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Garden Suburb Junior School

COVID-19 information

The Junior School Plan for September 2020

I have made plans with my team to reopen the school in September 2020. Please keep this letter safe so that you can refer to it in September, particularly with regards to drop off and pick up arrangements.

We are following guidance from the DfE and have conducted risk assessments. We have also consulted with staff and governors to agree our model. Our new risk assessment can be accessed through the link at the bottom of this page. 

All children will be expected to return to full-time education from September. The aim of our new model is to ‘reduce contact and maximise distance’. We will endeavour to limit the points at which the infection could be spread, by keeping pupils in separate, isolated year groups throughout the school day, wherever possible, with a staggered arrival, dismissal, break and lunch time.


All 30 children in each class will be back in school for the full school day. ‘Groups’ will be expanded to encompass entire year groups of children and staff.


Drop off and pick up

Drop off

All year groups will soft start and can arrive between:    8:40a.m. –  9:05a.m.

Pick up

Year 3 and 4:      3:15p.m.

Year 5 and 6:      3:25p.m.

Parents are requested not to enter the playground before their pick up time and to leave the playground promptly to reduce congestion

  • Parents will only be allowed to use the main gate (as is used at the moment)
  • A parent waiting area is marked on the playground
  • Parents who have children in different year groups will wait with their child in the parent waiting area
  • There will be a dismissal area for each year group

Each class teacher will dismiss their children from their year group area. Children will line up in front of the teacher in 2 lines of 15

Year 2/ Year 3 Transition

Last week we were able to welcome in the Year 2 pupils, who will be joining us in September, to meet their Year 3 teachers and to see their classrooms. It was lovely to see the many familiar faces of the parents as they dropped off their children; many siblings of current or former pupils will be joining us next year!

During the first week back (Thursday 3rd September and Friday 4th September)

In order to support the welfare of the Year 3 children, they should arrive at 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd and 4th September.

They will be greeted by their class teachers in the playground and will be guided to their classrooms.

From Monday 7th September the Year 3 children can arrive with the rest of the school between 8:40am-9:05am.


Travelling while social distancing – important reminders:

One parent/ carer should do the school run, and should avoid mingling at the school gates. The safest and healthiest way to travel is outdoors: on foot, by bike or scooter. When travelling and dropping off/picking up, try to keep 2m away from other people. Everyone should consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. If public transport is unavoidable, as well as keeping your hands and face as clean as possible you might choose to wear a non-medical face covering. As of June 15th wearing face coverings is now mandatory on all public transport.    

Consider walking and cycling if you can:

Walking and cycling will reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network. Many families have been enjoying walking, running, scooting and cycling as part of their daily exercise. It’s a great opportunity to keep this going when schools go back. Many of us have experienced how we can maintain distance from others while travelling actively, including making use of the quieter roads.


Changes to Classroom set up

There will not be any fixed social distancing requirements for pupils in primary school from September. As all children will be in school full-time, social distancing will not always be possible but reasonable measures will be put in place to achieve this where it is possible. Staff will distance themselves by teaching from the front of the class, where possible. The aim of this new model is to ‘reduce contact and maximise distance’. The guidance states that staff are advised to spend no more than 15 minutes, at any one time, closer than 1m to anyone. Classrooms will be set up so that pupils and desks all face forward, rather than facing each other.

2 children will be able to sit on 1 singular table, facing the front of the class.

Children’s individual stationery will be kept in their class tray.


Break-time for children

There will be staggered play times outside for year groups and they will play in different halves of the playground.

Year 3 and Year 4 – 10:10 a.m. – 10:25a.m.

Year 5 and Year 6 – 11:00a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


Lunchtime for children

Lunch times will be staggered for lower and upper school.

Year 3/4 lunch timing: 12:00 – 1pm

12:00 – 12:40 p.m. – Year 3 and 4 will have lunch in the dining and main hall in separate halves of the halls.

Year 5/6 lunch timing: 12:25 – 1:25pm

12:45 – 1:25 p.m. – Year 5 and 6 will have lunch in the dining and main hall in separate halves of the halls.

Hot lunches will be provided in the dining hall.

A meat or vegetarian meal option will be pre-plated for children to pick up from the hatch.

Packed lunches will be eaten in the main hall which will be set up with tables and benches.

There will be:

  • Clear expectations of the behaviour of the children with respect to minimising contact and maximising distance
  • Regular handwashing and use of hand sanitiser

·         PPE for staff to use in certain circumstances eg when social distancing is not possible and in the medical room

There will be:

  • Clear expectations of the behaviour of the children with respect to minimising contact and maximising distance
  • Regular handwashing and use of hand sanitiser
  • PPE for staff to use in certain circumstances eg when social distancing is not possible and in the medical room


The revised behaviour policy can been accessed here:

Behaviour policy June 2020

Our September model will also include the expectation that parents are:

  • vigilant about ensuring that they do not send their child to school if they or any member of their family has been exposed to and/or is not well and/or displaying symptoms of Covid-19
  • engage with test and trace arrangements
  • vigilant if travelling abroad and adhere to any quarantine periods that are in place on return
  • available to collect their children immediately, if asked to do so for any reason
  • aware of and follow the school guidance at drop off and pick up

The full range of government guidance can be found here:


Home Learning

We are currently reviewing our home learning provision and are setting up an online platform to use in the future. Staff have received training on the platform this week. We plan to teach the children and parents how to use this platform during the first few weeks of September. More details to follow.


Clubs and Childcare

We are hoping to start up our Funtime breakfast club and after school provision as soon as possible, but this will not happen initially. We will need to check numbers and see if children can be accommodated in groups according to their year groups or classes.


Message from Cllr David Longstaff

Below is a link to a message on the Barnet website from the Deputy Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Children, Education and Safeguarding Committee, Councillor David Longstaff, regarding the re-opening of schools in September.



Parents need to be aware that the attendance of pupils will be compulsory in September. Please see the link to a short film aimed at children, with young people voicing over what to expect when they return to school in September.

This film covers:

  • the fact that the return to school in September will be compulsory for all
  • the changes students can expect to see around school
  • what bubbles mean
  • where to go for support
  • a reminder of good hygiene
  • how to get to school safely. 

We will do everything we can to minimise the risks, but  cannot promise that the risk will be zero. 

Our risk assessment can be accessed here:

Garden Suburb risk assessment for return to school

We look forward to welcoming all our children back in September.  We will of course be back in contact before the end of term to remind you of the start and finish times, and all the arrangements for the new term.