COVID19 Wider Opening of Schools

The Government have announced that all pupils are to return to school from 8th March 2021. Below you will find the new risk assessment and operational guidance in place to support this process. Previous documentation is also available on this page.

1st March 2021



Bentley March return letter


Copdock March return letter

Operational guidance Operational guidance

On Sunday 28th February the Department of Health and Social Care announced that there would be opportunities for households to be tested if they had primary school aged children.

Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff
Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus (COVID-19) do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms (asymptomatic testing) is important to help stop the virus spreading. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we all need to play our part to help protect each other.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced that from Monday 1 March, households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March. Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders. The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed:
- via employers if they offer testing to employees
- at a local test site
- by collecting a home test kit from a test site
- by ordering a home test kit online

Schools should not give test kits to parents, carers or household members. Letters containing advice on where to access testing will be made available for schools to share with parents and staff shortly.

January 2021

 Risk Assessment update January 2021

 Bentley Operational Guidance January 2021

 Copdock Operational Guidance January 2021


September 2020 Return

Risk Assessment September 2020


 September return letter 

September return letter
Operational Guidance Operational Guidance


   Friday 19th June 2020

 Bentley Letter            Copdock Letter

Well done for surviving another week!   

We have attached an important update to our website today detailing the end of term arrangements for all children, including those in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. Our Governing Board are keen to ensure all children have a chance to reconnect, if only briefly, with peers and teachers before the summer holidays. 

As you will see in the letter we are planning to close school for the final three days of the term, Monday 20th July until Wednesday 22nd July. We have not taken this decision lightly but feel it essential to allow us to meet the needs of our whole school community. This mean the last day of term for most children will be Thursday 16th July as we will be holding our Leavers celebration with Year 6 and their parents on the Friday. We have tried to give you as much notice as possible but if anyone has any real challenges with this arrangement I would encourage you to contact the school to discuss it further.

Friday 5th June2020 - Year 6 Return to school plans

Bentley Year 6            Copdock Year 6


Friday 29th May

We can now confirm that both schools will be opening on Monday 1st June as detailed in the letter sent out on Tuesday. Bentley letter click here. Copdock letter click here

Please see the information below for further guidance about arrnagements for Monday. It is extremely important that this is read before you come to school.





 Return to school message:

Benjamin Bear story:

Coronavirus story:

The questions below have been asked by parents and where possible the answers have been provided. Some of the answers will refer directly to the Gopvernment guidance which we have been asked to use in planning and preparing for wider opening of our school settings.

Do I have to send my child to school if they have been offered a place?   No.  You are their parent and you know your personal circumstances better than we do.  If you feel your child is safer at home, keep them at home. 
What do I do if one sibling is offered a place but not the other? 

We appreciate this is not ideal but we cannot offer additional places at this time due to the physical capacity of our building and staffing required.  The work in school will be the same as the work at home so it is your decision as to whether you send your child to school, or keep them at home with their siblings. 

How will social distancing be achieved in the smaller groups of 5-6 children? Whilst we will do EVERYTHING we can to create an environment which is conducive to the 2 metre guidance, EYFS are 4 and 5 years old!  The National Curriculum doesn’t cover metres until much later on for these children, and we do acknowledge that young children often try to hug staff and others; similarly a 5 year old has trouble blowing their nose and catching sneezes. We know that there is a possibility that our children may not adhere to the 2meteres, so we will be reinforcing this as often as possible, in a way which in not too scary for them. eg walking like an elephant with space to wave your trunk in front safely! A full risk assessment with details will be added to this page for parents to see once finalised.        
How can I assist the children at home to keep in line with the national curriculum? All learning packs and activities shared in weekly timetables visa the blogs are in line with the NC requirements for the age of the children. Teachers have carefully strucutred these to support appropriate learning and development of key skills. The websites directed to will also have NC aged activities for you to complete with your child.
If they do return to school will it be back to national curriculum work or will it be more of a child care service to get people back to work? The work in school will be the same as the work sent home.Children in school will engae in learning activities but we will also be working on lots of communication skills around well-being
The letter mentions nothing can be brought to school from home. Does that include packed lunches? Packed lunches will be provided free for children who attend in Reception, Y1 and Y2 and those on free school meals. However, they can bring their own lunch if they would like to. Other children can also order a paid for packed lunch when they return to school. 
Would it be possible to have a video call from one of his teachers? As a school we made the decision not to make video calls as many staff are working from home during the week. Phone calls have been made to maintain contact and encourage children in their learning alongside the discussion comments. This has also been more manageable within time constraints and avaialble technology and internet connections.
I am concerned my child's learning will regress and they will have large gaps in their learning compared to peers. What can I do?   Teachers have planned activities and tasks appropriate to the children's needs and where possible differentiated this for those needing a little more support. We appreciate this is not as effective as support when face to face teaching nbut we have tried to accomodate all needs in the packs sent home. If you would like further advice on meeting your child's needs and how best to target skills, contact your child's teacher and they will ring to discuss this in more detail with you.
School won’t resemble anything like it normally would and we are concerned this would impact on our child’s mental health. What should I do?

If you do not wish to send your child back on 1st of June, you do not have to. As time progresses you may feel more reassured. School will not be the same as it was before closure for many reason, but we will continue to support children and parents, both at home and school, using the resources available on our website links.

What if my child has separation anxiety when they return? We will be discussing strategies around separation anxiety as a staff team and appreciate that some children may have difficulty seperating on arrival during the first day. Due to the circumstances we will be unable to support separation if your child is clingy. We will however be sending home a story to share about the return to school to share with your child. We will also have their family photos available to collect and take to their table when they come into the classroom. If your child does not have one already in school please email one for us to print and laminate. YOU MUST NOT SEND ANYTHING INTO SCHOOL WITH YOUR CHILD PLEASE.
Will teachers be wearing PPE? No.  The Government Guidance for schools states that, unless a member of staff USUALLY wears PPE (intimate Care/First Aid etc) then this should not be necessary as the 2 metre rule and regular handwashing would be sufficient. Staff will not be wearing PPE during sessions with children. If a child develops symptoms whilst on site they will be rmeoved to a designated area and an adult will remain with them until collection. At this stage PPE may be worn to protect the adult.
Will my child be with their friends and can they play together? Children will be in a small group of no more than 6 if in Reception or Year 1. There may be slightly more if in the key worker group using the hall. These small groups will be of the same year group but will not be able to mix together. We will not be grouping children according to friendships so we cannot guarantee they will be with their friends. The children will be encouraged to remain at a distance whilst outside but as mentioned above it will be extremely difficult to reinforce this especially when outdoors at break times. Each small group will be using different areas for breaks reducing the number of children that could potentially come into contact.
I would like to know what is happening about school uniforms etc as I have read other school information about children having to wear clean clothes and coats every day and wondered if the same will apply here? We have thought about this carefully and decided that the childrne would benefit from coming to school in school uniform when they return to school. This will allow them to have at least a little bit of normality to their day. It will help to rebuild their connection with school and routine, which we will be working hard to provide for the children on their return.


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Bentley School's Christian Ethos

"Know that I am with you always," Matthew 28:20 We encourage the spiritual, social, moral and cultural development of the school family by embedding Christian values into everyday life. Our vision is for all children to be confident individuals, successful learners and responsible citizens who are well equipped for future life, knowing that God is with them always.