School Restart: August / September 2020

13th August 2020 - In Uncategorised

Guidance for school restart

Finaghy Primary School   13 August 2020   Detailed information and guidance for school restarting.   Information for schools was published by DENI today. You can access this at   It is an anxious time for everyone as we prepare to start the term under these unusual circumstances. Hopefully you will quickly adapt to new routines and procedures and will understand that all of the following changes have been designed to keep everyone safe in school. We aim to minimize risk as much as possible and therefore lessen the chance of having to put everyone through another full or partial lockdown. Please be patient with us, and with each other, as we all strive to do our very best to adapt to this new way of working.   Dates: P7 pupils taking transfer tests, along with some additional needs pupils will be starting back on 24thAugust and staying in school from Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 1.00pm.   School closed for Bank Holiday on Monday 31 August.   All other pupils bar P1 will be starting back on Tuesday 1 September. All P1 parents will be receiving separate information by email.   Staggered start to school day: There will be no Breakfast Club initially but it will reopen in due course (no date decided yet.) We are fortunate to have separate entrances to all of our classroom areas so we are keeping our staggered start as simple as possible:   If your child’s surname is in the first half of the alphabet (A to M) your start time is 8.30am – 8.45am If your child’s surname is in the second half of the alphabet (N to Z) your start time is 8.45am – 9.00am (Separate arrangements for P1)   Finishing times for P2 – P3: Those who started at 8.30am (A to M) will finish at 1.45pm Those who started at 8.45am (N to Z) will finish at 2.00pm   Finishing times for P4-P7: Those who started at 8.30am (A to M) will finish at 2.45pm Those who started at 8.45am (N to Z) will finish at 3.00pm Pupils must be delivered to and collected from their classroom doors. There will be no entry via the school office area. Parents will not be permitted inside the school building, except by invitation. We must ask that all parents wait in the playgrounds socially distanced (2 metres) and please don’t crowd around the doors.   If parking space is unavailable you must park outside the school grounds and walk in. There is always space behind the SportsZone along Benmore Drive.   It is important during this time that pupils are collected promptly as we have very limited capacity to hold on to pupils if parents are late.   Daycare will be operating but there will be no after-school activities.   Classes will operate as bubbles. Children will stay in their bubbles as much as possible during the school day, including at break and lunchtime. Movement around the school will be restricted and guided by floor-markers and signs.   Pupil desks will be in rows with children facing the front and soft toys and soft furnishings will be removed from rooms. Shared items will be kept to a minimum and will not be transferred between rooms.   Lunches School meals service will initially provide packed lunches only, which will be eaten in classrooms. If bringing in packed lunches, we ask that wrappings are disposable. Drinks can be brought in disposable cartons (juice boxes). Water bottles can be brought in but will be recycled in school rather than brought home again.   Other items coming into school must be kept to a bare minimum. We advise purchase of an A4 ziplock plastic wallet which can be used to carry home a reading book, worksheets and or other small items. The small, flat FPS schoolbag can also be used for this purpose if you wish, although plastic wallets are more wipeable. Pencil cases, once brought in, should stay in school.   Plastic wallets are available in many local shops including B&M or can be purchased online for as little as 50p.   Hygiene Pupils will wash hands on arrival at school and throughout the day. We ask that you also include a small hand sanitizer and travel-tissues in pencil cases. Pupils will be taught ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ and encouraged to cough or sneeze into their elbow if no tissue is to hand. Enhanced cleaning will take place in classrooms, toilets, corridors and at touch-points throughout the school day.   Pupils must not be sent to school if they or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms. If a pupil shows any symptoms whilst in school, he/she will be isolated and parents contacted to arrange immediate collection. We have acquired contactless laser thermometers and your child’s temperature may be taken whilst in school.   If a pupil contracts Coronavirus, it may be necessary for the whole class bubble to isolate and be tested. Public Health guidance would be closely followed in such a situation and isolated pupils would receive online learning via Google Classroom.   It will not be necessary for pupils to wear masks, however, staff may be wearing either masks or visors in certain situations. The 2m social distancing rule still applies to staff at this stage so precautions must be taken at certain times.   It is very important that all children are toilet-trained and careful about hygiene when using school toilets. Staff will be restricted in their ability to provide intimate care if accidents happen and parents would have to be quickly contacted in certain situations.   Pupils will be spending time outdoors and will have at least two PE / games sessions per week. Initially, pupils can just remove jumpers and ties and wear trainers / plimsoles. We are very fortunate to be able to utilize our outdoor SportsZone which has had a beautiful new 4G surface installed during closure. Trainers/plimsoles should be brought into school in a labelled plastic bag on the first day and can stay in school, hung up in cloakrooms. We would suggest that school uniform is washed or changed each day.   This is a lot for everyone to take in and we realise there are inconveniences and irritations for us all to cope with. Hopefully, if we all work together, Coronavirus can be beaten quickly and school life can gradually return to normal.   Thank you for your patience and understanding, and please follow further advice and guidance as issued via our school app, Twitter and Google Classroom.   Thank you   A Mackay Principal