Welcome to Buckstones Primary School

Monday 13th. July 2020


Dear Parents,


School in September


This is our last week in school before we break up for the summer holidays. As you know the Government closed schools on 20th March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Buckstones Primary School remained open throughout the lockdown period for key worker children, vulnerable children and EHCP pupils.  School opened for Year 6 from 1st June. School also provided lots of home learning opportunities to all pupils.


By now I am sure you will have heard that the government expects all children to return to school in September. The staff and I are looking forward to this return, as the months of lockdown have been as frustrating for us as I know they have been for you. It will be lovely to welcome all of the children back as we have missed the children who have remained at home.


The Government has set out detailed guidance for school leaders so we can put proportionate protective measures in place for children and staff. By putting certain controls in place (these are explained below) we aim to reduce the number of contacts that the pupils have during the school day. A detailed risk assessment has been carried out and Buckstones School will be open for all pupils from Tuesday 1st. September.


What will the focus be from September?

  • To ensure that the school site, building and procedures are adapted to reflect the latest safety guidelines.
  • That children and staff have positive mental health and well-being following the Covid-19 crisis.
  • That gaps in children’s learning are addressed and that resources and interventions are implemented in the most effective way.


What will school look like?

Buckstones school will look and feel different to your school before the pandemic.

All children in school will stay within their own classrooms. Each class will be a ‘Bubble’ and where possible there will be little or no contact between the Bubbles. Your child will come into contact with only a limited number of adults.

For Year 5 and 6 this will include the peripatetic teacher from the Music Centre and the teacher from Sports Development.

Which entrances should we use and what time should we arrive?


Pupils in Reception will be taught by Mrs. Pearson in the Reception classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the Main Entrance.

Arrive 9.00am. Collect 3.15pm


Year 1

Pupils in Year 1 will be taught by Miss Platt and Mrs. Tetlow in the Year 1 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the classroom door in Year 1.

Arrive 8.40am. Collect 2.55pm


Year 2

Pupils in Year 2 will be taught by Mrs. Joyce in the Year 2 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the classroom door in Year 2 (through gate at the side of the school).

Arrive 8.50am. Collect 3.05pm


Year 3

Pupils in Year 3 will be taught by Mrs. Charnley in the Year 3 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the Main Entrance.

Arrive 8.40am. Collect 2.55pm


Year 4

Pupils in Years 4 will be taught by Miss Thomas in the Year 4 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the Junior gate.

Arrive 8.50am. Collect 3.05pm.


Year 5

Pupils in Years 5 will be taught by Miss Rooney in the Year 5 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the Junior gate.

Arrive 9.00am. Collect 3.15pm.


Year 6

Pupils in Years 6 will be taught by Mrs. Adamson in the Year 6 classroom.

Entrance/ Exit through the Junior gate.

Arrive 8.40am. Collect 2.55pm.


What do we ask of parents bringing pupils to school?

Only one parent to bring pupils to school. Teachers and teaching assistants will meet the pupils at the gate or door in order to hand sanitise them.

Reception and Year 3 children to be dropped off at the main entrance and pupils to enter on their own.

Year 1 parents and pupils to go onto the Infant playground and the children will enter through the Year 1 door on their own.

Year 2 parents and pupils to drop off at the side gate which is located at the front of the school, then pupils will enter the school on their own.

All year 4, 5, 6 pupils to be left at the Junior gate and pupils enter on their own.

Please arrive promptly at the allocated time.

Please keep your own social distancing and avoid gathering.

Children from the same family but in different groups must be dropped off/picked up at the earlier time.


Urgent messages only to be passed onto staff at drop off, please ring or e-mail us at info@buckstones.oldham.sch.uk with anything non-urgent. At this time we cannot invite parent/grandparent helpers into school.


What will my classroom look like?

  • Desks will all be facing the front with 2 pupils per desk sitting side by side. Reception classroom will still be set up as an early year’s classroom in order to deliver the Early Year’s curriculum. Year 1 will also start by following the Early Year’s curriculum until the children are settled and we have assessed where they are up to. Movement around the classroom will be limited as much as possible.
  • Classrooms will be well ventilated and internal doors open.
  • Each child will have their own pen/pencil but resources can be used and shared within the individual Bubbles. Any shared resources across the school will be thoroughly cleaned between uses.


What hand washing is in place?

  • Soap dispensers have been placed in all sinks in school and soap blocks removed.
  • There will be a hand sanitiser in every classroom and children will use the hand sanitiser as they come into school in the morning.
  • Children will be washing their hands more than usual.
  • We will aim to promote good respiratory hygiene and will be displaying ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ posters around school, as well as talking to the children.
  • Each class will have its own supply of tissues and a lidded pedal bin to dispose of waste. If possible please send the children in with their own pack of tissues.


What will the curriculum look like?

  • We will be returning to a school timetable, curriculum or teaching style that was in a place prior to school closure. Homework/home reading will also be set.
  • There will be an emphasis upon reading and phonics. Please bear with us until we have had time to properly assess which level your child is reading at so we can give them the appropriate reading book.
  • Outdoor learning will be incorporated where practical and possible, remaining in one single Bubble only.


What should pupils wear?

  • The children will need to come in their full school uniform, including black school shoes.
  • Year 5/6 need to bring in waterproof shoes/wellingtons to change into at break times as they will be playing on the field and it can get wet and muddy.
  • P.E. kit should be brought into school and taken home after each use. All P.E. lessons will take place outside so as the weather gets colder the children will need tracksuits and trainers.


What will pupils need to bring with them?

  • Book bags can be brought into school.
  • Reading books will be changed. We will be sending reading books home in September. All reading books sent home before the lockdown must be returned during the first week. If books have been lost or damaged during lockdown then a charge will be made to replace the books.
  • The children must bring a named water bottle and named bottle of sun cream in from home. This will remain on the child’s work station. The water bottles will be sent home for washing every day, please ensure these bottles are clearly labelled. As the usual sun safe rules will apply.
  • Pupils may bring their own packet of disposable tissues and hand sanitiser if they wish. Please label both.


Will my child need PPE?

  • No children need to wear a face mask, as advised by the Government.
  • Most staff will not be wearing PPE equipment unless completing first aid or advised differently by their own health professional, as per Government guidelines.


What cleaning measures are in place?

  • All areas of school have been thoroughly cleaned.
  • All used areas will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.
  • We will aim to clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.
  • The Government has advised that there is no need for anything other than normal personal hygiene and washing of clothes.


What will lunchtime and break times look and feel like?

  • Infant children will eat their lunches in the school hall in their ‘Bubbles’.
  • All Junior class will eat their lunches in their classrooms. The school kitchen can provide a warm packed lunch to be eaten in the classrooms at the cost of £2.40 per day, if required. For example:

Week 1

Monday: fish finger sandwich and pasta, dessert of a biscuit or a cake

Tuesday: cheese panini and croquettes, dessert of a mousse

Wednesday: meat and potato or cheese and onion pasty with wedges, dessert of a flapjack

Thursday: spicy chicken wrap with herby diced potatoes, dessert of a cake

Friday: pizza and chips, dessert of a biscuit

  • Free school meals, for those eligible, will continue to be provided with a school lunch. Free School Meal vouchers will stop at the end of the summer holidays.
  • For those pupils bringing their own packed lunch, please bring this in a named disposable bag, which can be thrown away at the end of lunchtime or in a named lunchbox which will need to be cleaned thoroughly each night.
  • Lunch and break times will be taken in their own Bubbles. As you can see below the times the children will eat their lunch is different for different classes. The Junior children can bring fruit in for their morning breaks, for Infants the fruit scheme will start again in September.
  Eat lunch Where Play
Reception 12.00- 12.25 Hall 12.30-1.15
Year 1 12.05- 12.30 Hall 12.35-1.15
Year 2 12.35 – 1.15 Hall 12.05-12.35
Year 3 12.15 – 12.45 Y3 classroom 12.45 -1.15
Year 4 12.45-1.15 Y4 classroom 12.15-12.45
Year 5 12.15 – 12.45 Y5 classroom 12.45 -1.15
Year 6 12.45-1.15 Y6 classroom 12.15-12.45


  • Each group will play out in different zones, and the number of zones will be limited.


Will there be Before and After School Facility and Extra Curricular Activities?

  • There will be no extra-curricular activities.
  • Before and After club school is now available. Please contact the individual providers to find out the details for September.


Does my child have to attend school and will I be penalised if I choose not to send them?

  • School attendance is once again mandatory.
  • Fixed penalty fines may be issued if children do not attend,


Are there any groups of pupils who should not be attending school at this time?

The majority of pupils will be able to return to school. However if you fall into any of the categories below please contact school:

  • a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
  • some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment).

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will continue to offer provide home learning opportunities.


Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalized.


What should you do if your child or someone in your household displays symptoms?

If your child or any family member displays any of the coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms listed below (taken from the latest Government advice).

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

If children display any of these symptoms during a school day we will ring for you to collect them immediately and they will be kept in isolation from other children. Please ensure we have your up to date contact details.


What if a member of my family or child displays any of the symptoms?

  • You must inform school.
  • Pupils showing symptoms should self-isolate for 7 days.
  • Pupils living in the same household as someone showing symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms started.
  • Please do not attend school under any circumstances.
  • Where a child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group will 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.


Can I still message my child’s teacher via Tapestry?

The Tapestry subscription will stop at the end of the term and will only be used for new Reception in September. If you would like to speak to your child’s teacher in September please either email the office or ring and the teacher will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.


The home learning activities will remain on the website over the summer holidays in case you would like to access any of them.


All of the plans we have informed you of in this letter remain subject to change if the Government, Local Authority or Teaching Unions recommend a course of action, at which point we will change our plans accordingly and communicate with you all once we have considered the recommendation fully.


We are all looking forward to seeing the children back in school in September and we would like to thank you for your continuous support. Please continue to take care, follow the safety guidelines and look after yourselves and your family.





Kind regards,


Sarah Healey


Sent behalf of Buckstones Governing Body




At Buckstones School, we aim to promote the development of our children academically, physically, socially, morally and spiritually, by providing a high quality of teaching and varied learning experiences with-in a well-ordered and stimulating environment which supports equality of opportunity.

We teach the National Curriculum, planning for and presenting the children with challenges that support differentiation.

We aim to nurture individual skills and talents within an environment which values self-worth, confidence, independence, self-motivation and co-operation and in which our children have respect for each other’s differences.

We aim to give our children a love of life and learning.

School Aims
We aim:

  1. To be an inclusive school and to put into practice in all aspects of our work that ensures that all children are given equality of opportunity and treated fairly.
  2. To promote and achieve high standards for all by providing teaching and learning of the highest quality.
  3. To treat children as individuals and to differentiate teaching and learning to take account of their individual needs.
  4. To provide well for children’s physical, mental, personal, social, moral and cultural needs.
  5. To provide well for children’s care, health and safety.
  6. To ensure that all children benefit from a rich, broad, balanced curriculum presented in an interesting, exciting and imaginative manner with lots of opportunities for first-hand experience, practical work, investigation and learning through play.
  7. To teach basic skills and core subjects well and to give great emphasis to the foundation subject and R.E. as well.
  8. To make connections between subjects and to apply basic skills across the curriculum.
  9. To give responsibility to the children and to develop their self-confidence by contributing to the community.
  10. To make parents and the wider community equal partners with the school and to involve them in the evaluation of its success.
  11. To build an ethos marked by a welcoming, friendly, bright and lively happy place where learners feel secure. A school where good behaviour is expected and where children enjoy growing up.
  12. To make their school a place of enjoyment where success is encouraged, rewarded and celebrated.