Information for parents and carers regarding the reopening of HCPS to all children starting Monday 8th March 2021.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Since the latest lockdown began, and HCPS has remained open to children of essential workers, the emphasis has always been to mitigate the risk of contagion through a range of measures, following Government guidelines.

These measures will continue when all children return to school on Monday 8th March.

Indeed, school life will be the same as when these measures were first introduced in September 2020.

They will have a significant impact on how we organise the school, from the beginning of the day, lessons, breaks, lunch and right through until home time. We will need your support to help the school day run as smoothly as possible.

Please read the information carefully: school will not be as we know it and it is crucial you follow and adhere to the steps below.

Bubbles – Year groups

A bubble is the term used throughout this letter to describe how children will be grouped. We will be operating in year group bubbles throughout the school. Due to the large number of children in school and the limitations of the geography of our school site, pupils will remain in their class, but during playtimes, lunch, arriving and leaving school, toileting and for certain lessons they will be grouped in year group bubbles. Throughout the day they will remain in their class or year group bubble, socially distant from the members of staff within the bubble. In turn, each year group bubble will be socially distanced from other year group bubbles. Movement will be restricted within bubbles and when moving around school.

The School Day

Please spend time with your child preparing them for the changes explained below.

Please ensure you discuss with them the need to social distance when coming to and from school. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR OUR OLDER PUPILS WHO ARRIVE AND LEAVE SCHOOL WITHOUT YOUR SUPERVISION. Please help us by making sure your child is aware of the need to go straight home and not to loiter outside the school or on the areas around school, such as the bank on Clopton Gardens.

Prior to arriving at school, please park in the town centre car parks and observe social distancing guidelines at all times. Please do not park too close to school and cause congestion when dropping off and picking up. Do not enter the staff car park. No parents are allowed into the school building except for prearranged visits. You can visit the school office.

Dropping off/Picking up

We will be continuing to operate a one-way system at drop off/pick up. This will continue to be a significant challenge for us all. We are a large school: 525 children arriving and leaving school, so maintaining social distancing will be tough. Please enter school via the blue vehicular access gates on Station Road (the school gate to Clopton Gardens will remain closed). Follow the clearly marked pathway, observing social distancing (the painted lines and cones are there to help you) until you reach the drop off/pick up zone for your child.

DO NOT ARRIVE OUTSIDE SCHOOL BEFORE YOUR DROP OFF/PICK UP SLOT. Once you have dropped your child off/collected your child, please continue to follow the clearly marked pathway and exit the school premises along the gravel path at the front of the school or through the small blue gate directly opposite the zebra crossing. Please do not loiter outside the school, continue to move on. DO NOT STAND IN THE YELLOW HATCHED AREA.

We will be operating a staggered start and end to the day to minimise contact between year group bubbles. Only one adult should come to school to drop off/pick up. This helps us to ease congestion. Please do not bring other members of your family (except babies and toddlers) with you, even if it is just to wait with you outside the school site. If an elder sibling is picking up/dropping off, please ensure they are aware they must do it by themselves and not with other school friends. Please help us to ensure high school pupils do not loiter outside the school.

Please adhere to the times in the table below.

Year 18:503:20
Year 28:453:15
Year 38:403:10
Year 48:353:05
Year 58:303:00
Year 68:252:55

We will be unable to support you in “coaxing” your child into school. If they find leaving you difficult you will be asked to go around and queue again, bring them in later via the school office entrance or take them home until you are ready to bring them back during the morning.

If you are dropping off more than one child, you will be able to leave the child who is due to enter school at the later time in a supervised waiting zone on the oval playground. You will not be able to wait with them. If this is difficult for you and your child then please leave the school grounds and re-enter the one-way system at the specific drop off time for your child listed above.

You will not be able to collect children from different year groups at the same time at the end of the school day.

The School Day

Pupils will return to school on Monday 8th March. Attendance is mandatory. You have a duty to secure your child’s attendance at school.

Pupils should return in full uniform, with shoulder length hair tied back. PE kit can be worn on PE days and for pupils in Reception on “woods day” (see below for PE Day). No nail varnish is allowed to be worn in school.

Children may wear a small pair of studs but must either leave them at home or be able to take them out themselves on the days they have P.E.

Please remember to label every item clearly.

Don’t forget, coats if it is cold/raining, sun hats if it’s warm and to apply sun cream before school (optimistic emoji!)

What to bring to school

  • Water bottle (named)
  • Packed lunch (if you are not having a school lunch)
  • One small backpack
  • Change of footwear for short PE sessions and field use – trainers
  • One small “child’s hand sized toy” of zero value – if you choose to
  • Sun hats/sun cream (applied before school), coats if cold or raining – children will not be able to enter school prior to their specific drop off time – we will be waiting in the rain
  • In Year 3, 4, 5 and 6, a small healthy snack of fruit or vegetables – we are a nut free school. Snack is provided for all other year groups.
  • Medication – if you took it home for the lockdown

PE Kit

On the days listed below, children can attend school in FULL PE KIT (tracksuits may be worn over PE kits – shorts must be worn underneath)

Year 1Thursday
Year 2Monday
Year 3Tuesday
Year 4Wednesday
Year 5Wednesday
Year 6Monday

Children will be expected to attend school in school uniform on all other days.

  • Children and staff will obey social distancing guidance within bubbles and between bubbles. There will be no mixing of bubbles.
  • Movement within classrooms will be strictly limited.
  • Informal catch ups with teachers will not be possible – please make use of Seesaw and Tapestry to communicate with your child’s teacher – we are in the process of arranging virtual parent consultations.
  • Children will remain in their allotted space using only equipment which is on their desk. Very few additional resources will be available.
  • Teaching will be from the front of the class, all individual work. A traditional form of teaching will be in action with the teacher leading the bubble from the front of the classroom and children working on tasks independently.
  • Children with special educational needs will be supported as much as social distancing guidelines allow.
  • Children are expected to bring in their own drinking bottles. Water will be available to “top up”.
  • Windows and doors will remain open to aid ventilation. • All medicines and minor first aid will be administered within year group bubbles. If you took medication home when school closed, please remember to drop it back in.
  • If children require intimate care, PPE will be worn by staff or parents will be called.
  • The school evacuation procedure will remain the same, muster on the oval playground if the alarm sounds.
  • Outside every classroom there will be a sanitising station. Children will be expected to hand sanitise every time they re-enter the classroom.
  • Staff may wear gloves and will wear facemasks for protection.
  • All lunches (school dinner or packed lunch) will be eaten either in the hall or in the classroom where the bubble is housed.
  • At lunches each year group bubble will have allotted mid-day supervisors and allotted play spaces.
  • Children will be expected to socially distance when moving around school and across all outdoor spaces.
  • Use of toilets will be monitored by staff to ensure toilets do not become overcrowded.
  • All areas of school will be thoroughly cleaned daily, with toilets cleaned twice a day

Pupils and family members feeling unwell – suspected COVID -19 cases

“Minimise contact with individuals who are required to self-isolate by ensuring they do not
attend the school”
This is a clear direction from the Government.

Pupils and other adults must not come into the school if:

  • they have one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
  • they are required to quarantine having recently visited countries outside the Common Travel Area
  • they have had a positive test
    They must immediately cease to attend and not attend for at least10 days from the day after:
  • the start of their symptoms
  • the test date if they did not have any symptoms but have had a positive test

If your child has a temperature please do not send them to school or give Calpol prior to school which may artificially lower a child’s temperature thus masking possible Covid symptoms.

Anyone told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their public health protection team has a legal obligation to self-isolate.

If anyone in school develops a new and continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) they will be sent home to begin isolation – the isolation period includes the day the symptoms started and the next 10 full days.

You must:

  • follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
  • arrange to have a test as soon as possible to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19)

Other members of the household (including any siblings and members of their support or childcare bubble if they have one) should self-isolate. Their isolation period includes the day symptoms started for the first person in their household, or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms, and the next10 full days. If a member of the household starts to display symptoms while self-isolating they will need to restart the 10 day
isolation period and book a test.

If anyone tests positive whilst not experiencing symptoms but develop symptoms during the isolation period, they must restart the 10 day isolation period from the day they developed symptoms.

We have a protocol in school for dealing with suspected cases. You will be informed immediately to collect your child and undergo testing. Please inform us of testing results as soon as possible.

If we become aware that someone who has attended school has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) having developed symptoms and taken a test then we must take robust, swift action. Based on the advice from the PHE local health protection team, this may lead to your child being sent home because they have been identified as a person who has been in close contact with another who has tested positive. They will need to self-isolate immediately and for the next 10 full days counting from the day after contact with the individual who tested positive. Household members of those children who are sent home do not
need to self-isolate themselves unless the pupil who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms, unless they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their public health protection team, in which case they must self-isolate.


As mentioned above, The Department for Education has made it clear that school attendance is mandatory from Monday 8th March. This means that normal school rules will apply, including:

  • Parents’ duty to ensure children attend school unless medically unfit to do so.
  • Schools record attendance and absence.
  • The availability of sanctions, including penalty notices, for non-attendance.

We recognise that some families may need support to secure regular attendance for their child so we will work with families to offer support and guidance to meet the expectations of full attendance.

To conclude

I hope you have found all the above information useful.

Please contact the school office via email at if you require further clarification.

I look forward to welcoming you all back to HCPS on Monday 8th March 2021.