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Winnersh Primary School,

Winnersh, Berkshire RG41 5LH

Where Learning is an adventure

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  • Contact Us
    • Winnersh Primary School,
    • Greenwood Grove, Winnersh
    • Wokingham, Berkshire
    • RG41 5LH
    Tel: 0118 9782590

FAQs: Returning to School in March 2021

Information on how to Order Rapid Testing Kits

Covid-19 FAQs for Full Re-Opening in March 2021

Frequently Asked Questions


The following information is based on government guidance. It may be subject to change.


1. When do the children return to school?


The school will be open to all pupils from Monday 8th March.


2. Which year groups are returning to school?


The government expects all children to return to school on 8th March. For parents and carers of children of compulsory school age, this means that the legal duty on you as a parent to send your child to school regularly will apply.


3. What about families and children who have been shielding?

A small number of children may still be unable to attend school in line with Public Health advice because they have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to stay at home.  In these cases, please send a copy of the shielding letter to the school.

Some pupils who remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school. 


If you have concerns about your child returning to school because you consider they may have other risk factors, please contact us to talk about how we can support you.


4.  What if I am anxious about sending my child back to school?

We know that some parents and children may be anxious about coming back to school. Please contact the school to discuss your concerns so that we can try to provide reassurance on the measures we have in place to reduce any risks.


5. What will happen with testing?

All school staff, regardless of their role in school, are encouraged to self-test using home testing kits provided by the government. The programme is voluntary.


Currently, Public Health England has advised that there are limited public health benefits from testing primary pupils with lateral flow devices. Primary age pupils, particularly younger children, may find the LFD testing process unpleasant and are unable to self-swab. For these reasons, there are no plans to use LFD testing in primary schools but this will be kept under review.


6. Will my child’s temperature be checked on arrival?


No.  Public Health England advise that routinely taking the temperature of pupils is an unreliable method for identifying Covid-19.


7. Will the schools still have ‘bubbles’?


We will continue with our year group bubbles of 60 children. This will give us the flexibility to run small groups across the two classes, such as phonics or spelling groups, and to come together occasionally for year group activities. The bubbles will have separate play areas at break and lunch time. We will try to reduce contact between different bubbles as much as possible.


8. Can we guarantee that social distancing takes place?


We will, of course, do our best to support social distancing, but parents must understand that in returning to school, there is a very real likelihood that children will touch adults and one another, and come into close contact. The nature of the school site and the age of our children is such that this is unavoidable. We can help to alleviate the risks through careful hygiene procedures.


9. What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe?


We will:

  • ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available.
  • clean surfaces that children are touching frequently.


We will ensure that adults and children:


  • clean their hands on arrival at school.
  • frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
  • are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose.
  • use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’).


We will also:


  • ensure that help is available for children who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
  • where possible, ensure that all spaces are well-ventilated, using natural ventilation (opening windows)
  • prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and other health and safety advice), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation


10.  What happens if my child’s hands become dry or irritable?


Our first preference is to use liquid soap for all handwashing rather than hand gel.  Hand gel may be used occasionally when timings are very tight.  Our hand soap is mild and suitable for sensitive skin. Children may wish to use hand cream at home or overnight to help counteract the increase in handwashing.  Children should not bring their own products into school as this is not practical for staff when managing 30 children in a classroom.


11. What is the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ Approach?


Children are expected to maintain good respiratory hygiene. This includes catching coughs and sneezes in tissues.  It also means that children must take care to avoid accidently ‘spitting’ at others whilst talking.


Please be aware that some children who struggle with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach may be asked to wash their hands more frequently.


11. What should my child bring to school each day?


We do not want your child to bring any unnecessary items into school.  They will need a book bag, a water bottle and a P.E. kit.  Your child may also need a lunch box.  Please label all items as we will be unable to store lost, unnamed items.


12. How will drop-offs and pick-ups work?



This will operate as it did back in September.  Parents may drop off children at any time between 8.40am and 9.00am.  Please do not come before 8.40am or later than 9.00am. If you arrive and start queuing before 8.40am, it creates a build-up of people and does not give families a chance to operate social distancing.  Some parents and carers feel anxious in large gatherings.


  • The main entrance in Greenwood Grove may be used by parents of children in any year group.  When coming into school, everyone should walk up the main pathway. This is one-way only. To leave the site, please walk down the side of the Year 1 classrooms and out of the smaller gate, walk across the car park and out of the vehicle gate.  We will ensure that the route is safe and no traffic comes in and out of the vehicle gate.


  • The side entrance in Poplar Lane should only be used by Foundation parents.


  • The back gate onto the field may be used by parents of children in any year group. However, please be aware that this gate will not always be manned by a member of staff and parents use the gate at their own risk. If using this entrance, please walk down the left-hand site of the path and when leaving, please keep to the left and walk on the grass alongside the path, observing social distancing as you pass through the gate.  If you do not wish to walk on the grass, please use the main school entrance.


This system allows for better social distancing and creates less crowding. It will only work if parents and carers follow the rules. Please remember:

  • Do not start queuing at the gate before 8.40am.
  • Observe social distancing. Do not use coming into school as an opportunity to chat and catch up with other parents.
  • Only one adult should come onto the site and then leave immediately.
  • If you can say goodbye to your child at the gate and encourage them to walk in on their own, please do so. However, please don’t leave children waiting unsupervised outside the school gates.


The same system will be used as per the morning drop-off. You may pick up your child any time between 3.05pm and 3.20pm. Please do not come before 3.05pm or later than 3.20pm.  If you arrive and start queueing before 3.05pm, it creates a build-up of people and does not give families a chance to operate social distancing. 

Parents picking up older children may arrange to meet their child off-site, just outside the gates or give them permission to walk home on their own. Please email Enquiries so we are aware of these arrangements and can pass them on to the class teachers. 

However, all other parents will need to come onto the site to collect their child as this allows us to keep sight of the children and check they have been picked up.


13.  Will staff and children wear masks or face coverings?


Children are not required to wear face masks in primary schools.  If children wear a face mask and handle it incorrectly, they can increase the risk of transmission to others. If you feel that your child needs to wear a mask, please contact the school to discuss this in advance.


Staff are advised to wear face coverings where social distancing between adults is not possible. This includes drop-off and pick up times.


14. Do parents have to wear masks or face coverings?


Although risks are reduced in the outdoors, we ask parents and carers to wear face coverings when coming onto the school site because of the number of adults around during drop-off and pick up times.


Some adults are unable to wear face masks and the reasons for this may not be visible to others. In such cases, we ask parents and carers to make us aware (if you haven’t already done so) in order for us to support you.


We ask all adults to treat each other with respect and kindness and not to make judgments about others when you are not fully aware of their personal circumstances.


15. Will my child need to wear school uniform?


Children will need to wear their uniform.  This should be washed as normal. Children will also need to bring their P.E. kit which should be taken home at the end of each week to be washed. Children will be doing most of their P.E. outside. Therefore, please provide trainers suitable for outdoor activities and a plain-coloured tracksuit in colder weather.  Please label all items as we will be unable to store lost, unnamed items.


16.  What will happen if my child loses an item of clothing or other belongings?


For the time being, we are not collecting any lost property. Please make sure that your child’s name is marked on their clothing, shoes, water bottles and lunch boxes.  This is the only way that we can be sure that misplaced items can be returned to your child.  Parents are not allowed in any of our buildings to search for lost property.


17.  Will we allow visitors and volunteers into school?


School leaders have been asked to minimise the number of visitors to the school where possible.  Therefore, we will not be able to ask parent volunteers into school for the time being.


18.  What will classrooms look like?


The changes we made in September will still apply. Children in Years 1 to 6 will continue to sit side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or grouped around a table. 


19. How will breaktimes and lunchtime work to ensure children are safe?


Breaktimes and lunchtimes will be staggered for each year group.  Contact with children in other year groups will be reduced as much as possible, and movement around the school will be kept to a minimum.


20. Will school lunches be provided?


This is currently being finalised.  School dinners will need to be ordered in advance as before.  This is because Caterlink will only send enough staff in to prepare the meals that have been pre-ordered.


21.  Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?


This will be the same arrangement as we had back in September. In Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2, all equipment will be provided by the school. Any resources that are shared (e.g. school iPads) will be thoroughly cleaned after use.


22. Will the school have assemblies?


Schools are advised to avoid large gatherings of children from more than one bubble. Assemblies will take place in classrooms and occasionally, year group bubbles will get together in the hall.


The school is not permitted to hold any performances or productions with an audience.


23.  Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the National Curriculum?


Many families have gone through an incredible period of change and found the most recent national lockdown particularly difficult.   The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on the personal, social and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s well-being.  However, we are very aware that children need to catch up on the learning they have missed and this will be a key priority.


24.  Will there be SATS in Years 2 and 6?


These have now been cancelled and will be replaced by teacher assessments.


25.  Will Energy Kids and After School Clubs run?


We are expecting EnergyKidz to return for Breakfast and After School provision but this has yet to be finalised.


We won’t be running any of our own After School Clubs in the run up to the Easter holiday but we will be reintroducing them for the Summer Term. Further details to follow.


26.  Will the School Reception Area be open?


If you have an enquiry or something that you need to share with the school, you should email or call the school wherever possible, using:  You should only come into School Reception if it is essential.


27.  Will there be any trips or visits?


The government advises against all educational visits at this time.


28.  How can I speak to the class teacher if we are social distancing?


Because of the need to get children into school in the morning and in order to supervise their handwashing, it will be only be possible to pass on brief messages at drop-off and pick-up times. If you would like to speak to a teacher, please email or telephone the school. We will arrange for the teacher to call you back.


29.  What are the new rules about self-isolation?


Pupils, staff, parents and other visitors must not come into school if:


  • they have one or more Covid-19 symptoms.
  • a member of their household, including someone in their support or child care bubble, has Covid-19 symptoms.
  • they are required to quarantine having recently visited other countries outside the Common Travel Area.
  • they have had a positive test.


In these cases, the person must immediately stop attending school and stay at home for at least 10 days from the day after the start of their symptoms or from their test date if they do not have symptoms.


30.  What will happen if a child in the class shows symptoms?


If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or has a loss or change in their normal sense of taste or smell, whilst in school, they will be sent home immediately. If parents are working, they must immediately arrange for someone else to collect their child. We are unable to keep children in school with these symptoms.


If a child is awaiting collection from school, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, with appropriate adult supervision.


If a child needs to go to the toilet whilst waiting to be collected, they will use a separate toilet.  The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected before being used by anyone else.  PPE will be worn by staff caring for the child whilst they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).  


Other members of the household must then self-isolate.


31.  What happens if there is a confirmed case of Coronavirus in school? 


We will take swift action if we become aware that someone who has attended school has tested positive for Covid-19. We will use the dedicated advice service run by Public Health England.


32.  What is the process in the event of an outbreak?

If the school experiences an outbreak, either because we have two or more confirmed cases of Coronavirus among pupils or staff within 14 days, or we see an increase in pupil or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we will need to contact our local Health Protection Team. This team will advise if additional action is required such as closing bubbles.


33. What is the best way to contact the school if I have a question or something I would like to discuss?


Please use our Enquiries email which is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team:   Alternatively, please contact us by telephone during the usual working day on 0118 978 2590.