Home Page

St Francis’ Primary School

Bunscoil Naomh Proinsias

Principal: Miss O O'Dowd

Imprtant information regarding Reurn to School

20th August 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

It’s a big week next week – the children are taking their first steps back to school after an “extended” break and we are looking forward to their return.

Induction Week

Next week your children will come to school, as previously arranged, either on Monday and Tuesday from 9am-12 noon or on Thursday and Friday from 9am – 12 noon.  Please send in a healthy snack and a water bottle. We will remind you of the days allocated via text. School uniform should be worn.

Week 2 – Full restart

From Tuesday 1st September all children from P2 to P7 will be back in school full time.

Nursery and P1 have a different induction process and arrangements have been communicated separately to those parents.


As per Department of Education guidance there will be staggered arrivals and collections as there will be strict limitations on the number of parents/carers allowed on the school site. With the aim of being fair to all families we have 3 starting times on a 3-week rotation.  The arrangements are as follows:

For week 1

  • all children whose surname begins with A - H will arrive at 8.45 am.
  • all children whose surname begins with I – McK will arrive at 9.00 am.
  • all children whose surname begins with McL – Z  will arrive at 9.15 am.

The staggered start time rotation is displayed below for the first 6 weeks.


8:45 arrival

9:00am arrival

9:15 arrival

Week 1: W/B 1st September

A - H

I – McK

McL – Z 

Week 2: W/B 7th  September

McL – Z 

A - H

I – McK

Week 3: W/B 14th September

I – McK

McL – Z 

A - H

Week 1: W/B 21st  September

A - H

I – McK

McL – Z 

Week 2: W/B 28th  September

McL – Z 

A - H

I – McK

Week 3: W/B 5th October

I – McK

McL – Z 

A - H



  • Only one parent should come with a child to school to minimise the number of adults on site.
  • Parents will not be allowed to park or wait on site in the morning; you will be able to drop off your child/children in a car (using a turning circle) and then loop back round to exit.
  • There will be a one-way pedestrian system.  Everyone walking into the school grounds must do so via 2 open gates on the subway path and exit the school via the pedestrian path that runs parallel with our driveway. Our pedestrian path is extremely narrow and this one-way system is essential to facilitate social distancing. All children from Y4-Y7 should enter the school grounds unaccompanied.
  • All available staff will be out supervising in the mornings and afternoons to monitor social distancing, to reassure children and direct them to the right door and classrooms.


Dismissal Procedures (Home time)

  • The dismissal times remain the same (2pm and 3pm) – we have the natural reduction in footfall as half the school leaves at 2pm (P1-P3) and the older children leave at 3pm.
  • Nursery: Parents will wait outside their allocated Nursery door at a social distance (only one adult to collect). A member of staff will call you to collect your child. Parents will remain outside and at least 2m away from staff.
  • Year 1: Parents will wait in the P1 playground at a 2m social distance from other families. Children will be sent across to their parents by the teacher.
  • Rang 1 & 2 & 3: Parents will wait outside the R1 & 2 area, back from the green fence at a 2m social distance from other families. Children will be sent across to their parents by the teacher.
  • Year 2:  Parents should wait in line (2m distance) away from the allocated door their children will exit from. Children will be sent out to their parents.
  • Year 3: Parents will wait at a distance away from the Year 3 doors at 2m social distance from other families. Children will be sent out to their parents.
  • Year 4- Year 7/ Rang 4 – Rang 7:  Parents should wait (if appropriate) outside of the school fence/boundary or at an agreed meeting point e.g. the church.

Please allow your child to make their way to their classes from the school gates and boundary fences.  This is vital in such a large school to keep the numbers manageable and safe within the school grounds for the children.

If you need to walk your child into the school grounds you must wear a facemask or face-covering. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.


Please remember that the drop-off turning circle is only available in the morning.  The school gates will close at 9.20am and remain closed until all children leave safely in the afternoon.  The church grounds are available for parking (3 minute walk to school).  Please refrain from parking on the footpaths around the immediate vicinity of the school as it blocks safe passage for our children and parents. Smoking is not permitted on school grounds.


We realise the drop-off and pick-ups are times of high stress around Francis Street each day as, combined with St. Ronan’s, there are over 1500 children making their way to school. We hope that these arrangements alleviate some of that stress. Getting 820+ primary children into, and exiting, school grounds safely is our key priority and we continue to rely on your cooperation and patience with all concerned. 


Bus Transport

Translink public bus service provide transport for some of our children, but the strong advice is that this is a last resort and should only be used when there is no alternative available.

We will require parents to sign a consent form if using a bus is the only option.

All children who use the bus MUST have a pre-paid translink card. Cash cannot be used. Where a child has misplaced their card they will be unable to use the bus and must be collected.

Here are the things that your children can do to help keep themselves, and others, safe on their journey:


  • Wash their hands regularly and especially before you get on a vehicle.
  • Use hand sanitizer when they get on board if it is provided.
  • Wear a face covering when they can.
  • Fill seats from the back and sit apart if possible. If not, sit with a sibling or another pupil from the same class or year group. Try to sit in the same seat each day.
  • Give other passengers their space when queuing, and getting on and off the vehicle.
  • DO NOT travel if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 symptoms or your household has been advised to isolate.
  • DO NOT eat or drink on board (unless it is required for medical purposes).
  • DO NOT litter. Take any rubbish with you and dispose of it safely.

Home / School Virus Transfer Prevention

To ensure the safety of staff and pupils, children should not bring school bags, pencil cases, toys or any non-essential items to school. This is to minimize the opportunity for the transfer of the virus between home and school. Children who have to bring lunch to school can use disposable bags, recyclable bags or a hard plastic lunch box and water bottle which MUST be wiped clean every day. Children must be able to open/peel all food and drink in lunch boxes themselves.  Children may bring a coat to school. All items which are brought to school need to be clearly labelled. Homework will be based very much on digital platforms. Books will not be sent to and from school. Homework will not be a feature of our recovery curriculum in September and we will review this in October.


How Parents can help

  • When escorting children to and from school all adults must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Only one parent should escort a child to school. P4/R4-P7/P7 pupils should come in to the school grounds unaccompanied.
  • Parents will not be permitted into the school building without a pre-arranged appointment through the school office.
  • Help your child/children to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • Send inhalers/medication and agreed medication plans to school on the first day in a sealed plastic lunchbox clearly labelled with the child’s name and class teacher.
  • Ensure we have 3 up-to-date contact numbers in case of emergencies.
  • If your child has any symptoms of Covid-19 he/she should stay at home and you should follow the latest Public Health advice.
  • Smoking is not permitted on school grounds.
  • Dogs are not allowed on school grounds.
  • We would ask that children who cannot tie laces have shoes with Velcro fasteners.

Thank you for your continued support.

We hope that everyone stays safe and well and we look forward to welcoming back all of our children.

Orla O’Dowd