as staff call your children. There is a one-way system in the school. Staff will be managing a table area outside the main school foyer entrance. We will get children through as quickly as possible but they have to hand wash before entering. All children need to be accompanied by a parent. If this works, later in the opening arrangements, you can send your child to school on their own and walk home alone with your verbal permission given to us. This will be your choice but it is only for Year 5 and Year 6. Please wait before allowing this as we need to see how the new arrangements work.
  • Children will be taught to visualise what 2 m looks like an encouraged to keep their distance. We have been told that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to school, we are taking this into account.
  • Staff have walkie-talkies and will call the office who will call your class teacher to send your child down to the entrance at the end of the day.
  • Times of arrival and departure are staggered, with slight overlaps of time. Please see the graph.


Start time

Play Time


Finish Time

Nurs 1





Nurs 2








11.45-12.15 (eat)

12.15-12.45 (play)

2.45-3.00 or earlier

Year 1



12.15-12.45 (eat)

12.45-1.15 (play)

2.45-3.00 or earlier

Year 2





Year 3





Year 4





Year 5





Year 6- SS



Split playground please!

12.45-1.15 (eat)

1.15-1.45 (play)

As morning play

3.00-3.15 or earlier

Year 6- LB AF



Split playground please!

12.45-1.15 (eat)

1.15-1.45 (play)

As morning play

3.00-3.15 or earlier




Keyworkers only from (2,3,4,5) other keyworkers in with peer groups- not to mix!

11.15-11.45 (play)

11.45-12.15 (eat)

3.00-3.15 or earlier






  • Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting, unless this is essential to their health and wellbeing. This needs to be cleared first with the group teacher.

What can parents and carers do to help?

There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys to the setting.

  1. If your child/ren, or someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, they should not come to the school or nursery.
  2. We have an agreed protocol for responding to a suspected coronavirus case and that you will need to immediately collect your child if they develop symptoms while at school. The children will be in a separate isolation room with staff wearing PPE next to the First Aid room. Any siblings will have to go home as well at this time to self-isolate for 14 days.
  3. If a case is known to be positive, we understand then that everyone in that setting including the staff will have to go home and self-isolate and take a test. If the test is negative, then they can return.
  4. Please abide by the 2 m social distancing queues and holding bays. Family groups can stay together in a line including pushchairs as no-one should be approaching you in the opposite direction.
  5. Please understand that if a child continually fights others or deliberately invades the squares/bubbles or doesn’t take the social distancing rules seriously, then they will be sent home as per the behaviour appendix, and will not be allowed to return until an agreed time. We will take into consideration young children and SEND difficulties and will discuss any concerns with you.
  6. As parents and carers you should provide reassurance to children facing changed routines and different groups. Tell them that they will be safe and that not to worry about seeing any staff with face shields or masks. This PPE is only used by First Aiders and Intimate Care TAs.
  7. You will not be allowed to come to the foyer entrance or enter the main reception. If you need to, then please call to make an appointment so we can arrange a venue. Please call or text the school if you need an appointment. Senior Leaders, Mr Smith and Mrs Catterall will be outside so we can note that you need to have an appointment. No discussions can take place at this time.


All children and staff who are attending our school, will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Details of a local setting will be provided when we have the information. The aim is to enable children to get back to childcare, and their parents or carers not to need to self-isolate any longer than is necessary if the test proves to be negative. A negative test will enable children to get back to education, and their parents to get back to work. A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect other children and staff in their setting.

We ask all parents and carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test.

The Government’s reasons

The four year groups have been prioritised because they are key transition years – children in Nursery, Reception and year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. We know that attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and are preparing for the transition to secondary school and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready. We need also to pass on information to their future schools and assist with the children’s familiarisation of their new school. We are awaiting information from the various Secondary schools across the city.

Class sizes and staff availability

One of the protective measures we can take to reduce transmission is to have smaller group and class sizes. We have been told that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to school, the Government are taking this into account. Schools should therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out in their guidance:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
  • frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene practices
  • regular cleaning of settings
  • and minimising contact and mixing

It is still important to reduce contact between children and staff as far as possible, and so we can take steps to achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, and staff where possible, mix in a small group and keep that small group away from other people and groups. For pre-school children in our nursery, the staff to child ratios within Early Years Foundation Stage continue to apply. In the rest of the school, the basic principle is that classes should be halved. Normally one teacher should be allocated to a group but as there are teacher shortages, then support staff Teaching Assistants will be used to lead groups, under the direction of a teacher. While in general, groups will be kept apart, brief, transitory, contact such as passing in a corridor is low risk.

The Government has an ambition to bring all primary other year groups [Y2,3,4 and 5] back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. We will review this advice on class sizes as and when the science indicates it is safe to invite more children back to school. We are NOT planning to be open over the Summer holidays as both staff and children need a rest. Some children and staff have been in school continually throughout lockdown including all the holidays.


We will provide meals for all children in school, and meals will be available free of charge where pupils meet the free school meal (FSM) eligibility criteria or are Universal Infant Free School Meals. We will provide meals for children who receive paid for meals, which can be paid for on the normal School Money system. Food parcels and vouchers will continue to be provided for those who are eligible for benefit-based meals if your child/ren are not in school. They will not be provided for returning FSM children as there is an expectation that they eat in school. The food will be prepared and served safely. Children will eat in their settings, or outside on a rota basis, not in the hall. The Keyworker children are using the hall and outside spaces so we need to keep children apart. Any Keyworker or priority children in Nursery, Foundation, Years 1 and Y6 will return to be with their classmates.


No one with symptoms should attend school or nursery for any reason. Eligible children – including priority groups - are strongly encouraged to attend, unless you are self-isolating or you are clinically vulnerable (in which case you should follow medical advice). If someone in your household is extremely clinically vulnerable, they should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to, and the child is able to understand and follow those instructions. We are unable to guarantee this, so it is best to stay away. Families should notify us as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff can explore the reason with you and address barriers together. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time, and the school will not be held to account for attendance levels.

I hope that this letter has given you the information you need to understand what arrangements we have made to enable children to return to us from 1st June. We are looking forward to welcoming your child[ren] back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our school. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.


K Duggan



Letter 17.05.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,
I am sure you will want to join me in thanking all staff at Victoria Road Nursery and Primary School for all their incredible work over the last couple of months, not only in offering child care [Educare] for the children of Critical workers, previously known as Keyworkers, and priority children around SEND and safeguarding [the DfE vulnerable category], but also
• providing remote learning for all pupils [ all Teachers and TAs],
• delivering food hampers/parcels and grab bags, [ Tash and her CATERed staff and School TAs, Mrs Fisher and Mrs Baskott]
• and the phone call checking in on families and children by all teachers, Teaching Assistants, Admin staff, Steph and Senior Leadership, myself, Mrs Collins and Mr McCann.
• Every available staff member has been assisting including our MTAs who have helped with Educare and Child Care.
• Kevin Smith and his cleaning team have worked throughout the lockdown to keep the school sanitised and stocked with cleaning materials and removing waste.
As you know, the Government has asked schools to reopen to several year groups from the 1st June, in addition to still providing spaces for the priority children. To ensure that government guidelines are adhered to and so that all members of the school community are as safe as they possibly can, it is a significant challenge to all schools.
We are open during the Bank holiday and May Half term for critical worker children and the priority children as before. However, some schools in the neighbourhood and across Plymouth have shut. Our MAT schools are all staying open. We will not be accepting the children from closed schools due to the fear of cross contamination.
You have received a text survey to indicate whether you will be returning your child if they are in the Nursery, Foundation [Reception], Year 1 and Year 6 classes. I have not received a response from every one and as we stand at the moment we are at capacity with space, rooms available and the number of staff who are not shielding. The school has conducted a review and created a very large document which is a Risk Assessment and is currently with the MAT for checking. Whilst, I will not be posting this on Facebook or on the website, it will be available should any one request it by email when it has been passed by our Local Governing Board and the MAT Central Team. It is a cure for insomnia!
If you do not respond to this survey, and do not book your child in for this commencement of school from the 1st June, in the normal way through the text booking form, it is likely that a place will not be available for your child/ren due to capacity issues. You will not be able to just turn up without booking. I currently have 8 members of staff shielding or who are not allowed to attend due to underlying health reasons. As we are planning currently, spaces have been allocated on a first come, first served basis for those year groups. Places are allocated as normal for the children of critical workers and priority children who will also be separated from these year groups unless they join their peers in class. We are working out a reduction in cross-contamination. Can I also remind you that this return on 1st June is voluntary, not statutory and you will not be fined for non-attendance. You can choose for safety and medical reasons to keep your child/ren home, but we will still be in contact with you.

Please note:
1. Staff will be wearing PPE Face shields and masks for First Aid and Intimate Care only. We cannot tolerate any spitting at children or adults. Please help to prepare your child/ren by discussing this with them.
2. The classrooms will be set out with tables and chairs matching the 2m social distancing rules and class sizes are at a maximum of 12 pupils depending on space. We will be calling this a 2m “bubble” or “square” and children will be told that this is theirs and that they can’t move into someone else’s unless it is free. Staff availability may mean that classes are split and some children may be moved to areas that they are not normally taught in and taught by a different Teacher or TA. We are building in space to move between areas. So please talk to your children about this. There may be a rotation of times and depending on staff numbers, a combination of full days for some year groups at the beginning of the week, a break on Wednesday for enhanced cleaning and other year groups at the end of the week. A decision will be made nearer the time. Nursery and foundation won’t be having tables or squares as such and children will not be expected to social distance as this is impossible, especially in the 2 year old room. We will not be able to stop them from touching things that others have touched given the age and stage of their development.
3. Breakfast Club is not in the Nursery as per normal, but Breakfast is provided in each classroom through Magic Breakfast on arrival and Breakfast Club is being providing by the staff who are assigned to the Key worker/Critical worker and Priority Children.
4. All lessons will be Educare and will match Home Learning set so that there is equality of provision.
5. You will be required to follow the 2m social distancing rules as in supermarkets on arrival and on leaving. There will be taped interval spacing, a holding bay and waiting area with social distancing rules being applied. This will be enforced by the Police if necessary if you choose not to follow these rules and it may affect your ability to be on site which may in turn affect your child’s attendance. Sorry but queuing is a non-negotiable I'm afraid.
6. We will be training our children along with our behaviour policy to respect the social distancing rules and if a child/ren continues to refuse to do so, then they will not be allowed to attend further moving forward. Also if behaviour is such that we are unable to control a child because it would mean having to separate them from other children, such as in a fighting scenario, then the child responsible will be sent home and will be unable to return during the continued lockdown. I am sorry to have to state this, but I require your support in this so please discuss this with your child/ren to prepare them for returning.
7. The school is working a One -Way entrance and Exit system. Details to follow nearer the time.
8. There will be a staggered time for year groups to arrive and to be collected. Children will be required to use soap, sanitiser or hand gel before entering. They will NOT be sprayed by disinfectant. This is not a government policy.
9. Play times and lunch times will be staggered.
10. You may send in a packed lunch with your child or pay for a meal in school. Tash and her team will be providing packed lunches and will be feeding as normal all children who are eligible for benefit based meals/FSM, Universal Infant Free School Meals and those of critical workers and priority children. Meals can be paid for as before. Hence later, why we will need exact numbers of who is coming into school after the 1st June.
11. There is an isolation room and a backup room in addition to our First Aid room.
12. In the first week after 1st June, there will be a fire drill to check evacuation processes.
13. Cleaning will continue after every day and we have our cleaners and volunteer MTAS and some TAs cleaning also throughout the day at various times when the children are outside or at lunch.
14. We will use the outside area as much as possible as we have been doing.
15. All rooms are well ventilated.
16. All children will have their individual zippy bag with equipment that only they can use. They will also have their named water bottle which will be cleaned each day.
With that in mind, we are asking parents and carers of all priority children to only request Childcare over the half term holiday if absolutely necessary. We are committed to ensuring that there is provision available, however, depending on numbers it is likely that if no children are needed throughout the whole week, we will close on those days. A competent and enhanced clean also needs to take place in the Half term holiday to ensure we are fully prepared.
There is a substantial amount of work to be done in order to get schools ready for 1st June, as well as staff needing time to rest, recuperate and spend time with their own families, so your support and understanding with this is very much appreciated. Some children have been in for almost 7 weeks constantly including their normal holidays and bank holidays and they need a rest too. I am sure you agree that this lockdown has put added pressure on all concerned and many have not had a proper break.
Please respond on the booking request by Wednesday of the coming week at the latest if you need a place for the Half term Holiday, but only if it is absolutely essential and necessary that they need a place. [This is for children of Critical Workers and priority children, not the other returning classes.]
That booking form will go out later. However, you still have the survey link you can access which will help us inform our decisions from 1st June. We appreciate that some parents and carers may change their decision as the next two weeks progress.
An audio version will follow shortly.
Best Wishes and Keep Safe.
K Duggan



Letter  13.05.2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are in the process of planning for the possible return of our Nursery, Foundation, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils on June 1. Planning for this needs to be very carefully managed and we want you, as parents and carers, to be in the best position possible to make an informed decision about whether you wish to return your child to school in June. We therefore hope the following information is useful in helping you come to an informed decision. Today you received a survey by text to seek information. If after reading this you wish to change some of your responses, you can go back into the link and resubmit. We will then take the latest response and delete the earlier one.

1. Will my child be kept at least 2 metres away from other children and adults at all times? No. We cannot guarantee that children attending school will maintain a 2 metre distance from their peers. This is especially true for our younger pupils in the The Nursery, Foundation stage and Year 1. We have limited space in corridors and toilet areas and children aged 3, 4, 5 and 6 will not be able to stay within a confined space or sat at a desk throughout the day. The DfE in the document I posted yesterday, recognises this as a great difficulty.

2. Will my child need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? No. Your child will not be expected to wear any PPE whilst in school. Advice from the government is that PPE can be detrimental to safety for young children and so we would ask that you do not send your child in with PPE (face masks). Staff undertaking First Aid and Intimate Care will wear gloves, aprons, masks and face shields in certain circumstances. These have been ordered. If I child develops symptoms, they may be required to wear a mask whilst in isolation in the isolation room prior to being picked up.

3. Will my child be in school for the whole day? No. We will not be able to provide cover for the whole ‘school’ day. We will probably finish at approximately 2.30pm. There will be a staggered start and end to the day, to minimize risk and support the ability of people to socially distance at these times. Keyworker and vulnerable children will keep the times we currently have in place.

4. Can my child attend every day? This will depend on how many spaces are required and how many staff are available, as a school it is highly unlikely and initial thoughts are that these year groups will be allocated 2 sessions per week.

5. How will children be grouped? The children will be taught in small groups of children from the same year group, by the same adult, while this is possible. These groups will remain the same; we will not mix groups.

6. What will my child be taught? We will provide Educare for your child whilst they are in school. They will complete the learning that has been set as part of the weekly tasks set as home learning activities. It is essential that the entitlement is the same for those in school and those at home. We will go through the learning already completed at home and cover misconceptions and any learning children were unable to complete.

7. Will my child mix with Key Worker children? No. Children of Key Workers will be kept separate unless a keyworker child comes from one of the new year groups being phased in. We believe that for their mental health and wellbeing they should be back with their friends. However, they will remain in this class. They will require full day cover and we wish to reduce the possibility of cross contamination, so will remain in their classes until the keyworker parents come to collect as per the current arrangements.

8. Will my child receive a school dinner? We cannot offer a hot meal service unless the government funds this, but can provide a packed lunch (grab bag). This will be free for our infant children [UIFSM] and our benefit entitled children[FSM]. Any parent wishing to buy a grab bag option can pay online as normal or you can provide a packed lunch from home.

9. Will all the children arrive and leave school at the same time? No. We will stagger arrival and departure times so we reduce congestion. We will mark out the entrance, have a holding pen and adopt a one way system. There will be handwashing/sanitiser deployment each morning for everyone on arrival. The 2m social distancing must be adhered to by parents and carers. This will be indicated nearer the time.

10. Will I be fined or taken to court if I decide to keep my child at home rather than send them to school? No. The decision to return your child to school is voluntary and no action will be taken against you if you decide you would rather keep them at home.

In order to plan for the return of our Nursery/Foundation stage, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils we do need to know how many children are likely to need a place so please click on the link in your text message today and we ask that you complete this by Sunday 17th May - please can you complete this either way so that we know possible numbers and your views at this time.

We appreciate that your circumstances might change between now and then but an early indication of likely numbers will help us to plan our provision. We know this is a difficult time for you but we feel it is vital that you are aware of that facts and how we are likely to operate as soon as possible. More details will come out from school in the near future in relation to the organisation.

Thank you for your support and we will be in touch again soon.

Best wishes

Horizon MAT – Appendix to Effective Behaviour Policy : May 2020 


In light of children returning to school from 1st June 2020 this appendix will sit with each individuals school policy that supports behaviours of the children in school.  The policy fully aligns with the agreed risk assessment that has been developed in each of the schools and has been approved by the Trust Board. 

Within the school the priority during this period of COVID-19 is to protect the welfare of the staff and children in all the schools.  Where a child does not follow the expectations within a policy and this puts vulnerability on another child or member of staff that child will not be able to attend the school during that period.  The school will ensure that learning is set for that child, as per the remote learning policies in place. In the drafting of the risk assessment for each school, the schools have also developed a risk assessment identifying those who have difficulties in following the policy.  Each school will have conversations with parents where this is an issue, outlining the fact that if they decide to send their child, this will be a trial and if there are any issues that risk a member of staff or the child they will not be able to attend from that point forward.  Where this is the case, the school will ensure that the Chair of the LGB, the CEO and Education Welfare Officer for the LA are informed.  The school will continue to monitor the engagement of learning together with the welfare of the child.  If they are on the ‘LA vulnerable list’, the school will liaise closely with the team involved.  The safety and welfare of the staff and children at all schools during this period is priority. 

Please check Facebook for updates and importantly your class web page on our website here. Each member of staff is updating regularly their pages with activities, games, quizzes, challenges, learning packs and ideas for you to do at home. Staff are regularly providing hard copies of learning packs each fortnight which can be collected at the main reception foyer and you are able to maintain social distancing as you collect.

Here are some recent posts.


Launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub

The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people.

The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:

Launch of BBC Bitesize

The BBC has today launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents.

BBC Bitesize can be accessed here:


Sir David Attenborough will be teaching online Geography lessons via the BBC, for children being homeschooled during the coronavirus pandemic. The historian and broadcaster will be hosting live-streamed classes as part of the BBC Bitesize Daily learning series focused on offering at-home education.41 mins ago


David Attenborough to teach online Geography lessons during lockdown -


Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children’s education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance on helping children aged 2 to 4 learn at home can be found here:

Guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home can be found here:

Guidance on helping children with special educational needs and disabilities learn at home can be found here:

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the support available for parents, online educational resources and support for vulnerable children.

The guidance can be found here:

Guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The guidance for education settings and local authorities on supporting vulnerable children and young people has been updated. This update includes clarification to the existing guidance on attendance.

This guidance can be found here:


Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours:
8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Handwashing advice

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at:

The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and can be used in various settings including schools and at home:

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:

Our main guidance for schools, the ‘school closures guidance’, will be regularly kept up-to-date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from it:


The link below is from the Guardian newspaper linked with the PSHE Association. It talks about how we might feel about the news, what we can do about it, all about fake news etc. It has writing activities attached to it e.g. writing a happy news article. This is a good writing activity parents.
> The original article it was downloaded from is here, also quite useful.


"Cool back into School! Dr G

Still image for this video