September – Back to school

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Dear Parents and Carers, 

I would like to start this letter by saying an enormous “THANK YOU” to all of you who have contacted the school or sent in messages of thanks and support over the last few months. This has been a situation like no other that we have ever had to face and myself and our staff have appreciated your support and kind words hugely! Thank you. 

As you may be aware, the Government have announced that they propose schools will be open to all children in September. My understanding is that there will be confirmation of this mid-August, once the next set of data is available. Coventry Local Authority will also confirm nearer to September whether the local picture supports opening. 

We are very much hoping that this is the case and are currently working through the Government and Local Authority guidance to ensure that our school is safe for our children, families, staff and wider community. 

 I would like to share our September re-opening plans with you today, with the hope that it will give you all time to consider the details and for any questions you may have to be responded to. This might seem a little bit daunting initially, but I hope that we can return to some form of routine which will help the children enormously both emotionally and academically. There will be some new rules and routines to get used to, but I am sure that the children will cope as they will be with known school adults where possible, and we will guide them gently and reassuringly. All of the new routines will be constantly reviewed and are subject to change as and when the guidance allows. 

Drop Off and Pick Up

Drop off

The school gate will be opened from 8.45 – 9.00. Please distance outside the gate if you are waiting. The children will go straight into their classrooms on arrival at school using the external classroom doors.

There will be a one-way system, with the entrance to the school being the playground gate. Parents will then be required to walk around the school to exit through the main entrance gate.

To keep that system flowing, we ask that parents do not try to speak to staff at this point. I know this goes against our usual open door practice and hopefully we will be able to get back to that once we have moved through this period. Should you wish to talk with a member of staff then we would ask you to contact the school by telephone and leave a message or ask for that member of staff to call back.

Pick up

Once again there will be a one-way system, with the entrance to the school being the playground gate. Parents will then be required to walk around the school to exit through the main entrance gate. Parents will not be able to exit through the playground gate.

Again, we will need to keep the system flowing and therefore ask that parents do not ask to speak to a member of staff at this point, but please ring the school to arrange a telephone call.

We will have staggered pick up times to ensure less congestion on the school site.

Reception class 3.05 Leave via Reception external door.

Year 2

Year 6

Leave via classroom external door

Leave via classroom external door


Year 5

Year 1

Leave via classroom external door

Leave via KS1 playground


Year 4

Year 3

Leave via classroom external door

Leave via KS1 playground

All entry and exit doors will be manned for the whole drop off and pick up time to enable families with more than one child to drop off  and pick up all concerned. Please pick up children in the order of the one-way system, e.g. for a family with children in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 4 – collect the Year 1 child first, then the Year 4 child and finally the Year 2 child as that is the order of the classrooms in the one-way system.

I realise this appears a little complicated but there will be staff to support and once we are in to the new routine I am sure it will flow nicely.

Parents On Site

Parents on site

We ask that parents follow the following guidance in order to maintain social distancing;

  • Only one parent for drop off and pick up per child please at any one time if at all possible
  • Please do not sit on or touch the playground furniture or use the gazebos
  • Parents will not be able to come into the school building without a prior appointment
  • Please stick to your allocated drop off/pick up times
  • Please keep to the one-way system to drop off and collect your child/children and keep the flow moving to avoid pinch points
  • Please stick to social distancing at all times.


I understand that the information laid out in this document may seem rigid and is not the usual Sowe Valley way of working, however the school has been tasked with not “contaminating bubbles”, and with keeping everyone safe. Once the guidance eases, we will be able to return to our normal ways, and we can’t wait!


Children will stay in their ‘class bubbles’ throughout the day. They will eat their lunches and spend playtimes with their year group so that the bubbles do not mix. Playtimes have been staggered In order to facilitate this.


Assemblies will continue but will take place online over Microsoft Teams as children will not be able to gather in large groups.

Hygiene Measures

Handwashing is still considered the main preventative measure, and children will be instructed to wash their hands regularly throughout the day. All areas used in school will be cleaned at the end of each day as usual, but we have also allocated additional cleaning at lunchtime and each class will have their own cleaning materials so that if surfaces or touch-points need cleaning during the day, there will be resources available to do so.  All rooms that will be used have windows to enable good ventilation, and will be kept open as much as possible. Classroom doors will be kept open as well to maintain good air circulation.  Staff have been provided with PPE equipment to be used only when needed (such as supporting with intimate care or for delivering First Aid). Staff may wear disposable aprons, gloves and a clear visor during First Aid treatments.

Breakfast Club and After School Clubs

All before and after school clubs have been cancelled until further notice. As children need to be kept within their assigned group or “bubble” whilst at school, these “bubbles” would be “burst” if the child then went into another “bubble” for an after school club.

We hope this situation will change quite soon, as we fully appreciate that this may be difficult for some of our working parents.


We are delighted that we will be able to start up school lunches once again. Sarah, our cook, will be serving these to each class individually. Most classes will eat their lunch in their classrooms. Reception and Year 1 will eat in the school hall, but the two year groups will be separated.

School Uniform

The advice is that we can return to school uniform now.  As part of our Recovery curriculum, our plan is that all children in Year 1 – Year 6 complete the daily mile so we ask that the shoes they wear are comfortable and that they are able to run in them. If the shoes are trainers then can we please ask that they are black.


Initially we will need to avoid the children changing for PE in school and therefore we would ask children to come to school in their winter season PE kit (joggers, sweatshirts, trainers) on allocated PE days. The children will be told when their allocated day is in September. The children will not need to attend in their PE kit during the first week.

Staying Away From School

Any member of the school community (pupils, staff and other adults) should not come into school if:

  • They have developed coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at home
  • They have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the previous 7 days
  • They are in a household with individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the previous 14 days.
  • They have been contacted through the NHS Test and Trace programme and been advised to stay at home.

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature whilst at school they will immediately be moved to the First Aid room and parents will be called to arrange for immediate collection. Children will be supervised from a 2m distance where possible whilst awaiting collection. However, where the 2m distancing guidance cannot be observed, then if a child needs further help and support, staff will wear PPE equipment.

When a child develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home and you will be advised to self-isolate them for 7 days. Their fellow household members should also self-isolate for 14 days. Any member of staff displaying symptoms in school or children that display symptoms should take a test as soon as possible. or phone 119.

 Test results should be reported to the school as soon as possible. Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and household members can end their self-isolation

Where a child of staff member tests positive, the rest of their group will be advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

Thank you for reading all of this information. It has been quite a challenge unpicking all of the guidance, adapting plans after updates have been released and trying to think of the different eventualities that could potentially occur. As a school, we are confident that our plan is the safest for all, and are looking forward to inviting children back to school so that they can get back to learning together, laughing and achieving together.

 Please keep an eye out on our website where there is a September – Back to School page. We will add any further information to this page should things change over the break. We have also added ‘Moving on’ booklets for the children who are moving into Year 1 – Year 6 to support them in preparing for September.

 Can I finish by saying that, although life is still going to be a little strange as we bring our lovely school through these uncertain times, our ethos remains the same as always. We will always put our children first – their safety and the safety of our families is paramount. These are just the first steps as we move out of a very challenging and uncertain time. Hopefully, as confidence increases and the country is seen to be recovering, we will be hopefully be able to return to normality. However, in the meantime, it will be absolutely fantastic to have the children back in school again and to take those first steps together.

 I hope you manage to have a lovely break and very much look forward to seeing you all on September 2nd.


Take care,

Carole Carter