Home Page

Returning to school: Reception and Year 1

Return to School 1st June 2020


The following document lays out the strategy we will use to ensure that our children and staff are safe; as we welcome our Year R, Year 1 and Y6 back to school. This document is informed by DFE guidance and discussions with all staff involved. It is important for all of us to keep the risks in perspective whilst we diligently observe hygiene rules laid out below. 

Booking a place for your child

It is important that we know if your child is coming into school so that we can plan appropriate activities for them. Initially, you can book a place, a week at a time, using the form sent to all parents in Reception and Year 1. Obviously as things get back to normal, we would expect children to be in school every week. We will then contact you with an allocated drop off and pick up time and which entrance to use. If you have been using our key worker facility, your child will be taught with their normal year group. We will work with key worker parents who have children in more than one school to make drop offs and picks as convenient as possible. 

What happens in school? 

  • At school all soft furnishings, rugs, soft toys, pillows etc will be removed from classrooms. Desks, where appropriate, will be moved to a 2m spacing. Dependent on each setting, classrooms will be set up for groups of 15 or fewer. 
  • Parents will be informed when and through which entrance their children should be dropped off in school by ParentMail, email or EPraise. This will range from 8:00 to 9:30 but will vary from school to school. The guidance is that only ONE parent/carer should accompany children to school. 
  • Given that all classes will be split in two, many children will not have their normal teacher - but should have a teacher or teaching assistant with which they are familiar. 
  • Children will NOT be expected to wear school uniform. They should arrive in school each day with a set of clean clothes. If a child has the same outfit as the previous day, they will be asked to go home and change. Children are likely to paint, use clay etc - so please keep this in mind when helping them to choose their clothing. Suitable footwear for outdoor play will also be required.
  • Children and staff are NOT allowed to bring in book bags, PE kits, toys from home etc. NO lunchboxes are allowed in and children will be provided with a hot meal with a staggered lunchtime. There will be individual bottles of water available for children in class every day. 
  • A member of staff will be on duty to welcome the children and take any messages from parents. Markings will enable parents to stay 2m apart. 
  • Markings will either be on the playground or the entrance. You may need to bring your other children with you and this is ok provided you keep them close to you and 2 m apart from others. 
  • Handwashing on entry – on arrival children will wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Markings will be placed on the floor so if children are queuing for a sink remain 2 metres apart. 
  • Children will learn a handwashing song of 20 seconds with their class adult. 
  • Temperature checking – children will have their temperature checked regularly and state of health assessed. If a child has a raised temperature of 37.8 or above or displays any symptoms, parents will be contacted immediately to pick them up. Until the child leaves, they will be isolated in a designated area with a member of staff. The child will be brought to the parent at an agreed collection point
  • Keeping children 2m apart will be rigorously enforced – although there is a likelihood that there will be some infringement. If children are not able to behave well, the normal sanctions will be applied. 

What happens at the end of school time?

  • Before the children leave they will wash their hands.  Children will maintain social distancing whilst washing hands at the end of the school day.
  • Parents will collect their child at the school’s agreed collection points. The collection points will be communicated to individual parents when their child has been allocated a place. Communication will be via ParentMail, email or EPraise.
  • Parents/carers will collect their child at an agreed time. This will range from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. The guidance is that only ONE parent/carer should accompany children to school.
  • Parents will not be allowed into school buildings and are expected to be punctual when collecting their children. 
  • A member of staff will be on duty to release the children and take any messages. Floor markings will enable parents to stay 2m apart. 
  • Children will only be released when the parent/carer is there to collect.  
  • Children will not be released to an adult that is not on the agreed parent/carer list or to a person below the age of 18
  • Parents are expected to keep to the 2 metre distance at all times when collecting their child.  


When your child arrives home

  • When children arrive home they must immediately change their clothes.  Clothes must NOT be shaken. Clothes should be put directly into the washing machine to wash.  
  • Remove shoes when entering the house and leave them by the door. 
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm, running water.


What will the school day look like? 

Each group of 15, or fewer, will stay together all day. Their teacher and/or teaching assistant will stay with them throughout the day and supervise their breaks and lunchtimes. The only other people they should see at school will be a senior member of staff or a member of office or premises staff. They won’t mix or play with other children in other groups. This will help minimise the risk of spreading the infection.   


PSHE Activity

While the South West has witnessed a lower level of deaths overall, images on TV, isolation and possible family deaths elsewhere in the UK, will have had a significant impact on the wellbeing of some of our children. 

During the first week back we will allow children to reflect and talk about their experiences as research shows that schools are well-suited places to provide such support. 

Core Activity

There will be a daily focus on English and maths for all our children. 

Non-Core Activity

It is also particularly important that children at school have the opportunity to sing together, develop art skills, learn about the world and make school thoroughly enjoyable. 

Outdoor Activity 

Children will engage in outdoor activities for at least a quarter of the day. The lock down has prevented many from leaving their homes for any extended periods, or even at all. Exercise and sunlight all help to improve general wellbeing. Furthermore, outdoor education can limit transmission and more easily allow for distance between children and staff. Please apply 24 hour suncream before arrival at school; a hat and coat may also be necessary.

Lunch/Break: All sessions will be staggered so groups minimise contact with each other. Outdoor spaces will be allocated to groups so limited contact with others can be maintained. The DfE has also advised minimising items that are brought in from home, therefore all children will be given a hot meal free of charge to parents. Packed lunches or snacks are not allowed - a hot lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day. 

Keeping you informed

Our school office will be open to take calls only (you won’t be able to access the building). Please feel free to call. We will let you know by e-mail, EPraise, Class DoJo and ParentMail what is happening in school. 

School Hygiene 


Cleaners have been asked to come in to schools prior to 1st June to ensure all rooms are clean/sanitised

Lunchtimes: I x cleaner in First Schools and 2 x cleaners in middle schools will be on site to clean toilets. These cleaners will also clean/sanitise table tops, work surfaces, door handles etc. Lunchtimes will be staggered to enable this. To be organised on a rota basis

Education equipment/resources: if these require wiping down or cleaning during the course of the day this will be done by Nursery staff/TAs

Education equipment and resources will be cleaned at the end of the day

After school – rooms to be cleaned/sanitised by school cleaners

Ensure adequate supply of cleaning/sanitising products, gloves, hand sanitisers, anti- bacterial wipes etc

Consider signage / one-way systems where appropriate

All classrooms, offices and staffrooms will have hand gel dispensers fitted outside their entrance doors

If there is a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19targeted and specific high level cleaning/sanitising will be carried out across the school


Design common menu applied across the Trust – on the basis that it could be delivered by 50% of catering staff. 

Develop COVID-19 catering procedures document and ensure full understanding and implementation by catering staff

Revise catering risk assessments to take account of COVID-19 implications

Allow for staggered breaks and lunches to facilitate safe distancing – and keep catering staff informed of timings

Arrange for transport of meals to Nurseries (systems already in place for First Schools)