Wider Opening – Updates from the Headteacher

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 office@woodcroft.barnetmail.net 

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 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51506729


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