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Arrangements for opening in September 2020


Back to School effective from Thursday 3rd September 2020 - Arrangements for the NEW ‘normal’


Welcome back to ALL classes

I hope that you and your family are well and thank you once again for your continued support over recent months during lockdown.  As you read this newsletter, with the changes and adjustments, please be assured that the safety of children, families and staff is our priority and is always at the forefront of our decisions.  The school’s leadership team, including governors, recognise the importance and the seriousness of our current situation, especially in continuing to ensure we try our best, within certain confinements, to ‘social distance’ to a degree.  At all times, we will continue to be guided by Government and Local Authority advice and our overriding focus will be on ensuring that school is as safe as we possibly can.  We will be ensuring that every child has the opportunity to receive a broad and balanced curriculum with new themes for the year, whilst catching up with missed learning.


At the beginning of July the Government announced that it is their plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. They have said in the Guidance for full opening:

“The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased, our NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and we are clear about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within schools.  Returning to school is vital for children’s education and their well-being…The balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school.  For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus.”


To ensure that we are fully prepared to welcome ALL children, we have had to alter the school day slightly to enable us to keep children in ‘bubbles’ as much as we can and to limit the traffic in the corridors. We can only do this safely with certain measures in place which poses lots of challenges for the school. As we try this out, there may be changes along the way and we must be flexible and adapt if need be. This newsletter is to be as transparent as possible with our community in our procedures during this period.


We ask that you read it carefully and discuss this with your children in a child friendly way so they understand what the expectations of them and their behaviour will be and to prepare them to come back to school.  These procedures will be in place until further notice.


Government essential measures include:

  • a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Track and Trace
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonable and practicable.


The Government ask us to consider the following points when trying to reduce contact:

  • group children together
  • avoid contact between groups
  • arrange classrooms with forward facing desks
  • staff to maintain distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible.


Points to note:

  • There is no longer the requirement that children should be 2m apart from each other.
  • Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception children) – Transition arrangements for this setting is available separately and distributed to the relevant parents and is on the school website.
  • Our staff may choose to wear some form of PPE.
  • The Government have stipulated school attendance will be MANDATORY again from the beginning of the Autumn term.    Therefore parents/carers may be fined if you choose not to bring your child to school. If you choose NOT TO send your child to school the school WILL NOT be able to support you. The usual school procedures apply.


Please do support the decisions that we make, even if they negatively affect your own arrangements. The logistics have been very difficult to pull together, taking various factors into consideration. Sincere gratitude, once again, for all your support and patience at this time.  Take care and continue to stay safe; this situation is far from over. 


Anna Cvijetic (Headteacher) and Governors at Berkeley Primary School