We have put together some FAQs that we hope will help you to have peace of mind when your child returns or starts school in September. 

Below are answers to some COVID-19 planning related questions and also to some general questions about school you may have. 

The powerpoint presentation from the Zoom presentation on Friday 17th July to all families can be viewed via this link July 20 Parent Presentation

If you cannot find the answer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at
office@thegroveschool.co.uk and we will do our best to respond. Alternatively, you might find the answers on our website at www.thegroveschool.co.uk

What will be the same at school in September?

Lots of things will be the same at school when we return. Departments will be familiar and many of the staff will be familiar. Most classes will be taught by one teacher with a consistent class team. Subject teaching at secondary east will continue as before. The structure of the school day will be similar.

What will be different in September?

There will be a lot of emphasis on health and safety. We will be implementing lots of new systems to encourage social distancing where we can. The school will be organised within bubbles which will mean some restrictions on moving around and sharing across the wider school There will be no whole school events for at least the first half term and this will be reviewed in light with government guidance. 

There will be stringent hygiene practices across the school at all levels. 

How will the school ensure good hygiene?

We have portable wash stations and hand sanitisers at school at the entrance and exit points. All staff,  pupils and visitors are expected to use these frequently. 

Each classroom has access to a sink so hand washing can be carried out throughout the day. 

There are posters, schedules and visual aids to support the pupils in their hand washing. 

What risk assessments has the school done to ensure safety measures?

The school has a detailed risk assessment that is reviewed every week, this has been presented to the staff team, the governing body and the Board of Trustees for ratification. Advice and guidance has also been taken from the local authority and the unions. 

The risk assessment has considered

  • General safety around the building including signage and systems to ensure safety
  • Cleaning and hygiene routines, this include additional measures in place, increased cleaning, availability of wipes to clean any shared resources, the increase of daily cleaners in school who wipe surfaces throughout the day, closure of shared spaces between bubble use to allow for deep cleaning
  • Response to suspected and confirmed COVID-19, this includes the trace and track process
  • Organisation in the school to ensure safe measures and minimise risk, this includes staggered times, the use of spaces and classrooms, limiting gatherings of groups,  and movement around the school
  • Guidance summary for all staff on new methods and systems to ensure safety
  • Personal and intimate care routines
  • Supporting pupils who may present with challenging behaviours
  • The use of PPE
  • Supporting pupils and staff who may fall into the vulnerable categories
  • Classroom set up and safe ways of working with pupils in the classroom
  • The system of bubbles within school to allow for as much social distancing as possible

Some staff have individual risk assessments to ensure their safety and some individual pupils have personal risk assessments to ensure their safety and those around them. 

What is the test and trace and will this be done in school?

Yes. We will be able to quickly identify any person who tests positive for COVID-19 and be able to trace and track who they were in contact with at school. 

What will happen if someone tests positive for COVID-19 at school?

If a child or member of staff tests positive for COVID-19 within the school it is likely that the school will have to close and go into lockdown, isolation will be enforced. This will be at least 14 days.

There may be the possibility of isolating only one of the school bubbles if we can be secure that there has not been any cross contamination, for example transport that might not be able to operate in the school bubble system.

Are tests available for COVID-19?

Yes, those that develop symptoms can apply for a test. This can be done through school. The school will have a limited amount of tests on site also. 

What symptoms might be an indication of COVID-19?

If anyone in an education or childcare setting becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.

What if my child develops symptoms whilst at school?

If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms at school they will be looked after. They will be moved to a room and isolated from their bubble. A member of staff will have on PPE and they will remain with your child until you can collect them. 

Your child will have to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. They can do this by contacting hr@thegroveschool.co.uk or by visiting NHS.UK to arrange or contact NHS 119 via telephone if they do not have internet access. 

Will I have to isolate if my child presents with symptoms?

Yes, your household members should self-isolate for 14 days unless your child tests negative.

What will classrooms look like in September to ensure safety?

Classrooms will look a little different. There will be more emphasis on individual work stations, minimising group work and encouraging social distancing.

Circle times will be shorter and teachers will be further away when forwarding facing pupils in class. 

There is access to sinks in all classes for hand washing and sharing of resources will be limited to within classrooms and bubbles.

Will the school provide hand sanitiser?

Yes, there is hand sanitiser in dispensers around the school and at wash stations. Classes have hand sanitisers in their rooms. 

Can my child wear a mask to school?

If this helps to alleviate their fears and anxieties then this is acceptable. We are happy to accommodate any changes an individual requires if it makes them feel safer in school. 

Will staff wear masks to school?

No, staff will not be wearing masks to school. Staff will be wearing PPE where there is a risk assessment in place or where they are carrying out duties for which PPE is required. 

What is a bubble? How do I know what bubble my child is in?

Bubbles are just groups. We will have three bubbles in which there will be multiple classes. Each bubble will be located in a different part of the building. 

The classes in each bubble are shown below. 

There will be 3 bubbles, Primary, Eastside and Westside. 

Bubble 1 Primary 

Bubble 2 Eastside Bubble 3 Westside

Victoria Class

Metropolitan Class

Central Class

Elizabeth Class

District Class

Piccadilly Class

City Class

Docklands Class

Jubilee Class

Circle Class

Post 16

Northern Class

Bakerloo Class

Will bubbles share specialist rooms?

Each bubble (or group of classes) will have their day structured in their bubble groups eg. lunch and playtimes.

Each bubble has different rooms allocated to their bubble to avoid any cross contamination.

Bubble 1   Primary 

Bubble 2  Eastside Bubble 3  Westside

Sensory Room 

Quiet Rooms Eastside Body Shop – sensory/calm room 
Soft Play Room Food Tech Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday am (Closed Wed pm – cleaning) Food Tech Thursday & Friday (Closed Wed PM – cleaning)
Water Play Room Library Monday & Tuesday (Closed Wed – cleaning) Library  Thursday & Friday (Closed Wed – cleaning)

Primary Playground 

Music tech

Activity Studio 

Assembly – In Classrooms Art & Science

Quiet Rooms Westside

Main Hall Lunch Primary 11.50am – 12.20pm

Assembly – Main Hall Friday 2.00pm – 2.10pm Assembly – Main Hall  Friday 2.20pm – 2.30pm
Life Skills Flat  Use of Central Staircase
Secondary Playground 12.30pm – 1.00pm Secondary Playground 1.10pm–1.40pm
Eastside Staircase Main Hall Lunch 12.30pm–1.00pm
Main Hall Lunch 1.10–1.40pm

How will the school day be organised?

Timetables will largely be organised within departments and within classes. The day will be very structured and provide a broad and balanced curriculum. There are two break times, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Lunch is divided into two parts, lunch sitting in the main hall and a playtime in the outside playground. During wet play pupils will use the spaces inside the school such as the halls and the soft play room.

How will classes be organised in September?

Classes are organised within departments in the same as they have always been. Classes have mixed year groups within key stages and are located within different areas of the building. 

How many children will be in my child’s class?

Typically classes will range between 6–10 pupils depending on their needs.

What will happen if my child requires intimate care?

The school has an intimate care policy. From September staff will wear appropriate PPE if your child requires changing or personal intimate care.

Will my child have more than one teacher?

In the primary and secondary west departments your child will mostly be taught by one teacher. We have a specialist PE teacher who will teach across all classes. In Post 16 and secondary east your child will have more specialist teaching with different teachers. 

Will my child have access to a therapist?

Yes, we have a team of therapists on site. All Therapists will operate across the bubbles and will apply stringent rules to ensure good hygiene controls, for example maintaining social distancing where possible, cleaning of resources between use, increased hand washing and PPE if working with a pupil who may present  with challenging behaviours. 

Therapists will work in classes, the Occupational Therapy room will not be used due to the intense cleaning needed between pupils, therefore the OT will work alongside class teams in a similar way to the speech and language team.

Art and music therapy will continue and similar stringent hygiene control measures will be in place to ensure safety and mitigate risk. 

How will lunchtimes be organised?

Lunch will be eaten in the main hall in three sittings. Each bubble will have a staggered time, after lunch they have a ten minute handover to allow them to return to their classes to wash their hands. 

There is a ten minute break between each lunch sitting to allow for the dining hall to be cleaned before the next bubble group arrives. 

There are markings on the floor and a queuing system in place with a barrier to help guide pupils. Meals are served behind the counter for the pupils to collect to avoid touching or sharing any utensils.

Cutlery is in individual bags to avoid pupils touching other cutlery and water is served in pre-packed cartons. 

Tables are evenly spaced and allow only 4 people to allow for enough space apart. 

After lunch pupils exit through the doors to the playground.

Pupils entering the dining hall enter through the internal door. This allows a one way flow of traffic.

How will break and play times be organised?

Playtime er staggered. Playtimes will happen within bubbles. After each bubble there will be a wipe down of the equipment. 

Football and games are allowed but equipment is kept to a bubble. 

Primary have their own playground and this is not shared with any other pupils. 

Will my child get to spend time with their friends?

Your child will be able to see all their friends within their bubbles. Unfortunately they will not be able to spend playtime with friends outside of their bubble. Most pupils have been allocated to classes and departments where most of their friends are already. 

How will local authority transport work?

For new pupils, parents are required to apply for transport. You will be allocated either a travel buddy for your child or a place on the Haringey transport. 

The local authority have stringent risk assessments in place for pupils on school buses and the drivers and escorts have strict measures to follow to ensure pupils are safe on the bus. These have included a set of questions that parents are asked before their child boards the bus, social distancing by seating pupils away from each other. We are awaiting the updated guidance from the government and Haringey transport as to how this will be implemented from September with the increase in pupil numbers. 

How will the school support children in their transition back to school?

This will look different for every pupil and we will work with each pupil and their family to make transition work for them. We do aim to get pupils into school within the first two weeks so that a new routine can be established. However, this is in constant review and can be adjusted where required. 

New pupils will have a transition plan in place. This will start from Thursday 3rd September and will have been arranged with the class teacher or head of department. 

For those pupils who may find returning to school challenging, our pastoral team will have already started to plan with families what a transition plan for their child might look like.

There should be no surprises for anyone!

There are virtual tours on the school website for pupils to watch. There is also a video about some of the changes for September, this should help with some of the preparation for pupils. Each pupil will receive a transition book which will be posted to their home address and a social story will also be sent out. 

Each new family should have received the information booklet. It can also be downloaded on our website under the families section. 

What will happen if my child is anxious about returning to school after a long time away?

We understand that for some pupils returning to school will be a challenge. This is why our pastoral team will be in contact with you and will work towards getting a transition plan for them in place. We will work with you to ensure they are supported back to school. 

What if I don’t want to send my child to school because I am anxious about COVID-19?

The government has made it clear that school will be compulsory for pupils from September. The expectation is that all pupils return to school. We will work with you and support you as much as we can but eventually protocols may be triggered if there is prolonged absence. This might lead to involvement by the education welfare officer and even result in a fine. 

What will the curriculum look like when the school opens in September?

Thank you to all the parents who responded to our questionnaire on the reintegration curriculum. We aim to implement this for the first two weeks and review this subsequently based on the progress of the pupils. 

The reintegration curriculum focuses mainly on re-establishing relationships, structure and routines at school and re-engaging in learning. There will be an element of play and learning how to rebuild friendships and relationships with others through shared interest and games. There will be a large focus on wellbeing, mental health and physical education to help regulate and support pupils with expressing their emotions.  

For some pupils they may respond better to a full timetable very quickly. This is ready to be implemented as soon as pupils and staff feel ready. 

The first half term back at school we will focus on re-baselining pupils to ascertain their levels. This will be the same for all pupils, existing pupils and new pupils. This will enable us to have a more accurate starting point when plotting each pupils’ objectives and targets for the rest of the academic year. 

What will my child be learning?

Your child will be following one of the many curriculums that we have in place. You can find out more in the Learning section of the website under curriculum where there is information on all the semi-formal and formal curriculums that we offer.

We will be offering the reintegration curriculum for the first two weeks and review this in line with the social, emotional progress of the pupils.

What foods/snacks can I send in for my child?

You can provide healthy snacks for your child to have at snack time. Alternatively we usually ask for a £5 donation towards the half term snacks. 

If you do send snacks in with your child, you must label them with your child’s name and they must be sent in within a sealed box also labeled with your child’s name to avoid any sharing. 

You can send your child in with a water bottle but this must also be clearly labeled with your child’s name to avoid any confusion or sharing.

How do I have daily communication from my child’s teacher?

We have home school diaries which all teachers or class teams write in each day. 

We ask that parents and carers also communicate with the teacher and team through this book. 

You can also contact the school office to request a meeting with your child’s teacher or head of department at a mutually convenient time. 

There are three progress days across the year where parents and carers are invited in to discuss your child’s personal learning plan (PLP). There is an expectation that every child’s parent or carer attends these meetings in line with our partnership working as highlighted within the home school agreement. 

Does my child need any equipment from home?

School provides all the equipment needed. 

If your child wants to bring in their own stationery that is fine, please make sure it is labeled to avoid any upset if it gets lost. 

If your child has a favourite toy or sensory item, we are happy for them to bring these in if it is helpful for them. It would be safer if these items are wipeable rather than soft to allow cleaning if they are handled by other pupils. 

Can my child bring a mobile phone?

There are no mobile phones in school. Your child can have a mobile phone but it has to remain switched off and in their bag. If they are unable to manage this, the phone can be handed into the office at the start of the day and collected at the end. 

What about my child’s annual review?

Due to social distancing we will not hold an annual review in the first half term. From October we will start to plan dates across the year. 

We expect parents and carers to attend the annual reviews as these are an important part of your child’s progress and offer a time for discussion with teachers, therapists and professionals. 

Dates for annual reviews are usually sent out at the beginning of the year. 

What about off site visits in September?

The new guidance is clear that offsite visits that are part of pupils progress towards adulthood can be included within the curriculum. This might include travel training or work experience. All off site visits are always risk assessed beforehand, these will all be revisited in light of COVID-19 and careful consideration will be taken when deciding on the most appropriate visits. For example, travel training may take the form of walking and road crossing rather than traveling on a bus.

Will there be external visitors on site?

We will be limiting the number of external visitors into the school to keep the number of people on site to a minimum. 

All visitors will have to follow the school health and safety procedures when entering and leaving the site.

What will happen if my child’s teacher is absent?

If a teacher or member of support staff is absent we will first try to cover internally and within the bubble to minimise cross bubbles. 

If we do use agency staff we will aim to use familiar staff and only use a limited amount of agencies.

What will happen with Free School Meals over the summer holiday?

The Government has announced the FSM voucher scheme will continue over the summer holidays. If you are already in receipt of vouchers, this will continue. 

What if we are going away on a family holiday this summer?

If you are planning to go abroad then you will need to make sure you have checked the guidance on quarantine rules to ensure your child is ready to return to school when it opens. If your child does not start on their agreed transition date or start date, this will be recorded as an absence.

Will there be new staff and pupils joining the school?

Yes, we have 4 teachers and 9 support staff joining us this year. This is because our numbers are increasing and we are expanding the number of classes. 

We have new pupils joining the school across all departments and all key stages. The number of pupils will be at 90 from September. 

Does my child have to wear a school uniform?

Yes, there is an expectation that all pupils wear uniforms. 

We understand for some pupils there are sensory sensitivities to certain clothing so we are happy to make adaptation but we would expect the clothes to resemble the school uniform.

From  September we would recommend that your child comes to school in clean clothes each day as this can be another way to minimise any transmission of COVID-19. 

We understand that you may not have a large supply of uniform at home so we will be flexible about uniform on days when uniform is in the wash. What we do ask is that clothes resemble the uniform – that is white tops and black trousers/skirts with a navy sweatshirt/jumper. 

My child is in Post 16 – Do they have to wear a uniform?

No. There is no school uniform for Post 16 students, that is years 12, 13 and 14. 

We do expect students to come to school dressed smartly in preparation for the world of work and towards adulthood.

What about a PE kit?

There is a simple PE kit and ALL pupils are expected to change for PE. This is part of life skills and also promotes health and hygiene. 

The PE polo can be purchased online through our supplier Goodies at www.gooddies.co.uk.

  • Light blue polo shirt (These can be purchased with the school logo through the school or purchased independently)
  • Navy blue jogging bottoms or leggings.
  • Navy sweatshirt (These can be purchased with the school logo through the school or purchased independently)

How will I get the school uniform?

Uniforms can be ordered online through our supplier Goodies at www.gooddies.co.uk. You can request delivery either to your home address or to the school address. 

You do not have to worry if the uniform has not yet arrived, in the interim you can send your child to school in black trousers/skirt and a white polo or shirt with a navy sweatshirt.

If you need help – just call the school office.

Primary Uniform 

  • White school polo shirts – to be purchased online at Gooddies
  • School sweatshirt – to be purchased online at Gooddies
  • School fleece – to be purchased online at Gooddies
  • Black trousers, jogging bottoms, black skirts – purchased independently
  • Black shoes
  • School rucksack is available if you wish to purchase online at Gooddies

Secondary Uniform

  • White shirt (boys) white blouse (girls) – purchased independently
  • School jumper – to be purchased online at Gooddies
  • School blazer – to be purchased online at Gooddies
  • Black trousers, black skirts – purchased independently
  • Black Shoes
  • School rucksack is available if you wish to purchase online at Gooddies

What information will I receive from school if my child is starting in September?

Each family should have had a phone call from our pastoral team who will have discussed the

Each family should have received the registration pack which should have included the information for new families booklet. This is also on our website under the families section.

Each family should have had a conversation with their child’s new class teacher and a transition plan will have been arranged starting from Wednesday 3rd September with a school visit and tour

Each family will have received some information to complete as part of the transition process – this will have included information about your child and their life skills passport (you may have discussed this over the phone)

Each family will have been contacted by the school office regarding the registration documents

Each child will receive a transition booklet and social story to help them with their transition to school in September

Families can watch virtual tours on the school website, there will also be a video on changes to the school environment and systems for September in light of COVID-19

There is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions which we hope will answer many of those questions or concerns you have

You are welcome to call the school office on 020 3876 6555 or email us on office@thegroveschool.co.uk if you have any further questions or suggestions that we haven’t managed to answer.

What information will I receive from school if my child is already at The Grove?

Keep up to date with the Home learning section on the website

Weekly newsletters from The Grove News

Half termly Curriculum Newsletter from school

Each child will receive a transition booklet and social story to help them with their transition back to school in September

Families can watch virtual tours on the school website, there will also be a video for the pupils (and parents) on changes to the school environment and systems for September in light of COVID-19

There is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions which we hope will answer many of those questions or concerns you have

Contact from the pastoral team and class teachers

You are welcome to call the school office on 020 3876 6555 or email us on office@thegroveschool.co.uk if you have any further questions or suggestions that we haven’t managed to answer.