COVID-19 Information

Phased Reopening of Decoy Community Primary School

Outdoor junk band

An A-Z of our Provision

Since schools closed from 23rd March, we have continued to provide childcare for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who were unable to care for their children safely at home due to work commitments. Now that government restrictions are being lifted and having completing a comprehensive risk assessment that has been approved by the governing Body and submitted to the Local Authority. We have finalised our planning and preparation and staff are looking forward to welcoming more children back to school.

The following information will explain how we have put in measures to keep our school community safe. We will be using the model where children belong to a ‘pod’. Government guidance makes it clear that the expectation is for primary aged pods to be no bigger than 15 children and that staff members should, where possible only work with one pod. Children stay in their pod and do not mix with children in other pods. For Nursery children, groups should be no bigger than 16 children and preferably children will be in smaller groups within that.

Support for children with additional needs will be discussed and agreed with their parent/carer and Mrs Stables/Class Teacher.

How this will work

Arriving at and Leaving School

Children will need to be dropped off and picked up by only one adult. The details about your child’s start and end times and which entrance they should use are described below.

POD Start Finish Entrance
A 9:30am 3:00pm Nursery Gate (queuing around parking bay)
1 9:00am 3:15pm Reception Playground Gate (queuing down Deer Park Road)
2 9:00am 3:15pm Nursery Gate (queuing around parking bay)
3 8:55am 3:25pm Main Office (queuing around flower bed)
4 8:50am 3:20pm BASC Gate in car park (queuing along car park)
5 9:00am 3:30pm Car Park Gate (queuing along car park)
6 9:10am 3:40pm Main Gate (queuing down Deer Park Road)
7 9:00am 3:30pm BASC Gate (queuing along car park)
8 8:50am 3:20pm Main Gate (queuing down Deer Park Road)
9 8:50am 3:20pm Main Gate (Queuing around the parking bay)
10 9:10am 3:40pm BASC Gate in car park (queuing along car park)
11 8:50am 3:20pm Car Park Gate (queuing along car park)

Children using computers

We will use these staggered times to reduce the amount of people in and around the school at the start and end of the day. We strongly encourage a one-way system for walking up the slip road to the school car park with everyone walking on the left both to and from school. We have put up signage as a reminder to keep 2 metres apart.

The car park will also have a one-way system which will be clearly marked. We ask that children/parents enter through the wider gate on the left as you arrive and exit through the pedestrian gate on the left as you leave.

For the first few days after each new group of children join us, please be aware that the routine may take a little longer than we hope it does in the future as it will be new to staff, parents and children alike.

Please say goodbye to your child outside the designated gate and please help us all to stay safe by maintaining social distancing with other adults who will be dropping off their child. Similarly, we ask that as soon as you are ready to leave the school car park or leave the area outside the main gate, we ask you to do so as quickly as possible to avoid overcrowding.

At the end of the day, you will need to collect your child from the same designated gates. If you have several children in different year groups, you can bring them all in to the designated gate at the latest pod start time for your children. For example, if you have a child starting at 8.45am entering school through the main office and another child starting at 9.15am entering school through the main gate, you can bring both children in at 9.15am through the main gate to help avoid any difficulty for parents. In the same way, to save parents waiting around outside school at the end of the day you can collect your children together at the earliest pick up time from the designated gate. However, if you are able to keep to the start and end times for each pod, this will, from the school’s point of view, be much easier to manage.

In keeping with government guidance, adults other than staff will not be permitted inside the school site except by prior appointment.

As previously stated, parents/carers and children should not congregate outside of school and should walk to and from school in family units only. NB: Parent punctuality is crucial to allow staggered times to be effective.


Attendance is not compulsory. We will respect your wishes and you will not be fined or receive any letters from the Educational Welfare Officer if you decide that you do not want your child to come into school.

Children doing science outside


Unfortunately, as already shared in previous communication with parents, we are unable to run our BASC provision at this time and whilst this will be under review, we do not foresee a change to this decision before the end of the Summer Term.


No belongings/resources can go between home and school. Please do not send in your child’s bookbag or any other equipment except for a water bottle and a lunchbox. The school will provide children with their own writing and drawing equipment which will not be shared with any other child in their pod or any other pod. Any sensory equipment/toys for pupils with SEND must remain in school and be part of a SEND support plan as agreed by Mrs Stables.


Each pod will be allocated their own classroom. These will be pared back, with soft furnishings and items unable to be easily cleaned daily being removed. Our spaces will be reconfigured to reflect guidelines on maintaining spaces between seats and desks where possible. Windows and doors will be kept open for maximum ventilation at all times throughout the school day wherever possible.


Each Pod will have a cleaning kit which will allow staff to regularly wipe and clean equipment, handles and frequently touched surfaces as appropriate. We also have a new whole school cleaning regime following government guidance. We also have a ‘roaming cleaner’ who is on site during the day to clean toilets, wipe down door handles, hand rails, work surfaces and empty bins etc. All tissues are put into a pedal bin in each room which is emptied during the day and is separate to the classroom’s general waste bin.

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 as a matter of urgency. We MUST be able to contact you in case your child becomes unwell.

Crossing Patrol

Linda Lolly is still providing the school crossing patrol service.

First Aid

Whenever possible, first aid will be administered by staff from your child’s pod. A First Aid kit will be available in each pod 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 antibacterial hand gel. You can send in your own sanitiser for them to keep if you would prefer but please remind them that they cannot share this with anyone else. We ensure that children wash their hands when they arrive and after each activity and use songs and posters to engage the children and help them to understand how important this is. The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found at: []

Children doing English


If you suspect your child is poorly, do not send them to school. If a child falls ill regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19, we will phone you immediately so that you can collect your child. If Covid19 symptoms are present, children will be isolated in our Puffins classroom with a member of staff until collection and we will follow these steps based on the latest Government guidance for a suspected or confirmed cases within schools.

If a child or staff member becomes symptomatic (new continuous cough, fever or loss or change in taste or smell) then they will isolate away from others until they can go home. If staff need to be within 2m of the child, but without physical contact then they should wear a mask. If staff need to be within 2m of the child and there will be physical contact then staff should wear PPE (apron, gloves and mask). The child will need to self-isolate at home for 7 days after the onset of symptoms and book a test. The household of the child or staff member will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the same date. The child or staff member’s bubble does not need to self-isolate. The school should notify the local Health Protection Team at PHE.

If a child or staff member tests positive for Coronavirus then they will need to self-isolate at home for 7 days after the onset of symptoms or if asymptomatic, for 7 days after the test. The household of the child or staff member will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the same date. The child or staff member’s bubble will also need to self-isolate for 14 days from the same date. The school should notify the local Health Protection Team at PHE who will carry out the contact tracing and provide advice and support

Learning at Home

Children not attending school will continue to receive weekly learning tasks in a similar format to that which we have been using.

Learning at School

Children will be following the curriculum in school regardless of whether they are in mixed age pods of single aged pods. Further to advice recently received from the Devon Early Years Adviser, it is clear that nursery children cannot be expected to socially distance and that activities and learning in groups will often reflect this. Children have been provided with their own equipment and have their own playdough and water trays for example. We are now reviewing our provision, as EYFS children working alone at a table or desk is counter-productive to the Early Learning Goals and the children’s social and emotional development. Further to additional risk assessments that we are currently undertaking we anticipate moving towards a provision where the children work together in small groups, share equipment that is washed regularly and collaborate together on some tasks.

Learning Outside – when in school

We have identified specific areas within the school grounds for each pod to use. These will be rotated regularly and staff are planning to maximise the use of outside space at every opportunity.


Lunch will be eaten in pods in classrooms or outside in designated areas if possible. Pods will have outside play during the lunch period in the same manner as break time, using various sectioned-off zoned areas of the school site.

Moving around the School

This will be limited inside our buildings as we will make most use of outside routes to reach other areas. Sign posts will be placed around the school to remind staff and pupils of this.


Pods that are based in our classrooms are limited in size to the number of children who can socially distance by 2m. However, younger and primary aged children are not expected to maintain this distance at all times although we have put in measures to make this possible as much as possible. Our pods range between 9 – 12 children.


Milk will not be provided for Nursery or our Reception children. Please remember to send your child to school with a full water bottle and send in a healthy snack for break time if you would like them to have one.

Staying sun safe

Please apply all-day sun cream to your child/ren before they come into school when the forecast is for sunny weather, older children can also keep their own bottle in school but cannot take it in and out of school. We are anticipating spending time outside every day and some of this will not be in a shaded area. We cannot apply sun cream to children during the day and children cannot share with their friends. Please also remember sunhats and if the weather changes – a waterproof coat!

Toilet Use

Children will access the toilets as pods at appropriate times of the day. For use between these times, we will ensure that only one child visits the toilet at any particular time; this will avoid children from other pods meeting together. We have also hired additional toilets for pods to use which will be located outside of their classrooms. Toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.


Children can bring one water bottle into school and take it home at the end of the day. Please remember that the drinking fountains will not be available but we will be able to refill water bottles on site.


There will be an added emphasis on well-being when we return to school. Staff are planning a range of activities to provide a well thought out programme to support the children’s mental health throughout this half-term.

We hope that this information reassures you that every step has been taken to keep all of the children and staff safe during a phased reopening. Thank you for your patience whilst waiting for this information; we look forward to seeing your child soon.