Public Health England: Returning to Primary School: What Parents Need to Know (click here for the latest Government guidance)
Public Health England: Returning to Secondary School: What Parents Need to Know (click here for the latest Government guidance)
Government guidance - What Parents and Carers need to know about early years providers & schools (click here)
Parents and carers can really help us to keep potential virus transmission down by following the guidance in our Parents: Keeping Stubbin Wood School Safe document. (Click here)
Update, Friday 18 June - Letter to parents from the Secretary of State for Education
The Secretary of State for Education has written an open letter to parents encouraging the continuation of regular testing.
Please continue with regular testing (twice a week) of you and your children who are secondary school age and above. This will help protect our staff and students from COVID-19. Thank you for your continued support.
Update, Thursday 27 May - Update from Derbyshire County Council
Derbyshire's Director of Public Health has written a letter to parents and carers thanking them for their continued support throughout the pandemic.
Update, Monday 12 April - Support for Test & Trace Support Payments
Some parents and carers may be eligible for a one-off Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. This is payable in one lump sum from your local authority.
To be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment, one must:
Parents and carers of self-isolating children should be provided with a letter to support their application for payment but will not require an NHS Test and Trace Account ID number (CTAS number).
The Department for Health and Social Care has launched the self-isolation service hub (020 3743 6715). The phone line is open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, allowing a school to provide contact details of any staff who have been asked to self-isolate and are likely to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will open to all students on Monday 8 March, I would like to confirm that we are making all necessary arrangements to enable this to happen.
We have reviewed our Risk Assessment (click here to view it on our website) and all arrangements will be in place to reduce any potential virus transmission. We will continue to require all our staff to follow these expectations – we have continued to open our school to a significant number of vulnerable students throughout the crisis and I have no doubt that our processes will continue to operate effectively.
We are not aware of any virus transmission in the school at any point through this health crisis and we will continue to be vigilant and maintain high expectations of all in our community. We believe that parents and carers also have an important part to play in keeping our school safe from virus transmission. I would like to draw your attention to the document 'Keeping Stubbin Wood Safe' which outlines the important role you have in keeping our school community safe.
Our school will be open on the 8th March to all children. If a child, or indeed any member of our school community, demonstrates symptoms associated with COVID-19 we will be asking that they return home for isolation and a PCR test for the virus.
I would like to be clear about the wearing of face masks. It has been reported that children in Key Stages 3 and higher should wear a face mask although, in special schools, they are exempted from doing this when we cannot be sure that they will be able to put on, wear and remove the mask safely (as this can increase the risk of virus transmission from their fingers to their face). We believe that parents should decide whether their child wears a face covering; however, we must reserve the right to decide if any child endangers themselves or others whilst on the school site when wearing a mask. Our older students may choose to wear a face covering during the day and we believe that this will support the development of life skills and may help with anxieties for some students about being in school.
We have written to you by email to ask your thoughts about Lateral Flow Device testing for COVID-19 for your child taking place on the school site and we would be grateful if you could share your thoughts with us.
Finally, Councillor Alex Dale of Derbyshire County Council has written to all parents and carers to share his reassurances about children returning safely to education and we invite you to click here to read his letter.
If you have any concerns over your child’s wellbeing, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your child’s teacher, key stage leader or Mrs Watson or me.
Mrs Baker, Executive Principal
UPDATE: Tuesday 19 January: Community testing in our area
Derbyshire County Council has opened a community coronavirus testing centre in Shirebrook for people living in Shirebrook, Whaley Thorns, Langwith, Scarcliffe and Pleasley. This testing centre aims to pick up those people who have coronavirus, but have no symptoms, so that they then don’t pass it on to other people.
Everyone living locally is being asked to go to the test centre once a week for a coronavirus test. Please do not go if you have coronavirus symptoms. If you do have coronavirus symptoms please book a test in the usual way by going to gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
The centre is at Shirebrook Village Hall, Park Road, Shirebrook, NG20 8JP, and opening times are 9am – 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 4pm Saturday & Sunday. There’s more information about community testing on the county council’s website – derbyshire.gov.uk/communitytesting
Thursday 14 January - Updates to Department for Education (DfE) Guidance
DfE has amended guidance for parents and carers. Significantly, this guidance now states:
“Your child’s school or college will speak to you to identify whether your child needs to attend. You should keep your child at home if you can. They may ask to see simple evidence to check whether you are a critical worker such as your work ID badge or a pay slip.”
The guidance on critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings has also been updated to clarify that parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.
Wednesday 13 January - Update and Support message from Bolsover District Council
During this difficult time some of us may be experiencing challenges that you and your family have not faced before. Below are a selection of links containing useful information about situations families may be facing and how you can deal with them.
Click the links below for information on…
Alternatively, If you would like to speak to anyone, Bolsover District Councils Customer services team are on hand to help support you with queries or questions you may have on 01246 242424.
Sunday 10 January - NHS TEST & TRACE PAYMENT SCHEME
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should stay at home and self-isolate immediately to stop the spread of the virus and protect family, friends and your community. It is vital that you play your part and follow the rules around self-isolation.
If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), find out about how to share your details with NHS Test and Trace. There is also advice for people who have been told to stay at home (self-isolate) by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.
If you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
Monday 4 January - 9.40pm - School closure arrangements
Further to briefing given by Mr Johnson, our Prime Minister, a short time ago we can confirm that the school will be closed to all children other than those of key workers and considered vulnerable.
The announcement indicates the severity of the situation and puts all our plans of the past few weeks into disarray. As from tomorrow, Tuesday, we will start again. We are working hard to provide the very best education for your child that we can from a distance.
This is a fluid situation that will change rapidly and we thank you for your understanding of this. Staff will be on site to deliver learning but they will be working in isolation from others. Our Risk Assessment will require further adjustments and we will review this fully and share it on our website tomorrow.
The Nursery is open as usual.
We have sent a text message to all parents asking them to let school know if you require a place for your child at school tomorrow. Text messages have been sent home but we understand that some have yet to arrive.
Monday 4 January - TEAM Education Trust update parentTEAMtalk
The TEAM Education Trust have prepared an update for all parents to share our thoughts and response to the current situation with the virus and its impact on our schools. Please click here to read the briefing.
Sunday 3 January - Update: Return to School on Monday 4 January
We have advised all parents via email of the situation regarding the opening of school tomorrow. Please check your emails. Many thanks,
Thursday 31 December - Update: Confirmation of Return to School on Monday 4 January
We have all been hearing in the news about the changes to the return to school arrangements for children in secondary education. These changes do not affect children in Special, Primary or Nursery education and we are looking forward to welcoming our students back to school on Monday 4 January as planned. Our Executive Principal, Mrs Baker, has written to all parents explaining our current arrangements and to view the letter, please click here.
Wednesday 23 December - Parents & Carers Update: Test & Trace in School
To minimise transmission of the virus following the return of pupils after Christmas, the Government has confirmed that all secondary schools in England will be able to test more of their staff and students from the first week of January.
The testing will also help to tackle the one in three individuals who have the virus but do not have symptoms, so could be spreading the disease unknowingly, and minimise disruption during the spring term by helping identify positive cases when pupils return to face-to-face education following the Christmas break.
Children in Special Schools (including our school) and primary schools should return to school as normal. We are currently awaiting updated guidance over the Christmas period advising what provisions should be made for our school – until then, we will plan to return to school as normal on Monday 4 January.
We do not have the full details yet, but in relation to testing arrangements in the first week in January, we know that:
Whilst a negative test result can provide reassurance, those returning to education following a negative result should still follow all relevant guidance including enhanced hygiene measures and wearing face coverings where appropriate. Students who receive positive test results will be required to self-isolate in line with existing guidance.
First of all - thank you so much to all the parents and carers of our students who have been so supportive over the last term. By working together with staff and parents, it's good to share the news that we haven't had any cases of Covid-19 transmitted within the school and we have received positive feedback from Public Health England about how well we've done.
You will be hearing in the news that the Government is announcing a new Test and Trace Service within schools and we are waiting to hear what this looks like for us. We understand that detailed guidance will be provided next week and from there we can develop a plan. When we know more, we will be in touch with all parents. Please keep an eye on our Twitter page and this webpage for further information.
Friday 13 November UPDATE: #OnlineSafetyAtHome packs
With our students spending more time indoors and more time online during this second lockdown, it's important to continue creating opportunities for conversations about online safety. To help with this we will be sharing some useful links with around online safety. The National Cyber Security Centre have begun to send some useful packs that you can access via the links below.
These #OnlineSafetyAtHome packs are still available for you to use at home. These include fun activities, conversation starters and practical tips on topics such as:
Band Runner: our fun educational game for 8 to 10s
Consolidate your child's knowledge of the risks they may encounter online and how they can stay safer with Band Runner, our fun interactive game for 8 to 10s.Based on our Play Like Share series, you can use our game to play with your child at home. Download the guidance pack and parent help sheet for further information on how to do this.
Thursday 12 November: DCC Community Update: Bolsover & North East Community
Derbyshire County Council's helpful update and directory of local services has been shared with us and we hope that you will find this useful. Please click on the link to read about the support available to residents within our area.
Monday 9 November: Keeping School Safe
We recognise that all of our students are vulnerable and have focused sharply on the detail of the Government guidance, following expectations to the letter, and applying common sense to the local context of the school.
If you would like further information on the Government's guidance to parents and carers, please read the guidance documents linked at the top of this page.
Our Risk Assessment (please see the information at the top of this page) is frequently reviewed and updated. The Risk Assessment is read by all staff and they are required to work to the expectations set out within it. The Risk Assessment is now reviewed by an independent health & safety specialist adviser who scrutinises the document closely to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. The document sets out our arrangements for classroom management. This is further endorsed in the school’s Policy for Infectious Diseases to which all staff are required to work.
On a practical level, we have sanitisation stations in each classroom, children are regularly escorted to wash their hands, staff are wearing face coverings in all communal areas and we have placed extensive tight restrictions on all staff and student movement.
All students work, eat and play in their class bubble. They do not mix with other children other than on their transport.
The student bubbles need to ‘cross’ at a point where transport is concerned. Transport is provided by Derbyshire County Council and not the school; the providers are working to very tight specifications and are monitored by DCC.
When we are required to close a class bubble, we do so because the person who has tested positive has been in close contact of under 2 metres for over 15 minutes with students in the class bubble. The positive case can be a child or a member of staff. We are very careful not to identify who the infected individual is.
As long as Covid-19 stalks our community, there will be cases in school. When this happens we will move swiftly and decisively. It is our responsibility to ensure that the virus does not spread within our school and, to date, there is no reason to think that this has happened. We are working closely to the directions of Public Health England, we are reporting to the DfE and participating in all communications with DCC to give the best we can to our students, staff and our wider school community.
Friday 30 October, Bolsover Tier 2 restrictions
You will have heard that Bolsover will move in to Tier 2, a High Risk area on Saturday 31 October. For children in year 7 (KS3) and above, this now requires them to wear a face mask when in communal areas and when moving around the building.
Children are exempt where they are not able to safely put on, wear or take off a mask independently due to a disability. For students in our school, we believe that parents are best placed to determine this in discussion with their child as appropriate.
Students will not need to wear masks when they are in their classroom.
Your support with this will be most appreciated.
Monday 19 October - The 3 Tier Covid-alert system
It has been one week since the Government announced a new three-tier Covid alert system to help control the spread of coronavirus.
All of Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire are among those now placed in Tier 2, on ‘high’ alert. This means that additional restrictions are in place for people living it these areas, including not socialising with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
If you live or work in these areas you can continue to work in the same way that you have been doing. You should work from home if you can but where that is not possible, you must follow all Covid-safe measures that have been implemented at your place of work.
More details about Covid alert levels, including what they mean, are available on the gov.uk website.
There is also an online post-code checker so you can find out what the Covid alert level is where you live.
Regardless of the Covid alert level where you live, everyone should continue to wash hands, stay apart and wear a face covering.
Update Monday 19 October - Keeping COVID-19 Aware
Covid, Cold or Flu? To recognise the common signs and symptoms, please click on the picture to the left.
How long to Self Isolate? It can get a little confusing! Please click on the picture to the right to see full details on who should isolate in your family and how long they should isolate for.
Update, Monday 5 October - KEEPING MENTALLY RESILIENT!
We know that we're in tricky times when it comes to responding to the global pandemic that we know as Covid-19. We know that, to be strong for others, we need to take care of ourselves first. We have prepared a briefing for all the staff in TEAM Education Trust schools and thought that you might find it useful too. Please click on the image to read the parentTEAMtalk bulletin.
The information is taken from the Government's latest guidance on Mental Wellbeing.
Update, Thursday 24 September, NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 app
The new NHS COVID-19 app is part of the COVID-19 NHS Test and Trace service in England. The app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus. The app allows users to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus. This app will allow everyone aged 16 and over to know if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive with coronavirus.
Update, Wednesday 23 September - Face coverings and social distancing
We are really grateful to all our parents and carers (and transport providers) for their consideration to the health and wellbeing of others when they come to our school.
There have been a few instances recently of parents dropping off and collecting their child whilst not wearing a face mask; the wearing of face masks is now obligatory. We know that there are a small number of people who cannot wear a mask, please do let us know if this applies to you so that we do not cause embarrassment to you or ourselves by asking you to wear a face covering.
Can we also take this opportunity to remind parents that a child should be accompanied by only one parent and, whilst we normally love to see families, this is a time that we really must insist that everyone sticks to the one-parent:one-child requirement.
Many thanks, stay safe.
Update, Tuesday 22 September - Misleading Social Media alerts!
The North Derbyshire NHS Immunisation Team has been made aware of a number of letters and social media alerts to schools and parents expressing concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the children’s flu vaccine nasal spray. These concerns appear to relate to a number of misconceptions about the vaccine, many of which are addressed in the leaflet you can read by clicking here. Some of the specific misconceptions are also addressed in this letter sent to our Executive Principal (click here to read more).
All parents and carers are trying to do 'the right thing' when it comes to their child's health. Knowing whether it is safe to send your child to school or when to stay home and organise a test can be a little confusing. To help parents and carers to understand, Derbyshire County Council have produced a quick reference guide to help guide your decision. Please click on the link to see more.
Update: Thursday 10 September - Hands, Face & Space!
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. It is essential that everyone washes their hands more often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. That's why we're doing our best to make sure that staff and pupils clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive, when they go to and return from breaks, return from the toilet as well as before and after eating. The Hands, Face, Space campaign was launched by the Government yesterday and, to see the new film which we think explains just how quickly the virus can be shared between friends, please click on the image or the link here.
Update, Thursday 10 September - To Test or not to Test?
We have received a letter from the Department of Education asking that we help to clarify for parents and staff if it is necessary to take a test for Covid 19. We can summarise the main points for you below (with we being the Department for Education):
Update, Thursday 10 September - Keeping Safe on Line and avoiding Cyber Attacks!
The DfE and National Cyber Security Centre have written to TEAM Education Trust to advise us of the heightened risk of cyber crime as so many people are now working on-line and finding new ways of getting the information they need. We work with Secure Schools who provide staff training and work with us to identify risks (more information here). It really is worthwhile taking time to make sure that you and your family are protected from the fastest growing criminal activity of all - The National Cyber Security Centre have a helpful website - click here for more information.
Update, Monday 24 August 2012, Launch of the #backtoschoolsafely campaign
The Government have introduced the #backtoschoolsafely campaign to reassure parents and students that schools and colleges are ready for their return in September. This is part of the Government’s wider Stay Alert campaign. You will see newspaper and billboard advertising whilst radio and digital adverts will begin today until early September, alongside wider engagement with the teaching profession and local communities.
The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show there is growing confidence among parents that their children will return to school in September, testament to the hard work of school staff. Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.
Please also take time to read the guidance we sent you at the end of term to help us to keep your child, other children and our school staff and site safe from virus transmission.
Update, Thursday 24 July 2020 - News from Bolsover & North East Derbyshire update - plus Education Welfare Officer support
Derbyshire County Council have shared their latest information bulletin for residents living within Bolsover and the North Eastern area of Derbyshire. It's packed full of so much information relating to finance, housing, food banks etc, we thought you might like a copy. Please click here for the link.
We recently published our updated uniform expectations and, if you are struggling with the additional cost of this, we would recommend that you contact your Education Welfare Support office. For Derbyshire, please click here, and for Nottinghamshire, please click here.
Update, Friday 17 July 2020 - Gold Star Nature Learning
We know that children have missed the routine of learning in recent months and we are really looking forward to welcoming them back in September. Parents should have received a letter sharing the 'return to school' date for their child. To help children to maintain their interest in learning and remember the routines that they will need in September, we have created a summer activity plan which families can take part in to explore nature. Please see our Student page for more information
Update, Thursday 16 July 2020 - 10 top tips to encourage children to read in support of Reading Together Day
To support the very first Reading Together Day, the Department for Education have published tips for parents and carers of primary-aged children to help them encourage and support their children to read. They contain ideas on how to plan reading opportunities at home and make reading enjoyable and engaging, including during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Update: Thursday 16 July 2020, Test and Trace - Information for parents and carers
Derbyshire County Council have produced a leaflet containing helpful information for parents on the Government’s test and trace programme. Copies will be delivered to schools in September and we would appreciate your help to distribute these to parents and carers. Click here for the link
Update, Wednesday 8 July 2020 - Woody says hello!
Our school dog, Woody, has been in school and recorded a very special message for our students. Please click here to watch his message.
Update: Monday 6 July - What to do if you have Covid-19 Symptoms
There is lots of information on the web about what to do (and lots of information on social media about what not to do!). The following link will take you directly to the NHS website "When to Self Isolate and What to Do".
Update, Thursday 2 July 2020 - Help Us to Help You (message from our friends in the NHS)
Derbyshire’s NHS is here to help you. If you feel unwell or have hurt yourself, you can still get the care and treatment you need.
It’s vital that if you, or someone in your family, is having a potentially life-threatening medical emergency, such as a heart attack, stroke or really bad flare up of asthma, you contact the NHS.
You might be worrying about a mole that’s changed shape, or grown larger, and think you need to contact your GP.
Everyone in the NHS really appreciates people taking pressure off services for conditions that can be safely managed with over-the-counter medicines, and taken care of at home.
But it’s crucial that for anything else you do not risk your life or wellbeing – contact NHS 111 online or by phone, get in touch with your GP, visit an Urgent Treatment Centre, or for emergencies go to A&E or call 999.
Update, Monday 15 June 2020 - Keeping school safe & plans to reopen
Last Monday I promised you that we would give an update to all parents on our position regarding the opening of the school. We have all heard the media speculation about what the coming weeks will bring.
I explained in my last update last Monday that we would be reviewing our plans in light of further Government guidance today. No further guidance has been received and our stance remains the same. We have never closed, we are continually monitoring our activities and have an ongoing commitment to every child's education; whether it is on the school site or at home. The health, safety and welfare of all our staff and students remains our priority.
We continue to take safe, slow and sustainable steps towards gradually increasing the number of students on site. With this comes an increase in the number of staff and a close monitoring of precautions in place.
Thank you, again, for your ongoing support with this.
Mrs S. Baker
Update, Monday 8 June 2020 - Keeping school safe & plans to reopen
Stubbin Wood School & Nursery has never closed during this pandemic; we have continued to provide care and support to the children of key workers and those considered ‘vulnerable’ throughout this pandemic lockdown which began in mid-March.
The health, safety and welfare of all our staff and students is our priority. Please read our 'Keeping School Safe during Covid-19' document which is available by clicking this link - Keeping School Safe (updated 1 July 2020)
We are taking safe, slow and sustainable steps towards gradually increasing the number of students on site. With this comes an increase in the number of staff and a close monitoring of precautions in place. As a special education needs school, we are managing the highly complex needs of our students alongside ensuring they have the skilled support they need in an environment that is appropriate to them. This can only be done safely if we follow guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education.
Our staff have been in frequent telephone contact with all families and we have established a ‘return’ list based on two phases; as the virus transmission risk is reduced, the number of students can increase. This needs to be done with application of knowledge and caution.
Our staff are working to clear instructions from Senior Leaders. We have undertaken risk assessments identifying areas for potential virus transmission and are taking action to reduce the risks. We are also looking closely at what is happening in our local community in terms of R-numbers and increases in transmission.
This week we will have a small increase in the number of children of essential workers into school on a steady and carefully managed basis. A review of the local situation has led us to decide not to change our current position; we will review this again on Monday 15 June. This responds to local news of increased infections within the community, Nottinghamshire County Council’s advice to keep schools closed and our steady progress to date.
In the meantime, please read our Parents: Keeping Children Safe at School document. It is also essential that you do not send a child to school if they, or any member of the family, is unwell with any of the Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature and/or cough, loss of taste or smell). This links closely to our risk assessments, staff expectations and situation management documents. If we work to this together, we can continue to take a safe, slow and sustainable approach to reopening school.
Thank you, again, for your ongoing support with this.
Mrs S. Baker
Update, Wednesday 3 June 2020, 1pm - Children in School
As Government expectations regarding 'lockdown' are relaxed slightly, we are very mindful that the Covid-19 virus is still within the community we serve. To keep our students and staff safe, it is VITAL that you do not send a child to school if any member of the household has symptoms of Covid-19, is being tested or has had a positive test result. Please keep up to date with the latest Government guidance by clicking this link
Update, Monday 22 May, 12.30pm - Notification of postponed school opening from Monday 1 June
Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 10th May, to gradually re-open schools in England from 1st June, our staff have been working hard to ensure all provisions are in place to keep our staff and children safe by reducing the risk of virus transmission.
I would like to reassure you that all our planned safety and protective measures have been put in place and we are continuing to review our risk assessments. We have the necessary protective equipment, additional cleaning supplies and our classrooms and corridors have been adjusted to ensure risk of transmission is reduced.
The school has never closed. Our staff are already working to strict plans to meet the needs of our students who are attending school at the moment; these are the children of key workers and vulnerable children. New guidance is issued daily from the Government and the Local Authorities.
With this in mind, we want to ensure that when we do extend our opening offer, it is in line with the Local Authority and Government guidance.
From Monday 1 June, we will continue to offer provision to the children of critical workers as considered appropriate. We need to ensure that we can safely support the transition of our students back into school, keep to the guidance and develop capacity to get this right which is our rationale for not providing a wider service at this time.
Regardless of the guidance, the safety of your child and our staff comes first.
Our offer of places is dependent upon our capacity to be able to educate children safely. We call this our ‘capacity’ and it includes factors such as class size, room size, staff availability and specialist support. We factor into this health, safety and welfare when reviewing our capacity and our opening strategy.
Our plan is to review the situation on Monday 8 June in light of any further Government guidance.
In the meantime, stay safe.
Mrs S Baker
Update, Wednesday 13 May - Stubbin Wood School's Response to DfE Guidance on opening schools
You will have heard in the news of the Government intention to open schools to identified year groups and children in Special Schools who are able to return to education safely. The Government have been very clear that this will only happen if the Five Key Targets are met. We have prepared a response to this guidance for parents and carers which we hope will inform your decisions. This is general advice and should support the discussions we are having with parents regarding their individual child.
Click on the image to read the Stubbin Wood School Response to DfE guidance
The DfE have also published a Frequently Asked Questions page on their website which can be accessed by clicking here.
Update 12 May 2020, Inset Day - 1 June to be rescheduled
We have an Inset Day scheduled in the calendar for 1 June which will not go ahead. This Inset Day will now be postponed to a later date to enable staff training and the school will be operational for students.
Update, Monday 11 May
Last night we all listened to the announcements made by our Prime Minister and the statements identifying how we as a country and, specifically as an education community, should respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today we await further guidance as we adapt our work to meet revised specifications that are placed upon us. What will not change is our commitment to put the safety needs and wellbeing of our students and staff at the front and foremost of every decision we make. Our school continues to stay closed to all students except for children of key workers and those considered most vulnerable, who cannot stay at home.
Following last night’s press conference, we are now awaiting further advice from the Department for Education and Derbyshire County Council. May I reassure you that we will be working hard to set out clear information to you as soon as possible; we will be reading and assimilating the policies and guidance provided and will consider all possible scenarios before contacting you with further details.
Thank you for your support with this. In the meantime, please stay safe and alert to the risks of this virus.
Mrs S Baker
Update 5th May 2020 - School Meals for pupils attending school
Currently pupils attending school since the COVID-19 closure have not been charged for meals as school have picked up these costs as we change catering providers from Caterlink to Mellors. As of 11th May 2020 meals provided to those pupils in school will be charged as standard through Parentpay. Pupils who usually have a free school meal will also be charged as these families are receiving food vouchers. Parents also have the option to send in a packed lunch should they not wish to purchase a meal.
Update, Friday 1 May - Summer Exams 2020
You will have read in the press that exams at years 11 and 13 have been withdrawn this year and that teacher assessments will take place instead. Please read the letter from Mrs Baker and Ms Jobson outlining the current situation by clicking this link.
Update, Thursday 30 April - Changing Lives Mental Health Support Team
We are certainly in uncertain times as this Covid-19 pandemic rips across the globe. There are things we can be sure of and we need to build upon. The Changing Lives Mental Health Support team have been in touch to share some helpful resources to add to our growing parent resource Early Help: Support for Parents area on this website. Included within this support was a helpful guide from Wiltshire County Council and encouragement to Develop a Growth Mindset (click on links to access the documents). If you haven't already seen the Early Help: Support for Parents area, please take time to have a look, we have covered tricky parent topics such as ICT use, domestic violence, mental health, keeping children safe and Parent Power! We will keep updating this resource so please keep checking back.
Update, Monday 27 April - Bank Holiday arrangements Friday 8 May
On Friday 8 May 2020 Britain will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day when the guns fell silent at the end of war in Europe. It is a Bank Holiday and school will be closed that day.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions most VE Day 75 events and street parties have had to be cancelled or postponed but we hope that you will be able to mark the occasion, share your pride in our country and honour the men and women of WW2.
The BBC have shared useful suggestions on how to decorate your home to mark this memorable occasion; please send us pictures to share of the day Stubbin Wood remembered the commitment of so many who gave their lives for us. Click here for link to BBC
Update, Friday 24 April - Making rainbows for Shirebrook Fire Service
Shirebrook Fire Service would like our students to make rainbows so that they can be displayed in the windows of their fire engines and station. If you would like to take part and show your support, please send your child's rainbows to us at school and we will make sure the Service receives them on your behalf.
As of Thursday morning (23rd April) over £20 million worth of eCodes have been converted into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families. Some good progress has been made, but the Edenred teams are still working tirelessly to make continued improvements to the scheme. Once again, we thank you for your continued patience.
We have had some reports of parents receiving a 16-digit eCode by post and taking these into supermarkets to try and spend them. As a reminder, supermarkets cannot accept eCodes, parents must first exchange them online for supermarket eGift cards.
Update, Thursday 23 April - Government guidance on Coronavirus: response by Derbyshire County Council
Derbyshire County Council have shared their response to Government guidelines for supporting young, vulnerable people during the current health crisis. The document, which includes helpful links and points of interest, is available to view by clicking this link DCC response
Update, Wednesday 22 April - Extension to Free School Meals entitlement
The government are extending free school meal eligibility to include children from some groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
These groups are:
See the weblink below if you think you may be eligible. If you feel you are eligible please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading Upgrade to Free School Meals. Further information can be found at the following link: Temporary extension FSM
Update, 17 April - Speech & Language Therapy Services
At this time the Speech and Language Therapy Service are not able to offer face to face appointments; however Emily Pearson and Emma Wilson are available to give advice and offer telephone reviews. If you would like to discuss your child’s communication/eating/drinking or would like advice on targets/activities please contact:
The Therapy admin office on 01246 514509 and ask our administrators to pass on the message and we will contact you to discuss your child’s communication needs.
Update, Friday 17 April - Free School Meals - further information
Those parents who have provided us with an email address should have received the e-voucher last week. This email will be sent to you by Edenred directly each week.
Without an email: For those parents who have not provided a valid email address, the voucher will be posted out weekly. There has been a problem with the Edenred system enabling us to download the vouchers for you and print them off; these vouchers will now be posted out on Monday as we have been assured that the issue will be resolved by then.
Update, Thursday 16 April - Further Guidance on Free School Meals
We have been sent a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' relating to the Government's Free School Meal e-voucher system. – For those parents and carers who need support with the FSM voucher scheme please see attached a FAQ guide. The guide provides parents with commonly asked questions and answers relating to the Edenred FSM voucher scheme. We apologise that we can't provide any further assistance with this due to the system being managed by a third-party organisation (Edenred). Click here for more information.
Update, Wednesday 15 April - Coronavirus symptoms - Who to Call guide
Thank you for using our website as a source of information and for accessing the learning materials that are being regularly added by your child's teachers. We are developing a new area of our website in the Parent's area called 'Early Help'. Whilst this is still in the very early stages of development, you will find that this will become a useful resource for signposting to appropriate advice and guidance when you need it.
Update: Wednesday 8 April - Helping your child cope with worries about Covid 19
These are, indeed, unprecedented times. Some children may be enjoying the extra time at home; others may be worried about Coronavirus and what it might mean for them.
We have identified a few useful sources of information that you might find helpful if you think your child is troubled or needs a little extra help. These are only suggestions and we advise that you review them first before discussing any of the content with your child so that you can anticipate questions and help your child to develop an informed understanding. Please click on the green links for more information.
Update, Wednesday 8 April - School Closure period
School is closed from this evening, Wednesday 8 April, to next Wednesday morning 15 April at 9am.
If you need urgent support during this time, please contact Starting Point on 01629 535353; as a last resort please contact Mrs Allyson Fudge, our Early Help Manager. Mrs Fudge can be contacted on 07871 275123 but please only use this number in exceptional circumstances. Call the Police in the first instance where any child’s safety is at risk, the NHS 111 service if your child has health concerns and Derbyshire County Council for social care emergencies.
Thank you to all the parents who have been so supportive in recent weeks - it's really appreciated!
Update, Tuesday 7 April, 8.30 am - Letter from Public Health England
We are sharing an important message from Dean Wallace, Director of Public Health England for Derbyshire - please take time to read it and share the information with your loved ones. Please click here or on the picture for the full message and guidance.
As you know, it is vital that as parents/carers you help to ensure the safety and protection of your children against the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). All children and young people should be at home, where possible. It is important your children know how to socially distance themselves from other children and young people as this will help to protect your children and the most vulnerable people in Derbyshire.
Those parents for whom we have a valid email address should be receiving their emailed voucher from the Government directly. Those who have not provided us with an email address or who do not have one will receive a voucher in the post.
Update, Monday 6 April, 12.30 pm
Happy Monday to you all! We hope you are keeping safe and well at home. At Stubbin Wood School, we are working hard to respond to Government requests to continue to provide our support through the Easter period.
Our Key Stage Leaders will be giving you a call today to see how you are and how you are accessing the on-line learning materials. You may see that the call is marked ‘unknown’ or ‘withheld’.
These calls will need to take place each week and we would be really pleased if you would answer the call when it comes in. If we are not able to make contact with you we will be required to make an ‘Education, Safe & Well’ visit – clearly, we don’t want to do these visits due to the risk of virus transmission.
Thank you for your support with this.
Update, Friday 3 April, 2pm
Each week our Key Stage leaders are phoning all the parents within their groups to see how they are getting along. We have had some lovely pictures of students working, samples of work and we're working hard to provide weekly activities that are interesting and inspiring. The phone calls home are all about providing support to your child and families.
These phone calls also provide us with reassurance that everything's going well and your child is coping in these strange times. We are also required to have an education, safe & well discussion with parents every week. If we can't contact you by phone, we will email you and ask you to contact us. If we still don't hear from you, you might get a text message. If, after a number of attempts, we can't get hold of you we are required to make an education, safe & well visit to your home.
Clearly, you don't want to see us at the moment and we don't want to put staff at further risk of transmitting or getting the virus. Therefore, please do return our calls and get in touch with us when we leave a message.
Derbyshire County Council have launched their Community Response Unit which has begun taking requests for urgent help from members of the community who don’t have friends or family able to support them.
Volunteers from over 200 different organisations will be able to help with shopping, fetching prescriptions or offering a befriending service.
Help is available for people across the county if they are:
You may know someone in your community or through the course of your work who needs support. Please direct them to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/gethelp or ask them to call 01629 535091.
Update: Thursday 2 April: Supporting our local NHS
Many of us have dear friends, family members and members of the school community working on the ‘frontline’ of the NHS.
A local nurse who, along with her Doctor-husband who is also front-line at Kings Mill Hospital, asked one of our senior leaders if she would make a donation to support the cost of making visors.
The nurse said that the visors just weren’t getting through to many staff quickly enough. She went on to say that a local business, The Prime Group, were now making the masks at cost and delivering them to local hospitals. In an update from her this morning, she said her visor arrived yesterday; it lifted her spirits more than anything she’d ever known.
You will have your stories too. Here at Stubbin Wood School we thought you might like to share this story. We can do something locally, we are supporting the children of these workers and this is just another way of adding extra support. We know how supportive the Parents Group are and hope that you won’t object to us sharing this message with you to help to promote in the local community.
If you would like to support this local campaign for a local business to produce these at a cost of £2.25 each (that’s materials cost, they are paying everything else) please click on the link Go Fund Me (link to support visors) and read the story for yourself.
Update, Wednesday 1 April, 6.30pm Action required!
We promised that we would let you know about Free School Meals and I’m delighted to say that we’re making great progress. Please read the following carefully as you need to be sure that we’re using a valid email for you.
We have email addresses for all parents. We will be emailing you a ‘test’ email tomorrow morning.
Secondly, there is a little bad news and more good news…. We were assured that we would have food hampers to offer parents over the holiday period. The offer was withdrawn today. The great news is that we have been able to access the Government voucher scheme so that all entitled parents will receive the voucher (whether they asked for a hamper or not). This has really worked in everyone’s favour as it now supports those children who have very specific dietary requirements.
Please follow the above guidance carefully because we cannot be responsible for any losses after the email-checking window has closed.
Mrs S. Baker
Update, Wednesday 1 April, 8 am
We have put together some useful websites that might be of support to you and your families at the current time. Please also note that we have made changes to the Students area of our website and lesson plans are now being uploaded on a weekly basis that are targeted towards your child's learning needs. This will be an ongoing development to enable structure to learning at home.
We hope the following is of help:
Update, Tuesday 31 March, 1pm
We know you will be awaiting updates on the food vouchers and we are too. We are awaiting a secure email from the Government on which we can register vouchers for you. We are now told that this could be another 48 hours (we hope not); Mrs Baker is closely monitoring her emails and we will activate this as top priority. Please note, these vouchers do not become valid until 20 April - the first day of the new term as the schools hamper offer covers the holiday period.
Update, Tuesday 31 March, 9 am
We just have received guidance this morning from the Government explaining how the new voucher system will work and giving us information about how to register all parents entitled to benefits-related free school meals on the Derbyshire County Council database (not KS1 'universal free school meal entitlement'). As soon as we know, we will let you know; we’ll place an update on this page again today.
The deadline for requesting food hampers is 10am this morning; sorry, we can’t do home deliveries but there are community groups set up around your area and someone should be able to help you with this. Please don’t miss this deadline as we will be sending the food request shortly after then and will not be able to help. Please share the message with any parent you think might not be picking messages up.
Update, Monday 30 March, 2.40pm
Derbyshire County Council are organising for food hampers for all families claiming Free School Meals to help support costs over the Easter holidays. We are happy to support this but we do need to know very quickly which parents would like to be included in this offer by 10am tomorrow. Please let us know, the cut-off point is 10 am on Tuesday 31 March and we cannot take late requests and we are only authorised to distribute these from the Shirebrook school site. Email: email@example.com
Update, Friday 27 March 3.15pm
We have received a message from a parent asking about vouchers for children on Free School Meals. Frustratingly, we are still awaiting approval on paying for these vouchers and we hope to have more information early next week. We are sensitive that this is a difficult time and are moving things along as quickly as we can.
Update, MESSAGE FROM THE HEADTEACHER, Friday 27 March, 12.30pm
If, like me, you stood outside your house last night and applauded care workers and the NHS, I guess you will have been moved by the outpouring of affection towards those who care. I was clapping for our parents and staff too. I was clapping for those who have been in touch and said they will do ‘whatever it takes’, for those who have sent warm messages of support and who are sharing their child's learning with us. I was clapping for colleagues who have worked long hours at home; the planners, the writers, the schedulers, the trackers and the communicators. I was cheering those who have come into school knowing the risks, made numerous phone calls, taken food to far-flung places and scrutinised for guidance that wasn’t there. Bravo!
We are pleased to confirm that we have gained free access to Education City (a web based learning platform) until the end of June. To access this valuable education resource, you will need a password.
We will send you the login and password by text message later today.
To win next week’s Gold Start Challenge, Mrs Baker would like students to dress up in a costume from their favourite book character and to send in a picture of them reading the book. Please send your entries to the Twitter page @Stubbin_Wood and firstname.lastname@example.org
Well done to the eight winners we have had this week; they will be receiving a gold star in the post early next week.
Mrs S. Baker
Update: Message Shared from CAMHS, Thursday 26 March, 5.30pm
As a service CAMHS must prioritise our urgent and high risk cases; therefore all teams have been asked to support the urgent care, intensive home treatment and eating disorder teams.
The Specialist Community Adviser team will be continuing to offer telephone/e-mail consultations to all professionals about young people who are not under CAMHS currently. If we are not able to answer immediately please leave a message and we will get back to you; we ask you to be understanding if there is a delay in this due to our priority duties. If you have an immediate concern about a young person that cannot wait please contact Duty or Urgent care in the usual way. Please note, the referrals system is continuing as normal for now.
We want you to know we are still here for you. We understand that this is an unsettling and anxious time for all, and that services will be having to adapt and find different ways to support young people. The CAMHS North Derbyshire website https://www.camhsnorthderbyshire.nhs.uk includes links to useful websites offering advice on managing anxiety due to Covid19. Please take a look and encourage anxious young people and parents to access these. For those of you in schools this link is for a service offering counselling support to teachers: www.educationsupport.org.uk
Due to the fluid and unpredictable nature of this crisis it is reasonable to expect that demands on our service and our capacity to meet these demands will change, possibly very rapidly. We will do what we can to keep you updated on these changes as they happen.
Head Teacher’s Update, Wednesday 25 March
It has been exactly 7 days since we closed the school to all students . It feels much longer!
I do hope that you and your families are keeping well and isolated. We have been working closely to the guidance and updates provided by the Department for Education and Public Health England and there is no doubting the ferocity and potential for grief that this virus brings.
We need to work together to make sure that we don’t spread the virus further and all the rules around hand washing and social isolation are critical. These practices are common practice for us on site. We are reducing numbers on site, the rota is working well and the students who are on site are coping.
We are increasing our outreach support and making constant revisions to the Learning Zone in the student area of the website. We have really, really enjoyed receiving updates of students involved in a range of activities from reading to back garden Olympics. If you don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so as we are sharing a selection of pictures and updates (@Stubbin_Wood)
Our Key Stage managers are still trying to contact some parents for updates and to offer advice and guidance if needed. If you haven’t heard from your child’s Key Stage leader, please do phone school and leave a message for us. It’s always helpful if you leave your phone number so that we can check we have your latest contact details.
Please continue to use email to contact us and do not call at the school premises.
Thank you again for your ongoing support,
Mrs S Baker
Update, Tuesday 23 March: FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Following last night's guidance, we have reviewed our current support to those pupils on Free School Meals (FSM).
A pre-ordered 'Grab and Go' bag will still be available to support pupils entitled to Free School Meals but we kindly ask if this is collected from school reception. The bags will be left in the reception area to avoid parents coming through into school. We need to consider the wellbeing of our staff at this time as well as our pupils and to avoid social interaction where possible.
We do ask parents that feel they need support with meals at this time to contact us and where possible we can work with other agencies and food banks to ensure our family needs are met during this time.
From Wednesday 25 March (tomorrow) pre-booked grab and go bags will need to be collected from school and not at the various drop off points that have been previously mentioned.
Update: Tuesday 24 March, 2pm
Following recent advice from the Government, we must alert you that the ongoing concerns about Coronavirus will inevitably have an impact on the deadlines that the team at Stubbin Wood School usually adhere to within the statutory EHC process.
We have a high staff absence due to illness, self isolation and 'shielding'. Staff coming on to the school site are doing so on a rota basis to ensure we can maintain appropriate distancing (clearly, this is not possible for the children we have with us). We are very grateful to the parents and carers who are keeping their children safe at home; we are keen to manage this current situation tightly and appropriately whilst we do our bit to support key workers. We are keen to stress that, where possible, children should remain at home to reduce the risks of Covid-19. If this happens, we are then able to ensure that families where both parents are key workers and single parent key worker families are able to fully utilise the supported needed to keep us all safe and healthy.
Some of our students have exceptional staff care needs; if we do not have the staff with experience and training to support their needs, we will need to discuss how we can best support you.
Staff who are not providing essential support in the classroom are being directed to work from home; health colleagues who provide support to our school are being redeployed within the NHS are unable to undertake assessment visits; doubtless we will fall behind statutory guidelines in some places due to all efforts being directed towards the threat of Covid-19.
We are currently attempting to meet statutory deadlines where possible, but we anticipate, at this stage, that the process will be significantly disrupted. We will continue to keep parents and carers updated.
Update, Tuesday 23 March, 9.45pm
Following this evening's update from the Prime Minister whereby guidance has been given to limit gatherings of more than two people, I wish to take the proactive measure to ensure as few pupils, staff and taxi drivers/escorts are coming into contact as possible.
All non-essential shops and retailers have been ordered to close, the public have been advised to stay in their homes apart from one form of daily exercise, for medical needs or to provide care for a vulnerable person and for travelling to work when only absolutely necessary.
Due to the changes announced this evening, if there is a reasonable adult at home who can look after your child, please do not send them to school. If you are able to make an adjustment, please email us to inform us, so that we are able to adjust staffing levels at school immediately. I would ask that if a family has two key workers they can assume we will remain open to support your child, however at this time I ask that families of one key worker look at supporting us further to adhere to the new guidance where possible.
Thank you for your ongoing support in this difficult time. We will ensure that lines of communication are kept open and we will continue to support you as key workers to our best ability.
Please keep safe and well
Mrs S Baker
Update Monday 23 March, 2pm
Our Key Stage leaders have been making phone calls home today to check that all is well and to see what additional support we can offer to support your child's learning whilst at home.
If we have not managed to speak to you today, please could you email us and let us know the best telephone number to call you on.
Our weekly calls are important to ensure that we keep in touch with you. Please take a few moments to email us and confirm your current phone number if it has changed recently.
Update Monday 23 March, 11.45 am
We are keen that all our students are safe and fed during this difficult time. Students entitled to Free School Meals can have a 'Grab & Go Bag' must be preordered and then can be collected from Stubbin Wood staff between 12 and 1pm, Monday to Friday.
The arrangements for this service are as follows:
This is a temporary service for this week only whilst we explore more appropriate options - it is intended to support any child in need of food at this time. We are awaiting further guidance from the DfE.
Update: Saturday 21 March, 9.00 am
The Nursery is at the heart of our Stubbin Wood School community and our correspondence in recent days includes our Nursery site. We are asking all parents, including those of nursery age children, to let us know if they are designated key workers.
We would be grateful if parents who are designated key workers and who need our support would contact us on email@example.com so that we can make plans to include your child. Please read our Coronavirus-updates and follow us on Twitter @Stubbin_Wood to keep yourself updated. This will help us to ensure that we are providing support to those wonderful Key Workers who need it.
I am sure that you will understand that we will not be able to take any unplanned students on Monday into Nursery without appropriate prior planning.
Update: 20 March 2020, 5.45pm
Website: Message from the Head Teacher
Whilst the school is closed, the ‘virtual’ school has been powered by staff who are preparing to offer care for the children of Key Workers and particularly vulnerable students.
My staff have worked very hard to make effective plans for the continuation of childcare over the coming weeks; we are pleased to offer the Key Workers provision on Monday and review staffing to avoid disappointment on Tuesday for other pupils who would require some sort of care provision.
I would like to reassure all parents and carers that we will apply our professionalism and training to keep those children in our care safe. I cannot maintain normal routines in these abnormal times; if their key member of staff is not here, we will need to provide alternative professional support. If staffing numbers drop and student demand rises, we will need to seek staff from other schools.
We are operating a ‘rota’ system of teaching staff. This will allow those with caring responsibilities to offer the help that is needed at home and to share the load across our team. The announcement by the Prime Minister and his team this evening emphasised the importance of keeping children at home and thinking of alternatives to play dates.
I will only use agency staff if they know us and have worked in the school for some time already. However, the demand for agency staff is rising and I may need to review this commitment.
I really do believe that the best place for our children is isolated at home with very little social interaction. This will not be easy for them and new routines need to be established where possible. There are some great on-line resources popping up which aren’t all about learning. I particularly like this advice shared by the BBC (click link) or this one for sensory students (click link)
These are extraordinary times and I wish you well in the days and weeks to come.
Mrs S Baker
Update: 20 March 2020, 12 noon
Thank you for your good wishes and appreciation to the team at Stubbin Wood – it means a lot to us.
Our work is focusing on making sure that Key Workers have a safe place for their child if they need it. We are also very focused on those children where staying at home may not be the safest place for them. We are setting up a care service, rather than an education service, starting on Monday morning.
We now have a list of the students who will be attending school on Monday; we have prioritised the children of Key Workers to ensure they can work. We have also prioritised those students who we believe may not be safe to stay at home. Those parents who have been allocated places have been contacted directly by us.
We also have a register of parents who have told us that they are keeping their child at home. We recognise that this is a sensible approach as children may not be showing symptoms but can be very effective carriers of Covid 19. We can keep groups small, children can be closely monitored for hygiene and we can provide staff to support them.
We have established a rota of available staff to respond to the needs of those who are now in caring roles at home. On preparing risk assessments were are mindful of the training/skills that available staff have. If we struggle to meet the demands of a parent, we will talk with them. We can’t promise consistency of staff that is linked to your child’s normal routines; circumstances require us to operate in a different way due to the varying needs of the students present.
If your situation as a Key Worker changes and you wish for your child to access our care service, please phone us before 10.30 am on the school day prior to their start date so that we can complete appropriate risk assessments and ensure transport arrangements are in place. We will be operating 8.30 am to 3.00pm, Monday to Friday.
From this point on, we will not repeat all the content of our previous updates but focus upon the immediate impact of the current situation.
Update 19.3.20, 9.00 pm
To quote our Prime Minister, we are able to ‘turn the tide’ on this pandemic if we all do what we need to do. We are juggling two main factors – meeting the needs of our students whilst we have a vastly reduced staffing team in place to support their needs.
Our role now is to provide caring support where it is needed. The NHS advise that vulnerable people should stay at home and self-isolate where possible. The Department of Education asks that we open our doors to every child with an EHCP*; as a school that specialises in educating young people who need specialist educational support, this is every child. Therefore, we could potentially have full classrooms of vulnerable students and a hot spot for the transmission of the virus. This is a worry for us.
* This advice has changed today and we are now advised to support children on an EHCP on a child-by-child basis.
We ask parents to keep their children at home if it is possible for them to do so safely. This will enable us to support the parents of children who are in Key Worker roles; this means they can get on with helping us as a society to recover, to keep safe and fed.
If you make the choice to keep your child at home, we will support this choice and mark your child's attendance as authorised.
Please inform us by 10.30 am on Friday 20 March so that we can contact you on an individual basis if you are intending to come in Monday morning; after this time we cannot guarantee that we will be able to organise designated staffing, review of risk assessments and transport. Keeping the school open will depend upon our ability to staff it appropriately in line with health & safety and the needs of our pupils.
We will continue to adapt what we do to respond to the high number of our staff who are not currently available for work. We are very mindful that our children draw comfort from familiar environments, whether it’s their home or classroom.
It is also worth noting that, in normal times, we have a team of specialist staff who have the expertise to respond to specific, complex needs. If that member of staff (or the support team in some cases) is not available to work, we will do our best to provide safe alternatives. Every one of our students has their own special needs, some are complex and some are straight-forward; every child is different and special to us.
Please continue to monitor our Coronavirus web page; we are currently waiting to hear about what the pupil premium students are entitled to and how we should make this happen. As soon as we know, we’ll share this information with you.
I am so sorry that we have needed to close for two days but the risks of educational operation were simply too high considering health & safety and meeting children’s needs. I am grateful to you for your support of this.
Parent Questions Today
My child doesn’t like being at home and prefers being at school where there is a regular routine. Therefore, I would like him to come to school.
We worry about those of our children who need a fixed routine; we will continue to follow the risk assessments in place but will need to know if your child is going to be attending so that we can make an amendment before they arrive on site. We may need to amend this risk assessment to enable us to provide support with the staff available.
The school cannot maintain the same routines due to staff absences and they may struggle to cope with their familiar school environment but different staff and possibly different staff rooms.
You said something yesterday about closing and now you’re opening. Why?
24 hours is a long time in times of a pandemic. We are opening as a care facility to support our students based on a much reduced number of staff. We cannot offer lessons as normal.
Several parents are requesting access to school to collect their child’s postural management equipment and a standing frame. Is the caretaker able to open the school for this purpose?
Yes, please do call in to school on Monday between 9 am and 3pm.
News Update: Beware of Scams
We have heard of reports from the North East where parents have been receiving scam emails suggesting their children’s school is closing and requesting bank details to pay for free school meals. Durham Constabulary warned schools about the fraud today posting online: “Parents are receiving emails suggesting schools are closing & all pupils are being given free meals followed by a request for bank details…” Please can we reassure you that we are still awaiting guidance on how this will work and there will be no need for you to give bank details.
Update: 19.3.20, 4.00 pm
We are awaiting the update from the Prime Minister at 5pm today after which we will have a clearer idea of the expectations upon us. We have a large number of staff who are self-isolating or isolating with family members and we will need to review what our supply staff needs are to support our remaining staff. It would be helpful if you could let us know your intentions by responding to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A further update will be provided later this evening.
Update 19.3.2020, 1.55pm
Please advise us by email email@example.com if you are a designated key worker and you require access to school services during the school day. Please name your child and give us your job role.
The full definition of key workers should be provided by the Government later today but it will help us with our planning if you could advise us sooner rather than later.
Update: 19.3.2020, 11 am
We are now in unprecedented times. We are working hard to ensure we give our best to our school community.
The school’s Critical Incident Management Team (our CIMT) have been working round-the-clock to respond to the Government announcement that schools should remain open to provide a community resource to ‘key workers’ and to offer support to those students who are considered to be vulnerable.
You will see that we have provided a source of learning materials on our website to help your child to continue their learning at home. It does seem sensible to us that, where students can remain home they should do so. We are keen to reduce the risk of spreading the virus wherever possible.
Our reason for closing the school yesterday evening was based on keeping students safe and the reducing staffing numbers. Our rationale for doing this has not changed.
We are waiting for further information and developing plans to respond. Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks, it will be based on working together, sharing resources and taking responsibility.
Please understand that we will need to be adaptable; what actions we take will depend on what we can do in an ever-changing situation.
To find resources to help your child learn at home, please click on the Students tab, then on Learning Zone
We will be really pleased to see student work and delighted if your child will bring their home-working in to school when we reopen.