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Henry Maynard Primary School and Nursery

Learning, Working and Achieving Together

Possible reopening of school - letter to parents

Dear parents, carers and families,

Re: Possible reopening of school to more pupils in June.  Please read the contents of this letter, and the attached key question sheet, carefully. 

We know you’ve seen in the news that schools may reopen, subject to Government feeling it is safe to do so, on 1 June to children for nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils.   We would like to reassure you that we will be doing everything in our power to protect your child’s health and wellbeing when we are asked to re-open our school in whatever form that may be.   We are as eager as you all are for our children to return to normality and be back at school with us all. 


Whilst we don’t yet have the government’s detailed plans on school re-openings, we completely appreciate that many of us will be feeling anxious about our children returning school during this period.   It’s a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we’re going to be doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready to receive these year groups if it’s safe for our school to reopen in the coming weeks.   The leadership team are keeping up to date with advice provided to us from the government, DfE, the joint guidance of the various Teaching unions and from Waltham Forest and will be taking into account information from all these key bodies as and when it is released.


In the meantime, we will ensure that the children of our key workers and our most vulnerable pupils continue to have a as safe a place as possible during the day, and our children at home have the support they need from their teachers through home learning, class emails and our fortnightly phone calls home.  


If you have a child in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 we ask that you please complete the short survey on our School App by Monday 18th May 2020, so that we may gain a parental perspective in these challenging times.   Please do not complete the survey if your child is in a different year group and please note that if you have a child in one of the above mentioned year groups, any siblings in other year groups will not be able to attend school.   A survey for children in other year groups will be sent out at a later date.


I want to reassure you that we’re not going to be pressuring anyone to send their children to school. We’ll keep you updated with all our preparations for making sure the school is as safe as possible, so you can make an informed decision.     If your child remains at home beyond 1 June because this is the best decision for your family or because your child doesn’t fall into one of these year groups, we’ll continue to support you and them with home learning, and meal support for those eligible to Free School Meals.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our parents and carers for everything you are doing to support your child’s education during this time.    We feel our partnership with you has never been more important, and we know that the more we can work together, the better it is for our children. 


We’ll keep you updated once we know more about how and when schools will be able to reopen for other year groups.    As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us in the usual way.


Warm regards,


Laura Birkett                                                    Emma Fenton

Headteacher                                                  Chair of Governors


Important questions to note:


What are you doing to ensure that any potential opening will be safe?  

In terms of the possible reopening to some children in June, we’re currently developing risk assessments and creating a detailed action plan that we’ll share with you as soon as possible so you know what the school’s reopening may look like in practice. 


Some of the precautions and risks that we are currently considering are as follows:

  • Working hard to ensure children socially distance, whilst we understand that this is exceptionally difficult for most children, particularly younger ones

  • Considering how to effectively provide education opportunities to children with limited resources and materials to prevent cross contamination (especially for younger children who rely heavily on resources and materials for their play and learning)

  • Limiting class sizes- the size of the classrooms at Addison Rd suggest only 8 pupils could be seated with social distancing, whilst at Maynard Rd we can accommodate 10 children.

  • Whether there is a way that children returning to school can do so part-time on a rota basis, e.g. mornings/afternoons or some days each week or one week in school/one week at home

  • How we can safely stagger break times, lunch times and pick-up and drop-off times

  • Not allowing unnecessary visitors on to the school site, which would include parents and families.

  • How we ensure sufficiently regular hand washing throughout the day 

  • Ensuring we have the materials and staff to provide Increased cleaning and sanitising throughout the school sites

  • How we identify and safely keep pupils and staff with coronavirus symptoms at home

  • The fact that there will not be an opportunity to provide before or after school club provision during this time


What if my child is vulnerable?

If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable, or living with someone who is in this group, they should not come back to school, if and when we re-open to more pupils, and should continue home learning.    If your child is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), you should follow medical advice to decide if they should come back to school.    Please refer to government guidance for further details of these groups.


What will school be like when it re-opens?

Our priority, as always, is the health and safety of both the children and the staff. That includes their mental well-being.    With that in mind, we wanted to ask families to please begin to consider that if and when more children return to school, they won’t necessarily be experiencing “normal” school life and things may be quite different and unusual for them.  Obviously we will do our utmost to help make life as normal as possible, but we want parents to understand that things will have changed within school for children and this may be something that you may want to begin to prepare them for now. 


  • Children may not be taught by their class teacher

  • Children will be in groups or “social bubbles” and will not meet or interact with other groups

  • Children will not access the same range of resources to prevent cross contamination

  • Children will need to sit in the same desk and use the same equipment through the day

  • Staff may on occasion need to wear PPE  - e.g. when dealing with an unwell child


We will of course risk assess where children may find this challenging and of course we will find as many ways as possible to ensure that the children have fun and enjoyable learning opportunities and time outside to run and play. 

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