Home Page

Back to school: September 2020

 Woodlands Primary School Formby

Working together, achieving more

Returning to school protocol & procedures summary

September 2020


In line with the Department for Education’s instruction, it is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to Woodlands Primary School full-time from the beginning of the autumn term - Thursday 3 September 2020 [Staff INSET Wednesday 2 September].


While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the plan, there will inevitably need to be alterations and changes to the operation and logistics of the plan over time.




School uniform should be worn as normal from when the children return to school on Thursday 3 September 2020.




The DfE guidance on attendance (from September 2020) reads as follows:


“Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.


School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term.”


Attendance at school from 1 September 2020 is now compulsory. The government guidance states that a fine of £60 is to be imposed for each child that fails to attend unless due to illness. Children cannot shield unless they can present a letter from their medical team to school advising that they would be safer to continue their education at home remotely after the 1 September.


Measures for arriving at and leaving school


From September will introduce a ‘fluid drop-off’ system at the start of each day. Children in in reception to Year 6 can be dropped off at their classroom entrance between 8.40am & 8.55am. Hopefully, this will reduce crowding around in the playgrounds & classroom entrances – children will walk straight in & parents/children will not have to wait for the whistle to be blown.


The end time of school will vary for each phase bubble:


Reception [Red & Blue classes]: 3.00pm

Year 1 & Year 2 [Green, Purple & Yellow classes]: 3.00pm

Year 3 & Year 4 [3A, 3/4M & 4G]: 3.10pm

Year 5 & Year 6 [5D, 5/6P & 6R]: 3.20pm



Woodlands Nursery class will continue to have fixed drop-off & pick-up times:


Nursery am: 9.05am 11.30am

Nursery pm: 12.30pm 2.50pm


A fluid drop-off & a staggered pick-up will ensure that the adults and children on site can distance appropriately and it will reduce the risk of children coming in to contact with children from other bubbles. It is acknowledged that this will be difficult for some families of multiple children.


Parents/children are to be encouraged to walk to school where possible and only one parent will be permitted on the school grounds. If children cycle or scooter to school, then they are to use the storage area to lock their bike/scooter securely at the back of the infant hall.


Adults from the appropriate phase will be on hand to support children as they arrive at school. This way we will continue to reduce footfall of adults on site. Parents mustn’t congregate at the ‘drop-off’ point, they must instead arrive between 8.40am & 8.55am and then depart.


At pick-up time parents must not arrive early or late. They must collect their children on time so that teachers can release children safely. The playground will be open to parents to briefly wait in before their children are released to them. Whilst parents are waiting, social distancing must be adhered to.


At pick-up, teachers will not be available to speak to parents unless teachers initiate the contact. Teachers must commit their time to ensuring that all children safely leave their care. Parents can contact teachers through the school office [01704 87644 /] to arrange a telephone consultation.


The school office should not be accessed by parents unless through prior arrangement via a call or email. The office will not be open for parents to drop-in to. The DfE guidance states that coming into the site without an appointment is not allowed. However, parents can obviously still call and receive support over the phone or via email [01704 87644 /].


Any home-made non-disposable face coverings that staff or children are wearing when they arrive at school must be removed by the wearer & placed into a plastic bag that the wearer has brought with them in order to take it home. Disposable face-coverings must be placed in a lidded bin. The wearer must clean their hands.


Lunch times

Children will eat lunch as usual (either packed lunch brought in from home or a meal prepared by our kitchen staff). Both the infant & junior halls will be used to ensure phase bubbles do not mix.

  • Reception [Red & Blue classes]: 11:30am – 12:20pm [infant hall]
  • Year 1 & Year 2 [Green, Purple & Yellow classes]: 12.15pm 13.05pm [infant hall]
  • Year 3 & Year 4 [3A, 3/4M & 4G]: 11.45am 12.35pm [junior hall]
  • Year 5 & Year 6 [5D, 5/6P & 6R]: 12.15pm 13.15pm [junior hall]

 Hand hygiene


Adults and children are to wash / sanitise their hands on the following occasions:


  • entry to school;
  • before/after break times;
  • before lunch;
  • when they change rooms;
  • before leaving school;
  • anytime that they visit the toilet or cough/sneeze in to their hands.

Hand sanitisers pumps have been purchased and are stationed at appropriate points in school, e.g. at classroom entrances, the reception desk for visitors and staff upon arrival.
Staff will instruct children on how to wash their hands, not physically wash their hands for them.
Children may also use moisturiser supplied from home when required.
If a child cannot appropriately wash their hands, then skin friendly skin cleaning wipes can be used as an alternative. Where required, staff are to request these packs from the office.
Hand hygiene protocols are to be re-visited at the start of the academic year when the children will receive reminders about the expectations of practices and protocols in school. They will be established as part of our culture and behaviour expectations.

Respiratory hygiene

Tissues available for each class group / bubble.
On their return to school, children will be reminded of the posters around school that encourage them to ‘catch it, bin it and kill it’. Children will be reminded that if tissues are regularly disposed of throughout the day, they should be thrown in to the lidded bins in each classroom using the foot-pedal to open the bin and their hands must be cleaned afterwards [use of pedal bins to reduce contact & to be used ONLY for tissues – ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ – this waste will be kept SEPARATE to other classroom waste. Pedal bin tissue waste to be bagged before disposal].
Where pupils struggle to maintain as good respiratory hygiene as their peers (spitting etc.) they will need an individual risk assessment to ensure measures can be put in place to reduce the risks. This is not a reason to deny these pupils face-to-face education.

Grouping the Children
The DfE guidance on grouping children (from September 2020) reads as follows:
“In this guidance for the autumn term, maintaining consistent groups remains important, but given the decrease in the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resumption of the full range of curriculum subjects, schools may need to change the emphasis on bubbles within their system of controls and increase the size of these groups.”
In order for Woodlands to offer a curriculum that is best-placed to support ‘catch-up’, our bubbles will need to be in phases, i.e. year groups working as nursery, reception, reception [Red & Blue classes], Year 1/2 [Green, Purple & Yellow classes], Year 3/4 [3A, 3/4M & 4G] and ear 5/6 [5D, 5/6P & 6R]. The reasons for this include:

  • All children will be able to be considered for catch-up interventions now teaching interventions can work across phases. There would not be enough staff to support class bubbles.
  • Our curriculum structure is based on mixed-year groups & the sharing of resources & equipment to facilitate this. There would not be enough resources to support a broad curriculum if we used individual class bubbles.
  • Our children move across their phases at various points during the school day, e.g. phonics in reception & KS1 and maths in KS2.
  • Staggered exit times & break/lunch times can be managed more effectively in phase bubbles rather than having 12 individual finish times. This measure would reduce this to 4 finish times.

Within the government guidance, it recognises that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group. This has implications for NHS Test and Trace should there be the need to contact parents of children as a result of a positive case. The guidance also advises that siblings may be in different groups and encourages schools to use measures as best they can as it will still reduce the network of possible direct transmission.
All teachers and other staff can operate across different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the curriculum, however now that we are in phase bubbles, the necessity for this to happen is very unlikely.
 Measures within the classroom
Adults are to encourage children to maintain a distance between one another whilst inside and reduce the amount of time that they are in face-to-face contact with one another. Where circumstances allow, adults are to try to distance from children and one another.
Children with additional needs should receive as much support as normal but adults are to be extra vigilant and mindful of their face-to-face time with the children and reduce this where possible.
Classrooms need to be adapted to support distancing where possible. If desks are used [Y1 – Y6], they should face the front and children should sit side-by-side, not facing one another nor side on. Classrooms will be prepared as such ready for September.
There will be no whole-school events where children and adults are required to congregate. Assemblies will be limited to phase assemblies. Children will be required to distance during these assemblies rather than lining in tight rows. Children are not to sing during assembly.
Pupil Expectations

Pupils must only attend school if they or a member of their household do not have COVID-19 related symptoms.
When attending school, pupils must adhere to the behaviour policy and follow the rules and expectations outlined below. This will help to maintain the health and wellbeing of everyone in our school and wider community:

  • Pupils to arrive at school and leave to go home at the designated time. Do not congregate in school at the end of the day.
  • Pupils to wear their uniform to school from 1st September.
  • Pupils to use a sanitiser to disinfect hands on entering and leaving school and wash hands with soap and water when entering and leaving classrooms, eating and going to the toilet and at any other time staff feel it is necessary throughout the day.
  • Pupils to always avoid physical contact. No hugs, shaking hands etc.
  • In the classroom, pupils sit in the same place at all times. Do not move the table or chair.
  • Pupils to maintain a safe distance from others between and during lessons.
  • At break and lunchtimes, pupils to go outside (if the weather is good) or remain in the classroom (if the weather is poor). Maintain a safe distance from others at break times and lunchtimes.
  • Pupils not to share belongings (stationery, food etc.) with others.
  • Pupils to only bring the minimum required with them into school, e.g. packed lunch and water bottle (clearly labelled).
  • Pupils to use the toilet designated for their bubble.
  • If children require prescription medicine for an illness/allergy (that is not COVID related), this must be agreed in advance with the main office.

School’s Out [wraparound care]

From Thursday 3rd September 2020 ‘School’s Out’ wraparound care will resume both before and after school. However, if your child attends they may not be in the same bubble they have been in during the school day. They will be in an additional after school care bubble. This will mean that the same rules apply if someone tests positive in that the wraparound care bubble will close for 14 days. Parents must book sessions for School’s Out as normal on 01704 832888.
Temporary school closure
If we have 2 or more positive cases of COVID 19 within 14 days Public Health England will be consulted and we may have to temporarily close the school. If we do it will be closed to all staff and pupils without exception.
Local lockdown

If we have to go into a local area lockdown it may be that key worker and priority children may still be allowed to attend, we will be advised from the Local Authority at that time.
Remote learning

If we are locked down or your child’s bubble is isolating remote learning will come into effect immediately. It is vital that all parents communicate via the phase email addresses so that we can support you. The government expects all pupils whilst at home to engage fully in remote learning and this will be monitored daily. It is important that you let your child’s teacher know straight away of any difficulties you are having or possible barriers to learning so that we can support you in the best way.
A copy of the full document ‘Returning to school protocol & procedure: September 2020 can be viewed via a link below: