The One-Way System by BF Jones

From: Lisa
To: Priya, Ben’s mum, class reps
Date: 5th March

We made it! We survived another gruesome couple of months of home schooling! I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the school gates next week -from a safe distance, of course.

As you will remember, it has been compulsory to wear face masks on the school premises since last November – unless you have a condition. I won’t be wearing one as I have a skin condition (my skin gets really dry in the winter) and I can’t have cloth pressed around my face for that long, so you’ll be seeing the whole of lovely me, haha!

I am writing to inform you about the new one-way system we have set up to limit the number of people crossing paths with one another. I have copied all the class reps on this email – we’re low on PTA members since Jo has let us down after having her little one, so we will need volunteers for this. As you’ve all had an enforced holiday from your school duties, I’m sure you are keen to help!

New school drop-off instructions (to be cascaded to all classes)


Reception and infants

Please drop your kids off at the South Gate where two helpers will ensure that all the children are accounted for. You MUST drop off after 8.20 but no later than 8.25, and then you must walk back using the path around and exit via the North Gate.

If you are late, you will have to wait until 8.30, when we will let the late comers in. If you are late more than three times in a term, you WILL receive a letter from Mrs Balls.

When you drop off, you must enter bearing right and follow the arrows. When you pick up, however, you must bear left. So I’m afraid those arrows are only correct once a day. On a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the arrows will be correct in the morning and incorrect in the afternoon. On a Tuesday and Thursday, it will be the other way round. This is due to the food delivery truck coming in later on those days.

When picking up, following exactly the same route but in reverse, between 3.05 and 3.10.

Year 3-6

Please drop off your children at the North Gate between 8.25 and 8.30. They will walk to their classes supervised by our lovely volunteers. At pick-up time, our volunteers will accompany the children back to the gate.

Multiple children in different year groups

If you have both infant and junior children, you must ensure that you drop them both in via the side gate no sooner than 8.35 and no later than 8.40, from which our volunteers will dispatch them to their classes.

You must then walk down the path and exit on Buckley Road. I appreciate that it will take a good few minutes to walk back if you have parked or walked from Girth Road, but it is the only way to keep us all safe.

Of course, if you have a disabled badge you may park in the staff parking lot. I will be parking there using my aunt Iris’s badge. Recent blood tests showed that my iron and vitamin B levels were a little low, so I will be parking there in order not to over-exert myself. Don’t worry, I’m a trooper and I’ll get through this!!


We will need nine volunteers to co-ordinate the coming and going of children, three for each gate. If you are volunteering (which I expect you all to do as you know how urgently we need your help), you must be there at 8am so you can drop off your own children first. Your children can then attend the breakfast club at a special reduced rate. (How great is that?)

We will require only one hour of your time in the morning and the same in the afternoons. It’s going to be cold this week so bring gloves and coffee! There’s a bit of standing about but, on the plus side, since there will be three of you at each gate, you will get to socialise (from a safe distance of course) and don’t we all need a bit of adult chit-chat? It’s been hard hasn’t it?!! (Fortunately we have my sister, her husband, their nanny, their gardener, my parents, and my cleaner in our bubble, so I’m very blessed.)

Thank you all so very much in advance. I look forward to seeing you all (from a safe distance of course!) soon.


Lisa xxx

B F Jones is French and living in Surrey with her husband, 3 children and cat. She has had stories published in The Cabinet of Heed, Soft Cartel, Storgy, Bending Genres, The Fiction Pool, Spelk Fiction and Idle Ink. Twitter: @fijo_frenchie