COVID-19 Information

Opening Decoy Community Primary School to All Children September 2020

Government guidance regarding schools’ opening in England in September 2020 was updated on Friday 28th August at 9pm.

You can read the full document here.

We have put together a plan that will allow us to do so from the start of term, Monday 7th September 2020. The plan is in place for the first few weeks of term, and we will make changes to our arrangements as things settle and if we receive updated guidance from the government.

To minimise the risk of transmission between children they will stay in their own class within the year group ‘bubble’. Teachers will stay with their class, and wherever possible other staff will work within a year-group bubble although at times staff will need to work across several year groups. We will keep records to make sure we know which staff have been in contact with which group of children, as it will not always be possible for there to be no contact between groups (for example if a class has a supply teacher or when their teacher is released for planning and preparation time).

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 Test and Trace
  • reducing contacts and maximising distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
  • grouping children together in ‘bubbles’
  • avoiding contact between ‘bubbles’
  • staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible
  • using PPE if we need to

We will respond to any infections by engaging with the NHS Track and Trace system and following the advice of the local health protection team.

How this will work…

Please make sure you go through the following arrangements with your child so that they know exactly what they should be doing.

Arriving at and Leaving School

We are encouraging as many families as possible to arrive on foot, please note scooters and bikes will not be allowed on site. The details about your child’s drop off and pick up times, and which gate they should use are described below. The classrooms will be open from the times stated below, and the children should make their way straight into class at those times. More information and a map will be sent to parents via ParentMail before the start of term.

Parents of children in our Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 will be able to come through the gates with their child/ren and there will be a clear one-way system showing where to come in and where to leave. Please be assured that staff will be on hand to help. Please do not come into the classroom with your child as adults other than staff will not be permitted inside the school building except by prior appointment.

Our Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 children will need to say goodbye to parents at the gate and come on site alone. Mrs Stables, SENDCo, will liaise with parents whose children may need a slightly different arrangement.

If your children have different start or finish times, please could you wait with them until it is time for them to come into school. Please avoid congregating with other adults as social distancing is key to avoiding transmission. Wherever possible we ask that only one parent/carer brings their child to school. If possible, please can we ask that you walk to school or park away from the school possibly using Decoy Park Car park; we will try to get more parking permits for families.

NB – for the first Monday (7th September), Tuesday (8th September) and Wednesday (9th September), all children will be going to their last year’s class with their previous class teacher. For these three days, please follow that class’ staggered start and end to the day information, alongside their entrance and exit points to the school site.

From Thursday 10th September onward, your child will go to their new class, with their new class teacher, following the new start and end to the school day timings and entrance/exit points to school. For example - A child who was in Woodpeckers last year (2019 – 2020) with Mrs Campbell will be in Woodpeckers on Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th September and will arrive at Decoy Primary for this year groups’ timings (8:40am start, 3:10pm finish - as highlighted below in yellow for those days). From Thursday 10th, the same child will move to their new class (Partridges with Mrs Hodgson and Mrs Lidbury) and follow the new class timings and points into and out of school: arriving at 8:50am and leaving at 3:20pm as highlighted in green below.

We need to make sure our timings help parents to socially distance and we will review the timings for the staggered start and end to the day towards the end of the second week.

Punctuality is crucial to allow staggered times to be effective. Please try to arrive as close to the stated time rather than earlier to ensure we do not have parents and children congregating outside the school site.

It is really important that families do not arrive too early to park near school and then sit and wait for their child’s drop off time. This will cause a lot of congestion. Please arrive as close to your child’s class times as possible and leave promptly after dropping your child/ren. Please remember that the Parking ‘D’ by the main gate is not a parking place but only for dropping off. Thank you for your help with this.

Class Start Finish Entrance Point Exit Point
Nursery 1 9:00 – 9:15am 3:30pm Nursery Gate Main Gate
Nursery 2 9:00 – 9:15am 3:30pm Nursery Gate Main Gate
Dragonflies 9:10am 3:40pm Staff Car Park Gate Main Gate
Ladybirds 9:10am 3:40pm Staff Car Park Gate Main Gate
Woodpeckers 8:40am 3:10pm BASC Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Wrens 8:40am 3:10pm BASC Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Chaffinches 8:50am 3:20pm BASC Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Partridges 8:50am 3:20pm BASC Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Puffins 8:30am 3:00pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Swans 8:30am 3:00pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Kingfishers 8:50am 3:20pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Mallards 8:50am 3:20pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Owls 8:40am 3:10pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Kestrels 8:40am 3:10pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Falcons 8:30am 3:00pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate
Eagles 8:30am 3:00pm Main Gate Staff Car Park Gate

Please remember that if children wear a facemask/covering on their way to and from school, they will not be able to bring it onto the school site.

Admin (office)

In line with government guidance, adults other than staff are not able to come into the school building without having made an appointment. Please may we ask that parents/carers post all forms, letters etc. in the letter box by the office entrance and telephone or email messages rather than popping on to the office.


Attendance from the start of the Autumn Term will be compulsory unless there are medical, or other exceptional reasons, for your child not to come to school. Please contact us directly if you think this is the case so that we can go through your individual circumstances with you.


We are planning for Breakfast and After School Club to be open during the Autumn Term. We are planning to open After School Club w/b 21st September 2020 and Breakfast Club will follow w/b 28th September 2020. We are finalising these plans now that we know that over 100 children would like to access this provision. We anticipate confirming arrangements during the first week of term.


Limited resources need to be taken between home and school. We will be providing all the stationery and a pencil case for each child, so please do not send in any additional equipment. They will need to bring to school the following: a water bottle; a lunchbox if they are having a packed lunch; outdoor clothing depending on the weather; and their reading book. This can be brought in a backpack but please keep the bags as small as possible! Please do not bring a book-bag as well.


The children will be learning in their own classroom. These will be pared back, with all unnecessary furniture removed. Our spaces will be reconfigured to reflect guidelines and tables arranged so that children are not sitting face to face. In many classrooms this will mean that the tables will all be facing forward. Windows will be kept open for maximum ventilation whenever possible whilst. The children will spend most of their day in their class with their own teacher although we will make as much use of outside space as possible. Where other adults work with a group we will keep a record of close contacts so that, in the event of an infection, we would know who would need to contact to tell them to self-isolate.


All classrooms will have their own cleaning kit. This will allow staff to regularly wipe and clean equipment, handles and frequently touched surfaces as appropriate. We have also arranged on-site enhanced cleaning throughout the day.

Classroom based resources such as books, games and equipment can be used and shared within the class bubble and these will be cleaned regularly.


Children have access to chrome books and/or iPad. These will be cleaned between use by classes before they are returned to the charging trolley.


We shall continue to send ParentMails with information to our families and we also have a COVID-19 page on our website. The DfE have also asked that we share the following links with our families with regards to children returning to school.

Contact details

It is even more important than usual that we have up to date contact details for you. If you have changed your email address or mobile number recently, please let us have the new ones. We must be able to contact a parent/carer at any time during the day should we need to.

First Aid

First aid will be administered by staff from your child’s year group. A First Aid kit will be available in each classroom together with the full range of PPE if needed.


Children will continue to wash hands regularly and at key points during the day with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. They may also use sanitiser.


All members of the school community need to engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. Anyone who displays symptoms needs to book a test. You can do that online: (

If you suspect your child is poorly do not send them to school. If a child or member of staff falls ill at school, we will phone for collection as usual or send the member of staff home. If Covid19 symptoms are present they will be isolated until collection. They should then arrange to have a test (as above).

Parents and staff must inform us immediately of the results of a test.

  • If someone tests negative they can stop self-isolating and return to school when they feel well enough. Other members of their household can also stop self-isolating.
  • If someone tests positive they should follow the ‘Stay at Home’ guidance for households and other members of their household should also self-isolate in line with the latest government guidance.


As we are reducing the number of items that go between home and school, we will be using Google classroom and Tapestry to set homework to avoid having homework books.


There will be time slots allocated for the use of the library, with a limit to the number of children in there at any one time. Once books are returned they will be quarantined for 48 hours before they are put back on the shelves (72 hours if in a plastic cover). The children will be reminded to clean their hands before and after visits to the library.


Lunch will be eaten in classrooms or the hall, a year group at a time. The hall will be cleaned between groups. The children will be allocated time to eat and to play, avoiding year groups mixing on the playground. There will be no contact sports, including football and basketball, but the children will be allowed to use the large apparatus (excepting the climbing wall). These will be cleaned between use by each group.

School meals can be ordered using the current system via ParentPay. In an exceptional circumstance, if a meal is not ordered in advance it can be ordered when the register is taken but please book using the ParentPay system whenever possible. Every family has been sent their sign-in for ParentPay so please check your Junk/Spam box if you have not seen this information.

Moving around the School

This will be limited inside as we will make most use of external doors and outside routes to reach most areas.

P.E. Kit

There is a change to previous arrangements for children wearing PE kit. We are asking children to come into school in their PE kit when they have PE. A timetable will be shared with families to help plan for this. Along with all other arrangements, this will be reviewed during the first few weeks of term.


Playtimes have been scheduled at different times, in different areas for each year group.


Staff and children will not be routinely wearing protective equipment unless they are dealing with a medical issue or for other agreed circumstances. We have had clear guidance about when and how this equipment should be used, which we will be following carefully. The children will not be allowed to wear masks, and their teachers will not wear them unless they choose do so if they work across several year groups.


Children will be reading in school daily and will be able to take books home. Every child from Reception – Year 6 will be given a reading record during the Autumn Term and we ask that you complete it every time you read/share a book at home.

Children will not be bringing books home on the first 3 days when they are with their previous teacher. Mrs Hughes, Literacy Subject Leader will also be sharing more information with parents about how you can support your child at home and as we cannot run our reading workshops for EYFS and KS1 parents we shall share links to workshop videos at a later date.


Because of the changes to lunch and break time the children may need to have additional snacks. Please send in healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetable sticks or savoury snacks e.g. extra sandwiches. Please do not send in chocolate biscuits or crisps. This will help with reducing litter and plastic waste by bringing snacks without wrappers.


Children will have their own stationery which will be kept in a name labelled pencil case provided by the school for every child. Younger children may share some stationery within a small group but these will be cleaned regularly.

Toilet use

Children will access the toilets as they need them. They will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. The numbers of children using the toilets at any one time will be kept to a minimum.


The children will need to wear their usual school uniform. Clothing they wear to school needs to be washed regularly.

We hope this information has been useful and we shall keep you regularly updated.