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Returning to school

Every parent will have their own views on the Government decision to reopen schools. At Green Dragon, we have planned a phased approach to reopening. We will operate in a way that we feel provides the safest possible environment for children and staff. We have made a video to show you how school will run and also a very comprehensive set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which you can find below to help you to make your decisions. 

We feel that it is really important for parents to feel that they are making their own decision and not feel pressure from others. We know that you are all faced with different circumstances and some of you will already have made up your minds. Others though may well be struggling with conflicting feelings/demands and be under pressure to go back to work. All we can do is give you access to all the information to help you make an informed decision.

We will be happy to see you back at GDPS when YOU feel able to send your child back to school.

Ms O'Hara and the GDPS team

Back to School Social story - help prepare your child returning to school

Some of our children will be returning soon.  We can't wait to see you, but school will be different. This story helps explain in a simple and clear way,  what has been happening for young children to understand.  Please share this with your child to help him or her prepare for their return to GDPS.  We look forward to seeing you. 


This video has been prepared to give parents, carers and pupils an idea of what to expect when we reopen school for pupils. 

Screenshot 2020-06-04 at 19.21.20

Drop off points

Aerial view of drop off points

The 'Bubble' Classrooms - Reception, Year 1 & 6

    Covid.19 FAQs Reopening of schools What is the purpose of this page?

    Please read the questions and answers below.  If your question is still unanswered, please use the contact admin@greendragon.hounslow.sch.uk .

  • 1. Which year groups are returning to school?

    The Government has asked primary schools to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 alongside priority groups. The Government's ambition is to bring all primary school year groups for the last month of the Summer half term if conditions nationally make it feasible. This will be kept under review. 

    Having taken advice from the Local Authority, we have opted to take a cautious approach to reopening school which will involve a phased return, with the Year 6 returning first, followed by the Year 1s a week later and the Reception groups a week after that.   Again, this will be kept under review.

  • 2. Why aren't all the children coming back?

    The DfE have based this on the need to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus. So, have taken account of the need to reduce numbers returning as a gradual process and smaller groupings in classes can be maintained. 

  • 3. If one of my children is eligible to return can’t their sibling come back too?

    Sadly, the answer to this is ‘no’.  Siblings cannot attend unless they are in another of the selected year groups. This would increase the number of pupils attending the school.

  • 4. Does my child have to attend?

    As your child’s parent/carer, we do understand it is ultimately your decision if you wish to send your child back to school.   If, after reading the letters and guidance, you do not want your child to return to school at this time we will respect this view and we will continue to provide online support for you so that your child can continue to learn at home.   Parents will not be fined if their child does not return to school.

  • 5. I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is, should I send them back to school?

    Children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.  Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

    Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions.

    Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) as defined in the social distancing guidance and including those who are pregnant, can attend. DfE May 2020

  • 6. How big will the classes be?

    The DfE is recommending class group size should not be larger than 15 pupils.

  • 7. How will you guarantee that social distancing takes place e.g. keeping children 2m apart?

    We will of course do our best to support distancing, but parents must understand that in returning to school there is a very real likelihood that children will not stay 2m apart. Our children are young and will find this very difficult.  

  • 8. How do I explain social distancing to my child?

    Be open and honest, using language they will understand. Explain that they are helping others by their actions. Use drawings if needed and use a positive tone. Try to make the children feel safe. 

    For younger children, you and your child can find out how the Gruffalo handles social distancing .

    There are some great stories and simple explanations to help: 

Click on the image below

Children's Story

Click on the image below

Social Distancing

Click on the image below

Learning with Grover
  • 9. What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe?

    We will:

    • follow the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance
    • ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in classrooms and other learning environments
    • clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal
    • ensure that all adults and children:
    • frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. 
    • clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
    • 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’)
    • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
    • consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition
    • ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day
    • where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units
    • prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation
  • 10. Will children be confined to the same classroom environment most of the day?

    Government advice on the Scientific evidence shows that the outdoor environment is much more manageable in terms of virus transmission. With the Summer  weather coming  we will be moving towards more of an outdoor learning approach, where possible.   However outside of this we will keep children where possible within one set classroom for the day. This will be their bubble.

  • 11. How will lunch time work to ensure children are safe?

    The schools will run a staggered lunchtime to maintain as much spacing as is possible in the hall. Lunches will return as the government has requested. Free School Meal children will continue to receive meals, vouchers or food parcels if they are not attending school. Pupils will get their lunch in a box; this helps move the children quickly through the hall. They will eat lunch outside if the weather is nice or in the classroom.

  • 12. How will you make school safer for my child?

    In addition to social distancing and hygiene measures mentioned above, we will:

    • give children a designated classroom and group (which we are going to refer to as their bubble) for lessons and play, to minimise the  opportunity for mixing.
    • regularly cleaning the setting and resources will take place
    • not allow children to bring in their own resources such as pencil cases.
    • use PPE such as gloves, aprons, masks, hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes as identified in our Risk assessment. 
    • confine resources to rooms to minimise sharing and when sharing is essential.
    • organise lunchtimes and playtimes differently
    • carry out a corridor protocol- one way system and keep clear corridor spaces as far as is practical to allow maximum width space for walking
    • be vigilant in identifying children with symptoms, isolate them and ask parents to collect them
    • removal of soft furnishing, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean.
  • 13 .Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?

    Where possible, children will be given their own equipment, which they must not share with anyone else. They must not bring any equipment in from home. Any resources that are shared (e.g. school PC) will be thoroughly cleaned after use.

  • 14. I’m a key worker and my child has been in the childcare provision throughout. My child is in YR, Y1 or Y6 what will happen to them?

    Your child will join their year group and we would encourage them to attend school with their Year group bubble.

  • 15. Will everyone arrive at school at the same time causing an increase in risk?

    The schools will organise a staggered drop off and collection time for pupils. The approach to classrooms will be marked out with a 2m queue and drop off zone from where the teacher will invite pupils in for Reception.

    Only one parent or carer should accompany the child to school to minimise risk. Parents will not be invited to enter classrooms but will drop off as described above, on the playground. 

  • 16. Will the school have assemblies?

    The guidance doesn’t allow for any mass gatherings, but we will do a ZOOM assembly in school with shout outs on a Friday.

  • 17. My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare him/her?

    You will need to prepare your child by talking about what school was like and what it will be like now.  It will be different.  We will help you to prepare for this by putting a video on the website.

    Sharing social stories can be really helpful for young children and help to express the situation in a clear factual way, reducing emotional responses. 

    It will be important to encourage your child to talk about their experiences in ‘lockdown’ and that this period is now ending.

  • 18. Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the national curriculum?


    The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing.  They have all gone through an incredible period of change and experienced loss on a number of different levels.  All have had changes in routine.

    We will of course ensure that skills in English and Maths continue to be developed.  Learning in school will follow the same topic based approach as home learning has done up to this point.   

  • 19. How will you support my child’s emotional wellbeing?

    There will be plenty of opportunities for children to discuss their feelings and play.

  • 20. Will staff and children wear masks or PPE?

    The Government guidelines state, ‘The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:

    • children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way
    • if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and mask should be worn by the supervising adult.
  • 21. Will my child need to wear a school uniform?

    As children will be outside a lot, we expect them to wear their PE kits, with a Green Dragon jumper.

  • 22. Will the breakfast club and after school club be open?

    No, this will remain closed. This will be kept under review.

  • 23. Will we allow visitors and volunteers into school?

    No. Until the situation is deemed to be safe, we would prefer to minimise additional adults coming in and out of school. There may be a few occasions where a contractor is on site if necessary. They would follow the social distancing rules and stay away from bubbles.

  • 24. Will extra-curricular clubs run (football club, Glee club etc)?

    No. These bring too many children into contact and mix the school groupings.

  • 25. Will the school office be open?

    Yes, the office remains open. There is a box outside the main office to drop off anything you need to hand in at the office.

    There are also forms and fliers outside the office for you to access.

  • 26. Will you continue to provide online home learning activities for children who do not return to school?

    We will continue to set home learning activities, during term-time, so that all children have access to provision to support their learning. These will be what the children in school are working on anyway.   With school reopening to a greater number, parents will need to be mindful that teaching staff will not be as responsive to parent emails during the time children are within school. Staff from other year groups are teaching bubbles.

  • 27. Will children and young people be eligible for testing for the virus?

    The government advice is: 

    When settings open to the wider cohort of children and young people, all those children and young people eligible to attend, and members of their households, will have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus. This will enable them to get back into childcare or education, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative. To access the service please click on this link :


  • 28. Will teachers and other staff be able to get tested if they have symptoms?

    Access to testing is already available to all essential workers. This includes anyone involved in education, childcare or social work – including both public and voluntary sector workers, as well as foster carers. See the full list of essential workers. Education settings as employers can book tests through an online digital portal. There is also an option for employees to book tests directly on the portal.

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

    We will follow the Government guidelines set out below.

    If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education or childcare setting, they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.

    If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved, if possible, to an area where they can be isolated, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required.

    If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.  PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child while 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).  

    If a member of staff has helped someone who was unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, a test is available) or the child subsequently tests positive (see ‘What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?’ below). They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.

  • 30. What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school?

    We will follow the Government guidance set out below. 

    When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.

    Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.

    Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

    As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.

  • 31. Will the school take my child’s temperature every day?

    No, but we may use a non-invasive thermometer which points to the forehead if we suspect a child of having symptoms. 

  • 32. How can I speak to the class teacher if we are socially distancing?

    You can contact your child’s class teacher by emailing them on the year group email. If you are unable to do this, you can email the office admin@greendragon.hounslow.sch.uk who will then pass the message on. 

  • 33. What should my child bring to school each day?

    We do not want your child to bring anything into school with them other than a lunch box if they are packed lunches.  

    Please do not bring PE kit, rucksacks, book bags or pencil cases.  Year 6 can bring a small bag with personal items.

    Water bottles should be brought into school on a Monday and can stay in school and then be taken home on a Friday. 

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