Back to School in Barnet

Helping children back to school

It’s been a challenging year for children and young people which is why it’s so important that we so what we can to help support their mental health and wellbeing as they return to the classroom on 8 March.

We have a wide range of useful resources for parents, carers, teachers, children and young people on our Back to School page. Some of these include links to the latest government guidance, tips on how to get back into a routine, important information on potential changes to the school setting and advice on dealing with anxiety:

Also, Barnet Integrated Clinical Services (BICS) have organised a series of FREE wellbeing workshops for children, young people, parents and carers. View the list of workshops and details on how to book here.

We’re wishing you and your child the best of luck on their return to school!

Weekly News Issue 395






This week was anti-bullying week in schools around the country. In class we were thinking about the message United Against Bullying and how we can work together to build positive relationships. On Monday, we took part in the traditional ‘Odd Socks Day’ as a symbol of appreciating everyone’s uniqueness, respecting equality and diversity.


Update #3: Year 1 Fully Open from Wednesday

4.00pm Tuesday 11nd September

Dear Parents and Carers of Year 1

Year 1 will reopen fully on Wednesday 23rd September

Thank you for your support and understanding over the past two days. 

Let me restate that there have been NO confirmed cases of COVID19 in Year 1. If this situation changes we shall inform you immediately.

Mrs Patel and Miss Stewart are will be teaching their normal classes from Wednesday.

For children who remain at home this week, the Year 1 teachers have prepared a series of activities and links that can be accessed at home. These match the areas of learning that are being covered in school. You will find the activity page here:

Could we remind all parent of the importance to notify the school if your child is displaying any COVID19 symptoms. This will help with our ongoing risk assessment.

Thank you for your messages of support for our precautionary measures. 

Yours sincerely

Craig Tallon

Update #2: Temporary Closure of Year 1

7.00pm Monday 21st September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of Year 1

Year 1 will remain closed on Tuesday 22nd September.

Thank you for your support and understanding today.  Let me restate that there have been NO confirmed cases of COVID19 in Year 1. However, Year 1 will remain temporarily closed. We will only be open to the children of key workers on Tuesday 22nd September. 

The year group was closed today, and in accordance with our risk assessments, because we could not safely open with dedicated Year 1 staff.

At Woodcroft we are organised into strict year group bubbles Groups of children and staff DO NOT mix. This gives us the capacity to cover classes with dedicated year group staff. We are hopeful of being able to open fully later in the week after the risk assessment has been updated and staffing is inplace.

You shall be provided with a daily update regarding the closure of the Year 1 bubble.

The Year 1 teachers have prepared a series of activities and links that can be accessed at home. These match the areas of learning that are being covered in school. You will find the activity page here:

Could we ask that you please notify the school if your child is displaying any COVID19 symptoms. This will help with our ongoing risk assessment.

Thank you for your support of our precautionary measures. I shall update you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Craig Tallon

Temporary Closure of Year 1

Dear Parents and Carers of Year 1

Update re: Temporary Year Closure

Thank you for your support and understanding today. Can I apologise for the short notice of my text message. Restassured, I contacted you at the very earliest opportunity after I had assessed the information and spoken to the Government’s Department for Education. First of all let me state that there has been NO positive test.

At Woodcroft we always put your child’s safety first. I was notified earlier this morning that 3 teachers from Year 1 were all displaying possible symptoms of COVID19. Following this information I immediately advised those staff to self-isolate and arranged for them to obtain a test. I also contacted both the Government’s Department for Education COVID19 Advice Line and Public Health England.

The advice given whether to close was not clear cut. I was told that schools do not have to notify parents unless there is a confirmed case. However, the final decision rests with the headteacher. At Woodcroft we always put safety first and try to keep parents best informed. While the risk of COVID19 transmission still remains very low, I hope you will agree that this action was both sensible and appropriate. 

We are organised into strict year group bubbles at Woodcroft. Groups of children and staff DO NOT mix. This gives us the capacity to cover classes with dedicated year group staff if one or two are absent – but not three! Please be aware that no other year group is affected.

What will happen next for Year 1:

  1. I shall take further advice from Barnet Local Authority and Public Health England
  2. We remain open in a restricted capacity in Year 1 for the children of key workers
  3. Year 1 teachers are now preparing plans to support a short period of home learning. We will contact parents and carers later today with more information.
  4. Year 1 will remain closed until further notice. 

We did ask that Year 1 parents should not call the school this morning. This was to avoid the line becoming blocked. However, we would ask you to please notify the school if your child is displaying any COVID19 symptoms. This will help with our ongoing risk assessment.

Thank you for your support of our precautions. We do understand the difficulties that this decision creates both for childcare and learning. Let us hope that the tests come back quickly and are negative.

I shall update you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Craig Tallon


Woodcroft  COVID19 Response Strategy

ISSUE 4: 24th July 2020

At Woodcroft we have completed a detailed risk assessment based on the latest Government guidance.

In school we employing the strictest measures to protect children and staff and reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).


  • If a pupil is off from school due to illness symptoms associated with Covid19 we are insisting that they remain away from school for 14 days. 
  • If a family member shows symptoms of Covid19 then all children in the same house should stay off school for 14 days  (see below for guidance)
  • These strict measures are to ensure the school remains a safe place for the pupils and staff who are still attending.

Pupil Safety: System of Controls


Woodcroft remains at Phase 3:  (These are the strictest measures we can employ before we have to close classes)

We are employing a full range of measures to ensure children and adults are safe in school. These fall into two categories:

  1. Hygiene
  2. Social Distancing

Please note: if any pupil does not follow the safety guidelines we will ask parents to collect their child from school

Hygiene in School:

  • Enforced regular handwashing: children will be supervised washing hands as soon as they arrive in school.. We use paper towels in classrooms to limit aerosol transmission.
  • Extended school cleaning regime to ensure push surfaces and handles are included.
  • We will enforce a 14 day extended absence from school following an illness
  • We will improve classroom ventilation by leaving windows and doors open. Teachers will limit the sharing of equipment
  • We have created a quarantine area for any pupils displaying symptoms. And have spaces available should we need to temporarily move a class to a santised area.

Social Distancing in School:

  • We are limiting classroom movement i.e. changing places / restricting group activities. Pupils will be seated apart where possible and teachers will limit or avoid grouping children together.
  • All assemblies and groups larger than one class have stopped
  • We now have staggered lunchtime sittings with pupils eating packed lunches in a classroom supervised by teachers to allow more space in the dining hall. 
  • Limited close contact between adults and pupils in school;  enforcing appropriate distances. We have also suspended intervention groups and small group activities.
  • We aim to limit opportunities for virus spread on equipment and books
    • Teachers are not marking books (but providing verbal feedback instead)
    • Children are keeping as much equipment in personal trays as possible
  • We have cancelled all non essential school events, trips, meetings and clubs.

(Note: Acorns and paid clubs run by external coaches (e.g. Multi-Sport) will continue to run until further notice. However, activities are being modified to support social distancing).

Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of

  • New continuous cough and/or
  • High temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection

Main messages

  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days
  • Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day the original 14 day isolation started.
  • If you can, move any vulnerable individuals out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms:
      • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
      • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
      • Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
  • Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

More information visit:

Dear Woodcroft  Parents and Carers

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Thursday 28th May, schools have now been instructed to allow more pupils to return to school. Woodcroft has been open to key workers throughout the pandemic but from 1st June we have began a phased reopening to more pupils.

We previously wrote to parents and carers of the Government’s four initial priority year groups (Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6) and asked families to indicate whether they wanted their child to return to school. Those pupils are now attending Woodcroft.

From Thursday 18th June the Headteacher is again asking those parents again to update their preferences:

A. I would definitely like my child to return to school.

B. I am still unsure at the moment. I would like the school to ask me again in two weeks time when I have had more time to decide about its safety.

C. I am happy for my child to continue learning with Woodcroft Online. I do not think I will want my child to return before the summer.

The following arrangements have now been put in place for the third phase of our wider opening which is for week beginning 29th June :

  • On Thursday 18th June Woodcroft is asking parents again about their preferences
  • Deadline for responses is Monday 22nd June
  • The school will then plan new attendance rotas and notify parents by Thursday 25th June
  • Pupil will then attend school from 29th June
  • Please call the school 02089593244 or email 

It is also important to realise that government guidance changes frequently, so all plans are subject to further changes outside of our control.

Current Reopening Plans

To summarise our plans for the wider opening of school:

  • We can only fit a maximum of 12 pupils in each classroom to maintain social distancing. These classroom groups will stay together with the sames adult throughout the week. This is called a ‘Bubble Group’. Different ‘Bubble Groups’ of up to a maximum of 12 pupils will be kept separate at ALL times during the school day. 
  • If numbers exceed out capacity. pupils who wish to return will be welcomed back on a bi-weekly rota. They will be in school for one week and then stay at home the next as we do not have enough staff or rooms to fit everyone in and follow the strict social distancing guidelines.
  • Pupils who are in school will:
    • Complete the same ‘Woodcroft Online’ work on Google Classroom, set by their actual teacher, as those who remain at home
    • Children will study at an individual workstation desk spaced out from other pupils
    • They will eat a packed lunch at their desks (either brought from home or provided by the school kitchen. We shall assume the same pre Covid19 meal arrangements, so if you normally pay for meals this will commence from the date your child returns.
    • Have a staggered break time in an allocated section of the playground
    • Follow strict behaviour expectations. Pupils who are unable to adapt to the new ways of working in school will be sent home – read our updated Behaviour Policy here.

It must be acknowledged that we CANNOT guarantee that pupils will remain socially distant throughout the school day. Parents and carers must accept that children will be children!

Access Arrangements

Please be aware of the following arrangements for those pupils that return to school:

  • Soft Starts – pupils can arrive anytime between 8.45am to 9.15am (to avoid everyone arriving at the same time)
  • ‘Kiss and Drop’ – parents will leave their children with staff at the school gates (front or back)
  • ‘Pick-up and Go’ – to ensure we are able to maintain 2 metres apart we ask that parents leave promptly at the end of the day. 
  • Social Distancing – a one way system is in place. Always follow the arrows, try to keep moving!
  • The school office will be closed – contact is via telephone or scheduled appointment only
  • Extended Pick-up – arrive any time from 3.00pm – 3.15pm. Always stay on the marked routes and  follow the arrows. No stopping or gathering will be permitted
  • Only one adult per pupil will be asked to collect
  • Water Bottles – please send children to school with a personal water bottle. All communal water fountains have been turned off.
  • No Equipment From Home – apart from a water bottle and lunch box (optional if you choose to provide your own packed lunches) children should not bring any other items from home.
  • Optional Uniform – the uniform policy is temporarily suspended. Wearing a uniform is optional for the time being. Guidance states that children should wear clean, washed clothes, everyday to reduce risk of virus transmission. Trainers are the best footwear incase the children do a physical activity.
  • Independent Travel – Older children will be encouraged to leave independently and walk home alone or meet their adult carer at an agreed place away from the school to reduce congestion on site
  • There will be no Breakfast Club (Note: Key Workers can continue to access Breakfast Club if required) and no Acorns After School Club

Increased Hygiene

We will be employing strict hygiene measures in school. Examples of the detailed protocols in place include:

  • Daily temperature and health checks for all persons on site
  • All persons who enter the site (pupils and adults) will be required to wash hands or sanitise. All classrooms are set up with hand washing stations
  • Additional daily cleaning routines have been established
  • Scheduled toilet breaks will be timetabled 
  • On Friday afternoon additional cleaning will take place
  • Pupils will be allocated equipment to reduce sharing and cross contamination
  • Movement around the school will be reduced. There will be no assemblies, use of dining room, visits to the music room, library or computing room

Pupils who become unwell

  • Pupils who are unwell will be quarantined immediately and then sent home.
  • If a child shows any COVID-19 symptoms we will require parents to arrange for immediate testing.
  • If a child tests positive then every pupil and adult in the bubble group will be required to immediately self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If a member of the school community has a positive test we will notify all parents and take appropriate action to inform the relevant authorities.

Social Distancing at Home

We are taking great lengths to ensure that our school is the safest place it can be for our pupils. If we become aware of families who have not followed the national rules about social distancing then we may be forced to withdraw our offer of a school place for a minimum of 7 days. This could be extended if any member of the child’s family develops symptoms.

For information about social distancing visit


And finally …

Staff have worked extremely hard  to prepare the site and make arrangements for our pupils to start returning to school safely. Things will not always go to plan, but please be patient as we work through these new arrangements. Rest assured, the safety of you, your children and my staff will always be our primary concern.

Yours sincerely

Craig Tallon (Headteacher)

Additional Documents

1.  Risk Assessment

Woodcroft Primary School – Risk Assessment for reopening – updated 29/5/20

A detailed risk assessment has been carried out following local authority guidelines and with the support of an independent Health and Safety Consultant. This risk assessment has now being shared with the School Governors, Staff, Parents & Carers, relevant unions and Barnet Local Authority for consultation purposes.

The risk assessment will be continually update after reopening on 1st June.

2.  Woodcroft Behaviour Policy Addendum: Behaviour Principles for COVID-19

3. Travelling to school: A message from Transport for London

4. A Brief Guide To Education and the Curriculum During A Phased Reopening After 1st June

At Woodcroft we aim to support all of our pupils and families maintain their learning during the crisis. Download a helpful PDF guide that outlines our plans to enable this to happen during the summer term:

PDF Guide To The Woodcroft Curriculum During A Phased Reopening After 1st June