St James Catholic

Primary School

In the loving peace, justice and joy of Jesus, we achieve.

FAQs about opening


Friday 5th June

Dear parents,


As we explained in our previous letter, our Lumen Christi primary schools will begin welcoming children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 back into school from Monday 8th June. There are more details about the exact date for your child included again below.

We know from your replies to our survey that you have a lot of questions about many different aspects of the safety and well-being of the children. Therefore, we have collected the questions and provided some answers in this document. It is hoped that this will help to keep you informed and help allay some of your fears at this difficult time.


Can you guarantee my child will not catch coronavirus?                                                                                           

We have and will continue to do all we can to reduce the risk of infection and transmission for the children and teachers who will be in school. However, we cannot eliminate the risks and therefore we cannot guarantee that children or adults will not become infected at school.


When will the school reopen for my child?                                                                                                                 

The government has now said that as a result of meeting the scientific tests that were previously set out, schools should be prepared to welcome back the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. The dates that Lumen Christi schools will open for these children is as follows:

Monday 8th June                        Reception children will return to school

Tuesday 9th June                        Reception children in school

Wednesday 10th June               Year 1 and Reception children will be in school.

Thursday 11th June                    Year 6, Year 1 and Reception children will be in school.

Friday 12th  June                         Key workers’ and vulnerable children only.


Monday 15th June                      Nursery children will return to school along with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children


We are waiting for further advice from the Government about when it might be safe for the children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 to return to school. It is possible that this will not be before the end of the summer term.


My child is in one of the classes that are returning.  Will they be in school every day?                                                                

No. As we said previously the school will not be open on Fridays (except for the key worker and vulnerable children group) in order to allow time for deep cleaning, to give teachers time for Planning and Preparation and to make calls to the families of children still at home. 


What will happen to the current group of vulnerable children and children of key workers?                         

These children will continue to attend school. However, if they are in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 they will now join their class group –this means that they would not be able to attend on Fridays.


My child has siblings in other year groups. Will they be able to attend as well?                                                     

No, unless they are in the key worker and vulnerable children group and have been attending already.


Will I be fined if I do not send my child to school?                                                                                                           

No. We know from your survey replies that many of you feel that it is not safe enough to send your children back to school. The government has said that parents who do not feel confident and decide not to send their children to school will NOT be fined.


What if I am not confident now but change my mind later and want my child to come to school?

Your child’s school place is always here for them, If, after reading this information you still have questions or later on you would like your child to come in to school then please contact the school by phone or email to discuss how this can happen.


Will my child be taught by their usual class teacher? Will they know the adult leading their group?                                                                                                       

We are going to teach in smaller groups of 15 and so we cannot guarantee that your child will be taught by their usual class teacher but they will know the adult leading their group. It is also possible that not all staff will be able to come into work so we will have to be flexible about our groups and teachers.


Will my child miss out on new learning if they do not attend?                                                                             

No. The lessons and learning links we have provided up to now will continue although as our teachers will be busy planning for and teaching the children in school they may not be able to mark or feedback on the work that children are doing at home.


Will children receive the same lessons in school and at home?                                                                           

No. The on-line learning opportunities will continue for all children who are not at school. However, as before we will not be following the usual school curriculum.


My child is worried about returning to school, how will you support them?                                              

Many of you told us in the survey that you are worried about the emotional well-being of children after such a long period of absence. Please be assured that staff are very aware that children may be feeling anxious about leaving home and being in school when it is so different. Teachers have been planning lessons and activities which will focus on these emotions and natural feelings to help your children to understand.


Will I get a report for my child this year?                                                                                      

 Although things have been very different we have been working on a report that teachers will be completing this term to reflect on the year and give you some personal feedback about how your child has engaged in learning and progressed.


Which group will my child be in?                                                                                                                             

Children will be put into a group of up to 14 other children from their class. The different groups will not be able to mix during the day and they will have different playtimes and lunchbreaks.


What time will the school day start and finish?                                                                                                                       

The start and finish times will be staggered for different groups to reduce contact between groups and help maintain social distancing.  This information will be sent to the different year groups


How will I drop off and pick up my child?                                                                                                             

You will be asked to stick to the times for arriving and leaving and also asked not to congregate around the school’s gates or on the drive.  There will be markers to remind you about social distancing and you are asked, if you have smaller/other children with you that you keep them with you and prevent them from being too close to others.


We need to travel by bus, should my child come to school?                                                                                           

The government is encouraging people to avoid public transport. However, if this is the only way for you travel then you will have to consider this in making your decision about sending your child back to school.  Please remember that the government are asking people to wear face masks on public transport.


How will playtimes and lunchtimes be organised?                                                                                               

Playtimes, lunchtimes and time outside will be staggered to ensure that groups of children don’t mix. Where more than one group is outside, groups will be kept apart in different areas.


Will you be providing lunches?                                                                                                                                                

Yes. Initially, we will be able to provide a packed lunch option for children. If your child is entitled to free school meals, this will not need to be paid for.  Later on we hope to provide a hot meal option and more details of this will be sent out.


How will the children be able to practise social distancing?                                                                                       

We received many comments about this in the survey responses. Of course, this is something that many children will struggle with but staff have been working hard to make this as successful as possible. We will have seating plans with a place for each child in their room. We will teach and constantly remind children in different ways about staying safe and keeping their distance.  The children will be given their own equipment and asked not to share with others. The children will also not be allowed to bring anything home except their lunch box and their coat.


Will my child need to bring their PE kit?                                                                                                                   

Children do not change for PE at Saint James’ but come in their outdoor learning kit and so do not need to bring their kit. It is recommended by the government that after spending a day in school, all clothing should be washed using the normal wash cycle.  Children should wear their outdoor learning uniform as much as possible but we do understand that it may be necessary to wear a different item at times to allow for frequent washing.


What will the school be doing to keep the school clean?                                                                                          

The school and the facilities will be cleaned regularly and more often than normal during the day and the bins will be emptied frequently. As stated previously, the school will be closed for most children on Fridays to allow for extra deep cleaning and to leave 72 hours before the children come back on Monday.


How often will children be washing their hands?                                                                                                   

Children will be reminded to wash or sanitise their hands frequently: when they arrive, before and after going to the toilet, before and after eating and they will also be reminded to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.


Will staff be wearing masks?                                                                                                                                           

No. However, if staff have to deal with a sick child, especially if they are displaying symptoms then they will be wearing a mask and other items of PPE.  


Will children be allowed to wear masks?                                                                                                                     

No. The DfE guidance, supported by scientists, states that masks worn incorrectly can increase the risk of infection and therefore they are not suitable for children.


What will happen if my child needs first aid?                                                                                                                

They will of course be given first aid, although staff will be wearing appropriate PPE.


Will wrap around care be provided?                                                                                                                             

No. Children are expected to remain in their group throughout the week. This means they cannot join a different group at breakfast or afterschool club.


What happens if my child displays symptoms?                                                                                                                 

It is extremely important that you do not send your child in to school if they have any of the COVID 19 symptoms. This is:

  • a dry continuous cough
  • high temperature/fever
  • loss of taste and/or smell.


Please do not give your child paracetamol or Calpol etc as this can lower their temperature and mask possible symptoms.

If your child does display symptoms you should notify school and get them tested as soon as possible. If the test is positive they will need to be isolated for seven days.  If it is negative, you will then need to provide the negative test certificate to the school before your child can return.


Will I know if someone in my child’s class has shown symptoms?                                                                      

Yes, if a pupil in your child’s class has displayed symptoms and is sent home, you will receive a message to tell you this. As stated above that child will then need to get a negative test result before returning to school.


What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?                                                             

If a child or member of staff tests positive for Coronavirus, it will be necessary for all of the children in that class bubble to be sent home and self-isolate for 14 days.


We will follow guidance from the DfE and Public Health England:  Implementing protective measures in education


How do I contact the school?                                                                                                                                            

If you have any concerns or questions or would like to speak to Mrs Backen or your child’s teacher you can either phone the school on 0121 464 9700 or email Parents will not be allowed to enter the school building.

We are looking forward to welcoming those children who feel ready to come back into school next week. We have work hard to make all of the necessary plans and have worked to a comprehensive Risk Assessment which you can find on your school’s website. We will continue to review the plans once we have worked through with the first groups to return. We will also continue to keep in touch with the children who remain at home.  Over the next few weeks we will be making plans to help support the children in Year 6 as they prepare to move to secondary school.


Please rest assured that as soon as we have more information we will share it with you.