During the current COVID-19 crisis all relevant letters and links for parents/carers will be posted to this page.
16th April – please read the following update from Durham County Council: Parents Letter April 2021
26th March – Easter holidays
Positive Cases of Covid-19 during the Easter holidays – click here
The Government has asked schools to support the NHS Test and Trace system during the start of the holidays in order to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
If your child develops symptoms during the holidays, you should arrange for them to be tested.
Please let us know if your child tests positive for Covid-19 AND their symptoms emerged within 48 hours off being in school (Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th) so that we can alert parents of children within that bubble and members of staff.
You should inform school by either of the following methods:
Text message: 07871 756337
25th March 2021 – confirmed case – bubble closure – Y3G.
Please read letter for parents – Parents close contact Y3G 25.03.21
Please note return to school date: after Easter holiday 12th April.
24th March 2021 – confirmed case – bubble closure – Y2M.
Please read letter for parents – Parents close contact Y2M 24.03.21
Please note return to school date: after Easter holiday 12th April.
18.03.2021 – Updated guidance for parents from the Department for Education – click here to access
05.03.2021 – update to Risk Assessment document March – update to RA
05.03.2021 Confirmed case – Year 1 bubble – please read letter for parents Y1 bubble closure 5.3.21
If your child was last in school Mon 1st March – last day of self isolation is Thur 11th March
If your child was last in school Tue 2nd March – last day of self isolation is Fri 12th March
Any children who did not attend on Monday or Tuesday this week, do not have to self-isolate and can return to school on Monday 8th March. Please note that they will not be taught by their regular teachers next week.
05.03.2021 Asymptomatic testing information for parents and adults in households with children at school or college
NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
Test kits can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below. They are not available from school.
Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.
Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home
- twice-weekly through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
- by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests
- by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most
If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.
Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.
Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other
To read the latest Government Advice and Guidance for schools – click here
26.02.21 – full re-opening on 8th March
We were delighted that the Prime Minister announced the full re-opening of schools from 8th March and are looking forward to welcoming all of our pupils back on that day.
Please read the whole school update letter for full details. Click here to open the letter in a new tab.
3.2.21 Reallocation of school places – clarification
Due to the incredibly high volume of requests for places at school, we have had no option but to prioritise places in order to reduce attendance and fulfil our obligation to comply with health and safety at work legislation and requirements to manage and control workplace risks.
The Governing Body discussed the withdrawal and reallocation of places and are fully supportive of the action taken.
Where requests have exceeded the number of places available in a year group, priority has been given to parents who are frontline healthcare, education or emergency services (e.g. fire, ambulance, prison services) along with vulnerable pupils – those with an Education, Health and Care Plan and those currently being supported by social services. A letter from an employer claiming key worker status does not guarantee a school place. We have also had to consider whether parents have, up until now, managed to support their child at home.
We fully appreciate the impact that this may have on families, already under considerable pressure, however, mitigating the risk of Covid-19 and protecting the health and safety of pupils and staff, and their families is the most important objective at this time and overrides all other considerations.
We apologise for the inconvenience but must reiterate that this situation is out of our control. We would like to thank parents for their ongoing support and cooperation during this difficult time.
We would like to remind parents who have been allocated a place, that they must not send their child to school on days that they are at home as this may lead to the place being withdrawn.
2.2.21 – Confirmed case – Year 3 bubble – please read letter for parents close contact Y3 2.2.2021
Please note return to school date: Monday 8th February 2021 (SI ends Sunday 7th Feb)
1.2.21 Confirmed case – Year 1 bubble – please read letter for parents close contact Y1 01.02.21
Please note return to school date: Tuesday 9th February 2021 (SI ends Tuesday 9th Feb)
REVIEW OF CRITICAL WORKER PLACES IN SCHOOL
Since the beginning of the current lockdown, and in particular in recent days, we have received daily demands for places in school. Sadly, as we are currently at full capacity, we are unable to offer further places as to do so would breach our CV-19 Risk Assessment and go against Government Guidance – ‘restricting attendance during the national lockdown’. We have been alerted to the fact that some children currently in school could be cared for at home and are taking a place from a child in genuine need. Parents who are at home MUST keep their child at home, whether working from home or not. We fully appreciate the difficulties faced by parents trying to support home learning, whilst also working, but the health and safety of children, staff and families is the most important factor to consider.
In order to ensure that school places are allocated to those who have a genuine need and have no other viable alternative, we have decided that all places will be withdrawn and parents will have to apply again. This decision has not been taken lightly.
Parents who have no other alternative options for childcare, should complete the form by following either the link below or scanning the QR code.
All parents need to complete the form, do not assume that if you have previously provided information that this will be considered. Requests via email cannot be considered as this has become unmanageable. Deadline: Friday 29th January at 3pm.
If your child is allocated a place, you will be contacted before Thursday 4th February 2021. These places will start on the following Monday – 8th February 2021.
United Voice – support for mental health and wellbeing
United Voice was set up in 2019 when a group of young people, parents-carers and professionals came together to
help make a difference in children and young people’s mental health. Over the last year the group have achieved
some great things (you will find out more about this at the meeting) but the group have an ambition to do more.
To achieve this the group would like to invite more children, young people, parents-carers and community members to get involved in the work. We would like to invite you to attend an initial meeting to find out more. Click the link below for details:
Newsletter – 8th January 2021
Click here to read.
School closure – 4th January 2021
Please see Letter to parents 3rd January 2021 for more details
Covid -19 Winter Grant Scheme – winter food vouchers
Durham County Council have received funding from the Government through the COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme to support families through the winter. Every pupil who currently receives free school meals will be provided with a voucher to spend at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys or Tesco.
We will send out an email to the parent of each eligible pupil which will provide details of the process – please watch out for it.
Risk Assessment: CV19 Risk Assessment December 2020 updated
To reflect change to self isolation period from 14 to 10 days
6th November 2020
In light of the lock down in place across England, we ask that you adhere to the following requests to help protect all members of the school community:
- Only one adult to collect or drop off
- Wear a mask when you come to collect your child
- Stay socially distanced from others and do not stop to chat on the school site or in the street
- Masks MUST be worn if you are entering the building for any reason and this will only be allowed if you have arranged it in advance with the school office
- Do not send your child to school if they or anyone in the household has symptoms of Covid-19 – in that instance, please arrange a test and follow the self-isolation guidance
This week’s newsletter is available by clicking below.
4th November 2020
We have been advised that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.
We have carried out a full risk assessment to identify who has been in close contact with the affected case. Those children who have been identified as a close contact will have receive a letter and a text message to confirm this. If you have not been contacted directly, please read the letter below for parents of children who are NOT close contacts. We ask that you do not phone school to request any further information as we are unable to give any additional details.
In line with the national guidance we recommend that those affected stay at home and self-isolate and return to school on Tuesday 17th November. Your child must not go to school or any public areas: your child must remain at home. Further details of what your child needs to do are in NHS Guidance:
Free School Meals update – support from Durham County Council during holidays
From Monday 26th October, parents and carers whose children are eligible for means-tested free school meals will be able to apply for one £15 voucher per child on council’s website at www.durham.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals. After filling in a form, they will then be sent a QR code, which can be redeemed at any PayPoint or Post Office and used to buy food and drink supplies. Residents can find their nearest PayPoint at www.paypoint.com/en-gb/consumers/store-locator or Post Office branch at www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder.
Click Free school meals scheme launch to read full letter.
Positive cases during half term
If your child is diagnosed with COVID-19 during the school holidays it is very important that you provide information about who they have had contact with, both in school and out of school, to the NHS Test and Trace Service.
Your child should not return to school following the holidays if they develop symptoms or are in the self-isolation period.
Find out more at www.durham.gov.uk/article/23337/Staying-safe-at-school-coronavirus-
2nd October 2020
Click for Home learning questionnaire
Click for latest letter to parents 2 October 2020
Please click to read: 25th September – letter to parents
23rd September 2020
We have been advised that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.
We have carried out a full risk assessment to identify who has been in close contact with the affected case. Those children who have been identified as a close contact will receive a letter and parents will receive a text message to confirm this. If you have not been contacted directly, please read the letter below for parents of children who are NOT close contacts. We ask that you do not phone school to request any further information as we are unable to give any additional details.
In line with the national guidance we recommend that those affected stay at home and self-isolate until 2nd October 2020. Your child must not go to school or any public areas: your child must remain at home. Further details of what your child needs to do are in NHS Guidance:
18th September 2020
The start back to any school year always leads to a number of colds and runny noses and we are seeing a high number of these after the extended period away from school.
This year, Covid-19 has made the return to school a difficult and worrying time for parents and carers, especially when they become ill. We have had a number of calls from families unsure what to do if their child become unwell.Click COVID-19 absence guide for ‘what to do if…’ scenarios.
DfE guidance for possible Covid-19 infections
‘If anyone in your school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and be advised to follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
This sets out that they must:
• self-isolate for at least 10 days
• arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19)
We will call parents/legal guardian to collect pupil and take them home. This will also mean any other siblings in school.
We will advise that all household members will need to isolate and refer them to the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
If the test result is negative, as soon as your child is well enough, they can come back into school. We would request that any information of positive test results be confidentially shared with the school as we need to monitor possible outbreaks and take appropriate steps to minimise the spread of infection.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation. Please do not hesitate to contact school for advice if you are still unsure what to do.
Friday 17th July 2020 – newsletter update
Please click 17 July newsletter to read this week’s letter. Apologies once again for the length – there is so much information to pass on at the current time. Please read it carefully, especially the PE kit and equipment sections which are a change to our normal way of working. Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation.
Also, click here for an update on changes to Breakfast and After School Club – you will be contacted shortly if you have requested a place.
Friday 10th July – newsletter update
Please click 10 July newsletter to read this week’s letter. Apologies for the length; it contains details of our plans for September re-opening.
We are looking forward to seeing our Year 6s for a socially distanced farewell photograph next Thursday at 12.00 on the main school yard (or field if the weather is fine). They will also collect their Leavers’ Hoodies and goody bags. Parents who are bringing them are reminded to please maintain social distancing.
Friday 3rd July – newsletter update
Click 3rd July newsletter to read this week’s newsletter.
Please note that Year 1 bubble groups are in school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, 9.30 – 11.30am.
Government Guidance for schools can be accessed using the following link: DfE Guidance for full opening
Meet the Teacher!
Introductory letters from next year’s class teachers are now available by clicking the following link: 2020-2021
Friday 26th June – newsletter update
Please click 26 June newsletter to read latest newsletter.
Please note that Year 6 pupils are 9am – 12.00 every day next week and Year 1 pupils are 9.30 to 11.30 on their allocated days.
Have a lovely weekend everyone, take care.
Friday 19th June – newsletter update.
Please click here to read latest newsletter. Please note that Year 1 pupils are not returning to school on Monday 22nd June. As soon as plans for their return are finalised, parents will be informed.
Monday 8th June – parent/carer update
Please click here to read latest newsletter regarding school re-opening plans from 15th June 2020.
Click here for letter from Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health.
Please note that if you are a Year 6 parent, you will be contacted by phone during the next few days to ask whether your child will be returning on the 15th June or not. If we cannot contact you using the phone contact details we have on file, your child will not be included in a bubble. If you do not receive a phone call and want to make sure that your child is included in a bubble group, please contact school by telephone before 3pm on Thursday 11th June.
Tuesday 26th May – planning for wider re-opening.
Key workers requesting places at school from 2nd June, please click here to access online form, or scan the QR code shown below.
Year 6 parents – please click here to complete the short survey regarding potential school re-opening for Year 6 from 15th June. Alternatively, scan the QR code below.
Friday 22nd May – letter regarding wider re-opening of school
SurveyMonkey forms for children of key workers and Year 6s will follow over the weekend and you will be alerted by text when they are ready for completion.
Please note that this plan indicates a PROSPECTIVE opening date and this could well be delayed should infection rates begin to rise in our region and local area. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding, we appreciate the difficulties that this creates for parents.
Friday 15th May
Please click the link below to read the latest letter to parents regarding the potential phased reopening for some pupils from 1st June.
To enable us with planning for reopening, we would like to gather parental feelings about sending their children back to school before the summer holidays.
Please click here to carry out an online or alternatively, scan the QR code below so that we can gauge parental feeling about a returning to school before the summer holidays. If you have more than one child, please complete the survey for each one – it will take you less than one minute. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Parents who feel that they now need to access emergency childcare due to critical worker status are asked to email their initial request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, emergency childcare cannot be provided simply because parents have been asked to return to work by their employer.
Places are allocated according to need and requests will be considered in light of a range of information and evidence that parents will be asked to provide. Failure to provide this may result in an application for emergency childcare being turned down.
Monday 11th May
Response to the Prime Minister’s address on Sunday 10th May:
Like you, we have limited information but many questions and concerns in response to the Government’s latest announcement regarding the easing of the current lock-down measures. At the moment we are waiting to receive more information and at this stage are not in a position to answer all your questions regarding a potential re-opening on 1st June.
In the short-term, nothing has changed; we remain open for children of critical workers on an individual need basis and we ask that those parents let us know by email their needs for the next three weeks.
We will provide further information in the coming days and weeks, once we are able to do so. Please bear with us; we want to get our children back to school as soon as it is safe to do so but this must be carefully planned and coordinated to protect the safety of everyone in our school community.
Thursday 30th April – free school meals
- Universal credit with an earnings threshold that does not exceed £7400.
- Income support
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to working tax credit and have an annual income, as assessed by HMRC that does not exceed £16,190
Friday 24th April
Welcome back (but not really!) to the summer term. During this week and into next week, staff will be getting in touch by phone – if you have any questions or concerns, please do share them as we may be able to advise, reassure or provide support.
Teachers will continue to add suggested tasks and activities to their class blogs, don’t forget that we are not expecting children to learn as they would be doing in school. It is a good idea to break up the day into a wide variety of different activities that children can help to plan and choose – practical things like baking, cooking, sewing, singing, dancing, alongside more relaxed or calm tasks like reading, puzzles, problem solving, yoga, arts and crafts, mindfulness colouring and plenty of downtime where they can watch TV, play, be physically active and just chill out!
There are lots of ideas on the class blogs (up to date blogs are accessed via the first drop down tab from ‘Classes’) and there are many different suggestions and activities online.
We know that you will have many questions regarding when school will return, what will happen about transition, new starters, leavers etc. As we do not have a clear indication of when schools will reopen, it is difficult to set any plans and so we have few answers to those questions at the moment; they will very much depend on decisions made by the Department for Education. A return to school will take a great deal of planning and direction from the Government and Local Authority. Please be reassured that we will keep you informed of all plans, as and when they are finalised.
‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed many aspects of life for families with children in the past few weeks. As a result, some families may be experiencing additional difficulties. Although One Point hubs and family centres are closed due to Covid-19, their staff can still offer advice and guidance on a number of issues that families may be experiencing during this difficult time. Stanley One Point hub provides support for anyone living in Consett or Stanley – the contact number is 03000 261 111. Some of the support they offer is detailed below.
Help for parents
Staff can work with you to ensure that your child is happy and healthy, and will offer advice to tackle any problems that might affect their learning and development, including:
- bedtime routines
- getting ready for the day, including the importance of a healthy breakfast
- help with setting boundaries, or putting rules in place
- family relationships
- support for children with special educational needs
Support for family relationships
Relationships break down for many reasons – see below some of the circumstances where staff at One Point can help:
- you are a young parent and need support, including help with parenting skills
- if you – or your child – is a young carer
- if your family is going through a separation, or are living apart
- if there is domestic abuse in your family
The help they give will depend on your situation. Examples of support include:
- practical help to develop skills such as cleaning, cooking or housework
- parenting classes
- referring you to organisations that can help you
- family meetings
Whether you and your partner are together or separated, disagreements in your relationship can affect your child’s behaviour, emotions and feelings, both now and in the future. The ‘Relationships Matter’ programme can give you free support and space to talk about your relationship and how family disagreements can impact on your child.
Further information about Stanley One Point service can be found by following this link http://www.durham.gov.uk/stanleyonepointhub
Friday 17th April
We hope that all of our children and their families are well and have managed to relax a little during the Easter break.
School is set to reopen to children of critical workers on Monday, where emergency childcare is needed. Parents who are already accessing this support are asked to email their requirements to the following address: email@example.com. We appreciate that for some families, circumstances may have changed; if this is the case, let us know by email. Please bear in mind that the Government guidelines remain the same; if a child can remain at home, then they should do so.
Also, please do let us know if you are experiencing any other difficulties that you think we may be able to help with or that you feel we need to know about. This could include support with online platforms for pupil work (Reading Buddy etc.), access to free school meals vouchers (for families in receipt of certain benefits) or telephone advice and support from our family worker, Julie Patterson. Requests can be made, in confidence, by email to the address above or you may leave a message on the school answerphone: 01207 503982.
The problems with the Government website issuing free school meals vouchers have eventually been sorted and we have managed to access the site and download the vouchers. These are being sent out to eligible families today. Further vouchers will be sent out next week.
Finally, please continue to share what your child is doing via their class blog, Tapestry or the school Twitter account. It is really uplifting to see your children’s efforts during this strange and worrying time and we have been so impressed by their imagination and creativity. Well done!
Stay safe, we are thinking and praying for you all.
Best wishes, Jennifer Gill.
2nd April – school will be closed for the Easter holidays.
As we have had no requests for emergency care during the Easter break, we will remain closed for this period. Emergency contact during this time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please try to have a break from schoolwork and relax as best you can. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our children and their families at this time. We would also like to extend our gratitude and thanks to those who are working so hard to keep vital services running during this difficult time. Stay safe everyone.
2nd April – support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online:
- Internet matters – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- London Grid for Learning – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Net-aware – for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC
- Parent info – for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online
- Thinkuknow – for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online
- UK Safer Internet Centre – advice for parents and carers
27th March – message to all
Thank you for the lovely posts on our Twitter feed showing what our children have been doing this week at home. They have cheered us up during a strange and worrying time. Please continue to post the amazing things that you are doing at home. WELL DONE parents – you are doing an awesome job!
Please do not be concerned that your child should be doing ‘schoolwork’ – we don’t expect them to be sitting at a desk, completing worksheets and learning new content or concepts.
Don’t forget that learning comes in many forms and there are so many activities that can be done at home which contribute to their learning in the broadest sense – games, baking, physical activities, arts and crafts, singing, dancing, drama, den building, treasure hunt, rock painting, create your own TV show, quizzes…etc. If you have any great ideas, please post them on the Twitter feed @stpatricks_aab
Please encourage them to keep on top of their reading either using Reading Buddy or actual books and basic maths using TT Rockstars and MyMaths. Links below:
Tuesday 24th March – message for parents from Durham County Council
As the situation with coronavirus continues to develop we are asking you to carefully consider whether or not your child needs to be in school.
We appreciate that the central government guidance around what constitutes a key worker is quite broad, however we would like to remind you that the reason schools are remaining open is primarily to ensure that those frontline workers who are key to helping this country get through this situation, can get to work.
Each school will have different levels of demand for these places and may handle this situation differently in order to ensure the welfare of all staff and children. We ask you to respect any restrictions your school may put in place to help them cope during these challenging times.
Finally can we remind you that in line with Public Health England guidance, the best place for your child, wherever possible is at home with you, helping to maintain good social distancing for our wider community.
Key message from the Prime Minister – 23rd March
‘From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households.’
Full message available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-23-march-2020
Monday 23rd March
We are pleased to say that school was able to open today for emergency childcare.
We appreciate that this is a difficult time for parents and would like to thank them for their support.
If you have concerns about yourself or a member of your family that you cannot manage at home, you are advised to visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19