Corona virus June Re-opening Frequently Asked Questions


Please note that this FAQ is correct on 19/05/20.

The situation, guidance and information is rapidly changing.


When will the final decision about re-opening schools be made?

We understand the decision whether to re-open schools will be taken on May 28th.


What is St. Catherine’s timeline for re-opening?


Week beginning

What is happening?

18th May 2020

School open for key worker and vulnerable children

25th May 2020

School CLOSED to all pupils for half term

1st June

School open for key worker and vulnerable children

8th June

Proposed wider opening for key worker, vulnerable, Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6



How can children aged 4-6 be expected to socially distance?

The government documents imply that all risks have been assessed without the need for social distancing. It is very unlikely that the children will remain 2m away from each other at all times, but it will be encouraged by the staff.


The main risk control for the children is that they will put into smaller self-contained groups, known as ‘bubbles’. They will remain in these smaller groups throughout the day and will not mix with children from other bubbles. We estimate that the maximum bubble size at St. Catherine’s is likely to be approximately 8 - 12 children and at least 2 - 4 staff. The staff will also stay the same for each bubble and therefore the children may not have their usual teachers. Bubbles will have separate play space. 


The government say you will have groups of 15 children. How will you fit these in?

We can’t. Having measured the distances in all of our classroom types, the average number of children permissible would be 8 -12 children and 2 - 4 staff in each classroom bubble, though not all staff would be in the classroom at the same time. 




What will happen once you reach the maximum number of children in a bubble?

If possible, we will open up another bubble using a separate space if it’s available. If the demand for places is high, we may have to prioritise certain children so that safety is maintained. 


How will you organise the bubbles and which children will be in them?

We currently have a list of all the children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 whose parents have indicated that that they want their child to return to school when we begin our phased re-opening. The ‘teaching bubbles’ will be organised using this information initially. We will review the situation on a daily / weekly basis.


I have a vulnerable child at home with severe asthma. How can you ensure her sibling attending school will not put them both at risk? 

We will not be able to guarantee that. 

How can I safely get my child to and from school with other siblings needing to come?

You would need to bring any other siblings with you to drop your child off at school and remain socially distanced from other children and parents. 


Would the children have to wear mask and gloves?

No, the use of gloves and masks has not been recommended by the government. 


How is social distancing to be ensured between parents during school pickup and drop?

We are planning a staggered start to the day and a staggered pick up will also be used. 


Is there going to be sanitisation/deep cleaning periodically of surfaces? 



What about hand washing/hand sanitisation for staff and children? Will there be enough hand sanitiser?

All classrooms have cold water and soap and sanitiser. All toilets have hot water and soap. We have plenty of disposable towels for drying of hands. There will also be hand sanitiser available in the main entrance for any visitors. 


A study has shown that BAME population is more at risk of having a severe disease. Will there be special consideration for BAME children?

We are awaiting additional guidance on this question. 


Will we lose our school place there if we disagree with government advice and choose to home-school a little longer?

No, attendance at school is currently voluntary. No fines will be issued for non-attendance. 


Are teachers/children going to be tested?

No, there are no plans to test unless a person becomes symptomatic. 


What's the reasoning behind reception children being allowed back in?

The government believe that reception children are the highest priority in schools because it’s a ‘transition year’ e.g. they are moving from the early years curriculum to the national curriculum. 


Is it going to be compulsory to send your child to school?


Is it going to be 5 days a week/normal school time?

We are being asked to open in June for all Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6 children, full time, if possible. The timings will be slightly different due to the staggered start/ends of the school day. 


In the event of my child returning in June what reassurances can the school provide around the children’s safety?

We will be carrying out a range of risk assessments over the coming days and will share these with you on our school website. However, we cannot give any 100% guarantees, though we will endeavour to make our school environment as safe as we possibly can.


How will reception transition/visits work as youngest is due to start in September?

We are working on plans for this at the moment.


How confident is the school that they can implement social distancing across the school, without leaving my child exposed?

We cannot minimise the risk completely but will follow all of the government advice provided. 


How confident is the school that they can ensure all the children wash their hands regularly and sanitise?

Fairly confident. Children got into a good habit before the lockdown began. With reduced numbers in school this should be possible to re-start and maintain. 


Will the school have regular cleaning and disinfecting of desks, door handles etc?



What procedures will the school have in place should a child show symptoms for Covid 19?

The child will be placed into isolation with a member of staff using PPE. They will then be sent home and recommended for testing. They will remain at home for the following 14 days. If the test is positive, the whole bubble will need to isolate at home for 14 days, along with their families. 


What will the dinner arrangement be?

Children will eat their dinners in the school hall, with year groups and ‘teaching bubbles’ adequately spaced. Fortunately we have a large dining hall which allows us to do this safely. Children on packed lunches should bring their own packed lunch into school as normal.


Will outdoor play be cancelled?

No, outdoor play and learning will be encouraged. We plan to divide the playground sections into smaller sections and each bubble will have their own space. 


How will children be kept apart at break times? 

Children will be reminded of the rules- they can only play with people from within their bubble.  


How will teachers comfort our children if needed?

There is recognition that children may need to be comforted at some point within the day. Limited amounts of PPE will be provided for the staff in order to do this (masks and gloves). 


How will teaching continue?

Teaching staff will decide what learning will look like when pupils return. There will need to be a balance between curriculum priorities and the need for pastoral / mental health and well – being support. Opportunities for physical exercise and outdoor play will also be a key focus.


Nursery and Reception children spend a lot of time playing will they be told to play alone? 

We don’t think it’s going to be possible to prevent children playing with others. 


Will children get into trouble for breaking the rules e. g if they get too close to another child?



If a child in the class shows symptoms does the whole class (bubble) then self isolate for 2 weeks?

Yes, if they test positive. 


How many teaching staff will be in a classroom?

A minimum of 2.


Have you had any Covid-19 cases since the lockdown?

Not as far as we know. 


Will you receive any hand sanitisers from the local authority?

We have sourced these ourselves.