Coronavirus : Reopening of School



Dear Parents

As you know, the Government have announced that it will would like primary schools to reopen, following a period of school closure due to coronavirus, for some pupils from the week beginning Monday 1st June.  Recent Government briefings and interviews with ministers have suggested that, despite some ongoing concerns from schools, education sector unions,  medical advisers and local councils, this plan will go ahead.  We are expecting an official confirmation on Thursday 28th May 2020. 

We are now making concrete plans for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to return to school.  As you can imagine, the safety of everyone is our first priority and we have taken on board a range of advice, information and concerns in the last week to be ready to reopen school.  Taking all of the latest information and concerns into account, we have decided to be a little more cautious in our pace of return and will now not be opening to more pupils until the week beginning Monday 8th June 2020.    Year 6 will now return on Monday 8th June, Year 1 on Wednesday 10th June and Reception on Monday 15th June.

We are providing all of the information below so that parents:

  • are aware of the latest information regarding coronavirus infection risks and some of the scientific evidence which has influenced the Government’s decision to reopen schools to more pupils (more is available online via the Government website) as part of Step 2 of its recovery roadmap;
  • are aware of how we aim to organise our provision for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6;
  • are aware of the key control and other safety measures that school will be putting in place;
  • can make an informed decision about whether or not you wish your child to return to school.


In planning for more pupils to return to school, we are:

  • sharing as much information with you as possible;
  • following the Government’s safety and risk assessment guidance;
  • cautious about the pace at which we move forward and are phasing the return of classes over a two-week period;
  • putting in place a range of measures to achieve some social-distancing, particularly at ‘pinch’ points such as the beginning and the end of the school day;
  • aware that the class-based provision will need to look and feel a little different to the way we normally operate;
  • aware that parents, staff and pupils may be anxious about returning to school and have lots of questions to ask;
  • asking parents (three classes only) to let us know of their decision regarding their own child(ren) returning to school from Monday 8th June (please complete the online form by next Monday 1st June)
  • asking key-worker parents who have not already used our childcare provision to let us know if key-worker childcare is needed from Monday 1st June.

Parent Response – Reception, Year 1 and Year 6

If you are a parent of a child in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6, please complete the online form to let us know if you wish your child to return to school from Monday 8th June.  If you wish to discuss any aspect of our provision or want to discuss the specific anxieties or needs of your child, please email Mr Beard, Headteacher, via so that we can arrange a telephone call with you or provide some additional support for your child.  We are aware that many of you have shared your thoughts during your telephone calls with class teachers and that some of you at this time are unsure about your children returning to school, not just for health reasons but because it will look and feel different.  Some parents are asking for flexibility.  Please read the following information and complete the online form by Monday 1st June so that we can plan our provision for each group.

Classes Returning

The Government has asked that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils return to school. Nurseries and Early Years settings are also being asked to return.  At this time, given that all classes will have to be split into two groups in separate rooms, we are not in a position to invite our Nursery children back to school as their classroom will be used by Reception children and there is no other suitable accommodation in the school (that will not be used by other groups) to meet the needs of our youngest children.  We feel that the arrangements we are putting in place are manageable – regretfully, we simply do not have the capacity to offer anything more at this stage.  

Weekly Offer

  • Monday – Thursday : Class-based learning for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6
  • Fridays : Closed to pupils except key-workers and vulnerable pupils

We will be offering all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 the opportunity to return to school for four days each week, that is Monday to Thursday on a full-day (taking into account staggered arrival and leaving times – see below) basis.  Parents may choose for their children to attend on a part-time basis but this must be arranged with the school and must be consistent.  We cannot accommodate children arriving and leaving at different times of the day.  Pupils should not attend school on any day that they have an appointment outside of school.

The school will not open on Fridays except to vulnerable children and the children of key-workers.  This is so that staff can have their planning time on the same day (as it is difficult to cover staff at other times given we are not supposed to mix staff in different groups) and so that the school can be thoroughly cleaned on Fridays.  Most teachers will be planning for class-based learning alongside home learning so they will need time to do this during the school week.  This is in line with many other schools, some of which are closing to all pupils, including those whose parents are key-workers, on Fridays. Some schools are also only offering part-time places each and every day.  We feel that our approach is consistent, is enough for pupils to cope with in the circumstances, and still offers the parents of key-workers childcare support for the full week.


We are encouraging all children in the three groups to return to school.  However, the decision will ultimately rest with parents.  Where children do not attend, we have been asked to speak with parents about this and record the reasons for children not attending school.  Government have announced that parents will not face fines if their children do not attend school.  Schools will not be accountable for pupil attendance during this school year.  Given that all attendance percentages will be skewed this year, we will not be including attendance records in pupils’ reports this year.  (We are yet to decide if will present attendance certificates this year; if we do these will be based on pupils’ attendance up to February half-term only.)

Before-School and After-School Club

From 8th June 2020, we will only be offering before-school club (from 8.00am) to children of key-workers as we have been doing for the last ten weeks.  We will not be offering before-school club to other children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.  At this stage, we are not offering After-School Club for any children.  All children will therefore need to be collected from school at the appropriate time.

School-Based Learning

Classroom-based learning will be offered to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.  Each class will be split into two separate groups (each group known as a bubble) and each group will be taught by a teacher (not necessarily the class teacher) and supported by a teaching assistant.  Each group will have no more than 15 children, less if this can be achieved by fewer children than the whole year group returning.  Each bubble will operate as a unit and contact with other small groups (including at playtimes) will be avoided.  Please note that this bubble arrangement is manageable only for the three year groups returning at the beginning of June; it will impossible to teach the whole school in this way if the Government decides that all pupils should return to school.  When (and if) Government announce that other classes are to return to school before the end of the summer term, we will have to review how safely we can do that.  Please note that the school has no plans (nor does Government) to open schools, including for childcare of key-workers, during the summer holidays.

Class-based learning will obviously look and feel different to the way in which we normally operate and children will not have as many freedoms as they usual do.  Children will, where possible, be allocated their own desk and resources.  Pens, papers, rulers and other equipment will be provided in a sealed and named wallet and the use of shared resources will be minimised, if not avoided.  Classroom resources which are not easy to clean or sanitise will be removed from classrooms.  We will attempt to teach children at a social distance from staff of 2 metres and children will be encouraged to work independently (or at least engage in paired work at a distance) whenever possible.  We accept that this will be easier to achieve with Year 6 than it will with Reception and Year 1 children.  Staff will need to support children with SEND ‘at a distance’; staff will not be expected to work in close proximity to any child if this can be avoided.  This will obviously change the way in which we teach and support children but we will do this as sensitively as possible.

Accommodation, Staffing and Curriculum

  • Year 6 will be based in the Year 6 and Year 5 classrooms
  • Year 1 will be based in the Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms
  • Reception will based in the Early Years building, including the nursery classroom
  • Children of key-workers (childcare group) will be based in Year 3
  • Children will sit apart from each other as much as possible, e.g. at story time, snack time
  • Outdoor space will be used as much as possible
  • We will not use the school hall (as it acts as a corridor) except for small groups of no more than 6-8 pupils to engage in short sessions of physical activity
  • Each bubble group will be taught/supported by one teacher and one teaching assistant during most of the day.
  • Children may not necessarily be taught by their class teacher but the two teachers working with a year group (one of whom will be the class teacher) will work together to plan the same activities for the whole class, albeit in two separate groups
  • Pupils will be allocated to groups by the class teacher.  It will not be possible to meet specific requests or place all children with their friends.
  • Each group will be taught the same curriculum which will be based on the curriculum of the year group with some adaptations to take into account any ‘catching up’ that pupils may have to do.
  • We will attempt (although this will not always possible given the resources available) to mirror class-based and home-based learning objectives
  • It will not be possible to support individual reading in the usual way.
  • Some lessons will not be delivered, e.g. cookery, large-group or close-contact PE games

Keyworker Group

We will continue to run our provision for the children of keyworkers.

Phased Return

Whilst we initially announced that all three classes would return to school in the same week, we are now wanting to be a little more cautious in our approach.  Manchester City Council are not opposing the reopening of schools (some local councils are) but are advising schools to go at a pace that is manageable and safe.  They have said that it is unlikely that all schools will return to school during the week beginning 1st June.  Many schools are phasing pupils’ return over a period of at least one week or are limiting attendance in a number of ways.  Having reviewed everything that we need to put in place and that we want to be a little more confident that the national and local infection rate has reduced even further (which it will hopefully do by 8th June) and that testing, tracing and tracking systems are in place, we have decided to plan for the children to return to school as follows:

  • Monday 8th June – Year 6
  • Wednesday 10th June – Year 1
  • Monday 15th June – Reception

Staggered Arrival and Leaving Times

Given that the aim is for each separate ‘bubble’ (including their parents) to avoid contact with another group, it will be necessary to put measures in place to avoid overcrowding in the school playground and potentially long queues in the street when children arrive at and leave school premises.  We have decided to allow parents to access the school playground but in a controlled and socially-distanced way.  There will therefore be staggered arrival and leaving times for each class as follows:

    Arrival Time Leaving Time Waiting Zone
  Year 1 8.45am – 9.00am 2.30pm A (main playground)
  Reception 9.15am – 9.30am 2.45pm B (Key Stage 1 playground)
  Year 6 9.00am 3.00pm A (main playground)

After the first few days and as we get ‘quicker’ at our routines, we may adjust these arrival and collection times whilst maintaining some separation between groups.  It is very important that everyone arrives at school at the allocated times, otherwise the playground will become too crowded with parents and children.  If children miss their slot, it may be necessary for parents and children to wait in a designated area until a later time to enter the building.  Year 6 children are encouraged to enter the school premises from the vehicle gates by themselves (perhaps with parents on the first day) to speed up the process of entry to school.  Given that some queueing and waiting may be necessary, everyone is advised to wear a coat and bring an umbrella.  Parents are asked not to engage in anything but a quick “hello” with staff at the beginning or end of the day.  If specific things need to be discussed, please call the school by telephone, preferably during the week beginning 1st June so that any anxieties or questions can be resolved.

Arrival/Drop-Off at School

  • Please do not park on Bazley Road for any reason
  • Please maintain social-distancing when walking to and from school
  • Please maintain social-distancing when passing one another in the street
  • Please do not gather or stop to talk to other parents in school premises or in the local streets

Parents and children will enter via the main vehicle gates.  These will be supervised by a member of staff who will greet children briefly and offer some direction and reassurance, if needed.  On entry via the vehicle gates, everyone should veer left to the side gates and then proceed to the school playground, observing social-distancing (and waiting to queue if necessary).  Children must remain with their parents – children must not run on ahead.  When entering the playground, there will a barrier system in place to filter groups to allocated waiting points for each small group.  These will be signposted and coloured ground markers will indicate standing points to maintain social distancing parents and children.  Children from the same bubble will be called in smaller groups of 3-4 to enter school, hang their coats and wash their hands.  Parents will then follow a route via the Key Stage 1 playground to exit the premises via the After-School Club corridor, then turning left to exit the school ground via the pedestrian gate.  Barriers or markers will be in place to mark out the one-way route.  Parents must not park on Bazley Road – we need to manage how people arrive at school and keep everyone safe.

Collection / Leaving School

When collecting children at the end of the day, parents will be asked to arrive at school at the designated times and stand in the playground at the markers for each group.  Children will wash their hands before leaving school and will be dismissed a few children at a time, in their small groups.  Parents are asked not to be late collecting children from school.

Next week we will take some photographs and produce a video walk-through of the premises so that everyone is familiar with the one-way system and group markers before returning to school. 


Manchester Fayre (caterer) will only be providing sandwiches (with some occasional extras) as a school meal for the foreseeable future.  Given that we cannot have all children eating in the hall at the same time, children will eat their lunch in their classrooms.  We are hoping that our reception class will be able to eat in the school hall (socially distanced); if not, they will eat in their classroom.  The school lunch will include the sandwich choice (ham, cheese, egg mayo or tuna mayo), a piece of fruit, a biscuit/cake and an occasional additional items such as bread-sticks.  Chilled water and milk will also be available.  Parents will be asked to let us know about their child’s meal option.

Risk Assessment

A full risk assessment is currently being completed by school, taking into account many different questions, challenges and demands presented by the Government, Manchester City Council and education sector unions.  A summary of the key points of our risk assessment is shared below:

COVID-19 risks, Scientific Evidence and National Context

  • School cannot guarantee (as much as we would like to) that staff, pupils or parents will be free from coronavirus infection  or that school will be a 100%-safe place for pupils, staff or parents.  No school can guarantee that anyone on school premises will not contract the virus (this has been confirmed by Government ministers).  All we can do is to follow the guidance and try to minimise and control the risks as best we can.
  • The Government have stated that we can never eliminate the risk of infection and that coronavirus will be with us for some time yet (at least a year).
  • The Government have said that the risk of coronavirus to pupils going back to the classroom was “very, very small, but it is not zero” and that it is not clear on the extent schools could be reopened without leading to a rise in the transmission rate of the disease.
  • We are waiting for a confirmation that the Government’s ‘five tests’ have been met and that it is safe to reopen schools
  • Testing, tracing and tracking is not yet fully operational
  • There is high scientific confidence that children of all ages have less severe symptoms than adults if they contract coronavirus
  • There is moderately high scientific confidence that younger children are less likely to become unwell if they contract coronavirus
  • Whilst it is known that children do not become as ill as adults from coronavirus , there is uncertainty among the medical community about the extent to which children carry or spread the disease, including to/from adults
  • Scientific advice suggests that a phased, measured and slow return to school will limit the rate of infection in schools and allow close monitoring of any cases which affect children or adults in schools (including controlled dealing with an outbreak through testing, tracing and tracking)
  • Scientific advice suggests that having smaller groups of children in school (in bubbles) who have no other direct contact with other groups of children, will limit the spread of the disease and help schools control any outbreaks
  • Public Health England are clear that if schools implement a number of measures, then risk of transmission will be lowered
  • Medical Officers have said that the risks of infection from passing in a school corridor or being outside are relatively low.
  • Children with some health conditions (does not include mild asthma) may still be at increased risk from coronavirus and are being advised to remain away from school
  • Testing is now available for every person aged 5 years and over
  • The infection, death and hospital admission rates due to COVID-19 are decreasing consistently over time
  • The R (reproduction) rate of COVID-19 is currently between 0.7 and 1

Hierarchy of Controls

In order to minimise the risks of COVID-19 infection, the school has/will be putting in place a number of different measures and routines to keep children, staff and parents as safe as we can while on (and off given that we are still expecting everyone to follow the lockdown rules when not in school) the school premises.  These measures include a hierarchy of controls as follows:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms
  • social distancing where possible (see below)
  • organising pupils and staff into small groups and limiting contact between groups
  • regular cleaning, particularly of shared resources, throughout the school day
  • frequent hand-washing and promotion of good hygiene practices

Social Distancing

It has been recognised that social distancing between children, particularly younger children, will not be fully achievable in schools.  Our experience of managing just a small group children in key-worker childcare for the past ten weeks supports this observation.  Children naturally want to be close to one another and gravitate to each other without thinking, particularly during their free play.  Older children will understand and follow social-distancing more easily than younger children.  However, we do feel that social-distancing is still important and we will continue to promote this as best we can by:

  • asking staff to maintain their social distance from each other
  • asking staff to maintain their social distance from children whenever possible
  • taking additional steps, e.g. PPE, when social-distancing is not possible (e.g. administration of first aid)
  • avoiding comforting children in close proximity, e.g. hugging or holding their hands
  • reminding children (sensitively) to maintain a distance from each other during activities
  • asking parents to discuss social distancing with their children (if not already done so)
  • operating spacing, one-way and queueing systems for arriving and leaving school premises
  • operating spacing in other contexts, including in the classrooms and timings between group activities

School Day Routines

School life and what we can offer will be a little different in that:

  • children will need to be mindful that school is going to be a little different and the reasons for this
  • children will need to follow some additional school rules and routines to keep everyone safe
  • children who purposefully ignore the rules will be asked to remain at home with their parents
  • there will be staggered arrival and leaving times
  • there will be designated waiting points for parents and pupils in the school playground
  • we will remove classroom resources that cannot be cleaned easily, e.g. soft toys, books
  • children will not have access to school reading books or library books
  • coats will be hung in a designated area with some distancing between allocated pegs
  • children’s free movement around school will be limited, e.g. no trips to the school office
  • we will ‘punctuate’ lessons by more playtimes and hand-washing
  • there will be staggered playtimes for each group (enabling enough space to play comfortably)
  • use of play equipment (where it cannot be cleaned easily) will be avoided
  • there will be no extra-curricular activities
  • there will be no assemblies (some assembly activities will take place in classrooms)
  • teacher contact with pupils’ belongings, e.g. exercise books, will be avoided
  • the use of shared resources will be limited
  • shared resources, e.g. iPads, will be cleaned/sanitised between use by different children/groups
  • children from different bubble groups will not be able to mix at playtimes
  • school lunches will be eaten in classrooms
  • Manchester Fayre (caterer) will only provide sandwiches for children having a school lunch
  • there will be a restriction on personal items brought into school from home

Hygiene and Cleaning Routines

While providing childcare, we have already put in place a number of additional cleaning routines including:

  • extra cleaning of shared areas and surfaces during the school day
  • weekly deeper clean of all areas in school
  • promotion of good hygiene routines, e.g. coughing/sneezing into tissues and safe disposal of tissues
  • regular hand-washing during the school day and at key times, e.g. arrival at school
  • some use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when appropriate
  • water bottles will be filled by jug rather than at the water fountains

We will increase our cleaning schedule to include more of the above from 8th June 2020.

Routines and Rules for Parents

In addition to some additional rules and routines for children, there are also some things that we need parents to do to support the school and keep everyone safe.  If you would like your child to return to school, we are asking you to following these routines and rules.  If you cannot support us in this, please keep your child at home to reduce the risks of infection to children in school and to staff.

  • keep to and respect the current lockdown rules, including social distancing between friends and neighbours;
  • continue to commit to the national lockdown rules that are in place for your own family, household, workplace, shopping or social context, – if we are aware of any breach, we may ask you to keep your child away from school in the interests of everyone else’s safety;
  • keep your distance from other families when walking to and from school;
  • keep your child away from school if anyone in your household (or anyone you have been in close contact with) shows any symptoms of COVID-19;
  • get a test if anyone in your household shows symptoms of COVID-19;
  • join the national testing, tracing and tracking system (an APP to be available from beginning of June)
  • continue to maintain good cleaning and hygiene (hand-washing) routines when at home;
  • DO NOT park on Bazley Road for any reason – use Kenworthy Lane and walk the short distance to school
  • do not gather in the school playground or car park or stop at the school gates or on Bazley Road to talk to other parents – this will block the safe pathway for other families coming to and leaving school (and may make others feel anxious);
  • only one parent should bring/collect their child from school;
  • make sure that your child has their packed lunch (if not having a school lunch) at the beginning of the school day to avoid having to revisit the school;
  • follow our routines when on school premises (and in the surrounding streets), including queueing, following the one-way system and maintaining social distance from other families;
  • minimise the items brought into school by children;
  • ensure that clothes worn for school are clean (daily washing if possible);
  • ensure your child washes their hands thoroughly before leaving the house;
  • do not visit the school office – please make a telephone call if you need further information.

Personal Items

  • Children should not bring any personal items, e.g. toys or books, from home
  • Children may bring a small school bag to school
  • Mobile phones (Year 6) will be sealed in a named plastic zip bag before being stored
  • Children should bring a lunch box as usual
  • Water bottles should be brought into school and will be returned home for washing every day


  • Children do not need to bring a PE kit to school at the moment
  • Children should wear school uniform and this should be washed regularly (daily if possible)

Pupil Progress Reports

Teachers will be writing pupil progress reports which will be issued towards the end of the academic year.  If pupils are not in school to receive their report, it will be emailed to parents.  Reports will be in the same format as in previous years.  We are yet to decide how to report pupils’ attainment.  We will not be reporting pupil attendance for the 2019-2020 school year.







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