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The Beacon C of E (VA) Primary School

'Living life in all its fullness' (John 10:10)


1 Beacon Place, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 2SR

01395 264300


Coronavirus FAQ

Devon County Council have shared this very helpful advice explaining what you need to do if your child is unwell.

Please complete the survey which has been sent via email- this will enable us to plan our staff and resources: 


We hope the list below will be helpful. If there are other questions you would like answers to, please do  let us know.

Clearly, we can't cover every eventuality, this list covers only some of the areas we have had to plan for.

Please scroll down to find answers to the questions below.

Exmouth Community College has kindly agreed to us sharing their Covid Flow Chart, which will help you to determine if your child (and family bubble) needs to self isolate. Please have a look here





Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm

*This is information is current at date of publication, 17th September 2020, then updated through Autumn Term 2020 and Spring Terms 2021.

  1. What are the drop off and pick up times for classes?
  2. Where do we come to drop off and pick up children?
  3. What if I need to talk with staff at drop off in the mornings?
  4. Will Breakfast and 3.30 Club be running?
  5. Uniform and PE Kits - what do the children need?
  6. What can my child bring to school?
  7. Can my child have school dinners?  
  8. Free School Meals if my child is unable to come to school.
  9. What are the rules about absence from school and illness?
  10. Will there be Remote Learning for children who are isolating?
  11. What are the 'new normal' routines in school - what are the safety measures?
  12. Are the toilets really timetabled?  Will they be cleaned during the day?
  13. Will the school be cleaned throughout the day?
  14. Will you be taking temperature checks?
  15. Can I delay my child's return to school?
  16. Will there be trips, what about Beach and Forest School?
  17. Will the children be tested when they return to school?
  18. Does my child need a face mask in school?
  19. Will there be visitors in school?
  20. Do I / does my child need a COVID test?
  21. How do I get a COVID test?
  22. What if I can't get a COVID test?
  23. Are staff using the twice-weekly COVID tests?

1.  Class staggered drop off and pick up times:

Reception 9.00am to 3.10pm

Year 1 and Year 2  8.55am to 3.20pm

Year 3 and Year 4 8.50am to 3.25pm

Year 5 and Year 6 8.45am to 3.30pm

2.  Where do we come to drop off and pick up children?

Please queue at a social distance uphill on Beacon Place, round the corner of the school site and downhill on Little Beacon Place.  We will be providing hand sanitiser at the gate as children come in, and in class before they leave at the end of the school day.

If you have more than one child, please bring both at once (either time).  We will make arrangements for you to collect both children at the same time, preferably the later time slot.  We ask that only one parent/carer comes to school.   Adults will only be able to enter the school site in the mornings if absolutely necessary in order to talk to one of the members of staff who is welcoming children on the playground.   We ask that anyone entering the school site leaves via the Reception outdoor area gate.  Please help us to maintain social distancing on our school site and outside it at all times.  Please do not arrive at the school site by walking up hill from the roundabout as this prevents social distancing and forces people to walk in the road.  If social distancing can’t be maintained at drop off and pick up, we will then be required to take names and contact details of all adults in case of a positive COVID-19 case – it is in everyone’s interests to maintain social distancing at all times, please help us with this.

At pick up time, we will invite one adult per child to gather at a social distance on the playground; we will be calling one class at a time.  Staff will bring classes in turn to the upper level of the main playground to hand over to parents/carers. We ask that everyone leaves by the Reception Class outdoor area gate.    We know (from these past few weeks) that it is possible to be quick in doing this, but we do need you to help us by moving out of the school site as quickly as possible, and maintaining social distance through the ‘pinch point’ on the way through to the Reception outside area.  If it’s raining, this routine will still continue, so please bring a brolly and send your child in with their coat!

We are expecting it to take at least the first week for us all to get used to these new routines, but what we’ve learned since 1st June gives us confidence that it can work – but we really will need your patience, understanding and co-operation!

3.  What if I need to talk with staff at drop off in the mornings?

We know that some children won't be able to say goodbye at the gate, and that sometimes parents and carers will have important messages to share with us.  

If you need to, you will be able to walk into the playground and talk there with a member of staff who will be able to sort things out for you and your child.  

We ask that anyone entering the playground maintains a 2m social distance from other adults and children.

4.  Will Breakfast and 3.30 Club be running?

Will both be open to all families as long as it is financially viable to do so.  Details are on the website as usual.  Places must be booked in advance, which you will be able to do via the School Gateway App – information will be shared on the website.  Payments will remain at the price they’ve been for the past few years. 

In National Lockdowns, these clubs will only be open to Critical Worker parents whilst they are at work and there’s no alternative.  Places must be booked and are a only available if it’s financially viable for us to run the club.  This is because the Extended School Clubs must be independently financially viable.

5.  Uniform and PE Kits - what do the children need?

Uniform will return to normal.  We do expect children to be wearing school uniform and school shoes.  PE kits will not be required at the very start of term, we will let you know when to bring these in.  All children will be doing PE, but in their uniform to start with whilst we get used to the new normal. We will tell you when they will need their PE kits.

We have a selection of ‘pre-loved’ uniform; please get in touch if you would like to purchase any for a small donation to the PTFA.

6.  What can my child bring to school?

Children MUST bring a water bottle.  The Government will be providing fruit to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 so they will not need to bring a snack.  All children in Key Stage 2 should bring their own fruit snack or cereal bar (no cakes, biscuits or chocolate bars please). They will need a coat and sun hat as appropriate for the weather.  Please do not bring a bag or rucksack (we will review this as time goes on, but please don't bring them until and unless we tell you!)

Children must not bring toys or other items to school.

A small number of children with additional needs will be able to bring a transitional item with them - this will be agreed with the Headteacher or SENDCo.

7.  Can my child have school dinners?

School dinners will be available but must be booked by the Monday morning (before 8am) for the week.  The usual online orders will be open.  If you experience difficulties with this, please email us your orders and a member of the admin team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Packed lunches will need to be in one lunch box or lunch bag. 

8.  Free School Meals if my child is unable to come to school.

The Government have informed us that the voucher system is no longer available when school is open.  Where a child is unable to come to school because they are isolating, they will need to be provided with a daily  meal or weekly food box which will be delivered or you can collect.  The office will be in touch with you about this to make arrangements.

FSM vouchers during school holidays are provided by Devon County Council and distributed by school.  The school office will email eligible parents and carers about this.

9.  Absence from school and illness.

The Government has made it clear that all children are expected to attend school (when schools are ‘open for all children’), the system of fines returned in September 2020.  As Remote Learning is now statutory, all children must continue to ‘attend’ school, even if this is by using the Remote Learning at home when school is closed, or when they are isolating but well enough to learn.

Please let us know if you have recently returned from another country and are isolating for 14 days.  Your child will need to access Remote Learning.

It is, of course, important that nobody who is ill with symptoms of COVID-19 attends school.  If a child becomes ill during the day, they will be isolated and parents/carers must collect them.   If we are sending a child home and advising they are tested for COVID-19, their siblings and family must isolate until the test result is confirmed (then continue to isolate if it's positive, they can return once they are well if it's negative).

If a family member is awaiting a COVID-19 test result, children do not attend school but must access the Remote Learning.

A person only needs to isolate when they have been advised to do so because they have been in direct contact with someone who has a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. 

If a person in school has a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, all people in their bubble group must isolate for 14 days in line with Government guidelines.  Remote Learning will be provided and all children who are well enough to do so must continue to ‘attend’ school by accessing the Remote Learning.

Please contact the school as you normally would, before 8.30am, if your child will not be attending in person.  We will be phoning parents when a child does not arrive at school but we were expecting them.

The Government has announced that there will be an expectation that children who are isolating will be accessing Remote  Learning, and that school is to monitor this.   Remote Learning is statutory.  You can find out more on our Remote Learning Offer webpage.

10.  Will there be Remote Learning for children who are isolating and if/when schools are closed during term time?

In September 2020, the Government announced that there will be an expectation that children who are isolating will be accessing Remote Learning, and that school is to monitor this. 

We use Microsoft Teams as the platform to deliver Remote Learning.  

You can find out more on our Remote Learning Offer webpage.

11.  What are the 'new normal' routines in school - what are the safety measures?

The timetable and all our usual routines have been adapted in accordance with the requirements for COVID-19.  We will explain these to the children and make the Risk Assessments available on ourPolicies webpage.

We will be continuing to clean through the school regularly through the day. 

Children will be washing and / or sanitising their hands regularly through the day.  The will sanitise on arrival; hand wash and/or sanitise both before and after play and lunch time,  at their class 'toilet time', before and after using the library and before and after using the hall, before and after PE lessons. Children will sanitise before leaving school. This is a minimum of 8 times in the day.  Our hand sanitisers are alcohol based.

We have 'timetabled' the playground to ensure each class has a very similar amount of outdoor time as usual at play and lunch time.  Please make sure your child always has a waterproof coat, as we do play outside in the rain unless it's very bad weather.

Children in Reception will be using only their own classroom, toilets and outside space.  Children in Y1 will have their own outside learning space, and will begin in September with a continuous provision curriculum similar to what they are used to from Reception.  Year 2 will also have their own outside space, and although it’s a little further away from their classroom, it is available just to them.  Years 1 and 2 will eat their lunch at opposite ends of the school hall, Key Stage 2 children eat at their tables in their classrooms.

Children will remain within their class group at all times when indoors.  In order that all children can have access to the playground, two classes will be using it at the same time (one class on the playground, the other on the ‘shelf’ and Jolly Boat in order to keep the classes separate).  This does mean that some classes will have their play at lunchtime before they eat and others after. Children from Y3 to Y6 will eat at their desks in their classrooms.  All areas of the school are timetabled, including our toilets, so that we are minimising contact between class groups. (We do, of course, have plans for emergency toileting needs!)   Children in Reception and year 1 are not able to keep socially distanced and must be able to move freely around their learning environment. This is also true for some children in year 2 and small numbers of other children with additional needs across the school.  For some children in Year 2 and all children from year 3 and above, their desks will be spaced apart, facing forwards and two children will share a desk, they will remain with that ‘desk partner’ in class. Teaching staff who work in more than one class will attempt to maintain a 2meter social distance from children whenever possible.  These are all routines we have been following since the phased re-opening of school in June 2020,  they work well and are in line with Government regulations to keep schools COVID-safe

In the classroom, children in Key Stage 2 will be sat forward facing, two to a desk. The desks will be as far apart as the room and physical space allow.  Reception and Year 1 will have their usual continuous provision approach to learning (learning through play). In Year 2 we know that some children are ready to be able to sit at desks for longer periods of time and others aren't so the room is set up to allow for both.  Where possible, staff will be socially distant from children they are teaching.

We have a 'one way' system in the main corridor in school, so to come from the Y2 end of school back towards the offices and Y4 classroom we must all walk the outside way.

We will not be gathering as a whole school, Collective Worship will led remotely on Teams so children at home and in classes will join in via 'whole school video call'.  Sadly, we will not be using Holy Trinity for Friday's Celebration Collective Worship until further notice, Star of the Week will continue and will be part of Friday’s live-streamed Collective Worship. We will continue to inform parents and carers when their child will be receiving a certificate, they will be able to log in and join us via their child’s Teams account.

12.  Are the toilets really timetabled?  Will they be cleaned during the day?

We have toilets in the reception classroom and one other 'set' in the main block.  To make sure children are not meeting 'across classes' in the toilets, we have timetabled their use.  Of course we know that for some children this won't work - so we have plans to meet those needs.  Our experience during the 'phased re-opening of school' showed that this can work well, we will adapt our plans if and when we need to.

Toilets are cleaned regularly through the day, including before/after being used by children in different classes.

There are screens between the taps in the 'main block' toilets, four children can use the taps at a time.  We have plans for staff to be monitoring hand washing and the numbers of children in the toilets at any one time.

13.  Will the school be cleaned throughout the day?

Yes!  We have a member of our cleaning team with us through the school day to clean through areas which are 'high traffic', sanitise door handles (although all doors will remain open), toilets, tables before and after lunch, staff room, the offices and other areas which we feel need to be regularly cleaned.

Tissues will be thrown away in bins with lids which are emptied through the day as well as at the end of each day.

We have disabled the hot air hand driers and children will use paper towels to dry their hands, these are thrown away in lidded bins which are emptied through the day in line with government regulations.

14.  Will you be taking temperature checks?

Government advice is that we do not do this in school, so no.

15.  Can I delay my child's return to school?

No.  The Government has announced that all children must return to school, unless they are unwell of course.

We understand that some parents and carers will be anxious about their child/ren returning.  Please talk with us.

16.  Will there be trips, what about Beach and Forest School?

The Government is allowing school trips to go ahead. We will be using our locality for Beach and Forest school experiences because these are a very important part of our normal Curriculum. This is of course subject to change if local or national restrictions change. We will abide by Devon County Council and national Government advice and regulations.  Parents and carers will be informed of all Adventure School, Beach and Forest School activities off-site.

17.  Will the children be tested when they return to school?

We always use a variety of teaching techniques to find out what a child needs next in their learning journey.  

Following the long period of school closure, our first priority is mental health and well-being.  We want the children to enjoy school - our vision is for all our children to learn to 'live life in all its fullness' (John 10:10).  

We will also be finding out what next steps and catch up children need. Please don't worry - this will not be a 'test'!  We will use a variety of strategies to get to know each child and what it is that they need next.

The same will apply to any further periods of isolation for individuals, groups or periods of school closure.

18.  Does my child need a face mask in school?

Children won't be wearing face masks in school.  Staff wear face masks when not in the classroom / their own office space.

19.  Will there be visitors in school?

Only when necessary.

Our professional partners (eg Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teachers, Social Workers) will be visiting when they need to be here in person.  They will have to follow COVID-safe practices.

Parents and carers will not be able to come into school unless absolutely necessary - we miss you!  

20. Do I / Does my child need a COVID test?

This page has the information explaining when you or a member of your family needs to isolate or needs to test.

21.  How do I / How does my child get a COVID test?

Tests are booked online here. You can google 'Get a COVID test' which will direct you to the site.

22.  What do I do if I / my child can't get a COVID test?

Sorry, but you need to keep trying.  We do know it's incredibly difficult and frustrating.

If you have been trying for a day or two and still can't get one, we have been advised that you could try completing the forms below:

  1. Individuals should complete the appropriate forms by following the links below: 

If that doesn't work, do let us know.

23.  Are staff using twice-weekly COVID tests?

These are optional, and all staff and adults regularly working in our school (ie volunteers) are able to use these.  They are Lateral Flow Tests.  Children of Primary School age are not included in the Government testing programme.