Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Important: To ensure that you are viewing the latest information, please refresh this page in your browser once it has loaded.

Click on any FJS logo to return to Reception.

Please see the Class Pages for Autumn Term information specific to each class.

3rd September 2020

Dear Parents & Carers

Sefton Council has asked us to share a letter with you, along with information about a flu vaccination programme.

Download PDF  

26th August 2020

Pre-return Letter to Parents

Dear Parents & Carers,

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the advice I have received from educational and psychological experts regarding the return to school in September. 

From conversations I have had with families and staff, it is clear that whilst the majority of children are looking forward to September, many are feeling anxious and almost all will find the transition back to school to be unsettling.  It isn’t unusual to be nervous, both as a pupil and as an adult working in school, in the final days of the summer holidays – but this year the experts say we shouldn’t underestimate the magnitude of the transition. Few children will skip through our doors on Thursday (3rd September) without a care in the world – there will be a transition period for all.  This may be two or three days, a couple of weeks or even months.

In addition, we can’t simply say “Lockdown’s done and everything is back to normal” because it isn’t.  We shared our plans, via the website, back in July to enable you to prepare for the changes and talk through the details with your child.  Psychologists advise:

“The less uncertainty they have, the less they will worry.  It’s a bad idea to promise that all will be back to normal in a few weeks because it won’t. We need to teach them to tolerate uncertainty.”
So, what can we do to help them prepare?

  1. Talk to them about their worries and reassure them – promote a sense of hopefulness: all things pass and every life has highs and lows.

  2. Get out there and see the world as it is now; let them see people in masks and the Perspex screens and hand sanitising stations in shops.

  3. Look for opportunities in the last days of the holiday for children to separate from their main caregiver – gradually increasing the time.  If they can meet up with relatives and friends face to face for a few hours this will help ease them back into separating from family members.  Some children will have been at home with parents every day of lockdown and may find socialising with others to be a challenge.  Reward ‘brave behaviours’ and prevent avoidance. Acknowledge it’s difficult, but not so difficult that they can’t do it.

  4. Expect to see behaviour changes – even in children who can’t wait to return to school! Emotions will be running high – tearful, snappy or sullen responses are normal.  Talk through worries, teach them to take deep breaths, write down their feelings in a journal or change their mood through exercise or music.

  5. Back to routine! Start readjusting sleep patterns before September. Have a consistent wake-up time and bedtime – maybe bring bedtime forward in chunks over a few days? If your child has got used to unlimited drinks and snacks, talk to them about drinking water and only having a mid-morning snack.  Perhaps the biggest challenge and potential trigger will be reducing screen time.  Discuss the need to balance ‘gaming’ with actual interactions with humans!  Avoid screens in the hours before bedtime and look into parental controls and revising rules about where/when they can have technology.

  6. Although it may be hard at first, children do adapt quickly. They may feel ‘rusty’ – both socially and academically, but they will recover lost skills.  Encourage daily reading and try exercising their handwriting muscles – perhaps making lists or writing down feelings.

We know that they will all respond in different ways and hopefully the benefits of being back in school with many familiar sights and sounds will ease the ‘bumps in the road.’ Children who came back to school in June and July initially looked very nervous, but quickly settled into the new routines and even had fun – supported by the adults around them. 

We are excited to see everyone and will do everything possible to create a sense of calm and positivity – with a focus on kindness.  Please help us to achieve this by following the guidelines we have put in place and ensuring children arrive at the right door at the right time, wearing either their uniform or games kit (starting from Thursday, 3rd September 2020) and carrying their packed lunch and water bottle.  All of these details can be found on the class pages of our website.

If you have any additional questions or information to share with staff, please contact the office via email or telephone, but bear in mind that we have 360 pupils and 90 of those are starting a brand new school.  It will take time to adjust to the ‘new normal’ and we must accept that some things may be imposed upon us and be beyond our control.  Only by working together will we succeed in building our children’s resilience and they will look to the adults around them for how to react.

Thank you, in anticipation of your support,

P A Swift

Download this letter  

14th July 2020

Summer Letter to Parents

Dear Parents/Carers,

As we approach the end of term, I am writing to you all, firstly, to say a heart-felt ‘Thank You’ for all of the lovely cards, presents and supportive emails we have received during lockdown and for your patience and understanding throughout the many stages of this pandemic.  It has been, by far, the most unusual year and whilst we are delighted to be preparing for our children to return to school, it is important that I share with you what school will look like in September.

The Government has recently published updated guidance and, as a school, we have set out how that will affect our future provision.  I apologise in advance for the length of this letter and I can’t guarantee that over the summer holidays our plans won’t change in response to national events. You will be aware from the news that guidance can change almost daily and therefore we will be reviewing our procedures throughout August and into the Autumn Term.

Building on the ‘POD’ system that we introduced in June, classes will operate along the same lines with staggered start/finish times and each of the 12 classes will follow their own timetable and keep interactions with others to a minimum. 

Please read the following information:

Guidance How this will look at FJS
Staggered start and finish times Children will be allocated a start and finish time for their teaching group. It is very important that they stick to this time and that a 2m distance is kept between adults and children around the school gate. If a child needs to be accompanied, only one parent should attend. Parents should avoid gathering at entrance gates or doors, or enter the playground or school site (unless they have a pre-arranged appointment, which should be conducted safely).  If children travel to school by bike/scooter they should immediately store them in the area provided and ensure that they then wait at the correct Entry Point.

Please note: The details for each class are now available on the Class Pages of this website, including the specific gates/entry points and timings.

Cleaning rotas Teaching staff will have access to appropriate cleaning materials in the classroom. Cleaning staff will ensure all areas are thoroughly cleaned – aided by a ‘clear surface’ policy in classrooms.  High touch points such as light switches will be cleaned more frequently than usual and doors will be wedged open where possible to limit the amount of ‘high touch’ surfaces.
PODs Our classrooms will look a little different, as pupils will face towards the teacher and sit side-by-side not face to face.  Each POD will remain in the same classroom with the same people as far as possible. This measure is necessary to limit any cross-contamination.
Teaching staff Each teaching group will have consistent class teachers and teaching assistants may also be allocated, depending on the needs of the children in that group. These adults will remain with this group as far as possible. Staff are able to teach across different PODs maintaining social distancing as far as possible.
Teaching Assistants Teaching assistants will be allocated to certain groups according to need but will still need to social distance. This will mean that children will get the support they need but may need to be encouraged to work with more independence than usual.
Use of stationery Children should not bring their own stationery/pencil cases. We will provide children with pens, pencils etc and they will not be able to share this equipment. Each child will have their own tray to store their equipment.
Shared Resources Each POD has access to their own play equipment and individual maths resources.  We will minimise sharing and ensure regular cleaning.  Shared resources such as PE equipment will be cleaned before use in another POD
Temperature Checks Children will not routinely have their temperature checked in school, however if we are concerned that a child is unwell, we will carry out a check with a ‘non-contact’ infra-red thermometer.  Where a child or adult is displaying symptoms we will follow the PHE guidance (available on our website).
Assembly & Class Assemblies Sadly, whole school assembly is not allowed currently. However, each class will provide time for daily reflection. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to invite parents into school to watch class assemblies, but the children will be given the opportunity to create a ‘virtual’ class assembly during the year to share via the website or Twitter.  Mr Swift will announce PROUD certificates using technology – teachers will inform him of the names of winners by Thursday (pm).
Marking books Marking of books will be limited to avoid any virus transmission to staff.  Children will be able to self-mark where possible (for example in maths) Teachers will still look at children’s work and provide feedback using airserve, verbal feedback and stampers.
Curriculum Whilst online learning has been available throughout lockdown, the children will have still missed a large chunk of the curriculum. We will therefore have to prioritise the aspects which we feel are most important, particularly within the core subjects of English, maths and science.  We have timetabled daily ‘catch up’ sessions to specifically address basic skills.
Breaktimes Children will still need to abide by social distancing measures at breaktimes. These times will be staggered for each POD.  Our Play Leader will ensure that equipment is rotated and encourage more traditional games.

With so much focus on staying healthy, it is a good opportunity to reinforce that message in regard to playtime snacks.  Please provide fruit not chocolate or sweets.

Lunchtimes A packed lunch will either be provided by school, at a cost of £2.35 or by parents if you so wish. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms and eaten at desks, rather than in the hall.  Juniors will have to pay, unless they are entitled to a free school meal. This will be closely monitored during the Autumn Term as ideally we would wish to offer hot meals as soon as it is possible to do so. There will be time for exercise and these times will be staggered for each POD and will need to comply with social distancing. Welfare staff will supervise the same POD each day.
Water Bottles As our water fountains will not be in use, children should bring their own bottle of still (not sparking/flavoured) water to school each day.  Bottles should be named.
Use of staffrooms Rotas for breaks and lunchtimes will be operated to minimise the number of staff in each room and there will be 3 ‘staff rooms’ (one external). Staff may leave the premises during lunchtimes.
Pupil handwashing times Regular handwashing rotas will be in place for teaching groups. The children will wash their hands when coming into school, before eating, after using the bathroom, before leaving school and regularly during the school day.  In addition, there are hand sanitiser stations around the building and hand sanitiser in each class.
Homework From September, we will move to ‘paper-less’ homework using an online APP called SeeSaw.  This will reduce the number of items taken home each day and enable teachers to feedback on pupils work without having to take it home themselves.  It should have the additional benefit of ‘never losing the sheet’!


Forefield Matters Our weekly newsletter will be available on our website and via Twitter.  This is another step towards reducing the amount of paper used in school whilst maintaining home/school links.
Home/School Diaries All pupils will be issued with a Home/School Diary in September.   As you will only receive this on day 1, we will not have any permissions for pupils to walk home by themselves.  To resolve this issue, please send in a note with your child if you give them permission to walk home by themselves.
Online learning continuation If a POD needs to isolate or if there is a local lockdown, we will continue to provide work via our website and SeeSaw.  An appropriate level of work will be provided. Teachers will provide feedback to the class and will aim to make daily contact with their class via SeeSaw.
Parent communication We will continue to communicate via Teachers2Parents for general matters and via the school email address if parents have individual enquiries. We ask that everyone communicates via email whenever possible rather than sending physical letters into school. Electronic communication is safest by far. The usual October parent consultations to discuss children’s progress will probably be conducted via phone/technology – but we will update you closer to the time.
Office traffic Our school foyer is not designed for social distancing and we ask that parents email where possible or telephone when email is not an option. We will be limiting visitors to school to an absolute minimum and ask that parents only come to the foyer if it is absolutely necessary. Only one person at a time will be allowed in the foyer. If you are waiting, it is safer to wait outside and at a distance of 2m from others. Unless it is an emergency, parents will only be allowed onsite by prior appointment.
Office layout Our office staff are already set up to work at a distance of 2m from each other. Only one additional member of staff will be allowed in the school office at a time if they have a query.  It will take some getting used to as we have always had an ‘open door’ policy – but in the Autumn Term we ask that you do not arrive in school without an appointment and use email/phone wherever possible.
Borrowing reading books We are so lucky to have an abundance of reading books for children to borrow.  This means that children will be allowed to borrow a book, but upon return it will be placed in a ‘returns’ box for at least 72 hours before being put back on a Library shelf.  Unfortunately, our community Library will have to remain closed for the time being.
Test and Trace If staff or children display symptoms of COVID-19, they must remain at home and book a test. While waiting for test results, the POD can remain in school. If the result is negative, the child or staff member can return to school straight away. If the test is positive, the POD will need to remain at home for 14 days. This will affect the entire POD, which is why we have set up class PODs not year group PODs of 90.
Trips/Residential Visits We are able to take the children on local visits to enhance their learning, but for now we have not booked any excursions, trips or residential visits.  We will, of course, keep a keen eye on the guidance and update you ASAP.
Extra-Curricular Clubs We will eventually re-start a limited offer of after school clubs. These will initially take place within PODs. These will be outdoors where possible. No contact sports are currently possible but we will be seeking alternatives.
Other curriculum changes No contact sports can take place currently in PE, but we aim to be outside as much as possible.

Although we have been allocated swimming times for Y4 and Y5 classes, we are awaiting further guidance/confirmation of how this will happen – particularly with regard to transport.

In music, singing should be avoided and we are seeking a suitable alternative to our Year 4 music lessons. The IT suites will be cleaned between PODs and our iPads will be wiped between use by different PODs.

End of Year Assessment Year 6 SATs will take place in May 2021 as usual. Year 4 will complete a multiplication tables check in June 2021. The government currently believe that it is important that these assessments continue so that they gain an understanding of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on this cohort of pupils nationally.
Uniform From September, all children should wear our school uniform, including black shoes.  On ‘Games’ days, children should come to school wearing their kit and trainers.  Kit should include navy joggers and a navy hooded top or school sweatshirt/cardigan.  Older pupils may wish to bring a spare t-shirt/polo shirt to change into after their lesson – but we are trying to keep ‘changing’ to a minimum. There is a ‘new to you’ uniform sale in the dance studio – 17/7/20 between 9:00AM AND 3:00PM – all donations will go to Macmillan.
Attendance From September, all children should be in school every day and on time, unless they are unwell.   Punctuality is vital for the smooth running of each POD.  Although we are using additional entrances with staggered timings, the Entry Points are to be used by more than one POD, so please arrive within the allocated 15 minute period.
Behaviour Children attending PODs during Summer 2020 have adhered to our Behaviour Policy and responded well to the changes.  Our rewards and sanctions remain the same – but our Red/Yellow/Green ‘cards’ will not be handed out, just referred to.

Children must keep apart, follow routines and regularly wash their hands – not only to keep themselves safe, but everyone around them.

Thank you for taking the time to read through each of these changes.  I hope you and your loved ones are able to enjoy some sunshine during August – wherever that may be!

Stay safe and take care of each other,

P A Swift (Headteacher)

Download this letter