Wider Opening Update for Parents and Children

This post is now out of date, following the release of new guidance by the Government on Sunday 24th May. New guidance will be issued as soon as possible. (We will still be open – just a shift in arrangements)

Dear all,

Firstly a massive thank you to families with children in N, R, Y1 and Y6 for the speedy return of last week’s survey indicating your intention to send your child back to school after June 1st. It has helped enormously in the planning process which has been gathering pace this week.

Plans have changed quite substantially since I last wrote but are beginning to firm up now as we have our guidance from Devon County Council and from the Department for Education, and we also have a much clearer idea of numbers likely to be attending after June 1st.

At the present time, our Risk Assessment and Procedures Checklists are almost complete and I wanted to share major points from those two key documents with you as soon as possible as I know many of the “Maybe” replies to the survey requested more information.

All of this is subject to Governors and the Local Authority signing off our plans at the end of this week, and school will not be able to reopen to more year groups without that sign off, nor without the OK from the Government that their Tests have been met to allow a national re-opening.

Bubble Groups

Guidance has now been firmed up around the idea of maintaining “Bubble Groups” within the school once we open to the new year groups. Each bubble group will have a maximum of 15 children in, along with at least two members of staff. This means that whichever “Bubble” your child is in, they will do everything with that group – working, playing, eating and moving around the site. There will be no mixing with others from different Bubbles and staff attached to each bubble will be fixed as well.

We will have five bubble groups in the school from 1st June:

  1. Sunflowers Bubble– all children from Sunflowers whose parents have indicated a “Yes” or “Maybe” return have been allocated a space within the bubble. Admin staff will be in touch with you later in the week to check which sessions you need but all are available as the total number of returnees is less than 15. Sunflowers Bubble will be staffed by Mrs Phillips and Mrs Monk, with Mrs Fisher redeployed from the school kitchen to cover MTA duties in Preschool.
  2. Cranford Bubble– in a change to last week’s plans, numbers have worked out perfectly for Y1 children who were in Cranford Class to return to Cranford along with reception children. Cranford Bubble will be staffed by Mrs Oyarzabal, Mrs H Harding and Mrs Eavis.
  3. Burscott Bubble– Y1s who were in Burscott Class at the time of closing will return to Burscott Bubble. This will be staffed by Mrs Kersey and Mrs Nicholls. Mr Pharaoh and Mrs Van Santen will be Mealtime Assistants attached to Burscott Bubble.
  4. Ashmansworthy Bubble– In a change from last week’s information, numbers of Y6 children returning are sufficiently low that they will be able to return to their former classroom, which I know will please them hugely. Ashmansworthy Bubble will be staffed by Miss Butler and Mrs Appleton. Mrs C Harding will be the MTA attached to Ashmansworthy Bubble.
  5. Kennerland Bubble– Kennerland Bubble will move down to the main school at the end of the week and will operate from Alminstone and Stroxworthy Classrooms. This will be staffed by Mrs Farmer, Mr Davies/Mrs Dobson and Mrs Newell. This will give us capacity to grow Kennerland into two bubbles if Keyworker demand grows as people return to work.

Site Access

Cranford and Burscott bubbles will access the site from the bottom playground gate.

AshmansworthySunflowers and Kennerland bubbles will access the site from the normal entrance in Old Market Drive.

In order to comply with DfE guidelines, parents will not be admitted onto the site and handover will take place at the school gates. This will be a massive change for us as we have always welcomed parents on to the site whenever possible, but the DfE are very determined on this point. It is very important that whilst you are waiting for drop off that you maintain a 2m social distance and signs have been put up to help you with this. Only one parent from each family is permitted to drop off/pick up to reduce crowding at the entrance points. Year 6 children should travel to and from school unaccompanied. Your children will be handed over to staff they are familiar with but please prepare them for this change in handover, particularly for the younger children, for whom it may feel very strange.

Routes into School

From the playground, Burscott Bubble will enter the school via the front entrance (by the office), go through the hall to their room. Burscott cloakroom has been moved into their classroom to enable this. Cranford Bubble will enter through the white playground door as normal.

From the Old Market Drive entrance, Ashmansworthy Bubble will turn right and go past the bike shed and across the bottom of the field to enter their classroom.

Sunflowers Bubble will use the normal path to Sunflowers.

Kennerland Bubble -who will have arrived earlier in the day- will also turn left to go down to the school and will enter the building through the back door next to Alminstone Classroom.

Drop Off and Pick Up Times

We are obliged to stagger drop off and pick up times to avoid crowding at school entrances. Please read this information very carefully!

Sunflowers Bubble – Drop Off: 8:45 – 9:05am; Pick Up 2:50 – 3:05pm (although we will be able to accommodate half day sessions when we contact you to confirm bookings)

Cranford Bubble – Drop Off: 8:45 – 9:05am; Pick Up 2:50 – 3:05pm

Burscott Bubble – Drop Off: 9:05 – 9:20am; Pick Up 3:05 – 3:25pm

Ashmansworthy Bubble – Drop Off: 9:05 – 9:20am; Pick Up 3:05 – 3:25pm 

Kennerland Bubble – Drop Off: 8:30am – 8:45am; Pick Up – 3:45 – 4:00pm no part-day attendance will be allowed for this group, in line with the rest of the school.

We are also obliged to continue to give teachers their planning preparation and assessment time. however, under the Bubble arrangement we cannot use other staff to achieve this. in common with most other schools, therefore, we have decided to close the school at lunchtime on Fridays. Pick Up times on Fridays will therefore be:

Sunflowers Bubble – 11:45am

Cranford Bubble – 12:45pm

Burscott Bubble – 1:15pm

Ashmansworthy Bubble – 1:15pm

Kennerland Bubble – 12:45pm

Play Areas

Both Cranford and Sunflowers Bubbles will use their own outdoor play areas.

Burscott Bubble will use the school playground at different times to Kennerland Bubble

Ashmansworthy Bubble will use the Car Park as a playground.

Kennerland Bubble will use the school playground at different times to Burscott Bubble

If the weather allows, the school field will also be used, but this will be strictly zoned so that different Bubbles don’t come into contact with each other.

Other things

All children attending the school must bring a named drink bottle. School will not be able to supply drinking cups for any children, even at lunchtimes, so this is extremely important. I cannot stress enough that for your child’s safety, their bottle must be clearly named.

School Appearance: Please prepare your child for the fact that the school will look very different from when they last saw it. All non essential furniture has been removed and is being stored in the Hall under cover or in the former Burscott/Stroxworthy cloakroom. Displays, window sills and storage units have been cleared. the library has been reconfigured to provide a new working space in case demand increases in the future. This has left the school looking quite empty, but please explain to them that this is to make cleaning easier and to keep them safe. School will also feel very different with around a third of our usual numbers and children restricted to their Bubble Group but staff will do everything they possibly can to make the transition to these new arrangements as easy as possible. We will post photos of the school to help you familiarise your child, but this will be during half term week when all classrooms are ready.

Kennerland Club will become more formal after Half Term and will be essentially another school classroom, following normal school expectations of work. Kennerland Club children should also wear school uniform again after half term, in common with the other children on site.

PE Kits should not be brought to school. Children will do PE in their uniforms and all PE activities will be no-contact.

Lunches will be provided by the school or your child can bring a named packed lunch. Booking for lunch will be via Tucasi only as parents will not be allowed on to the site to post slips, nor will children be allowed to the office to deliver them. Lunch will be eaten in their Bubble Group classroom with their Bubble Mealtime Assistant. Sunflowers Bubble children are all requested to bring a packed lunch as we will not be making school lunches available to Preschool.

Possessions: Children should bring as few possessions with them as possible. In line with DfE guidance, use of own pencil case equipment will not be allowed and must be left at home. We will not be sending reading books home. If the sun continues to shine, it is important that your child brings their own named sunscreen in as we will not be able to apply a centrally held lotion to your child.

Hand Sanitiser will be used as everyone arrives on to the site, and throughout the day. Handwashing will be frequent and all classrooms have been supplied with a closing-lid bin for used tissues.

Contact We have increased the number of phones for you to reach us on as we’re aware that not coming on to site may be difficult. In addition to 01237 431307, you can call

  • 07936 302435
  • 07849 173885

and speak to the Office staff.


Teachers will be planning a bridging curriculum to take your child through the seven weeks up to the end of this extraordinary school year. However, the emphasis will be on teaching and learning and trying to close some of the gaps which will have emerged since lockdown began. We will do as much outside as possible in order to further reduce risk but this will be predominantly learning based.

Teachers will also link up with class members who aren’t attending school in weekly assemblies via Google Meet. Staff who are having to work away from home will also keep in close contact with children who are also at home. Teachers will continue to set remote learning for all children but the nature of it will change as they will now clearly be teaching full time once again.

Thank you.

I know this is an awful lot to take on board at the moment. The arrangements are complex and many. However, by carrying out these measures we can ensure that opening school to a wider number of children will be as safe as it possibly can be. If parents who replied “Maybe” could now return to the Survey and update their answer to either Yes or No, it would greatly assist teachers with planning for next month. (I have now removed the Maybe option) The link to the Survey is here: https://forms.gle/JHZLg4vdesBC1g9S7

As always, I am so pleased to be associated with this remarkable school community and am very proud to know you all. If there is anything you need to ask, or anything we can do to support you please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


With best wishes


Matt Cole, Headteacher


2 responses on Wider Opening Update for Parents and Children

  1. Many Thanks to all involved. What a difficult task you have. My child will not be attending in the near future but you are doing an excellent job.

  2. Hi Mr Cole, although Molly won’t be returning to school at the moment, I just wanted to say what an amazing job you are all doing at a very challenging time. I’m so grateful for all the support we have had with school work at home. We are so proud to be part of such a wonderful school.
    Ruth Knowler (Molly Burts mum)

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