Re-opening of Backwell School

September 2020 onwards

From September, we are required to have all students in all year groups on site full time.


The school has spent a long time planning and preparing for re-opening in September. We have an extensive risk assessment which has been signed off by our Trust. This complies with the expectations set out by the government for school reopening.

On this page we have outlined how the school will reopen from September onwards.

Parents, carers and students have an important role to play in this reopening.

You can skip to a specific section by click on the title using the menu in the right corner of this page.

Key links for Parents/Carers

Parents can download a PDF version of our September re-opening information by clicking here.

Government expectations and guidance for parents can be found here.

NHS guidance on symptoms, isolation and testing can be found here.

Full Government guidance documentation for schools can be read here.


​​Our planning is based around the following system of controls (please note that the current guidance states that students are not expected to wear face coverings whilst at school).


1    Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.

2    Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual.

3    Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

4    Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach.

5    Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.

6    Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Numbers 1 to 4 must be in place in all schools, all the time.

Number 5 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.

Number 6 applies in specific circumstances.


Response to any infection

7    Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.

8    Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.

9    Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.

Numbers 7 to 9 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.

How we are making the school site COVID-secure

  • Students are being placed in bubbles by year group. This means that plans have been put in place to keep year groups separate to avoid mixing across the school site. These bubbles will also apply during social time, purchasing items from the school canteen and on transport to and from school. Students will not be allowed to socialise across year groups.

  • Extensive cleaning will take place throughout the day, especially in key areas including toilets and hand rails.

  • Enhanced cleaning will also be in place in specialist classrooms which require equipment (for example DT and Music)

  • In some internal areas of the school one way systems will be in place.

  • Students will be expected to use hand sanitiser (provided in all classrooms) whenever they enter or exit a classroom.

  • Classrooms will be laid out so that students are all facing forward towards the front of the room and seated side by side. Where this is not possible (for example in a specialist teaching space) screens will be in place.

  • Tissues will be provided in classrooms to enable ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’.

  • Students will be asked to wipe their desk and chair before leaving their classroom to go to their next lesson. The teacher will apply antibacterial spray onto the table and children will wipe them with cloths provided.

  • Use of outdoor space will be encouraged as much as possible.

  • Guidance has been placed in all toilets regarding good hand hygiene; washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.

  • Teacher will spend a vast majority of their time at a 2m social distance from students in their class.

  • Should someone display symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day we have a procedure in place for isolating this student until they can be collected from school. 


The School Day

  • There have been a number of significant changes to the school day to allow for social distancing and the COVID-secure measures outline above.

  • Students are expected to be in full Backwell School Uniform. Government guidance states; We would encourage all schools to return to their usual uniform policies in the autumn term. Uniform can play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone. Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.”

  • The timings and schedule of the school day has been changed;

  • The school day will begin at 8.50am and will finish at 3.10pm. There will be a staggered departure from 3.00pm to assist with keeping bubbles of students separate.

  • Students will receive the same amount of curriculum time – the day is shorter as social time is now 1 hour a day (usually it would be 1 hour and 20 minutes). This change is in order to reduce the risk of students form different year group bubbles from mixing.

  • All lessons will now be double lesson – meaning students will only have three subjects a day. This significantly reduces the movement around the site and the fact that students are moving from lesson to a break, instead of lesson to lesson, further reduces risk.  

  • There will be a staggered dismissal from each school building at the end of each lesson to further minimise risk of students mixing.

  • Tutor time has been amalgamated to two longer slots a week on a Tuesday and Thursday morning. Again this is to minimise movement around the school site. Students will still meet with their tutor, undertake PSHE activities and have assemblies (virtually/by video) during this pastoral time. The timetabling of Tutor Time to ensure that all subjects retain the same amount of curriculum time in each year group.

  • We will not be running whole year group or house assemblies for the foreseeable future. Assemblies will be delivered virtually.

  • Students cannot arrive on the school site before 8.30am. They will then have to wait in a dedicated area for their year group bubble before heading to their tutor base/Lesson A classroom (dependent on the day of the week). Specifics of these locations to be updated in due course.

  • The Library will closed before and after school as we cannot provide adequate social distancing between year group bubbles.

  • PE – currently the plans are for students to attend school in their PE kit on days in which they have PE. This is to reduce time in close proximity to others when changing before and after the lesson.

Arrangements for purchasing and eating food

  • We will have two periods of social time/opportunities to purchase food a day. They will both last 30 minutes and each year group will be allocated a time to purchase food from the canteen if they so wish. Students will not be able to purchase food outside of their allotted time. This is to ensure that students from different year group bubbles do not mix.

  • Only Grab and Go items (sandwiches, salads, pots of pasta, jacket potatoes etc.) will be available to purchase from the canteen.

  • We are unable to provide the opportunity to purchase food before school (Breakfast Club).

  • Students entitled to free school meals will be able to select Grab and Go items during their scheduled time in the canteen.

  • Students will not use their thumbprint to pay for items in the canteen. A PIN system will be used instead. Students will be reminded of their PIN at the start of term.

  • Students are encouraged to bring packed lunches, snacks and drinks to school with them. Please note that items contain nuts should not be included in packed lunches.


  • Any behaviour, which contravenes hygiene or social distancing, will be acted on immediately.

  • Our Behaviour Policy and Procedure will be updated to reflect the restrictions and impact of COVID-19.

Travelling to and from school

This area is the most complex thing to organise about returning to school.

Many arrangements for this are not yet in place for a number of reasons. We appreciate that this may cause anxiety and inconvenience for parents. Please be assured we are doing everything we can to make and finalise arrangements.

Please stay alert for updates on this area. We can currently confirm the following:

Coach travel to school

  • Students who travel to school via home-to-school transport organised by North Somerset Council (those who live within our first geographical area).

    • North Somerset Council are currently surveying parents about transport to school options.

    • We will be working closely with colleagues at North Somerset Council once they have gathered and shared key information with us (this is expected to be on 10 August).

    • Parents will then be contacted directly with the home-to-school arrangements for their child.

    • We are working towards limited use of public transport and coaches specific to each year group as per the Government Guidance.

    • All students on home-to-school transport will have to wear a face covering.


  • Students who travel to school on school organised coach transport (those living outside of the catchment area, for example Long Ashton and Bristol whose parents pay for a coach seat)

    • This service is particularly challenging to organise; the additional costs of running year group specific vehicles is making this service incredibly expensive. The school cannot subside any costs towards this service.

    • We are currently in communication with the providers to see what solutions, if any, can be found.

    • A reminder that parents have the legal responsibility to transport their child to school if they live outside of the first geographical area and may like to investigate alternatives forms of transport.


Pedestrians – those who travel to school on foot

  • Students are encouraged to walk to school where possible. This will ease traffic in the local area and demand on public transport.

  • Your child should observe social distancing on their walk to school and should not associate with those outside of their year group bubble.



  • Students are encouraged to cycle to school where possible.

  • Cyclists must ensure they bring a cycle lock to school and wear a helmet whilst on their bike.


Public transport

  • If you choose to transport your child to school via public transport please ensure you check the latest timetables as they may have changed.

  • All students on public transport will have to wear a face covering.


Pick up and drop off by car

  • You are strongly encouraged to organise for your child to walk or cycle to school where possible.

  • It is likely that the school site will be busier than usual and it may be that we have to delay access to the school site for cars at the end of the day for those being picked up in vehicles.  This is due to social distancing and the building work taking place on the school site.

  • Parents must not use the Backwell Leisure Centre car park for collecting and dropping off their children.

  • Parents must also be mindful of residents in the local area, please do not park in neighbouring roads to collect your child. Local residents will contact the police if parked vehicles are causing an obstruction or nuisance.


How you can help us - parents, carers and students

  • All students are expected to attend school from September so please ensure you child is prepared and attending school. 

  • Parents are liable to be fined if your child does not attend school from September.

  • Young Minds have published advice and guidance on supporting children returning to school after lockdown.

  • DO NOT send your child to school if unwell or showing any symptoms of coronavirus– follow the NHS guidance and request a test. Report your child’s absence through the normal channels – call 01275 464188 or email

  • The Confederation of School Trusts have issued this guidance on what schools are to do following a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

  • Ensure you and your child(ren) are familiar with our plans and expectations outlined in this document.

  • Speak to your child about good hygiene – washing their hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds and coughing/sneezing into a tissue.

  • Ensure your child is organised and properly equipped for each school day as our ability to loan/lend equipment will be reduced. This should also reduce the need for parents to visit the school site to drop off forgotten lunchboxes, PE kits etc. which needs to be restricted to keep those on the school site safe. Please do not visit the school during the day unless it is absolutely necessary.

  • Please do not visit the school site without an appointment. If you need to speak with a member of staff please contact them to book a time to discuss your queries or concerns.

  • You are welcome to equip your child with tissues and hand sanitiser if they would like to have their own supply of these items.

  • Follow our rules regarding arrival and departure from school once confirmed and published. Please respect staff instructions in the car park as we try to manage both the impact of COVID-19 social distancing and the building work taking place on the school site.

  • Please keep up to date with school communications – we will continue to communicate with parents via email and our website. If you change your contact details please inform us of this by emailing

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© Backwell School 2019

Part of the Lighthouse School Partnership

A National Teaching School