Buxton Junior School

Information about the full reopening of school in September 2020

Information about the Full Opening of School in September (as of 17.7.20)


Please read the information below carefully. We may update this, if required, before the beginning of term, which starts on Thursday 3rd September 2020.


The DfE guidance about full opening covers two areas:

  1. Prevention with a focus on: minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school; cleaning hands thoroughly more often than usual; ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach; introducing enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often.
  2. We have also been given clear guidance about what measures to take if there is a suspected or identified case of Covid-19 in school. We have been following these guidelines closely since March whilst open and I will share the detail of this before the beginning of term. If you would like to read it before then, please follow this link:


Our School Plans


Bubbles and group sizes

From September, our pupils will be organised into groups or ‘bubbles’ with as little interaction as possible across groups. In order to achieve these bubbles whilst ensuring we can still function as a school, we have opted for class bubbles for the vast majority of the time. Playtimes will be in year group bubbles. When we can use the field, lunchtime play will be in year group bubbles. When we cannot use the field, lunchtime play will be in phase bubbles (Y3/Y4) and (Y5/Y6). The toilets will be also used by phase bubbles. This means the children may have transitory contact with another child from the other class in their year group or from the other phased year group when visiting the toilet or when playing outside. The DfE has stated that pupils passing each other briefly in a corridor or playground (e.g. walking past each other) is a relatively 'low risk', but we will have measures in place to avoid large groups of pupils mixing together in these spaces at the same time.


Social distancing within bubbles

The DfE has recognised that strict social distancing will not always be possible, especially with primary-aged pupils. The guidance specifically states, "We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group”.  We will promote and encourage social distancing amongst the children and classrooms will be reorganised to allow maximum space between children who will be facing forwards and sitting side-by-side. The DfE has accepted that pupils will need to be sitting close to each other in most classrooms.


‘Plan B’: remote-learning

Schools are also being asked to prepare a 'Plan B', i.e. arrangements to allow remote learning to take place if a partial or full closure of the school is required at any point in the next academic year. We have already made a detailed plan of how we will do this, using systems similar to those of the past few months, with an intention to increasingly use Google Classroom. There is a clear expectation from the government that schools will provide the support and that parents will pick up the home-learning as seamlessly as possible. We are using the information gathered from the parent survey issued recently to inform our plan.


Other Important Measures

Teachers and staff can move between classes and bubbles. This will enable our specialist and peripatetic teachers to work in school whilst social distancing as much as possible.


Strict hand-washing routines and respiratory hygiene measures will be in place. 


Our cleaning routines and systems will comply with the government requirements.  We have already increased and enhanced our cleaning measures on site as another temporary measure. 

There will be no whole-school or parents assemblies for the time being.  We will plan alternative methods to allow us to share achievements and messages between the children in school and with you at home. This is very important to us.


Breaktimes will be staggered so that only one phase uses the playground at a time. Y3/Y4 will use the playground at a different time from Y5/Y6. The outside area will be separated into two areas so the children will play in their year group bubble.


Lunchtime plan. During partial opening, the children have eaten at their desks in their classrooms. This has worked well and we will continue to do this in September. In the morning, children will still be able to choose what they would like to eat for lunch. Children with packed lunches will also eat at their desks. After lunch, the children will play outside either in their year bubbles or phase bubbles depending on the weather.


Resources that are shared between bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment, will be cleaned frequently and will either be cleaned between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different bubbles.


Outdoor playground equipment will be more frequently cleaned and hand railings will be cleaned daily.


Forest School will continue and resources will be cleaned frequently or rotated. The children who are doing Forest School will be asked if they can provide their own clothing but we can provide it if they can’t.


Our school breakfast club will be running as normal in September from 7.45am, costing £3 a session. Children must be dropped off and signed in to the Breakfast Club and you are allowed to drive onto site to do this. Children will all be in the hall but separated into phases.


After-school wraparound child-care. We are currently liaising with Playdays regarding potential after-school provision and we will share further details once these are available.


After-school clubs. We are planning to run these but are in the process of working out how to offer them in bubbles of year groups or phases. We will have more information in September.


The amount of equipment children bring into school each day will be limited to essentials, such as school bags, PE kit, water bottles, lunch boxes, hats, coats and books. Children will be allowed to bring one pencil case to school. This must be small enough to fit in the trays under the desks so the surface of the desk can be easily cleaned. Children will also be provided with stationery and will be encouraged to retain these for their own use only.


Pupils can take books and other shared resources home, although unnecessary sharing will be avoided, especially where this does not contribute to pupil education and development.  Books will be isolated for a period of time when they are returned to school.


PE will be a normal part of our provision in September with priority given to outdoor sports.  Equipment will be cleaned or rotated between groups.


Outdoor learning has been a focus at Buxton Junior School for the last two years. We will continue to follow this approach as we believe it is a hugely important part of what we offer. We know it contributes greatly to all the children’s well-being and they learn well outside.


Classroom-based resources, such as books and games, can be used and shared within the group; these will be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces.


We will delay the booking of any day trips (educational visits) until the Autumn term.  Currently, residential visits are not permitted but we are anticipating the White Hall trip will go ahead this year, but without the overnight element. We are busy making plans for this trip and will give you more information in September.


First aid will be administered by qualified staff within the allocated groups as required.


In line with government guidance, face coverings are still not currently required in schools and should not be worn by pupils or staff. The guidance currently states that masks must be removed before a child enters the school site.


Keeping in touch

The DfE guidance states that no additional adults may come onto site. This is a great sadness to me as I enjoy chatting to parents on the playground in the morning and it’s an excellent way of keeping in touch with you. Two members of staff (one of them will usually be me) will be at the front and back gates every morning so if you have any questions or queries, please do still ask. If you need to speak to a teacher or me privately, please call the office to make a phone appointment. During partial closure, the class teacher email system worked very well and we will continue to use this next year. As normal, if you have any questions or worries about your child, please contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance.

We are also working hard on plans to keep you involved with what your children are up to in school. Things like whole year group assemblies and school plays cannot happen as they have done previously. This is obviously something we are very keen to overcome as they are crucial to our sense of school community and to your child.


Staggered start and finish times

We need to organise the start to the school day so that children do not all arrive and leave at the same time through the same gate. Therefore, we will stagger start times and finish times and ask that different year groups use the front and back gates. When the children arrive at school, they will now go straight into classrooms rather than waiting on the playground until 9.00am, although we are currently working on a plan so that one bubble at a time can play on the playground in the mornings.


As usual, no cars will be allowed on site, except to drop off at Breakfast Club.


We are requesting that you use the times and gates listed below wherever possible but understand there may be times when you are unable to do this. If you need to drop off siblings before going to the Infant School, teachers will be in their classrooms from 8.40am. BIS will be sending out detailed information about start and finish times before term starts. If you have a child who has been allocated a later drop off time at the Infant School, BIS are happy for you to drop them off a little earlier there so that you can get your other child here to the Junior School for 9.05am.


The register will be taken for all children at 9.05am. Please do not allow your child to arrive on site before 8.40am unless you are dropping them off for Breakfast Club.


If you have two children in school with different times and gates, please choose the most convenient.


If your child leaves at 3.25pm but has a sibling who leaves at the later time of 3.35pm, they can wait in school until the later time so that they can leave together. Parents of siblings with different finish times can pick up at 3.35pm.


Start and Finish Times

*Please arrive as close as possible to your allotted arrival time
































Year Group

Gate we encourage you to use

Year 3

Front gate

Year 4

Back gate

Year 5

Front gate

Year 6

Back gate