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Update on COVID from London Borough of Bexley

Parent/Carer FAQ


15th September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers                                                                                                                                             


In the last few days, we have been asked some questions by parents particularly on the rules on isolation and testing and I wanted to share some of these with you: 


1. Q. Can I bring my child in if they have symptoms of a cold (runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and non-continuous cough)? 
A. You know your child best but if they are not displaying one of the three Covid-19 symptoms, they can come to school with a cold. 
2. Q. My child had a temperature over the weekend. The temperature is now gone but they have cold like symptoms. Can I bring them to school? 
A. A high temperature is one of the main Covid-19 symptoms. If your child had a temperature, even if with no other symptoms, the whole household should isolate for 14 days and you should have your child tested within 5 days from the onset of symptoms. 
3. Q. My child had Covid19 symptoms but the test result was negative. When can they return to school? 
A. If your child’s test results is negative they can return to school 48 hours after their temperature has returned to normal. 
4. Q. My child has a cough but no other symptoms. Can they come to school? 
A. A new continuous cough is one of the main symptoms of Covid-19 and the whole household should isolate, and you should have your child tested if they have one.  A continuous cough means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).  
If your child coughs occasionally because of a cold, they can still come to school.  
5. Q. My child is displaying Covid-19 symptoms but I cannot get a test for them. What should I do? 
A. If your child has symptoms then you need to keep them home and arrange for a test. There are some reports of being increasingly difficult to book a test but people are eventually managing this. Slots seem to become available at 10am and 8pm so these are good times to try if you are having a difficult time booking one. 
Please use the following link to book a test.  
Testing must occur within 5 days of the onset of symptoms. If you are not able to get a test in the first 5 days of having symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the onset of symptoms. Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home. 
6. Q. My child is ill (not Covid-19 related). Will they be set work on the school website for while they are at home? 
A. If your child is at home feeling poorly, we do not expect them to be working. If they are self-isolating because another member of the household has been tested positive for Covid-19 or because they have Covid-19 symptoms and you have been unable to secure a test then work will be set for your child to complete on the school website.


To summarise, you know your child best and if you would have sent them to school before Covid-19 you should still do so unless they have one of the three symptoms below (in which case you should get them tested and self-isolate)


* a high temperature
* a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours 
* a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal 
Thank you again for your support and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact the office. 

Yours faithfully
Stuart Keep
Head Teacher

COVID-Safe Steps - Update

11th September 2020


On behalf of the staff of Bishop Ridley, can I thank you for helping us to keep everyone as safe as possible since we reopened after the summer holiday! Our theme for collective worship is ‘Together’ and nowhere has this been clearer than in the way families, children and staff have acted to keep social distance and follow the COVID precautions.


We are constantly reviewing our processes and procedures to keep the school community safe, especially with regards to COVID-19. Today, I have one new request and two key reminders:


A New Request - Face Coverings
From Monday 14th September, I would like parents/carers to consider wearing face coverings when on school grounds and especially if you need to talk to a member of staff or visit the office.


You have been so supportive in following our requests and I recognise that some people will not be able to wear face coverings and that others may be uncomfortable doing so. However, I feel confident that those who can add to the safety of others, will do so.


The safest way to communicate with the school is through telephone or email. I have had feedback from the office that most parents are following our request and ringing the office, rather than coming in. If you have an urgent issue and you have to speak to a member of staff, then please have a face covering to reduce the risk to the teacher (and therefore the other children in school).


Two Reminders
1. ) Please do not arrive at school to drop off your child before their allocated time slot.

8:30-8:45am for Nursery, Reception, Year 5 & Year 6

8:45-9:00am for Years 1, 2, 3 & 4

2. ) When you are on site, please try to keep 2 metres distancing from other families. I recognise that this is not always possible due to the restrictions of our site.


Communicating Confirmed COVID Cases

We do not currently have any confirmed COVID-19 cases. We will write to all parents/carers to let you know if we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 among our staff or pupils.

In such an instance, we will likely be working under direct advice from Public Health Bexley or Public Health England.


On-Line Learning in case of Self-Isolation or Lockdown

When we reopened in September, the government gave each school until the end of September to put in place arrangements to allow all children to access a broad and balanced curriculum, regardless of whether they are learning in school, or at home.


This week the teachers have successfully completed a trial of our new On-Line learning procedures.

From now, each year group will upload their weekly plan, along with daily lesson input and resource sheets for English, maths and one other subject, every day (check your child’s Class Page - ).


This means that if your child is in quarantine or self-isolation, then they can access the same work as the rest of their classmates everyday. This can then be completed, or photographed and emailed into the teacher every day for them to review and provide feedback (just like during lockdown).


In addition, if the school were to become subject to a local lockdown, or enforced closure of a “bubble”, we will continue to use the class pages on the website and accompany this with a daily video for English and maths along with resources to allow learning to continue at home.


I am sure that you will join me in thanking the teachers for their hard work and dedication to support every child’s learning – whether they are in the classroom or isolated at home.


Live Collective Worship

I arrived in school this morning with a slight feeling of dread! I had promised the staff and children that today I would run our first live collective worship on Zoom (all fully password protected with waiting rooms etc).

I needn’t have worried! With Mr Martindale’s tech support, and to the humour of the teachers, we met together to share our Bible verse, celebrate the pupils of the week and listen to a prayer.

Having now become used to the segregated bubbles around school, it was a delight to stand in the hall and hear every class clapping to congratulate the Pupils of the Week and to hear a school-wide “Amen” at the end of the prayer.


COVID-19 remains a serious threat and I am glad that as a school community we are able to find small ways to remember that we are all in this together.


Best wishes to you and your family,


Stuart Keep

Head Teacher

Latest Update on School Reopening - Updated 31st August 2020


Dear Members of the Bishop Ridley School Community,


We are delighted to be welcoming the children back to school on the 3rd September (children in Nursery and Reception have different start dates which have been advised to families).


I am also aware that, while most children will be excited to be starting the new year, some children (and adults) may be feeling anxious about the return to school due to the COVID pandemic.


While we can’t eliminate the risk of cross-infection, we have made some big changes to the way school runs to reduce the risk as much as possible.


Just before the summer holidays, I shared with you our COVID-Safe Policy and Risk assessment. During the holiday, I have updated these very detailed documents in line with government guidance and have uploaded the latest versions to the website (this page).


I’m conscious that they are lengthy documents, so have created a quick FAQ below to cover the questions which I think are most likely to be on your mind as you prepare for the return to school. However, I recognise that there may be more information which you would like and I am eager to ensure that we support every family to feel comfortable about the return to school. Therefore, if you would like further information, please click on the link ( ) and let me know your query. Please do not leave personal information on the form. I will review any questions and provide a further FAQ before the children return, if necessary.

Best wishes and I look forward to seeing you soon,


Stuart Keep

Head Teacher


Do I have to send by child into school?

From September, attendance at school will become mandatory, as the government expects all children to attend school. The usual rules will apply and we will have a duty to follow up any absences. You must let the office know if your child is ill and cannot attend school.

Once in school, children will follow strict hygiene rules and will have limited contact with children in other classes. The school is being carefully cleaned, including additional lunchtime cleaning of tables and key touch points (such as handles, taps, toilet flushes).


What happens if someone is unwell?

Any child showing symptoms of coronavirus MUST be kept at home for the full self-isolation period, or until a coronavirus test has been completed and you have received a negative result.

If the school contacts you to advise that your child is exhibiting symptoms, you must make arrangements for them to be collected immediately. The school will use all of the emergency contacts listed on each child’s file to ensure that a responsible adult is reached as soon as possible.

If we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, we will alert families whose children may have been in contact with the infected individual. We will follow all advice given to us by Public Health Bexley, or Public Health England, which may mean that some bubbles are closed and children have to be sent home.


Does my child need to wear school uniform?

Yes, please. Full school uniform should be worn at all times. Please support us with this as we work with the children to re-establish their normal expectations of school life and to re-build the feeling of community within the school.

Once children have settled into school, they will be expected to wear their PE kit into school on days when they have outdoor PE. This is to maximise time spent on physical activity and to minimise items left in cloakroom areas which could pose a risk of cross-infection.


What are the arrangements for the start and end of the school day?

We will be operating staggered start and end of day arrangements. This is to protect you, your children and staff. Please maintain social distancing wherever possible on the school site. You may need to be more patient than usual as everyone gets used to the new ways of working.

When they arrive, children will go to wash their hands, then straight to their classroom.

The staggered starts rely on families arriving during the designated timeslot. It is important that families do not arrive early as they will not be granted access to the school site.

Adults must not congregate on the school site and should leave immediately after dropping off /collecting their child(ren).

If you are a childminder, or have children with different arrival times, please aim to arrive just before 8:45am so that you do not have to wait around for the next drop off “window” to start.

Year Group

Drop-off Time Window

Drop-off location

Pick-up time

Pick-up location


(AM session)


(PM Session)


Doors to the KS1 playground by the Kitchen

(AM Session)


(PM Session)


Doors to the KS1 playground by the kitchen


8:30 – 8:45am

Double doors next to Miss Carr’s room


Double doors next to Miss Carr’s room

Year 1

8:45 – 9:00am

Double doors next to Miss Carr’s room


Double doors next to Miss Carr’s room

Year 2

8:45 – 9:00am

Double doors next to Year 2 Classrooms


Double doors next to Year 2 Classrooms

Year 3 & 4

8:45 – 9:00am

KS2 playground gates


KS2 playground (behind markers)

Years 5 & 6

8:30 – 8:45am

KS2 playground gates


KS2 playground (behind markers)


Can my child wear a facemask?

(Please read the section “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Facemasks/coverings” in the COVID-Safe policy for full details. An overview is given below)

The safety and welfare of the children and staff at Bishop Ridley is our main priority. The current government guidance is that facemasks/coverings are not required in primary school. As a school, we are taking an inclusive and pragmatic approach to help all members of our community feel comfortable about returning to school.

  • Facemasks/coverings may be worn by staff around school if they wish. It is important that this does not interfere with the quality of learning, so should not be worn during normal teaching and learning time.
  • Facemasks/coverings may be worn by children if parents/guardians wish to provide them. Masks will not be allowed for children with any breathing or respiratory difficulties (e.g. asthma).
  • School staff will aim to follow parents’/guardians’ wishes where possible, but children must remove facemasks/coverings if a member of staff feels it is necessary (for example, but not limited to, if a child is anxious, if the facemask is causing a distraction to the child or if the wearing of the facemask is increasing the risk of cross infection to others).
  • School staff will not be able to assist children with facemasks or coverings, so please ensure that your child is comfortable and trained in putting on/removing any face mask or covering if they are to wear one.
  • Any facemasks/coverings worn in school must be plain (without any images/logos/motifs).
  • Anyone handling a facemask/covering must immediately wash their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and running water or using sanitiser.
  • Any facemasks/coverings worn to school are the responsibility of the member of staff/child. Any facemasks/coverings which are left unattended around school will be disposed of. The school will not be responsible for the cost of any replacement.
  • All facemasks or coverings worn to school must be taken home at night to be disposed of or washed. Any facemasks/coverings left in school will be disposed of as they pose a risk of cross-contamination.
  • Anyone wearing a facemask must ensure that they have a re-sealable plastic bag in which to store the mask if it needs to be removed (for example at lunch time). This is to reduce the risk of cross infection.
  • Children from disadvantaged families (who are in receipt of Pupil Premium funding) can request a disposable mask each day from the school if they wish.

Will my child still mix with other children?

Children will be kept in bubble groups which maximise the consistency of children with whom they mix. All children will be encouraged to keep a sensible distance from other children and adults. Children will not go to the hall to eat and will not gather together in the hall for collective worship.

(See section “Social Distancing” in the COVID-Safe Policy)


What will happen about school dinners and packed lunches?

All meals will be eaten in the classroom rather than the hall (to reduce the risk of cross infection between bubbles). The lunch hour will be split into 30 minutes to play on the playground and 30 minutes in the classroom, during which children will eat.

School dinners will be pre-packaged in insulated boxes and delivered to the classroom. The available menu will be kept under review and may have to change at short notice.

It is essential that you let the office know immediately if your child has any allergies or intolerances etc.


What happens if I need to come into school to talk to my child’s teacher?

Parents or other visitors will not be allowed into the school building unless absolutely necessary. This is to reduce the risk of infection.

We still want to maintain the essence of our normal ‘open door’ policy as we appreciate how vital communication is between home and school. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher, please email them via, or leave a message at the office and the teacher will call you back by the end of the next school day. 


What does my child need to bring to school?

Your child should only bring essential items into school. This includes their lunch box, hat, coat, book and mobile phone (Year 6 only and with a letter of parental consent). These should ideally be carried and not brought into school in a bag.

Please can you return any reading books which your child brought home before the lockdown. These will be quarantined before being reused. We are running very short on books!

Children should not bring any pencil cases or stationery as each child will be provided with a personal stationery set by the school.


Government information:

Updates on COVID-19:


Importance of hygiene:

Advice Letter (9th March 2020) - ** Some of this advice has now been updated. See latest advice.**