Plan Re-opening the School September 1st 2020

The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus.


This is an on-going working draft Response Plan document which has been drawn up in conjunction with various documents and circulars from the HSE and including those listed below especially those available on the Department of Education and Skills website which contain all the elements required for the safe reopening of all primary schools in the country.

  • COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools (DES)
  • Reopening Our Schools: The Roadmap for the full return to School (DES)
  • Induction: Return to School Safely for Summer Provision 2020 (DES)
  • Maintaining Physical Distance in the Classroom: Checklist for Primary Schools and Special Schools: Roadmap for the full return to School (DES)
  • COVID-19 Interim Recommendations for the re-opening of Schools and Educational Facilities (HPSC)

As time elapses and given the current evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus, this working document may need to be edited and revised in accordance with HSE and guidelines.

Going forward, in relation to the running of the school, the Board of Management of Kilmacanogue National School may need to amend some of the details and arrangements contained in this document to further ensure the health and safety of the whole school community especially the health and safety of the children.

Any changes made will be conveyed to the whole school community where appropriate.


Underlying Principles

  • The school has a responsibility to make efforts to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all members of our school community – children, staff and parents. This plan has been formulated to better ensure that the school can exercise that duty of
  • Assuming it is in keeping with public health advice and guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills, it is preferable for all children to return to school for all five days of the school week and for a full school day. This plan has been formulated to achieve that With this in mind the first week back to school, from September 1st to September 4th inclusive, will involve a staggered approach with staggered days and times to ensure the health and safety of everyone. The Board of Management will assess the situation regarding the staggered opening times and days following the school’s first opening week.
  • It is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection. However, with the cooperation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to our school and the consequent risk of its
  • As well as co-operation, the flexibility and goodwill of all will be required to ensure the plan can be implemented.


SEPT 1st -4th WEEK 1: Return to School Staggered Times

9:20 am6th Class6th Class6th Class6th Class
9:30 amSenior InfantsSenior InfantsSenior InfantsSenior Infants
9:40 am 4th Class4th Class4th Class
9:50 am    

10:00 am

(12 pm home)

Junior Infants

(Sept 1st—11th )

Junior Infants

(Sept 1st—11th )

Junior Infants

(Sept 1st—11th )

Junior Infants

(Sept 1st—11th )

10:10 am    
10:20 am 5th Class5th Class5th Class
10:30 am  1st Class1st Class
10:40 am  3rd Class3rd Class
10:50 am   

2nd Class Pink

(Ms Lynch 1st)

11:00 am   

2nd Class Orange

(Ms Denvir 1st)


Measures put in Place by the School over the Past Few Months

  • Clear plastic boxes with lids, 24 L and 43 L have been purchased by the school for every single child in the school, into which their own personal books, coats, lunches, pencil cases etc may be contained thus enabling regular surface cleaning and minimizing the contracting or spread of the COVID virus
  • Every classroom has been completely cleared with only tables and chairs remaining. All other resources have been boxed so as to lessen any equipment or surface area which could attract the virus
  • Extra doors have been added to the ‘new’ 4th and 6th Classrooms thus ensuring that the children enter directly into their classrooms avoiding unnecessary contact with children from another class ‘bubble’
  • Separate entrances and corridors have been allocated to 3rd and 5th Classes to avoid the children making unnecessary contact with children from another class ‘bubble’
  • Bio-fogging will take place ensuring that the school environment is 100% clear and sanitized
  • All the carpets throughout the school have been deep cleaned.
  • Extra rooms have been upgraded and made available in the school to facilitate large classes which may need to be split into smaller bubbles or pods.
  • A moveable interactive SMART board has been purchased to facilitate the teaching of children in various classes throughout the school especially those in smaller groups.
  • The tarmac areas around the exterior of the school have been completely resurfaced creating areas on which the children can play including a soft surface area especially suited to the younger children.
  • A large PVC shed will be installed shortly to help the storage of school resources for the teachers.
  • The school’s intercom system, including the school bell, has been upgraded to a very high level which will help in the overall standard of communication in the school as well as adding an extra layer to the overall health and safety of the children.
  • Hand sanitisers have been installed in every single classroom as well as throughout the school
  • Signage and posters outlining the important details and information relating to COVID – 19 are visible throughout the school building
  • Face masks and visors as well as hand sanitizer pump action dispensers are distributed throughout the school
  • 2 isolation areas have been set aside and kitted out with appropriate PPE equipment should any child or adult be taken ill
  • Contact tracing forms are readily available for all visitors to the school, or anyone entering or leaving the premises.
  • Taps have been adapted for the younger children to ease appropriate usage.
  • Hand unit soap dispensers as well as paper towel dispensers have been installed in every bathroom throughout the school.
  • The daily cleaning regime of the school has been upgraded and will be constantly monitored.
  • All policies and procedures in relation to COVID-19 have been written up and will be available to the school community



  • All children return to school and classes operate within a bubble system, with each class representing a bubble system and remaining within that bubble system throughout the school day
  • The school will be split into 3 groups for the purpose of break times. The day will now include at least (3 X) 10-15 minute breaks. This is to ensure that the children get as much regular exercise as possible to facilitate their well-being as well as to facilitate the ventilation of the classrooms. Each of the groups will have separate break and lunch times. The classes in group A will constitute Junior Infants and those in group B will constitute Senior Infants – 2nd Classes with group C being those classes from 3rd – 6th All individual bubbles (classes) will have their own designated playground space assigned to them. All playground spaces will be supervised by the class teacher and supported by Special Needs Assistants as well as the Principal. These details will be reviewed regularly and improved upon where necessary.
  • Within each class where appropriate and most especially in classes 3rd up to and including 6th class, the children will be further divided into pods (maximum 6 children), with a minimum distance of 1 metre being maintained between pods where possible. The children within this pod will work together, but where possible and feasible, will maintain the required distance from other pods, whilst inside in the classroom. The pod system will not change until such a time as the DES and HSE advise us that it is safe to do so but the members of each pod may change. This will be reviewed at the mid-term break.
  • It may be necessary to split a class into 2 smaller groups where the numbers in a class are such as to prevent the ability of maintaining 1 metre distance between children/pods. Kilmacanogue National School has prepared for this by making available ‘new’ classroom spaces containing a recently purchased interactive moveable SMART board.


School Uniform and School Tracksuit

Some parents have suggested that it might be a good idea to have 2 jumpers, 2 tracksuit pants and 2 white polo tops alternating them every second day facilitating washing the children’s clothes to help minimise any potential infection from the COVID virus. For the initial weeks (or until the class teacher informs otherwise), please send your child to school wearing their school jumper, navy tracksuit pants/shorts, runners and white polo shirt.


School jumper Tracksuit pants


School jumper

Tracksuit pants


School jumper Tracksuit pants


School jumper Tracksuit pants


School jumper Tracksuit pants



Arrival at School

  • The following information is based on trying to do the very best that can be done given the fact that Kilmacanogue National School has only one pathway to and from the school, which makes it very difficult to establish social distancing
  • Every child should aim to arrive at the school gate in time for their teacher to collect them with their class at their allocated time and not before (please follow the timetable on page 2), so as to enable social distance in accordance with the HSE and guidelines. The school gate will be closed to facilitate this and will not be opened for the children before 9:20 am during the first week back to school.
  • Please read the timetable on page 2 carefully as this is what will be in place for the first week back to school to safeguard the health and safety of the children as they get used to the new layout and directions for entering the school and their classrooms
  • At 10am for the first 2 weeks in September, the parents/guardians of the Junior Infants will walk with their children up to their class once their class teacher has met them at the school gate.
  • At 9:30am for the first week in September, the parents/guardians of the Senior Infants will walk with their children up to their class once their class teacher has met them at the school gate. As already mentioned, it would be very important that no adult, apart from the staff, enters the school building/classroom
  • For the first week back to school, the teachers of all the other classes from 1st Class up to and including 6th Class will collect their children at the school gate at their allocated time from Tuesday September 1st up to and including Friday 4th Ideally there should be no adults on the school premises at this stage, other than members of staff, to maximise adherence to strict HSE and guidelines in respect of social distancing.
  • The children attending the Montessori will come to their school in 2 groups at 9:00 am and 9:30 am. The children attending the Pre-School with come to their school at 9:30 am. Please consult these schools for more information.
  • We ask for co-operation with these times to minimise any form of congregating in the school grounds.
  • The school layout has been reconfigured and will be well signposted and for the foreseeable future, the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Classes will walk up the path towards the school and take a left to access their classrooms (where the Junior Classes were in the past)
  • The Senior Infant, 1st and 2nd Classes, having walked up the school path, will take a right to access their classrooms (where the Senior Classes were in the past)
  • The Junior Infant Class will walk up the school path and take a left as in the past, but then keep walking all the way to the top, where the ‘new’ tarmac pitch is, to their lovely big classroom (where 4th class was last year)
  • As already mentioned on page 2, the Board of Management will assess the situation regarding the staggered times and days following the school’s opening week September 1st-4th
  • No adults, other than staff members, should enter the building and ideally no adult, other than staff members, should be on the school grounds once the children have arrived at school
  • Messages for teachers should be sent by email to or by phoning the school office at 01 2861934.
  • If your child is late, they should proceed to the front door of the school accompanied by an adult in the case of younger children and buzz in. They will then be accompanied to their classroom by a member of staff.


End of the School Day

  • For the first two weeks from Tuesday September 1st to Friday September 11th inclusive, the children in Junior Infants will start school at 10:00 am and leave school at 12 noon.
  • The class teacher will hand over their junior infant child at the class’s exterior door to their respective parent/guardian/minder at 12 noon for the first 2 weeks and at 2 pm thereafter.
  • Senior Infants will go home each day at 2 pm when their teacher will hand them over to their respective parent/guardian/minder at the class’s exterior door.
  • All other classes from 1st up to and including 6th will leave school at 3 pm, the usual time for school closure, walking down the school path as far as the school gate led by their class teacher.
  • Each class will leave separately and walk behind the class in front so as to minimise interaction and help facilitate social distance 2 metres apart as far as is possible given that there is only one entrance and exit pathway to and from the school.
  • In the case of 3rd Class up to and including 6th Class, the children will leave the school and walk down the school path maintaining their own unique POD group led by their individual class teacher.


Access to the School and Contact Log (see Section 4.7 page 13 and Appendix 5 of the DES Covid19-Response Plan)

All visitors (including parents and guardians) calling to Kilmacanogue National School will, for health and safety reasons and following strict HSE and guidelines, be restricted for essential purposes only and limited to those that have obtained prior approval from the Principal, Miss Niamh Murray. A detailed contact log will be maintained.

Where possible, children from 1st Class up to and including 6th Class should make their way to and from the school gate independently of parents, in order to limit the number of adults on the premises at arrival and departure times.

We would ask all adults to wear a mask, where social distancing cannot be adhered too.


Collection of Children during the School Day

If an adult has to collect a child during the course of the school day, the following arrangements will apply

  • When the adult arrives at the school, they should either phone the office or use the bell at the front door of the school to alert the office that they have arrived
  • The child will be brought from their class to the adult by a member of staff or school secretary
  • The adult who is collecting will be asked to sign the child out
  • Due to Covid19, no adult should enter the school building, unless invited to do so


Children who should not attend school

If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school –

  • Children who have been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Children who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • Children who have a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Children who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
  • Children with underlying health conditions who have been directed by a medical professional not to attend school
  • Children who have returned home after travelling abroad and must self-isolate for a period of 14 days
  • Children who are generally unwell


Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19 (see Section 8 pages 26/27 and Appendix 7 of the DES Covid19-Response Plan)

Pupils should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19. If a pupil displays symptoms of Covid-19 while in the building, the following are the procedures will be implemented:

  • Parents/guardians will be contacted immediately
  • The child will be accompanied to the designated isolation area via the isolation route by a member of staff. The staff member will remain at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic child and will also make sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic child at all times
  • A mask will be provided for the child presenting with symptoms. He/she should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises
  • An assessment will be made as to whether the child who is displaying symptoms can immediately be brought home by parents and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home
  • The school will facilitate the child presenting with symptoms to remain in isolation until they are collected by their parents/guardians at the earliest time possible.
  • The child presenting with symptoms should be advised to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and to put the tissue in the waste bag provided
  • If the child is well enough to go home, the school will arrange for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible, and advise them to inform their GP by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, the school will contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick child is a Covid-19 suspect.
  • Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.

The HSE will inform any staff/parents who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case via the contact tracing process. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed.


Impact of a Suspected or Confirmed Case of Covid-19 in a Class

If the school is notified that a person in your child’s class has a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19

  • The parents of all children in the class will be notified
  • Public health advice will be sought from the relevant agencies such as the HSE.


Supporting the Learning of Children who cannot attend school

If a child is not able to attend school for an extended period of time resulting from COVID-19 related issues and has supporting documentation such as a medical cert from their doctor as per DES and and HSE guidelines, the class teacher (and / or the special education teacher, where relevant) will share suggested activities to support the child’s learning at home with his / her parents / guardians.


Staff Duties and Wellbeing

Section 10 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan outlines the duties of staff. Section 12 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan outlines the details regarding Employee Assistance and Wellbeing programme.


Induction Training

There will be Covid19 induction training for all staff prior to returning to work. The training is being developed by the DES (see Section 4.1 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan for more details). In addition, all staff will complete the Return to Work (RTW) Form 3 days before returning to work (see Section 4.2 and Appendix 2 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)


Lead Worker Representative (LWR)

The LWR works, in collaboration with the Kilmacanogue National School and the Board of Management, to assist in the implementation of measures to prevent the spread of Covid19 and monitor adherence to these measures (see Section 4.3 and Appendix 3 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)

The LWR for our school is Ms Ann Marie Bourke and the assistant LWRs for our school are Mrs McCormack and Ms Eva Hogan.



The school will display signage throughout the school outlining signs and symptoms of Covid19 and to support good hand and respiratory hygiene (see Section 4.4 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)


Health & Safety Risk Assessment

This has been carried out in line with Section 4.6 and Appendix 4 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan.


Control Measures

  • Know the symptoms of Covid19 (see Section 5.1 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)
  • Respiratory Hygiene (see Section 5.2 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)
  • Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitisers will be available at all entry points and in all class and support rooms in addition to soap (in all toilets) (see Section 5.3 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)
  • Physical Distancing (see Section 5.4 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)
  • For Hygiene and Cleaning in Schools (see Section 7 and Appendix 9 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan) The school is investing in additional resources and new protocols regarding hygiene and cleaning of our school on a regular


Personal Equipment

  • In so far as possible, it is requested that all children will bring their own pens, pencils, colours, rubbers, etc., to school in their own (labelled) pencil case to avoid the sharing of
  • It is further requested that all items have the child’s name on them for ease of
  • Although the school will have ample supply of hand sanitisers, we recommend the child could also have their own small hand sanitiser for use. This would avoid unnecessary gathering of children at sinks, etc. when the children’s hands look clean (as per DES Guidelines). The sanitiser should be approved for use for We recommend that your child is given a bottle that is not full in order to limit any potential hazard(s) in its use.


Shared Equipment

By necessity, some classroom equipment needs to be shared including tablets, laptops and the equipment used for structured activities and play in Infant classrooms. Cleaning of such shared equipment with wipes or other cleaning products will take place at regular intervals to minimise the risk of the spread of infection. A sanitisation unit or area may be used for this purpose.


Special Education Teaching

(see Section 9 of the DES Covid19 Response Plan)

In keeping with our Special Education policy, learning support will be provided by a blended approach of in-class support and withdrawal.

  • Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one
  • Where children from 3rd to 6th Class receive support in one of the SET rooms, social distancing of 1 metre will be maintained between each child in the group, where
  • The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups attending, where possible.



PPE may be worn by staff where it is not possible to maintain the required social distancing requirements, as per the latest advice from the DES and HSE, especially where there may be underlying health conditions.


Teacher Absence and Substitution

In the event that a teacher is unable to attend school, every effort will be made to secure a substitute teacher for the class. If a substitute teacher is not available, it is not appropriate for the class to be divided into groups and accommodated in other classes, as was the case occasionally in previous years. In such circumstances, it may not be possible for the class to attend on that day. If that is the case, as much notice as possible will be given to parents and guardians. Ideally, the school will be made aware of a teacher’s absence the night before or at the very latest by 8am the day of the absence so as to give as much notice as possible to parents/guardians not to send their children for that particular class to school that day. The parents/guardians of any child arriving at school whose teacher is absent will be contacted and asked to collect their child.



Where possible, PE will take place outdoors and the use of equipment will be confined, where practicable, to the sets that have been distributed to class groupings. If the PE hall is being used by class groupings, common touchpoints will be cleaned at intervals throughout the school day.


Extra-curricular Activities

In order to maintain the integrity and purpose of the ‘bubble and pod’ system, the Board of Management has taken the difficult but prudent decision to defer the start of all extra-curricular activities. This decision will be reviewed by the Board of Management at the October Mid-Term and a further update will be issued at that point.


After School Clubs and Activities

In order to maintain the integrity and purpose of the ‘bubble and pod’ system encouraged by the Department of Education and Skills and the HSE, it is with regret that the Board of Management of Kilmacanogue National School has decided to defer the start of all clubs and after school activities for the foreseeable future. This decision will be reviewed by the Board of Management at the October Mid-Term break when a further update will be issued.