Skip to content ↓

Coronavirus Information

In the last few months, staff at Downs Barn School have had to make many adaptations to ensure that children returning to school are kept as safe as possible following the outbreak of the Coronavirus. 

The Re-opening model attached below outlines all the measures that we are putting into place at Southwood and Downs Barn.

Please telephone the school if you have any concerns, or you wish to discuss any issues.


Daily arrangements

Firstly, children will enter and exit the school through different gates, with some children arriving at different times.  If possible, parents and carers should walk/cycle with their child to school, however if buses or taxis are used, please take additional precautions.  The daily arrangements are as follows:

Nursery parents/carers will enter through the Martingale Place entrance, near the Early Years garden and children will enter the school through the Nursery door at 8.45am.  For collection at 11.45am, parents will need to come in through the front gate and down the steps.

Reception parents/carers will enter through the front gate of the school, come down the steps and children will enter the school through the Reception classroom door at 8.50am.

Year 1 parents/carers will enter the school through the side gate near the Year 1 classroom and children will enter school through the Year 1 classroom door at 8.50am.

Year 2 parents/carers will enter the school through the Martingale Place entrance, near the Early Years garden, walk across the Early Years garden and children will enter the school through the Year 2 classroom door at 8.50am.

All children finish school at 3pm (Nursery children’s morning session finishes at 11.45am) and should be collected from the same door that they entered through.

Only one parent/carer should bring children to/collect children from school where possible and parents and carers need to socially distance from each other whilst waiting to collect children.

Children must not come to school if they, or a member of their family are displaying coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, a persistent cough or loss or change to the sense of smell or taste).  They must also not come into school if they, or a member of their family has been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or their doctor.

Classroom Arrangements

Children will be in their class bubble for the majority of time, working with adults who stay within their bubble as well.  There will be times when other adults may work with them/supervise them (e.g. lunchtimes), although this will be kept to a minimum. 

Children will wash their hands frequently throughout the day, particularly before eating and when moving from one place in the school to another.

Classrooms are cleaned on a daily basis and a daily midday clean also takes place to clean those areas that are frequently touched.

The Government recognises that younger children find socially distancing very difficult, however we will still teach the children about keeping their distance from each other and not touching adults or their friends whenever possible. 

KS1 classrooms will be rearranged, so that children are sitting side by side wherever possible and windows will be kept open as much as possible throughout the school, to aid ventilation.  Children will have different areas of the playground to play in and the playground equipment will be rotated on a weekly basis.

Children will all have their own resources in a pencil case, so they won’t need to bring in a book bag, or anything from home other than a coat/sunhat depending on the weather.  Children will not change for PE, but will need to wear appropriate clothes for PE (red t-shirt and leggings/shorts with trainers/pumps on PE days).  We will let you know your child’s PE days in the first week of term.

Books will be provided for children to read in school and at home and when they are returned to school, they will be placed in a separate area for 48 hours.

Travel around the school will be limited, but all will walk to the left.  Whole school gatherings will not take place, but I will continue to lead assemblies remotely, so that all classes can join in.

Breakfast Club, After School Club and Lunchtimes

Breakfast Club will be available from 8am every day (with a cost of £1.20 per session) and ACERs will be available after school until 5.30pm (costs are as usual), although parents and carers must let the school know at least the day before if a child needs to be booked in.  At the beginning of term, ACERs children from Southwood School will be looked after at Southwood, rather than walking to Downs Barn, although this may change as restrictions continue to ease throughout the school year.

Chartwells, our usual lunch provider will be providing a hot and cold lunch option from a limited menu in September, however you are welcome to send in a packed lunch with your child if you prefer.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

As always, mental health and wellbeing of children, parents and carers and staff is of utmost importance to us and we recognise that it will be difficult for some of our families to be confident about coming into school.  Please be assured that we will take considerable time to explain any new systems to children and make them feel comfortable being in school.  We also will make sure that the learning is as enjoyable and challenging as ever, even though things won’t be quite back to normal just yet!