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Updates for families and frequent questions answered

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 17th July at 4.45pm - updates are in red 

All questions about the summer term have been removed - all of the below FAQ's relate to arrangements for September when we open for pupils on Wednesday 2nd September. 


A question from one of the children! – Will the scooter storage be open in September?

Yes. The scooter park will be open and children can continue to use it as normal. Please can parents remind children that scoot to school of the guidance for safe scootering and safe use of the scooter storage by reading this letter that we sent out in September 2019?  CLICK HERE.


My child hasn’t been in school since March. Can I come and collect some personal equipment from their tray and coat peg such as a PE kit or a book from home?

Yes. One parent or carer can come with their child at 10am on either Monday 20th or Tuesday 21st June at 10am for a brief visit to come and collect any personal equipment that is needed at home during the summer holiday. If you are able to leave the equipment in school until September it would be appreciated.


Please come to the main front gate at 10am on either Monday 20th or Tuesday 21st at 10am to collect the equipment.


Be aware that a lot of furniture has moved since March as we prepared the school for partial opening. If you are unable to find your equipment, we apologise, however in September staff will be back on site who will know where it has moved to. These staff will not be in school on the 20th or 21st.


This opportunity is for parents to collect personal equipment only. It is not for parents to collect school books or work completed by children in school. This will all be distributed in September to children when we return to school.


Will school be open in September for all children?

Yes. We are following government and local authority guidelines and are planning on opening for all children in September. We look forward to welcoming all families back to school on Wednesday 2nd September.

Tuesday 1st September is an INSET day when children don't attend school. 


The government may change its advice over August as a local spike develops or the national COVID-19 picture changes. What will St. John’s do if this happens?

During August Mr. Averis will be keeping abreast of the government advice. He will be in school regularly during August and will be able to share any changes to parents via emails and the school website.


Do all children have to attend school from Wednesday 2nd September 2020?

Yes. All children now need to attend school. The government have published that from September 2020 all children are required to return to school.

For further help and support see section two of the government advice CLICK HERE.


Will my child be safe at school?

We have followed all guidance in the local authority risk assessment and government guidelines. A copy of the risk assessment is available on our school website for parents and carers to look at. CLICK HERE.


What are the beginning and end times of the school day and how can I drop my child off safely?


We have staggered start and end times to help ensure social distancing.


Start of day



Children in years 6 and 5 and younger siblings


Children in years 4,3 and 2 and younger siblings


Children in years 1 and reception



End of day



Children in years 6 and 5


Children in years 4,3 and 2


Children in years 1 and reception


At the start of the day all parents and carers are invited to walk with their children through the normal side gate, alongside school and onto the playground. Children are to go straight to their classrooms. Parents are to continue to walk across the playground to the double gates in a one way system and leave the playground onto the bottom car park. Parents are to walk up the drive back onto Laund Nook.


At the end of the day parents are to walk the one way system, in the opposite direction. Parents walk down the drive through the double gates onto playground where they are invited to wait for their children.


For the first few days in reception children are coming to school for half days to help get used to their new classrooms and friends. Their start and finish times for the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th September are

  • Morning lessons – 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Afternoon lessons – 1.20pm to 3.20pm.

All parents and families need to come to the bottom gate on the school car park to leave and enter school for these 4 days.


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. 

On Thursday 3rd September two parents or carers are invited to bring their reception child to school and come onto the playground for their child’s first day at school. A child’s first day at school is an important time and families are invited to walk their children to school together.


Pre-school children are able to come onto the playground with their parents and carers.


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 before and after school clubs run in September? 


We have many clubs that run before school, after school and during lunchtimes. We have contacted all providers and are able to share this information. All information is correct as of 16.7.20 and will be updated when more information is available.

  • Premier sport before school club have not been able to confirm if they are able to safely run a before school club that ensures children remain in their year group bubbles. They are still looking at solutions and will share these with us as soon as possible.
  • Books at breakfast will take place every day from 8.30am for children that have been invited to attend this club.
  • Gymnastics. Tom Ellison hopes to run a limited offer gymnastics club on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will share information as soon as he can.
  • Soccer stars staff are on furlough and have not been able to respond to any contact with regards to the Friday after school club.
  • There will be no after school sport club on Wednesdays run by AVSSP.
  • There will be no drama club on Mondays after school.
  • Sport clubs run by St. John's staff such as football and choir will hopefully take place but will be limited as only children from one year group will be able to attend at a time.


Will you be providing free school meal hampers or tokens after the summer holiday?

There will be no more meal hampers as all free school meal children should now attend school every day.


When can I collect my hampers during the summer holidays?

Parents and carers can collect their hampers on Friday 31st July and Friday 14th August between 10am and 11.30am.


What will classrooms look like and how will lessons be taught, what resources will be used?

We have updated the addendum to our teaching and learning policy showing this. The policy is online for you to read, CLICK HERE.

The updated teaching and learning policy will have the answer to lots of questions you may have.


Have other policies been updated with addendums to help explain what school will look like if you open in June?

Yes, other policies have been updated to help parents

  • Behaviour policy, will help explain how we will bring the best out of the children, CLICK HERE
  • Attendance policy – CLICK HERE.


Will children be taught in classes or bubbles?

All children will be taught in classes. They will be taught by their class teacher. A list of class teachers is available on our website. CLICK HERE.


Classes will be put into bubbles. We will have 8 bubbles in school, one for every year group from Nursery up to Year 6. Each bubble will have between 35 (nursery) and 70 (year 6) children in.


What happens if the teacher in charge of my child’s bubble can’t attend school? Will you use supply teachers?

Yes. We are following advice and will be able to use other cover teachers to help when staff aren’t in school.


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.
  • Year 4 children will have a weekly music lesson with staff from Derbyshire Music Hub.


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 children stay in their bubbles when eating their dinner?

Yes. The hall has been divided into two separated zones so two bubbles can eat at one time. The zones will be cleaned down before the next bubble enters and the children eat their dinners or sandwiches. Children will be able to site with other friends from their year group or their class.


Will swimming lessons take place for year 5 children?

Not yet. We have been advised from the local authority that these may begin later in the Autumn term.


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.


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

We have been advised by the government to prepare all children for the end of year assessments in 2021, these include

  • Year 1 phonic tests
  • Year 2 SAT tests
  • Year 4 Multiplication tests
  • Year 6 SAT tests

Reception children were due to take a government entrance test in September 2020 when they started school. This will not take place.


The government will decide in September if year two pupils will have to take the phonic reading test that they should have taken at the end of year 1. We will share information with parents as soon as we have it.


What happens if a child or adult is ill with suspected COVID-19 symptoms during the day?

Parents must not send their child to school if they are displaying symptoms. Please follow the government advice.


If a child displays symptoms at school, they will be placed in isolation and their parents will be called so that the child can be collected as quickly as possible.


If a child or member of staff tests positive for COVID-19 we will inform the local health protection team who will advise us on what measures to take


The local authority have provided this flow chart to help us safely support staff or children that display symptoms. CLICK HERE.


What happens if my child is sent home as they are displaying symptoms and we have a test for COVID-19 that shows a negative result?


Your child can return to school when they are feeling well enough. If you want to send your child back to school before the end of the self isolation period we need to see evidence of a negative test result. Children that are kept at home for the entire self isolation period do not need to bring evidence of a negative test result.


Will teachers be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment)? Will my child need to wear PPE?

Government advice is clear – teachers, children and visitors to school do not need to wear any enhanced PPE at school in the vast majority of situations. If government advice changes, we will change our procedures.


Any child, adult or visitor wearing facemasks in school will be asked to remove them.


There are two times when staff will wear enhanced PPE. Firstly, if a child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, is in isolation and needs intimate personal care (for example they are sick) then the adult will, follow government advice and wear face shields and enhanced PPE. Secondly if a member of staff is providing intimate care for a child for a prolonged period of time and social distancing cannot be observed the member of staff will wear enhanced PPE.


Local Authority catering staff that work in the kitchen will also be wearing PPE when carrying out parts of their job. When serving food these staff will be in close contact with children for a prolonged period of time and have been advised by the local authority to wear PPE in September to help ensure the safety of everyone.


Am I allowed in school to speak to 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.
  • On sunny days apply sun cream at home before coming to school. See the sun cream letter on the website. CLICK HERE.
  • 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. 


For children that pay for a school meal every day the cost for the first half term will be £79.20.


Question – Will you be providing sun cream this summer?


No. Unfortunately we cannot safely provide sun cream that can be used by all the children. Please read this letter about sun cream at St. John’s. CLICK HERE.


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


At time of writing we do not know if we will be able to distribute free fruit to all infant children.


We aim to be able to provide and sell daily milk to infant pupils from Monday 14th September.

Children are able to bring their own healthy snack to school. Please ensure that this is one that they can open and eat without adult support.