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01204 333692

Norris Street

Little Lever, Bolton BL3 1BQ

School Wider Reopening FAQ

St Matthew’s School.

Reopening Information

Thank you so much for completing the survey it was really helpful in our planning.


I know that deciding if your child should return to school  is a really difficult decision, not one you take lightly. I am sharing with you today information to answer as many of your questions as I can. We are working on developing our detailed procedures and routines and will share these with you the week before we are due to return and before we ask you to decide if you child is returning to school.

It is important to say though, that school will not be providing information around ‘the science’ or ‘the R number’.  Once the government indicate that schools should open we will, if we are in a position to do so based on our risk assessment. This will take into account staffing availability, and an ability to meet the recommendations set out in the guidance.  At present, this is the 8th June.

Reception and Year 1 will return in the first week and Year 6 will return the following week. This is a practical decision to enable us to put our systems into place. Year 6 will also receive an additional letter and survey with information about ordering Hoodies and other arrangements.

Someone in my house is medically vulnerable – should my child return to school?The government have issued guidance on this and it can be found on the Government Website : Covid 19 : implementing protective measures in education and child care settings . Please contact the school office from 1st June if you wish to talk this through with us. For children with ANY underlying medical needs who is considering returning to school please contact the school office. 
Do I have to decide now?No. We totally understand that this is a difficult decision for parents. We know you need to take in all the information available to you and make your decision. How you feel might change as circumstances change.
When do I have to decide?We will ask parents of children in Reception and Year 1 to let us know by 12 noon Friday 5th June if they are intending to send their child to school.  For Year 6 children this will be Friday 12th June After this, If you wish your child to return to school you will need to contact the school office to make arrangements. Once children have started back, we will assume that they are continuing in school unless you let us know different.
Can I change my mind?If your child returns to school and then you decide that you would prefer them not to do so you can withdraw them. However, we will not be in a position to accept them back again in the Summer Term.
Would teachers be wearing PPE?For regular activities, staff are not required to wear PPE. Examples of when they would wear PPE in line with guidance would be: when administering first aid, if a child requires changing due to wetting or soiling, someone becomes unwell and as part of the cleaning regime.
Will my child be in their own classroom or have their own teacher?We do not yet know which room your child will be in or which teacher they will be with but it is very possible that this will not be their own teacher or own classroom. Year 1 will be moving into the Year 3 and Year 4 classrooms – we will be moving their furniture and resources with them.  Mrs Clemmett will not be working in school at this time.  
Will school be open full time?No.   School will close on a Wednesday 12:00 before lunch to all except key workers.
How would the classrooms look and can we see a video?Our school ethos is as strong as ever and will remain at the heart of everything we do. Staff are really mindful that this could be an anxious time for children  and whilst there is no doubt we will have to make significant changes to the learning environment we will make this as child friendly as we can.  We are calling our new learning environments our ‘bubbles’ and each ‘bubble’ will develop an identity together – probably around a book theme. Hopefully the teacher leading the bubble will be able to make a short film to share with the children.
My child has been in the key worker group and their class are returning to school. What will happen? ?The key worker group will continue in a similar way to now. However, it will start at 8:15am and finish at 5:15pm. This will allow for cleaning of the school hall. For parents of children in classes returning to school who require provision beyond the regular school day we would suggest that their child stays in the key worker group.
 As now, they should only attend school when there is no one to look after them at home. As guidelines, state that groups are not allowed to mix the children would stay with the key worker group – which will have children from different classes in. Children joining their class will not be able to access the longer hours.  
Will the children be wearing uniform?No. Until the end of the Summer Term, we will not ask children to wear uniform. This is because many of the children have grown, shopping for new uniform is hard at this time and our uniform suppliers are not yet operational.  
What should children wear?Children should come to school in clean clothes each day. Therefore, children should come to school in clothes that are easy to wash.  We are hoping that they will be able to spend a great deal of time outside and there will be some PE activities. Children will not change for PE. So, ideally, casual comfortable clothes. Rules around earrings, headbands , keeping hair fastened up will still apply.
Will my child be with their friends?The class teachers know the children well and will be involved in arranging the ‘bubbles’. We will take account where we can of friendship groups however, children will not be able to choose which bubble they are in and will not be able to change bubbles.  You will have seen on the news that as part of the return to school, we are instructed to reduce contact between bubbles and so children may not be able to see their friends. Please consider this when deciding if you want your child to return to school.
How many children will be in the group?The current guidelines state that no more than 15 children should be in a classroom.  We will not know how many children are in each group until we know how many children are returning to school.
If I keep my child at home, will you continue to provide home learning?At this stage, we are not sure. We are working through how this might look and will let you know. As most teachers will be needed to teach the groups in school, we will have less capacity to provide home learning.
What will the children learn in school?We are still developing our provision and will be able to provide more detail nearer the time.
Once the children return to school we do want them to enjoy their learning just as they did before, but it will be different. The range of activities we will be able to offer will be limited.  The guidance indicates that the provision in Reception and Year 1 should focus on basic skills and Year 6 should focus on skills needed for moving onto High School. The start and end of the school day will be staggered – details to follow. There will be no after school activities.  
What will the lunch arrangement be?For children who normally have a school lunch a school packed lunch will be provided. For children who usually bring a packed lunch they will be able to do so. Storage of lunchboxes will form part our routines for maintaining a clean environment. Children will eat their lunch with their group. This maybe in the classroom or outside. Information on payment for school meals for Year 6 will be provided nearer the time.

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