01204 333692

Norris Street

Little Lever, Bolton BL3 1BQ

September Opening to all Children

St Matthew’s School.

Returning to school in September

All children are due back in school on Tuesday 8th September except our new Reception children who will start back on Monday 14th September.

The Information below is in the form of Frequently Asked Questions. It is intended to provide the information you need to prepare your child for a return to school in September. Please share as much of this as you can with them.  The class teachers have been busy making short films to show your children what life will be like in their new class. These films will be placed on the Class Blogs.

All our plans are based on the current guidance. Should the guidance change our plans may change. We are aware that the Government may issue further guidance or updates on 11th August. We may need to change some of what we do based on this update and we will send this information out on Tuesday 1st September along with any further information or necessary changes.

If you have any further questions once you have read this please contact school before 12:00pm on Friday 17th July and we will do our best to help.

What do I need to do before my child returns to school ?Before returning to school please take time to talk to your child about how they are feeling.   Some children have spent time in school but many have not. They may have worries or concerns about what to expect or their work. If these are learning related please use to contact the new class teacher from 1st September. If there are pastoral concerns please contact the school office by email. Emails will be checked weekly over the holidays and then daily from 1st September.      Please talk to your child about social distancing. They will be very familiar with this now so this should not be an issue. Whilst some social distancing measures have been reduced, the principles behind them have not changed. In school we will play games and do activities to reinforce this. Children will NOT be ‘told off; or ‘get in trouble’ if they forget, so please reassure them of this.   Some children might worry about not knowing what will happen, some will be excited. So, above all else make sure that returning to school is not seen as something to worry about.  We will talk to the children about the new expectations but we will all be learning together.      And finally, I am sure that good handwashing is now part of daily life but if your child needs a reminder find an age appropriate handwashing video to watch together. This link may be useful.    
When will my child be in school ?Children from Year 1 through to Year 6 will be in school full time from Tuesday 8th September . There will be a staggered start and finish to each day Reception children will start on Monday 14th September with a staggered start on the first day and then full time from the Tuesday. Further information will be sent separately to Reception class parents.
Why is there a staggered start and finish ?Government guidance stresses the importance of reducing congestion and gatherings at the school gates and so by varying the times that children start and finish school we can reduce the number of people moving around at any one time. Our plan for staggered starts and finishes will be reviewed after two weeks. If we can maintain a flow of people round the school then we will look to return to ‘normal’ times after two weeks.
What time will my child come to school ?Junior Children (Year 3 through to Year 6) should arrive between  8:40am and 8:50am leave at 3:30pm. Infant Children (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) should arrive between 8:55am and 9:05am and  leave at 3:15pm. Please do not arrive earlier than your time. This is the time to arrive at school and not the time you are expected in the classroom.  
What should I do if I have both Infant and Junior children ?Where there are Infant and Junior children in one family we would prefer you to come at the Junior time as lessons will start promptly. Infant siblings will wait in the hall until the Infant time. Parents will not be able to wait with their children but staff will be on hand to supervise them. You can decide to bring your Junior child at the Infant time instead, but be mindful that they will miss some learning.
What if I have to get to work and the Infant time is too late for me ?Please contact the school office and we will work this through with you.
What if my child is brought by an Out of School Provider ?Your child will be brought to school at 8:50am and leave at 3:30pm
Which way will my child come into school?We will be operating a one way system. Everyone will enter school down the Infant Path and walk round the school to their classroom door. If adults have accompanied their children the adults will continue round the school and leave via the Junior Gate and up the main steps. In the evening the flow is reversed. Once Junior children are happy coming into school then we would encourage you to leave them at the school gate.
Will I be able to come into school with my child ?No. Children will be met at their classroom door by their teacher or another adult and they will come into school on their own. If you have a message for the teacher please either give them a note, share a brief message verbally or email the school and ask the teacher to call you back. If you require a meeting with the teacher or Mrs Ryding this will most likely be arranged virtually.  
How do I collect my child at the end of the day ?If you are coming into school to collect your child then enter by the Junior gate and walk round to the classroom door. You will be asked to wait behind a marked line and step forward when the teacher releases your child.( Just like you did in Reception). Please respect the fact that we are working hard to keep everyone safe and asking you to stay back really helps us to do this. Staff will be on hand to show you where to stand. Once you have collected your child continue round to the Infant Gate and leave by the Infant Path. If your child is being collected by an older sibling who is at High School they must come on their own and not with their friends – again this is to reduce congestion in line with government guidance.
Where should I park ?Parking on Norris Street will be dangerous. Please do not come down the road in your car.  Please leave your car away from school and walk – this will make it safe for everyone. Whilst there are two finishing times staff will be on hand to enforce this for the safety of everyone. If other people are collecting your children – such as grandparents or friends – please make them aware of this and they are not offended when they are asked to move.
Will Junior children be able to leave school on their own at the end of the day?If your child already does this then they will continue to do so. If they are in Year 3 please let the school office know that this will be happening. In an effort to reduce congestion outside school we will encourage parents to come into the grounds and collect their child from the classroom. If you have more than one child you can discuss with them where it is best to meet. Please do not arrive earlier than your pick up time and park up to wait for your time. This will cause quite a lot of problems.
Will the back gate be open ?For the first week the gate will not be open as we will need all our staff to support the children . If our plans work well we should be able to open the gate in the second week.
Can my child bring a bike or a scooter ?No . Not at the moment. Once things have settled down we will look at this again.
Should I send my child to school if they are a little unwell.No . Do not send your child to school – even if they are only mildly unwell. Usually we encourage children to come to school even if they are unwell and we will send them home if their condition concerns us. However, at this time it is important that everyone in school is well and a mild illness could show the same symptoms as the coronavirus. If a child presents as unwell when they register on arrival they will be sent home.
What will happen if there is a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19  in school ?Guidance for the full opening of schools – published July 2nd outlines the schools responsibilities to work with the health authorities and support the ‘Track and Trace’ system. Class or whole school closures will only be implemented in consultation with the local health protection team.   This procedure is subject to change and parents will be informed if there are changes.  
Can my child still bring their phone to school ?No. Please do not let your child bring their phone to school. The school office is not open at the beginning and end of the day and we need to keep items brought from home to a minimum.  
What will the classroom be like and what will learning be like?The class teachers have made some short films and these have been placed on the class blogs. They will show a little of what life will be like in September. With the exception of Reception and Year 1 the children will sit ‘in rows’ facing forward. They will have their own resources in a clear plastic case that will stay on their table. Thy will keep their coat and water bottle near by. Learning will be very much as the children are used to – although the timetable will vary quite a bit. As every child’s experience of home learning is different the class teachers will spend quite a bit of time finding out where the children are up to in their learning and planning what needs to be done next. Please reassure your child that the teachers will not be looking for what the children ‘cannot do’ we will build our teaching from where the children are in their learning. We are looking forward to starting our work with Bolton Music Service and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust in September, although we are waiting for further detailed guidance on some aspects of Music teaching relating to singing and Brass lessons.
Will school be sending things home ?We will be reducing the amount of things we send home. We will continue to use the text messaging system and the website to share information. We now use Microsoft Forms for  sharing information and gathering permissions – so please make sure that the person receiving the text messages passes the information on to whoever needs it at home.  
Can my child bring things to school ?Just for now children should only bring the things they need for the school day. PE Kit, Lunchbox, Water Bottle and Book Bag. Please do not add key rings to the book bags as we need to reduce the things we need to clean in school. We are looking at ways for children to share things with us that they would previously have brought to school for example certificates, trophies or items for Show and Tell. We will let you know more about this in September.
What will happen at playtimes and lunchtimes ?Children will play out with other children in their class. Staff will work with the children to understand what kind of games they are able to play. Children from other classes will be outside at the same time in other areas of the playground. We will work with the children to help them understand that they cannot go to the other classes.  The children will not be able to play football at lunch or breaktime – although this may change if guidance changes.

Lunchtimes will run much as they have always done. Children will sit together in the hall as a class and then play out together as a class. The lunchtime break is going to be a little shorter and the morning and afternoon breaks will be a little longer to balance this out.
Do the children have to wear uniform ?Yes – children should wear normal school uniform.  Long hair should be tied back and our usual rules apply for earrings. Children should not  wear watches or other items on their wrist due to the increased handwashing. The same also applies to staff.   To order uniform from school please contact the school office and they will send you a link to a Microsoft Form. Our online payment system has been delayed but we are working on it and hope to have it in place as soon as possible.
How do I order snacks ?You should have received a link to a Microsoft Form. If you have not had the link please contact the school office and they will resend it.
How do I order juice ?We are not providing juice in the Autumn Term. You can send a carton of juice in for your child if you wish.

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