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Return in September

Dear Parents

I am writing to inform you of our plans for returning to school in September 2020.  As you will be aware, we need to follow Government guidelines to ensure that we have the safest return we can.  These are subject to change between now and the start of the new school year, but the plans below should remain in place.  If changes are made we will inform you nearer the start of term. 

In line with the Government guidance, we are preparing for all pupils to return full time from September 2020, including new Nursery children joining us (you will have already been contacted about your start times).  We are really happy to be welcoming everybody back but this relies upon:-

  •  A requirement that people who are ill stay at home (see PHE information below)
  •  robust hand & respiratory hygiene
  •  enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Track & Trace by everyone who is contacted by this service
  • grouping children into ‘bubbles’ together as much as possible (see below)
  • avoiding contact between groups wherever possible
  • setting up classrooms with forward facing seating from Year 2 upwards
  • staff maintaining social distancing recommendations from pupils and other staff where possible.

We will continue to help the children to adhere to all the safety guidance in order to keep  themselves as safe as possible.  I attach the latest PHE flowchart which will help you to spot symptoms and to know what to do if symptoms are suspected.  Please use this guidance.

Attendance and group organisation

The Government has stipulated that as of September all children should return to school.  A letter from a Consultant doctor advising continued shielding is an exception to this, therefore Botley School’s expectation is that everyone will be back.  We are intending to group children into Year group bubbles in accordance with guidance and will use the Government advice about mixing into wider groups for specialist teaching, wraparound care and transport.  This ensures we can assist with Track and Trace if necessary.


Start of the school day.

We are asking that you come up Elms road on the RIGHT hand side of the road as you are looking towards school.    Please arrive from 8.30am for an 8.40am start as usual,  and a member of staff will be on the gate to greet you. 

KS2 children will enter school on their own and will walk to the appropriate doors for their classrooms (see below).  Please say your goodbyes on the way up Elms Road to avoid congestion at the gate which you know is a small area.  KS2 parents – please continue walking up the street and a member of staff will guide you across the road for you to walk away from school on the opposite side of the road.

KS1 and EYFS children may be accompanied by parents to the appropriate doors. Children may need to be accompanied into the classroom for settling purposes.  Please ensure you are following all hand sanitising and ‘catch and bin’ guidance.   Once you have said your goodbyes, please leave through the school gate and continue RIGHT up the street to cross to the opposite side of the road to walk away from school.

Social distancing guidelines must be regarded at all times and I know you will help us with this.

These are the entrance and exit doors into school:

Years 6 and 5

Enter through the Forest School door

Years 3 and 4

Enter through the white door in the playground

Years 1 and 2

Enter via the KS1 playground

Reception and Nursery

Enter through the Nursery gate



End of the School day

Please enter as usual through the school pedestrian gate, noting the markings on the ground which should guide you to the correct side of the path.  If you collect children on the KS2 playground, please spread far apart and as near to the small brick wall by the field so the teachers can spot you and match you up with your child.

KS1 parents – please go around to the KS1 playground and you will receive your children from there.  Again, please spread out for social distancing.

EYFS – please go in through the Nursery gate and wait in the appropriate garden and you will receive your child as quickly as we can.


Wraparound Care

We are pleased to say that we have plans to accommodate children for wraparound care in Botley Out of School Hours Club (BOSHC) - thank you to those who replied to our previous email expressing your interest.  We will do our best to work with you bearing in mind there could be a maximum limit on our capacity, and you will hear more on this during the holiday period.   Please continue to respond to the email expressing your interest if you have not already done so.

School lunches

In order to keep children within the appropriate bubbles and to minimise mixing, the children will not be using the school canteen until further notice.  Our canteen staff have been working hard to devise a new menu for cold lunches which I have attached with this letter.  Please have a look at the variety of choices on offer each day.  These will continue to be balanced lunches.  All children will eat their lunch in their classes or may picnic and play in their designated area of the school grounds if the weather is fine.  If you would prefer your child to have their own packed lunch, they must bring it in a named lunchbox and all wrappings etc will be returned home in the lunchboxes for disposal.  Lunches will be reviewed within the first 3 weeks and we will provide updates as changes are made.  Obviously, children entitled to Universal Free School Meals ( Yr R, Yr1 and Yr2) or who have Free School meal entitlement will be able to choose from these options, too.


Each day, KS1 & KS2 children will need to bring with them:-

  • Uniform should be worn to school for years R to 6.  It is not a requirement that it is washed each day.  Nor is it a requirement that the uniform is washed in any special manner
  • a named water bottle
  • a named lunchbox (if appropriate)
  • a named pencil case -  pencil cases need to be non-fluffy, plastic & wipeable and of a reasonable size (a sandwich bag with the items inside is perfectly acceptable as we do not expect you to go out especially to buy these things!)  If you need any help with this, please let us know.

Ideas for pencil cases include:

 HB pencil

glue stick

 blue pen

pair of scissors

 green pen

coloured pencils


Felt tips

 pencil sharpener



  • At the moment it is recommended that children should NOT wear face masks at school (we await further Government guidance on this).  If children wear a mask to school, they must be provided with a means of storing it during the day (a plastic bag or similar- in line with the guidance).  Disposable masks need to be binned on arrival in school.
  • Currently, book bags are not required in school as we are not sending books home daily with each child.  Children will have plenty of chances to read in school and perhaps they could read books from their own home collection or you could find some in shops or charity shops (when and if they open!).  We will let you know when we can relax this rule.

PE Kit

Your child will be told which day of the week their PE day is – please send them to school on that day, dressed in their PE kit – this minimises the need of excess clothing lying around. 

If your child is doing outdoor type activities, they will be informed at the time and they should arrive in school uniform but appropriately dressed (i.e. legs and arms covered).

There will be no swimming or trips offsite for the time being.

Music Lessons

At the moment we are unable to facilitate these on site so please discuss with your music teacher how they will be able to carry on your child’s tuition.

School Clubs

Sadly, these will be paused for the foreseeable future, but we will be looking forward to starting them again when possible.


I hope that this letter will answer some of your questions about returning to school in September.  We will try our best to keep the school looking and feeling like the real Botley School and we are working hard to develop as broad and balanced a curriculum as we can.  We cannot wait to see everyone back in school again.  Please let us know if we can help with any queries, in the meantime please watch out for any updates.

Thanks for your help and understanding during the last seventeen weeks of school closure - and have a very safe and happy summer.

Best wishes,


Alexandra Neil and the SLT