Full Return to School in March 2021
We are delighted that all children will be returning to school on Monday 8th March. We have missed our pupils and families and are really looking forward to resuming teaching and learning.
To ensure that everyone in school is safe (and the risk of transmission is low), we have attached a risk assessment document below that identifies the measures that will be taken by all school staff. Families should have also received information about expectations around drop-off times, pick-ups, lunchtimes and other areas related to the on-going COVID response on Class Dojo. If you have not however, please find the information below. We ask that you consider all measures carefully to ensure our return in September runs as smooth and safe as possible.
Official Guidance from Gov.uk for staff, families and children can be found here.
Staggered starts and ends of the day
To reduce congestion on the school site at the start and end of the school day, staggered start and end times have been organised according to surname. Please see the attached file for the timings for your family below.
Please can all families keep precisely to these timings to help keep everyone safe. In the mornings and evenings children should be dropped off/collected at their allocated door.
Only one adult should accompany the children to and from school and should leave the school site promptly. Those families whose children have different surnames should come at the later time.
We expect all children, except Year 6 if parents give written permission, to be dropped off and picked up by an adult. Bicycles and scooters will not be allowed at this time.
Bubbles and Bubble Rules
Your child will be in a class of normal size and will form a bubble with the rest of their class/year group. As far as possible, these bubbles will not mix with any other bubbles in school and will have the same staff working with them every week. Bubble Rules have been created to keep everyone safe which will be explained to the children next week.
Classrooms have been set up to limit the spread of infection with, all bar the youngest children, sitting in rows rather than groups as we are advised that this limits the spread of infection. Regular hand washing and cleaning of key points and equipment will take place across the day.
Uniform and personal belongings/Physical Education
Children should come to school in school uniform except on PE days when they should come in their PE kit. All PE lessons will take place outside. On colder days, this will mean they will need dark blue or black tracksuit bottoms and trainers as well as the usual white T-shirt and dark shorts. Your child’s teacher will let you know which days are PE days.
We have been advised that buildings need to be well ventilated, so windows will be kept open. Your child will therefore need their school sweatshirt /cardigan/ fleece from the start of term.
Please do not send your children in with anything other than their water bottle and a packed lunch if it is not being provided by school. These will be wiped down as the children come in. All stationery will be provided by school.
Although mask wearing is currently not advised for children under 12, families should consider wearing masks when dropping off and picking children up. Current guidance says that children must remove their mask before they come into school and if it is a paper one, it should be disposed of carefully. Fabric masks must be placed in a sealed plastic bag until the end of the school day. Please ensure you socially distance from school staff on the door or yard duty who may also choose to wear masks.
School lunches will be available as usual with slight changes to the menu so that we can serve meals in classrooms as well as the dining halls. Hot meals and a sandwich choice will be available.We have created an extra dining area in the empty nursery for some of the younger children.
Parents in school and events in school
As I am sure you will understand, it will not be possible for parents to take part in school life as before and parents will not be allowed in the school building. If you would like to speak to a member of staff, please ring and make a telephone appointment or contact them on Class Dojo.
As the children will remain in their class bubbles as much as possible, school events, after school activities and assemblies will not take place this half term. This will be reviewed and reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so.
Holiday Quarantine and Self Isolation
Please contact school immediately if your child has been abroad on holiday in the 14 days prior to the start of term as it may be necessary for them to quarantine and delay their start to school. Parents must also contact school immediately if any member of the family or close contacts has a positive coronavirus test.
Illness in school
At this time, it is vital that any child with any symptom of coronavirus does not attend school until they have had a test. Please contact school immediately if you have any concerns. If a child develops symptoms in school, we will contact you and expect that they are collected from school immediately. If a child or staff member has a positive test result, we will contact the designated health authority who will advise us of the next steps which may include closing individual bubbles or year groups.
The Valley Out Of School Club will resume but will operate from the school hall so that the children have enough space to play in inconsistent bubbles. If you require childcare you should contact The Valley on 0191 4915050.
Despite all the changes, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all back. For many of you this will feel like a huge step and there will be some anxiety but our experience with the keyworker children was a positive one and we’re confident this will be too. As always, we will do our utmost to make sure the children are busy, happy and enthusiastic about their learning.
Updates and further information
For updates and further information please check the Public Health England (PHE) website:
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline – this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education.