Dear Parents and Carers,

Since lockdown began, and HCPS remained open to key worker children and subsequently to children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 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 Thursday 3rd September. 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 and classes

A bubble is the term used throughout this letter to describe how children will be grouped. We will be operating in class bubbles and 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 bubble for most of the day, but during playtimes, lunch, arriving and leaving school and some 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 before arriving, preparing them for the changes explained below. Please ensure you discuss with them the need to social distance when coming to and from school.

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 visits to the school office via the staff car park entrance.

Dropping off / Picking up

We will be operating a one-way system at drop off/pick up. This will be a significant challenge for us all. We are a large school: 550 children arriving and leaving school, 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, until you reach the clearly marked drop off/pick up zone for your child.

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.

We will be operating a staggered start and end to the day to minimise contact between year group bubbles. It will help ease congestion if only one adult comes to school to drop off/pick up. Please adhere to the times in the table below:

Year GroupStart TimeFinish Time
Nursery8.15 am11.15 am / 3.25 pm
Reception9.00 am3.30 pm
Year 18.50 am3.20 pm
Year 28.45 am3.15 pm
Year 38.40 am3.10 pm
Year 48.35 am3.05 pm
Year 58.30 am3.00 pm
Year 68.25 am2.55 pm

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 door 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 top 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.

What to bring to school

  • Pupils will return to school on Thursday 3rd September in school uniform.
  • Please remember to label every item clearly.
  • Don’t forget sun hats, coats if it is cold/raining and to apply sun cream before school.
  • Water bottle (named)
  • Packed lunch if you are not having a school lunch
  • Change of footwear for PE – Trainers
  • One small backpack

The School Day

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If children are unable to abide by these social distancing guidelines, then you will be asked to collect them and take them home.
  • 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.
  • Currently we are unsure if we are able to provide a snack for children in Reception and KS1, so we ask that all children bring their own healthy snack of fruit or vegetables. Please remember that we are a nut free school.
  • 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 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.
  • Children will be expected to socially distance when moving around school and across all outdoor spaces.
  • To minimise queues at toilets we will operate a system of toilet tickets. Your child will ask for the bubble’s ticket and make their way to the allotted toilet for their bubble. Tickets will be available from teachers, support staff and mid-day supervisors.
  • 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 unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.This is a clear direction from the Government.

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-19 symptoms.

As a school we must ensure “that pupils, staff and other adults do not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 7 days, and ensure anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home. These are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)”.

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

We have a protocol in school for dealing with suspected cases. You will be informed immediately to collect your child and undergo testing.


The Department for Education has made it clear that school attendance is mandatory from the start of the autumn term. 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 Thursday 3rd September 2020.