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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 update - Thursday 28th May at 9pm - updates in red


Question - Which children can come to St. John's on Monday 1st June?


We look forward to welcoming two groups of children on Monday 1st June. 

1 - Key worker children.

2 - Children from families that are receiving support from agencies such as social workers. 


If your child is in one of these categories and you want to send them to school please complete the daily attendance from by 9am on Friday 29th May. CLICK HERE. 


Question - Why aren't nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 children coming to St. John's on Monday 1st June?


Prior to the half term holiday staff at St. John's had done a significant amount of work to open school to these children. 151 parents had let us know that they wanted their children to return to school. We had set classrooms and resources up to welcome all these children back to school in their new bubbles. Following government guidelines, classrooms had been set up to accommodate up to 15 children and we had made separate stationery packs so that children didn't have to share resources. 


These bubbles had been set up in accordance with government guidance that stated that - 

"We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account.

You should, therefore, work through the hierarchy of measures set out in implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
  • regular cleaning of settings
  • minimising contact and mixing"


To accommodate all 151 children that wanted to return to school on June 1st we had followed government guidelines and some of our bubbles had children sitting less than 2 metres apart, as the government recognised we would need to do. 


At 8.30pm on Thursday 28th May - this information is still the government published advice and can still be found on their website designed to help primary school plans for opening on June 1st. CLICK HERE


Despite this information on the government website I have different advice and information from the Local Authority. On Friday 22nd May the Local Authority wrote to headteachers sharing that the Department for Education were advising that children need to be at least 2 metres apart at school. I shared this with parents on 22nd May in a letter published on our website. CLICK HERE. 


I had hoped that during the half term this conflicting information would be resolved to help us plan to open, unfortunately it hasn't. 

On Wednesday 27th May the Local Authority wrote to headteachers again confirming that this two metre social distance was still recommended and that they were supporting schools, like St. John's, that were therefore re-writing their plans. 


Therefore St. John's will only be open on Monday 1st June to key worker and vulnerable children.


Next week the staff and governors at St. John's will produce plans that follow the Local Authority and Department for Education advice, with children working in bubbles that allow a two metre social distance around each child. We hope to have these ready for June 8th. 


Question - Are the year 5 and year 6 residentials going to take place?


Unfortunately both residential trips have been cancelled for June and July 2020. These decisions have been made with the health and safety of the children in mind. 

Letters have been published on our website with extra information. 

Letter to Year 6 children and parents - CLICK HERE

Letter to Year 5 children and parents - CLICK HERE


Question - How can I find out what events have been cancelled?


We have a section on this website with information about cancelled events that we update regularly. CLICK HERE. 

Adding events to this list is a really upsetting part of the school closure. I am very aware of the impact and upset that stopping children taking part in all of these events must be having. Please give your children cuddles and love when they find out that events such as football games, church services and discos they have been looking forward to can't take place. They deserve it. 


Question - My child has free school meals. They are at home with me every day, can they still have a free school meal?


Yes - but only some free school meal children

  • All children in year 3,4,5 and 6 that have a free school meal do get a free meal during the partial closure, even if they are at home and aren't coming to school every day. 
  • Children in reception, year 1 and year 2 that are in receipt of pupil premium funding are also able to come and collect a free school meal from school, even though they are at home for the rest of the day.
  • All reception children, year one and year two children have a universal free school meal. These children do not qualify for a free school meal in the partial closure. 


Parents with children that have free school meals have three choices if they want to continue to have free school meals during the partial closure

  1. You can come and collect a daily packed lunch prepared at school to eat at home
  2. Your child can come to school every lunchtime for 30 minutes and eat a hot meal with the children of key workers that come to school every day in the school hall. 
  3. You can come and collect a free fortnightly food hamper to help you prepare food at home. CLICK HERE.


Please ring school if you do not want a fortnightly food hamper but would rather come and collect a daily meal from school or have a hot meal cooked for you so that we are sure of allergy requests. 


We are not providing vouchers for supermarkets at present as our kitchen is open and is able to provide a packed lunch or hot meal to any child every day. We are following government advice in this. The latest advice from the government can be found online. CLICK HERE. 


Question - You had to postpone parents evening a few weeks ago. How will I be able to find out how my child was doing at school before you partially closed?


We are planning on every child receiving their annual report this summer as normal. Teachers have the notes that hey made for the parents evening and will be using these to write annual reports to parents as we normally do.

We are planning on writing and sharing these reports regardless of when we are able to fully open again


Question - I am a key worker but I don't want to send my child to school at all, do I have to?


No - You do not have to send your child to school. The government have said "If it is at all possible for your child to be at home, then they should be". 

We need to look after our staff and children who have to be at school and keep them healthy. To help with this the government are advising that you don't send children to school who could be at home with parents. 

If you don't want your child to attend school do not complete the daily attendance form. 


Question - Will children who have key workers as parents from other school's come to St. John's?


This may happen if needed to ensure that key workers can get to work. 


Will staff from other schools come and care for children at St. John's?


This may happen if needed to ensure that key workers can get to work.


Why may children and teachers from other schools come to St. John's?


This may happen if needed to ensure that key workers can get to work


Question - Who are the key workers?


The government have published the key worker list. CLICK HERE


Question - Will children need to wear school uniform during the partial closure?


Yes - Children that are coming to school will be expected to wear school uniform.


Question - Can children attend the nursery during the partial closure?


Yes. Vulnerable children and children of key workers that go to nursery will be able to attend nursery for their normal 3 hour session during the partial closure.

Please be aware that due to staff absence we have no established nursery staff on site. Due to the amount of equipment in the nursery we have closed the nursery classroom to minimise the risk of infection.

All nursery children are going to school in the new reception classrooms. We have no nappy changing equipment in this part of school. 

The nursery sessions have had to change. 

9.00am to 12.00pm

1.00pm to 3.30pm


Question - Will St. John's have to completely close even though key workers' children and vulnerable children need to attend. 


Unfortunately we may have to. All the teachers and adults at St. John's are human as well and may become ill or have to self isolate themselves.

We have identified key groups of adults that we need in order to open safely. If all or significant numbers of staff in one of these groups are ill then we will not be able to open. For example, we may not have any healthy key holders, in which case we would not be able to open. 

If this is the case we will put a message on the school website for the parents that are expecting to drop children off.

We will be working with the local authority and other schools to continue to provide care for children of key workers if we have to fully close. 


Question - My child has nearly filled their learning at home book, can they have another one please?


Sorry - not at this moment.

We have taken the decision not to order new books and invite parents of children working at home to come to school to collect them. We are sorry but we feel we have to do this. 

Government advice is clear that only essential journeys should be made to collect food and medical supplies. Coming to school to collect a book does not fall into these categories and we do not want to encourage these unnecessary journeys. 


Parents and families are encouraged not to stick any work into their books but to fold and save any sheets of paper. You are also encouraged to use any books or resources that you may have at home to help present the work that your children are doing in any imaginative way using any resources that you have at home. 


Question - When will school re-open for all children?


We do not know when school will re-open. We will continue to take advice from the government and keep our website up to date with information. 


Question - My child has had a birthday whilst you have been partially closed. They have missed their friends and Friday assembly when everyone sings to them? Can you do anything please?


Yes - Fill in the birthday form below and Mr. Averis will see what he can do in his weekly blog.

My child had their birthday this week whilst you were closed.

If you want Mr. Averis to try and do something in his weekly blog for any children that have had their birthday this week whilst we have been closed, complete the form below. He will try and do something in his blog. By completing this form you give permission for Mr. Averis to use your child's first name and share the information that you provide in his blog on a Friday.