March 2021 – What you need to know

Below is a range of information that will help you to get a better understanding of what a return to school will look like in March 2021 for children and will outline the measures we are putting in place to ensure the safety and well being of pupils, staff and our whole school community.

Dates for Pupils Returning

School will re-open for all pupils on Monday 8th March 2021.

Daily Times and Entry / Exit from School

Pupils in all year groups will to return to school full time and we will have staggered times in operation to enable a safe arrival and departure for all children. The school day will be slightly different than normal with timings as follows:

Year group Start Time Lunch Finish
Nursery am 08:30 n/a 11:30
Nursery pm 12:15 n/a 15:15
Reception 08:45 11:30 – 12:15 14:45
Year 1 08:50 12:00 – 12:45 15:00
Year 2 08:50 12:15 – 13:00 15:00

Breakfast club will open at 08:30 for all pupils should they wish to attend. In order to ensure our breakfast club can continue to run effectively we will be asking for a ‘silver donation’ each day for your child to attend.

If your child is not able to attend school on a specific day please ring school and leave a message on the answer phone before the start of the school day, as you would with a usual absence. Our normal absence policy will apply.

Children will enter and exit school via the main school gate. All children and parents must remain outside of the school site until your allocated time slot.  You must maintain social distancing whilst waiting for your child to enter and exit school, paying close attention to the markings placed on the path for this purpose. This will be the same at the end of the day, with staff bringing each group of children to the main school entrance to hand children over to parents.

We ask that only one parent drops off / picks up your child to minimise the number of adults around the outside of school. I must stress the importance of collecting children promptly at the end of the school day and making sure you are keeping to your allotted time of arrival.  All adults on the school premises are requested to wear a face covering unless exempt to do so. Drop off and collection of our children has been specifically planned in line with our risk assessments and will broadly follow usual school opening times. Please also bear in mind our school is close to houses where residents are concerned and have asked us to remind parents about social distancing.

If you have children in more than one group then please bring both children at the later time e.g. x1 child in Reception and x1 child in Year 2 – both children start at 08:50. Similarly, at the end of the school day you must collect all children at the earlier time e.g. x1 child in Reception and x1 child in Year 2 – both children collected at 14:45.

Finally, most pupils will either walk or travel to school by car. However, if you do have to use public transport to travel to school, we kindly request that you observe social distancing as best you can when on public transport, wear a face covering as is mandatory on all public transport and if possible, use hand sanitiser/gel on completion of your journey. All children must sanitise/ wash their hands on entry to the building.

Uniform and Equipment

Children will need to wear full school uniform each day. Where possible, PE sessions will take place outdoors and so children should wear their PE kit to school that day. Please look out for class specific PE days and equipment needed.

Guidance recommends that both staff and children attend school in clean, freshly washed clothes each day to prevent the risk of COVID 19 transmission and we encourage you to ensure your child comes to school in a clean uniform each day.  If we think your child’s clothes are not clean we may not allow them on the premises.

The majority of resources and equipment will be provided by school. However, children should bring the following:

  • x1 coat (as always our weather is unpredictable
  • x1 book bag (this will be cleaned by staff in school)

Children will not be allowed to bring in their own pencil cases, stationary etc.

Key Stage 1 break times and lunch will take place on the main yard / school field where children will be positively encouraged to maintain a social distance from all other children unless they are a sibling. EYFS pupils will take their break on the EYFS yard.


School dinners will return to normal. The winter menu choices will remain in place until further notice. If you have not returned this or have misplaced it please let the office know asap. Pupils will sit lunch with their class only. They will collect their lunch and eat in the main school hall with their class at staggered intervals. You can choose to send your child with a packed lunch if you want to – this will be cleaned on entry to the school building.

Hand Hygiene

All children will be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly at given points throughout the day: on entry to school, before and after using iPads, before and after break and lunch times, before eating, after toileting and before leaving school for the day. Pupils should not bring their own hand sanitiser from home.

First Aid / Illness

The government guidelines do not require school staff to wear PPE as a matter of course, however staff have been given the choice to wear whatever level of PPE they are comfortable with for them to successfully carry out their duties in school. In circumstances where a child requires First Aid, is unwell or appears to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will wear gloves, aprons, face masks and visors as appropriate to protect themselves and your child when social distancing is not an option. If your child has an accident, becomes ill or requires First Aid you may be called to take your child home.

We ask that your child does not come to school if they are ill or if they or anyone in your house is displaying symptoms of COVID 19.  The symptoms of COVID 19 are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

If your child becomes unwell at school, with suspected COVID symptoms your child will be isolated in the main school hall and you will be asked to take them home, adhere to government self-solation guidance and seek a test to ascertain a diagnosis.

If we receive notice of a confirmed case of COVID 19 the school may need to close, at short notice for deep cleaning and staff and families may be asked to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation.

All staff will be wearing face coverings in communal areas of the school building e.g. corridors, staff room, main office.

Preparing for Return

For those children returning to school it will be useful for parents to help them to understand that school may look different at the moment with markers demarking walkways. It is very important that children understand social distancing rules before and after school. Please practise washing hands effectively and reminding children about not touching their face, biting nails etc before they return. We will of course sensitively remind children of these throughout the day.

Contacting School

Unfortunately, parents will not be allowed on the school site. If you need to contact school please phone or email. Our main office entrance area will have a strict 1 person only rule. This is clearly signposted as you approach the main entrance.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information and we appreciate your support in putting the points mentioned into practice in the weeks ahead. We understand that a return to school may seem very daunting as we continue to live through highly unusual times. Our main aim is to ensure all children, staff and families are kept as safe and at as little risk as possible. We have put extensive measures in place to minimise the risk, but, as you will be aware, we cannot fully eradicate it.

This will not be Horndale School as we know it, but we will endeavour to make it as pleasant as possible for all our returning pupils. Should you have any questions or queries about children returning to school, please do not hesitate to email me at

To further reassure parents / carers of the measures we have put into place, please find below a pdf copy of our school specific risk assessment that has been agreed by both staff and our Governing Body. Please also look at the pupils page to see photo’s and videos of what the school and classroom will look like.

School COVID 19 Risk Assessment

Return to School – 8th March 2021

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