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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy

Frequently Asked questions

We have put together a set of questions and answers that you may have.

If you cannot find the answer to any questions you may have please contact the school office who will be able to help you further.

Phone number: 01924 469578  Email: office@orchardprimaryacademy.org 


How will the school ensure that children do not mix in large groups in school?

Children have been placed in ‘bubbles’. Children have been bubbled in year groups and measures have been put in place to ensure that one-year group does not mix with another year group when in the school building or in the playground. Staff will work within the same pods and will not mix between pods unless it is absolutely necessary.

Will children mix in the playground?

No. Children will play out at break and lunch times in their bubbles and this will run on a rota system for each of our 3 playgrounds in the main school and playgrounds in our Early Years campus.

Will my child have access to school dinners?

Yes. We have worked with our catering team to ensure that children will have a different choice of either a warm meal each day or have the opportunity to choose a cold sandwich filling should they wish to. Children will choose their option at the start of each day.

Where will my child eat their lunch?

Due to our aim of not mixing bubbles, we have staggered lunch times and children will eat in different areas depending on their year group/age. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will eat in the dining hall in 3 separate sittings. School dinners will be taken to Y3-Y6 pods who will eat their dinners or packed lunches in their classroom whilst supervised by an adult within their pod.

Will children sit in rows?

Children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will not be expected to sit in rows due to their age and the effect it may have on their learning. Children in Year 3 to Year 6 will sit in layouts that allow the best environment for teaching and also promotes good social distancing.

Will parents be allowed into the playground?

Yes. However, only one parent will be allowed to drop their child/ren off to ensure the number coming through the gates is kept to a minimum.

Do parents have to wear a face covering in the playground?

Yes. Unless a medical exemption card can be shown, all adults who enter the playground must wear a face covering.

What if I forget my mask when dropping off or collecting?

A member of staff will go and collect your child for you on the odd occasion. However if this happens most days, then other arrangements will need to be made.

Can parents gather outside of the school gates?

This has been an issue in the past. We ask that you politely maintain social distancing and wear a mask outside of the school gates. Please respect the wishes of other parents/carers.

How and when will I drop my child off and collect them from school in Years 1-6?

The school gates will open at 8.40am to allow a natural flow of traffic through the gates. Children will not line up in the playground but go straight into their classrooms to start their morning work. The gates will close at 8.55am promptly to ensure all children are in and learning by 9.00am.

Children will be collected from 3.00pm until 3.10pm.

How will I drop my child off and collect them from school in Nursery-Reception?

Reception children will be collected by the class teachers from the playground at 8.55am. This will give parents with children in years 1-6 the chance to drop them off first before going around to our Reception building.

Reception will finish at 3.15pm. This will again give parents the chance to collect siblings from Years 1 and 2 first.

Nursery and pre-school start and finish times will stay the same.

Will parents and visitors be allowed into the school building?

Parents and visitors in school will be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid cross-contamination. Only in extreme circumstances will visitors be permitted into the school building. Parents will be asked to respect this measure put in place and only use the playgrounds in the time given or contact the school via telephone or email.

Will my child have access to the toilet and water when they need it?

Yes. Children will be supervised to the outside of the toilet and we will run a 1-in-1-out system. We will be asking parents to provide children with their own full water bottle each day to avoid the use of school water bottles and these will need to be sterilised daily at home.

Will children be sharing the same toilets?

Yes. Due to the number of children versus the number of toilet blocks in the building, pods will have the share the same toilets. Toilets will be cleaned at the start and end of the school day and be maintained/wiped down throughout the school day.

Do the children have to wear uniform?

Yes. Children need to wear uniform to school every day. Please can you ensure that children have the necessary uniform and all black shoes/trainers.

Will the one-way system be in place in the playground?

Yes. We will return to our one-way system at the start and end of the school day. Please be patient at this time and stick to social distancing measures. If there is a crowd, please hold back until the queue goes down.

Is school mandatory from 8th March?

Yes. All children are expected back in school unless they have a shielding letter from their doctor.

Will I receive a fine if I choose not to send my child back to school?

Yes, if absence reaches a level where the school has no other choice due to parents/carers not engaging with support.

Can my child wear a face covering/mask to school?

No. We are not advising that children of any age in school wear a face covering as per the government guidance.

Will my child be doing school work in school?

Yes. We are teaching a full curriculum across the week.

What happens if one of the children or staff in the ‘bubble’ show signs of Coronavirus?

As part of our risk assessment and by following strict government guidelines, the school leadership team will inform you of any steps that need to be taken should your child, another person in their bubble or a member of the family display symptoms.

Will there be after school clubs?

Not at this time as per government guidance.

Will the children be going on trips?

No. As it stands, children will not go on external trips due to government guidelines. Our enrichment offer will still go ahead in school and virtually where possible.

Will there be a breakfast club and after school club?

Yes. Breakfast club will be open for children in years Reception to Year 6. Breakfast club will start at 8.00am and will again be in separate bubbles. Children will be taken to class at 8.40am. Children in reception should go straight to the EYFS building at 8.00am.

Will my child be taking part in PE lessons?

Yes. PE lessons will go ahead, however our curriculum has been adapted to avoid using large amounts of equipment. Lessons will take place outside where possible but in the event of inclement weather, each class will be given a hall slot. The hall will be cleaned between sessions where possible and any equipment used will be wiped/cleaned or stored away for 48-hours before being used again.

Will my child need to wear their PE kit?

Children do not need to wear a PE kit for their PE lessons until further notice. This decision has been made to reduce the amount of clothing items in school. Please ensure that your child wears appropriate black footwear to school (no high heels of high boots) so that they can be safe in lessons. As Year 6 are wearing shirt and ties this year, they can bring a white T-shirt or polo top to change into for PE lessons.

Can my child bring their packed lunch box to school?

Yes. If your child has packed lunches they can bring lunch boxes to school as they will eat within their bubbles whilst maintaining social distancing. Children will wash their hands before and after eating and all surfaces will be cleaned after use. Children will be asked to keep all rubbish and uneaten food in their lunch boxes. Please ensure that your child’s lunch box is cleaned each day.

Can my child bring a bag to school?

Yes. Children can bring 1x bag or reading book-bag to school with them and this will be kept under their seat in the classroom.

Do I need to provide a water bottle for my child?

Yes. All children require a full water bottle at the start of each school day.

Can my child bring a breakfast bar to school?

Yes. However, this must remain in their bag until break time and then the wrapper must be put into a bin. Children will sanitise their hands before and after each break time.

Will members of staff be completing weekly testing?

Yes. All staff will be completing 2x Lateral Flow COVID-19 test per week and reporting the results to the NHS. Any staff member who tests positive in these tests will report it to Mr Carbutt and Miss Inns and will then self-isolate until further tests can be carried out.

Will the staff wear face coverings?

Yes. All staff have the choice of wearing a face covering when working within 1-metre of children. Staff MUST wear a face shield or mask when in communal areas e.g. corridors or staffroom or when crossing bubbles. Staff must maintain social distancing from each other at all times.