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Full opening of school - September 2020

Please see the letter below for information about the school's reopening:


Thursday 27 August 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Full reopening of schools under COVID-19 restrictions

I hope you and your families are well.  I am writing with further details about the reopening of school to all children at Merton Abbey on Thursday 3 September.  Please remember that the school is closed to all children on Wednesday 2 September for a staff INSET day.  This is important as the staff teams need to have additional training as we prepare to welcome back all pupils.  This will help to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

At Merton Abbey, we were fortunate to have welcomed back most children before the summer holidays.  This means staff are well prepared for full reopening next week.  However, as we are now preparing to welcome back all pupils, some further adjustments to our procedures are needed.  Please read the following information carefully: while some of it is the same as the guidance for July, there are also some important changes.

Actions to keep children safe and changes to our usual routines and procedures

1 Minimizing contact with individuals who are unwell

The most important action to keep children and staff safe is to ensure that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not come to school.

2 Handwashing and keeping clean

Children will wash hands on arrival, before leaving and frequently throughout the day. Children will be supervised to ensure they are washing their hands properly.  Children will be taught further lessons in the importance of good hygiene.

  • If children wear a mask to school, they must take it off by themselves and put it in a sealed bag.

3 Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach

Children will be taught the Catch it, bin it, kill it approach once again.  Classrooms with exterior doors will be used wherever possible to ensure good ventilation and to reduce the movement of children through corridors in school.

4 Cleaning frequently touched surfaces often

Cleaning of high touch surfaces (e.g. bannisters and toilets) will be cleaned in the middle as well as at the end of the day.  Unnecessary equipment has been removed from classrooms.

5 Minimizing contact as much as possible

Children will work in consistent class groups with the same two adults each day.  These groups will be kept consistent and separate:  they will not come into contact with other groups of children.  Each group will use the same classroom.  Some children will eat their lunch in their classroom to ensure that different classes do not come into contact with each other in the dinner hall.  Breaks and lunchtime will be staggered.  Children will be able to play with children in their own class at playtime and lunchtime but they will not be allowed to mix with other groups.  For equipment that is frequently used, children will have their own items in school (e.g. pens and pencils).  Children should only bring essential items to school e.g. hats, coats, reading books.

  • Children should bring a water bottle.
  • Children may bring a packed lunch if necessary.

6 The beginning and the end of the day

Arrangements for the beginning and the end of the day have been changed to promote social distancing and to ensure that large numbers of pupils and parents do not congregate.  Parents will now be allowed to come into the playground to avoid congestion on the narrow pavement outside the school.  However, parents must not congregate in groups in the playground nor must they come inside the school building.  Parents and carers must wait in their family groups and not mix with others.  The system for arriving at school is very similar to the pre-COVID19 arrangement, because this is efficient and does not lead to larger numbers of adults being on the school playground at the same time.  However, the arrangement at the end of the day has been changed to avoid people congregating in the playground.

Children in Nursery and Reception will enter by the Early Years entrance, near St John the Divine church.

Children in Y1 to Y5 will enter by the gate on the field.

Children in Y6 will enter via the courtyard.

Nursery children may enter from 8:30am – the start time for the nursery session.

Children in other year groups may enter the playground from 8:40am.

Classroom doors will open at 8:45am.  When children arrive, they should come straight inside and their adults should leave the site promptly.  Classroom doors and the school gates will close promptly at 8:53am.

Children in Reception, Y1, Y3 and Y5 will be dismissed at 3:20pm.

Children in Nursery, Y2, Y4 and Y6 will be dismissed at 3:30pm.

This staggered exit time is essential to promote social distancing. 

It is extremely important that children in each year group arrive and are collected at the correct time for their year group.  Staggered entry and exit are essential to promote social distancing.  Parents will come to the playground to collect their children, but they must remain in their family groups.  Parents must not congregate on the playground or outside the school.

Travel advice from Transport for London remains that children should walk, cycle or scooter to school whenever possible.  Public transport should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

After School Club and Breakfast Club

After School Club and Breakfast Club will resume at the beginning of term.  Bookings must be made online a week in advance.  Priority will be given to key workers and to those using the service every day, as this will help to keep the group consistent.

School uniform

School uniform will go on sale on Wednesday 2 September from 1:00pm.  Please remember that only one family should enter the Reception area at a time.  Families waiting must queue outside the school building.

I hope you can see we have given careful thought to these plans.  We are determined to make it as safe as possible for all children to return to school.  I look forward to welcoming your children back to school on Thursday 3 September.

Your sincerely,

Michael Bradley