03/09/20 - Welcome back arrangements and whole school risk assessment


Dear parents and carers,


We are looking forward to welcoming your child/children back to the Vale on Monday 7th September! 


Staff are preparing the classrooms and organising routines for your child's class. Each class is a separate bubble and contact between bubbles is being minimised through timetables and careful planning. 


Families are being contacted this week to get in touch before your child starts and we will be talking you through any arrangements and also answering any questions you may have about what school will look like for your child. 


Please ensure that if your child is unwell, please do not send them into school. If your child or anyone else in your household has coronavirus symptoms, please stay at home, get tested and inform us at school. 


I am delighted to say that transport has allocated separate buses for primary and secondary children so that we can keep children as safe as possible - if your child is brought to school by LA transport, you should have received a pack from them. 


Please find attached the updated risk assessment for Vale School, for your information. This has been shared and discussed with all staff, and we will be adding to it if and when any issues arise. 


Please see below for any other information, as it still stands. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


We look forward to continuing our work with you and your child, and settling them back into a school routine.


With very best wishes,


Sarah McLay






Dear parents and carers, 


September return

We are absolutely delighted that following scientific advice, the government has said all pupils can come back to school. We have learnt a lot in lockdown about how to deliver virtual education, and families and staff have been outstanding, but children need the routine of normal school life and they also need to see their friends and teachers. 


We have been focusing for some time on how to ensure that our school can safely open to all pupils on all sites in September and are pleased to update you on our plans


School will start for all pupils from Monday 7th September 2020 on all sites.


Pupils with complex medical needs/ shielding

There may be some pupils who will take longer to transition back or in to school and we are building in flexibility to work with medical professionals and parents to carefully plan this where necessary.


If you have been shielding with your child, please seek advice from your consultant if you are unclear, or speak to School Nurse Meriem Chakal on 07702 523 552 who can support with this.  You can also contact Dr Bolland, the school doctor, directly by email  Whh-tr.compaed-har@nhs.net


If we need a bit more time in September before your child comes in we will discuss this with you. Likewise, if you need a bit more time to prepare then please let us know.



Having already done a lot of preparation and groundwork, we are in a very strong position for the autumn term. Pupils who have been in school so far are used to washing their hands before they come inside, and staying in bubbles - these measures will remain in place and staff will support pupils to follow them. 


Start and finish times will be slightly amended.

Vale primary 9:05 – 3:15

Vale secondary 8:45 – 3:10

Vale Belmont will follow the Belmont Infant and Junior School arrangements from 7th September.


Once pupils are in school, they will wash their hands or use hand sanitiser regularly, including before and after they eat, and whenever they change rooms or return from break. They will also be placed in a protective bubble with the rest of their class. We will avoid bubbles coming into close contact with each other as much as is practicable, which will help keep the school safe. Staff will follow safe procedures in place around intimate care, manual handling and use of PPE.


Track and Trace 

We will, of course, also need your help and support to keep school safe as we return to school. Obviously if your child, or somebody else in your household, has coronavirus symptoms they should stay at home and get tested. Likewise, the government guidance says that if there is a confirmed case at school, then we should work with the relevant health authorities to ensure that everyone who was in close contact with them when they were infectious is notified and self-isolates for fourteen days – in reality, this is likely to be the pupils in the class bubble.  


What you can do to help

Everyone will need to play a part in keeping the virus out of school.  We request that if you bring your child to school, that you drive, walk, cycle or scoot to school wherever possible. If you have to use public transport, please encourage your son or daughter to wear a face covering if they can (although it is not compulsory for under-11s) and minimise the surfaces they touch in line with current government advice

Please note, children will be required to wear uniform next term.  


Thank you – you have been amazing!

The summer term has been long and tiring for families and staff, but it has also been inspiring and uplifting. The whole community has pulled together to ensure pupils felt safe and supported, and we have shown just how much can be achieved in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances. No matter what your experience of lockdown, parents have been terrific: on behalf of all staff, we want to thank you for everything you have done to support your children’s success over this period, and to support our school. 

We will continue to update the website over the summer to keep you informed about our plans, and to remind you of the key information you need to know.  


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Yours faithfully,


Sarah McLay