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Action Plan For Wider Opening Of Lark Hall

Staff & Parent Handbook

Action Plan for Wider Opening of School Coronavirus only

Our only interest is to keep everyone safe

For all children, staff and parents returning to school from 1st June.

This is subject to ongoing review by the school, updated guidance from the government, the Local Authority and the Trust. It is very much a live document.

It may be that further Risk Assessment review by the Directors/Governing Board/Headteacher deem that this plan has to be altered.

Wider Opening Actions – Lark Hall Specific

From Monday 1st June 2020, schools will offer a wider provision for key Year groups. In the first initial weeks, to Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and all Key Worker Children (June 1st)

Health and Safety Measures

Health Measures and Safety Advice being followed are more important than ever. These measures are taken to make school a low risk place for children, staff and parents.

Hand washing

Make sure you wash your hands properly from first thing in the morning and through the day. Children, parents, and staff must wash their hands before leaving for school. Children and staff will continue to wash their hands on arriving at school and at the key points needed though the day.

Children must wash their hands every time they enter the building.

It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together with soap and rinsing with water provides.

Minimise items brought in

Your child is only to bring in their coat, named drinks bottle and lunch box if needed. We will provide all other items.


To ensure that we can adhere to the guidance and attempt to control the transmission of any potential infection, we shall be operating a ‘Pod’ system across the school. Each year group including Key Worker children will be grouped into different pods based on the size and space available in the specific classrooms.

The pod will consistent of pupils, 1 Teacher or Higher Level Teaching assistant (HLTA) and additional adults where possible. The children will only interact with the members in their pod and will not come into contact with any other pupils in school.



Additional Adult

Additional Adult


Lisa Hartin

Heidi Cowling

Ben Hatton


Lizzie Edden

Holly Rust



Alison Lovat

Kelly Fritz



Laura Fumagalli

Jayne Amiss

Kerry Wilson

Additional staff not allocated in the table above remain outside of the pod and will be distributed to other teams. Miss Doxford (FSW) will work from home but will be in regular contact with the safeguarding team via phone calls and email.

Social Distancing

We are advised to keep a two metre distance (or more) at all times. Continue to talk to your children about doing this. Take note of social distancing markers, signs and structures on arriving at school.


Government guidelines are asking parents to make sure that ONLY ONE PARENT brings their child to and from school. 

If you are in a car DO NOT PARK ON THE STAFF CAR PARK. If early, ideally stay in your car.

At all times aim to be patient and respect the needs of others and remember that social distancing is the priority, i.e. be prepared to stand back.

New government guidelines emphasise NO PARENTS INSIDE SCHOOL BUILDING, except in emergency circumstances and / or by prior arrangement.

All external visitors are discouraged.

Any questions, conversations needed with staff must be by phone or by email.

Mr Lane and Mr Roberts will be a visible presence on arrival and collection. We are all in this together so please make sure we all follow these new arrangements.

Most importantly for parents, despite all our preparations and measures, if you are still not sure or have on going worries or concerns then keep your child safely at home.

All parents should keep the situation under review and continue to communicate with us.


Communication between home and school during any time is crucial. At Lark Hall we ran an ‘Open Door Policy’ and invited parents to interact with all staff. Unfortunately, this will not be the case when we open more widely. Although Mr Lane and Mr Roberts will be on the gate in the morning and at the end of the day, they will not be available to discuss issues as he would have done in the past. If you wish to discuss matters further or have any concerns, we ask that you phone into school or email where they will be happy to discuss matters further. Please continue to use the school contact details:

Tel: 01827 215333


If you need to speak to anyone in the school office, we are allowing only one person into the Reception entrance area at any one time. We will speak through the hatch but we ask that you observe the 2m boxed area inform of the hatch when speaking to the office staff. This is again to comply with social distancing guidance.

We would ask that whenever possible please ring or email

Start of day arrangements: Practical steps to reduce risk.

  • Staggered start.
  • IMPORTANT TO NOTE – Staff will be in their base to receive children who have been directed in. Teachers will stand at doorway of the main building.
  • No parents are to approach the class – children must walk from parent walkway to classroom unattended.
  • One way system entering main gate – leaving by field gate (around back of kitchen).
  • 8.50 am All key workers (Nur, Rec, Year 1, Year 2)
  • 9.00 am Nur, Rec, Year 1
  • Children to walk towards their base independently. Parents to continue to follow directions out.
  • Teachers in same classrooms as before shutting.
  • Parents will leave, as child walks to their base and parents will follow one way system out, following instructions and social distancing.
  • Teachers and LSAs will need to be in class right from the start of the day and avoiding contact with other pods.

End of day arrangements

Please note – other family members to be dismissed with first child needing collection.

This is not a time to have a parental/teacher conversation. One and only focus is safe, swift dismissal.

  • 3.00 pm All key workers (Nur, Rec, Year 1, Year 2)
  • 2.50 pm Nur, Rec, Year 1
  • Teachers bring children to their relevant doors – parents queue up at 2m distances– teachers safely dismiss to parent. Parent and child leave school site.
  • This will take a considerable time initially.
  • Enter school via main gate leave by field gate (back of kitchen).
  • On Wednesdays, Non-key worker children will be dismissed at 11:45am.
  • On Wednesdays, key worker children will be dismissed at 12pm.

 Lunch time arrangements

  • Lunch will be provided for children who require
  • Children will eat at desk
  • Lunches delivered outside classroom
  • Staff lunch breaks to be taken in the hall or outside

The staff timings for each lunch break will be as follows:






Lisa 12:15-12:45

Heidi 11:45 -12:15

Ben 12:45 -1:15


Lizzie  12:00 -12:30

Holly 12:30 -1:00

Gemma 11:30 -12:00


Alison 12:00- 12:30

Kelly 12:30- 1:00



Laura 12:15 -12:45

Jayne 12:45 -1:15

Kerry 11:45- 12:15

Lunch structure:


Inside cover

Outside break



Inside cover

Outside break






12:15 -1:00

12:00 -12:15






12:30 – 1:15

12:15 -12:30


12:00- 12:45

12:45 -1:00



12:15 -1:00

12:00 -12:15


12:15- 1:00

1:00 -1:15



12:15- 1:00

12:00 – 12:15

Break times

Break times will be carefully managed to ensure pods do not mix. Break times will be staggered.

Hand washing will be done before and after breaks and lunchtimes.

There will never be more than two pods on the playground at any one time.  Two distinct areas will be de-marked. It is the class teacher’s responsibility to ensure children do not mix at break times.

Cleaning and Hygiene

Following meetings with Chartwells, who provide our cleaning service, a further updated regime of cleaning has been put in place. All frequently touched surfaces, door handles, equipment, rails, contact points and toilets will now be wiped down and cleaned thoroughly each day before school. A member of staff will wipe these surfaces throughout the day. All doors will be open. A plentiful supply of soap and water is available. Lidded bins have been ordered and will be in place in every part of school by 1st June for disposal of tissues. This in addition to bins already in place.

One of our measures to safeguard the pupils is to ensure frequent hand cleaning as well as observe good hygiene practices. This will mean the children will have to wash their hands at different points throughout the day. This will include:

  • On entry into school in the morning
  • Before break times
  • After break times
  • Before lunch times
  • After lunch times
  • Before leaving school at the end of the day
  • After each time they go to the toilet
  • Any time staff deem it appropriate.

During the school day, children will be constantly reminded of the need to observe good respiratory hygiene.

If they cough/sneeze they will be asked to wash their hands immediately after. Additionally, periodically throughout the day, the staff cleaning team will be responsible for cleaning down work stations, door handles, toilets and any other necessary surfaces. School will be thoroughly cleaned before the start of each school day.

An additional measure taken to ensure good hygiene is that each week, the school will close on a Wednesday afternoon from 12:00pm. This will be so cleaners can have additional time to complete a deep clean of the school site. Another reason for the closure is to allow for teachers to access their planning and preparation time (PPA). Under normal circumstances, this is usually covered by different members of the staff. In order to maintain the integrity of the ‘pods’ this cannot take place as is usual so in order to facilitate the teacher PPA time, we shall close on Wednesday afternoon.

First Aid/Intimate Care

Each pod will have access to a classroom first aid kit.

Teachers need to minimise the risk for first aid being required by ensuring that during playtime games stay safe.

Only serious incidents should be sent to the office.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If a child becomes symptomatic, the rest of the class will be removed to a clean classroom. Their parents will be phoned, and the child will go home.

Once the child has gone home the classroom will not be used again until the cleaning team have undertaken a deep clean. Parents of that pod will be informed if a child has gone home with symptoms of COVID19. If a suspected case of COVID-19 is confirmed, that pod, including all pupils and staff will need to isolate for 14 days and will not be allowed back in school.

Pupils or staff should NOT attend school if:

They are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

  • High Temperature (37.8 degrees or higher)
  • Develop a new and persistent cough
  • Experience a loss of taste or smell

No one with the above symptoms should attend Lark Hall for any reason. If you experience

these symptoms you are advised to stay at home for seven day.

Movement around school

Due to the nature of the classrooms no internal school walkways will be required.

Site examination

Resources which are not needed in all class bases have or are being removed this week, this increases available space in classrooms and minimises resources that need to be wiped down and the end of each session / day. Resources have been moved so that no teacher needs to enter another room. Each child has their own resources that no other child can touch.


We continue to have a reduced staffing team due to a number of teaching and non-teaching staff who find themselves:

  • In the clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding) category or living with someone in this category. These staff will be working off-site where possible.
  • In the clinically vulnerable category. These staff have undertaken a risk assessment and may be working off site depending on their circumstances.

Teaching Assistants will then be deployed to assist children who have statutory existing need for 1-2-1 support, e.g. EHC. They will socially distance this support.


Parents will not face fines or any other sanctions if they decide to keep their child safely at home, but if you do keep your child at home, you must keep in touch with us so that we can record as part of our statutory duty.


Children do not need to wear school uniform but can if wanted.

However, no parent will feel pressure to be washing, ironing multiple uniform items particularly if this parent is a Key Worker. Children to wear clean sensible clothing and sensible footwear.

No parent or child will be questioned / challenged on this issue.

Air Flow

Internal doors and windows will be kept open at all times where possible to promote air flow.

Pupil Mental Health and Well- Being

School will support children who:

  • Have found the long period at home hard to manage.
  • Have developed anxieties / worries / concerns related to Coronavirus.
  • Have been bereaved in their family or wider circle of family / friends.

Staff will, where necessary, provide lessons on mental well – being and staying safe. Pastoral activities to provide opportunities to develop and renew friendships will also take place.

What will be taught

Staff will focus on the school routine and hygiene.

The curriculum for those pupils returning to school will be very different from that the children were experiencing before schools closed to the majority of pupils. However, we shall make every reasonable endeavor to deliver the learning and development required as far as feasibly possible in the current circumstances. Our first priority will always be to consider the pupils’ mental health and wellbeing during these times. We pride ourselves at Lark Hall on how well our staff nurture the children and this will not have changed. Making sure those children returning settle back into a new school routine with as little distress as possible will be paramount to what we do in the initial few weeks. We also believe that it is important to us to not only provide the best possible provision for those children in school but also those that will continue to learn remotely.

About the author

Richard Lane

Richard Lane

Chief Executive Officer
Mercia Primary Academy Trust