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Frequently asked questions

To help families we hope that the following is useful. Please check regularly as information may change at any time. We will update as often as possible. 


Last updated on

Friday 26 March at 5.15pm - updates in red


Have you had any positive cases of COVID at school this week?

No we have had no positive cases during week beginning Monday 22nd March.

The last positive case at school was on Monday 1st February.


Will my child be taught by their class teacher in school?

Most children will be with their teachers. However, staff availability, staff training, general illness and COVID absences mean that some children will not be working with their teacher.

All children will be working in their year group bubbles. 


Will end of year government tests and assessments take place in summer 2021?

No end of year tests will take place. Teachers will be using informative teacher assessments at the end of the year so that parents and your child's next teacher are still able to see how much progress each child has made. 

  • Year 1 phonic tests - will not take place
  • Year 2 SAT tests - will not take place
  • Year 4 Multiplication tests - will not take place
  • Year 6 SAT tests - these will not take place .


Will staff wear face coverings?

Yes, staff may wear clinical face masks during the day.

After speaking to Derbyshire Health and Safety on Wednesday 6th January it was recognised that staff may wear clinical face masks when working with children and social distances can not be observed. Previously the advice was that staff would wear face coverings when working with other staff and social distances could not be observed. 

We have always taken our health and safety advice from local and national government  to ensure that all children, staff and our community stay as safe as possible, therefore from Thursday 7th January your children may be working with staff wearing clinical face masks.


If a parent or visitor comes into school to meet a member of staff both the visitor and the staff member will wear face masks if social distancing isn't possible. 


Our latest risk assessment can be found on our website. CLICK HERE. 


Question – Will you be providing snacks to infant children at break times?

At present we have some fruit in school for infant children. We do not know if we will be able to offer this throughout the second national lockdown. 


What are the arrangements for the beginning and end of the day?

The arrival times are -


  • 8.45am – 8.50am Children in year 6 will be allowed through the gate with younger siblings.
  • 8.50am – 8.55am Children in year 5 will be allowed through the gate with younger siblings.
  • 8.55am – 9.05am Children in years 4 and 3 will be allowed through the gate with younger siblings.
  • 9.05am – 9.10am Children in year 2, 1 and reception will be allowed through the gate.



  • The gate will be unlocked at 8.45am for year 6 children and their younger siblings only. 
  • Children need to go straight to their classrooms where their teachers will be waiting for them.
  • Parents and carers are not allowed into the school buildings.
  • Only one parent or carer per family to come onto school grounds.
  • Adults to go out of school via the carpark gate following the one way system.
  • All teachers are now in classrooms from 8.45am and unfortunately are not able to meet parents or carers.
  • Mr. Averis or Mrs. Carvell will be on the front gate most mornings. If we aren’t able to it will be Mr. Collinge our caretaker.
  • The professional child minders that bring children to school have been told that they are able to arrive at school at the starting time for the eldest child they are caring for. They are then able to drop off all of the younger children at the same time. 


Arrangements for the end of the day


  • 3.15pm – Year 6 leave school
  • 3.20pm – Year 5 leave school
  • 3.25pm – Years 4, and 3 leave school
  • 3.30pm – Years 2, 1 and reception leave school



  • Junior children are encouraged to meet parents at the front of the school. Infant children will be released onto the playground. 
  • Parents are encouraged to use the whole playground. Zoning the playground up for different year groups would make it very difficult for families with siblings. Therefore we ask parents to socially distance and find meeting places at the back of the playground as well as the front. 
  • Children in reception and year 1 will be walked onto the playground by their teachers to be handed on to parents or carers.
  • Children in other year groups will make their own way from their classroom onto the playground to meet their parents or carers.
  • Please can parents and cares ensure that they leave promptly once they have their children.
  • Some parents of older children may not want to come onto the playground and would rather meet their children outside the front of school on Laund Nook or surrounding roads. This is fine. However, parents need to avoid meeting children on the school footpath that runs along the classrooms and carpark as this does not help social distancing.
  • We are sorry but we are not able to have younger siblings leave with older children. Parents with children in different year groups are invited to wait on the playground until younger children leave.
  • Parents of children in reception or year 1 are allowed to leave the playground by the double car park gates if they are unlocked when they are ready to leave. These gates will be locked more promptly than the side gate. 


At the end of the day can parents leave the playground through the big double car park gates, rather than walk around the side of school?

Yes. Children in reception or year 1 that pick up at 3.30 can leave through the double car park gates if they wish and they are still unlocked when they want to leave. We hope that this will make social distancing easier.

Parents with no children in reception or year 1 need to continue to use the side footpath.

Please bear in mind that parents that choose to leave school through the double car park gates will not be able to collect any scooters from the scooter park as you would have to walk against the one way flow of all other parents.


We hope that using these gates to exit school at the end of the day at 3.30pm when reception and year 1 children leave their classrooms helps us maintain safe social distances. Parents that leave via these gates before 3.30pm are clearly not helping our community, especially if they leave whilst reception and year 1 parents are still arriving.

Parents can not leave by the double gates before 3.30pm

We will continue to monitor this and update our procedures if necessary to help ensure our safety. 


Do you have a risk assessment to help keep everyone safe?

Yes we do. Parents can see a copy of it on our website. CLICK HERE. 

We purchase the risk assessment from the local authority and make minor adaptions to suit our school's needs. 

Day one of any isolation period is now to be counted as the day after symptoms are first shown. Extra information about this clarification can be read either in the risk assessment itself, CLICK HERE, or on our 'What to do if you have Symptoms?' page. CLICK HERE.


Do parents have to wear a face mask when dropping off and picking up children?

On the 5th November Derbyshire County Council wrote to all schools, parents and carers asking then to wear face coverings when bringing children to and collecting them from school. A copy of this letter is on our website. CLICK HERE. We will be encouraging all adults to follow this advice at St. John's and will appreciate your support in this. 


How else can I help keep me and everyone else safe at the beginning and end of the day?


To help ensure the safety of all we would like to remind families of the following information we have already shared.

  • Only one parent or carer per family can accompany children on school grounds. 
  • Adults should not congregate in groups on the playground at the end of the day.
  • Families need to leave the playground promptly at the end of the day, as soon as their children have been dismissed from class. Unfortunately we can not use this time of the day to see friends that we are not able to during this lockdown and put the safety of all at risk.
  • Parents and carers need to maintain social distances with adults from other families. 
  • At 3.30pm families with children in year 1 and reception can leave through the double gates all other families need to use the one way system to leave school safely. 
  • Please arrive on time at the beginning and end of the day and do not arriving early and block the paths or congregate in groups.


When else do parents have to wear a face mask at St. John's?


All parents that come into school buildings, with an appointment with a teacher or other member of staff, are required to wear a face covering. If the meeting can be held in a room where social distancing can be maintained it may be that the member of school staff agrees in certain instances that the parent can take the face covering off. For example if the meeting involves a child and the removal of the covering would help the meeting be more successful.


When do I need to bring my PE kit into school?


Children only need to bring their PE kit to schools on the two days a week that they have a PE lesson. They will then bring it home at the end of the day. 

PE kits will not be kept in school over night.

Children in reception are allowed to keep their PE kits in school. Our new reception classrooms have plenty of space to allow us to store them safely. Also, having reception children's PE kits in school allows us to easily help our youngest children and change them into dry clothes if they have had a little accident at school. 


What happens if my child or some one in our house has COVID-19 symptoms?


We have set up a separate part of our website to help families who have children or family members that display COVID19 symptoms. We hope that this important information is now clearer and easier to access. CLICK HERE.


To help prevent the risk of COVID19 transmission you are not using play equipment at lunchtimes. Can my child bring a small toy from home into school?


Yes. We are really pleased with how well the children are playing and behaving on the zoned playground and adopting to new routines in school and would like to help them further.


Unfortunately we are following advice and not using the school playtime play equipment as the balls and hoops may roll into other playground zones and therefore increase the risk of COVID19 transmission in between year group bubbles. 


With this in mind children are invited to bring in small, non electric, pocket toys that they can play with and use in their playground zone. We hope that this will give children an opportunity to play small games on the playgrounds with their friends. The toys need to fit in a pocket and encourage the children to play in a small group of friends. Toys or cards that encourage swapping are not allowed as when swapping occurs some children always end up upset. The school can not take responsibility for the toy. 


Why do parents have to follow a one way system that changes direction at the end of the day?


The one way system is in place to help ensure social distancing. The one way route is reversed in the evening so that the children don't have to walk across the car park and arrive and leave school along the safer footpath. 


What are the times and arrangements for nursery children?


Nursery sessions are running as normal from 8.45am to 11.45am and 12.35pm to 3.35pm.

Nursery children need to be dropped off and picked up from the nursery gate as normal. There are no staggered start or end time for the children in the nursery bubble.


Question - Are two parents or carers allowed to pick up or drop of their child and go onto the playground or is it only one adult?


Only one parent or carer per family is allowed to come onto the playground to drop off or pick up pick up their children. 


Why doesn't the timetable at the end of the day allow for siblings to leave at the same time, this is going to make picking up difficult?


We appreciate this and are sorry that we can’t have siblings leaving safely at the same time.


Question - Do I have to come onto the playground to pick up or drop off my child? Can I wait outside the front of the school as usual?


When the parent or carer drops off or picks up their child they are invited to come onto the playground. Parents that do this need to use the one way system in place. Parents that want to pick up and drop off from the front of the school on Laund Nook are welcome to, however, reception and year 1 parents need to come onto the playground. If waiting on Laund Nook please be considerate of neighbours and do not park on the yellow zigzags


Will other adults teach in my child’s class?


Yes. We are following advice and will be able to have other adults teach in other bubbles. For example -

  • Mrs. Winson-Bushby will teach a weekly French lesson to all junior children.
  • We will have our specialist PE teacher from the Amber Valley Sports partnership teach PE lessons in school every Wednesday


Will children stay in their bubbles at playtimes and lunchtimes?

Yes. At playtime the playground will be divided into zones and bubbles of children with have exclusive access to these zones. This means, for example, that both year four classes will be able to play together at lunchtime, but year four children won’t be able to play with year five children who will have the year five zone to play in.

The reception and nursery children will only use their own playgrounds.


Will school trips and residentials take place?

We have planned visits for next year and will follow advice at the time to ensure that they can run safely.

At present we have residential visits booked for our year 5 and year 6 children and hope that they will be able to take place.  More information will be published later.

  • Year 5 children have a two night residential booked to Lee Green activity centre, travelling on Monday 21st June 2021 and returning on Wednesday 23rd June 2021
  • Year 6 children have a two night residential booked to Whitehall activity centre, travelling on Wednesday 9th June and returning on Friday 11th June.


Can my child bring warm food, such as soup, to school in a flask to have as a snack or with their sandwiches?

No. Children are only allowed to bring cold snacks and food for packed lunches. If children want hot food at lunchtime they are invited to purchase a hot meal from the school kitchen. 


Am I allowed in school to see my child’s teacher or to go to the office?

Not without an appointment. Any parent or carer that wishes to come into school to see an adult needs to make an appointment so that a socially distanced meeting can be arranged.

No parents or carers can come to the office to drop off letters or information, please send all information to school with your child or via email.


Question – How can I as a parent help St. John’s keep all children and staff safe?


Thank you for wanting to help. Our Belper community is continuing to show how it can support and help each other. To help us can you please –

  • Make sure your child washes their hands as they leave home in the morning and when they arrive back at home in the afternoon.
  • Continue to support your child as they experience school in a new way.
  • Send children to school in clean clothes that they can manage themselves. For example when socially distancing staff will not be able to help children with fiddly items of clothes after a PE lesson.
  • Send children to school with food in their sandwich boxes that they can manage themselves. For example yogurt sticks are very difficult for children to open and staff will not be able to maintain social distances whilst helping children with lunchtime food that is hard to open.
  • Follow the advice about dinner money in the question below.
  • Where, possible travel to and from school using social distancing measures, for example avoid car sharing with other families.
  • Send children to school with tissues so that they can ‘catch it – bin it – kill it’


Question – How can I pay for school dinners this term?


To help us reduce the amount of times staff handle anything from other environments that may be contaminated we are asking dinner money to paid in the following ways, in order or priority -

  • Online – many parents already pay online. If you would like to be set up to pay online please contact the school office so that we can help you get set up.
  • By cheque for the term.
  • By cheque for a month or a week
  • By cash – please only send notes only. We will carry over any change to the following week.
  • As a last resort by cash sending the exact amount of money.


School dinners will increase in price by 10p a day from September 2nd and will now cost £2.20 a meal. CLICK HERE for extra information.

Birthday Shout Out

Use this form to let school know if your child has had a birthday during the lockdown. Mr. Averis looks forward to reading out your message in his weekly vlog.