Free School Meals Update - Wednesday 6th January 2021
Apologies for the late communication.
We have been working with the LA and our school kitchen to organise as quickly as possible, our FSM requirements.
I am writing to inform you that we will be providing Free School Meals packs for your children during the lockdown period. This is to prevent parents coming into school every day to collect a FSM.
There will be 2 packs to be collected per week. One pack will be available on a Monday, with enough food required for a meal until Wednesday and another pack on a Wednesday, to provide you with enough food until Friday.
I would like to thank you for your patience. You will receive a text within the next hour to inform you when to collect your pack today.
Monday 4th January - 1.30pm UPDATE
Following a robust consultation with staff and governors this morning, we would like to inform you that school will ONLY be open to Key Worker children and those children deemed Vulnerable for the next 2 WEEKS due to staff availability and the increasing infection rate.
All parents have now been informed personally this morning by class staff. If your child is returning to school tomorrow under the vulnerable/key worker category, please access our school site in the same way as you did before the Christmas holidays. Please note all children must wear a school uniform.
As part of our additional risk assessment, please can we ask you not to send any reading books or PE Kits into school for the duration of the next two weeks.
Breakfast club will be available from 8.00am-8.20am and can be accessed through classroom doors.
REMOTE HOME-LEARNING - For those children staying at home for the next two weeks, remote home-learning begins tomorrow. Please check your child's class page for further information. If you require a paper pack, please contact our school office.
As always, the health and safety of our children and staff remain the greatest priority. We hope to be able to open fully on Monday 18th January for all pupils and will keep you updated.
Free School Meals: Information will be shared tomorrow for those children not accessing school.
If you have any queries or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us either by telephone 0191 4218080 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Information - Reopening of School
Monday 4th January 2021 (4pm Notice)
Firstly, may I take this opportunity to apologise for the very short notice.
I’m writing to you to address the situation in schools at the moment. If you have been following the news, you will know that Unions have recommended for all schools in Tier 4 areas to be moved to remote home-learning.
After careful consideration and in consultation with governors and staff, we have taken the decision to close our school tomorrow (as an In Service Training Day for all staff) for one day only (Monday 4th January 2021) to ALL PUPILS.
We intend to use tomorrow to reassess the current situation in respect of the health and safety of all of our children, staff and parents and make the right decision going forward.
We will inform you of our decision regarding your child’s access to learning tomorrow by 1pm via our school website.
I appreciate that this information is very late but would like to reassure you that the health and safety of our children and staff must remain our priority.
When dropping off/arriving at school the 2m social distance must be maintained and the school's arrangements for drop off and collection must be followed.
Families are encouraged to use active travel (cycling/walking) to get to school whenever possible.
If using a car to get to school it's important to avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household.
Families are being encouraged to avoid using public transport to get to and from school whenever possible. If public transport is needed please follow the latest public transport guidance and wear a face covering when collecting or dropping off children.
Can grandparents provide childcare?
Yes, grandparents can provide childcare and can collect children from school.
Hello, just a very quick update to let you know how well your children have come into school this morning. I can imagine you are all wondering how your child is doing. I completely understand that there were probably a lot of anxious boys and girls (and perhaps parents too). But like always, our amazing children have completely blown us all away! They truly are the very best children ever!!
I've been around every class and spoken to all of our amazing children, and every class has been absolutely delightful.The children are completely settled and are VERY happy!! It's lovely to see them catching up with their friends and staff. Honestly, it really is the best feeling in the world to see our school full again. There have been NO tears from any child - not even our brand new reception children. Wow!!
To have our school full again is something I cannot even begin to describe. It is amazing!!
As I mentioned in the pre-recorded videos last week, every day is going to be a learning curve for us. So can I please ask you to bare with us, as we try and organise our school safely.
Liddell Terrace Gates this morning seemed to have the most congestion. At pick up, this evening, we will allow parents through the gates and into the allocated waiting areas so we can try and minimise the amount of traffic on Liddell Terrace. It will be really helpful if parents could almost make a queue around this area so we can then dismiss the children safely and quickly. Obviously, today was very new and hopefully tomorrow, now that everyone knows which gate to use, may not be as chaotic.
Thanks again for your support.
I have received lots of emails from worried parents this week asking questions about arrangements for Tuesday. That is one of the reasons why I chose to do a couple of brief videos yesterday. Rather than reply to every single parent, I will continue to answer any questions I am asked over the next couple of days so please keep checking this page. I totally appreciate that this is a very worrying time for everyone and of course it's very new for us too. As always, you have my full support that my staff and I will continue to do everything we can to make our school once again the safe and happy place it has always been.
1. Is it ok for my child to bring book bags every day?
Yes, as outlined in the video, reading is more important than ever before so reading books must be brought into school every day in book bags.Please make sure your child's name is written on the bag.
2. Will the children work in groups or will they have to work alone?
Children will work as they always have in their classes. They will be organised into 'Year Group' bubbles, with the exception of Years 3 and 4, who will become one bubble.
3. How will the desks be set out in classrooms? Will the children have to sit in rows?
Desks are organised into groups (if appropriate). Guidance state children are able to sit side by side (for example if they were in rows) so we have decided that our children will sit in their groups because the face to face contact will be over 1m distance.
4. Do children wear masks?
Children in primary schools are NOT permitted to wear masks. If children walk to school wearing a mask, children will be asked to remove the mask before they enter school.
5. What if my child develops symptoms at home?
Tell us immediately.
6. What if someone in our household develops symptoms?
Tell us immediately and we will advise you what to do.
7. What if my child develops symptoms at school?
If your child develops COVID symptoms at school, I will ring you and ask you to collect your child. As we wait for you to arrive, your child will stay with me, being looked after safely. When you arrive at school, I will advise you how to get your child tested and what happens next. THIS IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. I HAVE HAD SOME PARENTS ASK WHETHER THEIR CHILDREN WILL BE TAKEN AWAY. THE ANSWER IS DEFINITELY NOT!
6. What are the arrangements for lunchtime?
As we have the hall and the community room to use for lunchtime, we have managed to organise our classes so they remain in their bubbles and eat their lunch in either the hall or the community room. The only exception to this will be Y6. Our Year 6 children will collect their lunches from the kitchen and eat their lunches in their classrooms.
7. Can my child bring a packed lunch from home?
Arrangements as they were before lock down remain in place. Children, who are entitled to a Free School Meal, either means tested or through the universal scheme, get their school lunch from school. Children can choose either a hot meal, jacket potato or sandwich/wrap from our very popular deli.Unless there are exceptional circumstances and I have had a discussion with you, only children who pay for their school lunches bring a packed lunch from home.
8. Does my child have to wear uniform?
Yes, as always, uniform at Brighton Avenue is compulsory and your child will be given uniform to wear IF they don't come to school wearing full school uniform. This includes having the correct footwear.
9. Will different adults be with our children?
Following guidance, we will minimise the amount of adults working/making contact with your children. Bubbles will have the same adults working within them.
10. What happens at lunchtime/playtimes?
Again, we intend to use every available space we have to separate our children so they stay in their bubbles but have lots of access to outdoor space. KS2 will be split in half with cones so there are two bubbles in that yard at one time. One bubble will stay in one half, the other bubble in the other half. As always, we will explain everything to our children.
11. Will there be assemblies?
Collective Worship will not take place as whole school gatherings. Collective workship time will be delivered virtually.
12. How do we collect children from different gates?
Once we have permission information completed next week, children who are in either Years 4, 5 or 6 and have permission from you to walk home alone, can walk (through the outside of school) to a younger siblings gate. Children, who are younger than this, will need to be collected from their allocated gate only. As I am sure you can appreciate, once a child leaves the classroom door, we can't be responsible for their safety. So please work with us to ensure the safety of your children is given the utmost priority.
13. When does breakfast club start?
Breakfast club starts from Monday 14th September and will be in classes. (letters to be sent out in week 1) Children who wish to come to breakfast club must come to breakfast club between 8.00am and 8.20am and must enter school via Gate 3 (Liddell Terrace) or Gate 4 (Brighton Road) only and go straight to their classrooms doors, where staff will be waiting to greet you. This will be the only time adults will gain access into school past the gates. If you come to school after 8.20am, you will not be able to gain access into school as ALL gates will be locked. Gates will reopen at 8.45am for the start of school.
14. What if I need to go to the school office?
Unfortunately, there will be no access to our school office. If you need to speak to the office staff, please ring 0191 4218080 or email email@example.com If you need to come into school to speak to a member of staff, please ring to make an appointment. If you need to speak to me, I will be available before and after school on a different gate each week or alternatively, please give me a ring. As always, I will call you back.
15. What if my child is late for school?
If your child is late for school. Your child must be brought to the school office, accessing school through Gate 3 (Liddell Terrace) only. Please can I ask that you try really hard to get your child to school on time.
16. What if I work and need my child to be collected from an outside provider?
Risk assessments are in place between school and the outside providers. Children, who are being collected from an outside child care provider, can be collected at 3.15pm (not before) from their classroom doors.
17. When will after school clubs start?
Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, there will be no after school clubs.
As promised I will add to this page as I receive any further questions. Please don't worry - your children will be looked after. I promise!
As requested, please find some very short video clips explaining the arrangements for returning to school on Tuesday 8th September. Please excuse the very windy day we have chosen to record this information!
School can be accessed between 8.45 am and 8.55 am (No breakfast club during week 1)
Parents must collect their child from their allocated gate only. If you have more than one child, each child will need to be collected from their own gate until we have permission (for the 20/21 Academic Year) for which children are allowed to walk home alone.
If you haven't done so already, please can we ask you to re-read the letter dated 6th July to remind you of arrangements.
Looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday
Gate 1 (Next to Bensham Jockey) - To be used by parents and children of Nursery and Reception
Gate 1 Brighton Road (next to Bensham Jockey)
Gate 2 Liddell Terrace Year 1 and 2 (next to pharmacy on Liddell Terrace)
Gate 3 Liddell Terrace Year 3, 3/4 and 4
Gate 4 Brighton Road (old main entrance) Year 5 and 6
Initially the Government are only asking for the children in Nursery, Reception, Year1 and year 6 to return on 1st June with the rest of school following 3 weeks later, with this in mind we are asking ALL parents to complete the surveys below - please choose the appropriate link.
Due to the currently climate, your child may be spending more time online. Children may be vulnerable to exploitation online. It is extremely important that we do everything we can to safeguard our children from these threats. Please read the advice above about keeping your child safe online.
I’m sure most of the nation watched the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday evening wanting to understand the next steps that were to be implemented to support the country in the battle against COVID-19 whilst attempting to move forward as a society.
From an education perspective, it was announced that there was an aim to begin opening primary schools from the beginning of June for specified year group – Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 – if the conditions allow it.
School leaders have received this information at the same time as everyone else and we will now work with the Local Authority to map out what this will look like.
I will be attending a meeting, with a selection of other Head Teachers and Local Authority representatives, tomorrow morning to start on this process.
At the moment we do not have any answers for the many questions we understand that families are likely to have. We are sorry about this and share your frustrations.
However, please be assured, that the role of my leadership team will be to spend the next three weeks planning and preparing whilst providing parents/carers with the information they need, as quickly as possible.
Any decisions that are made and systems implemented, will be based on ensuring that the school site is as safe as possible for all those who access it.
Although we wish to be open to the children, we do not want to undo all that you have done to tackle the virus through the sacrifices you have made over the last two months.
Please remind your children that we are looking forward to seeing them again safe and well, when the time is right.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Mrs Joanne Allan
Another note home from
Mrs Allan - Saturday 9th May
Hello boys and girls,
Hope you are all well and keeping safe. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am missing you. I can’t wait for us all to be back together.
Although I have been in school lots and have spoken to many of your parents, school is far too quiet!!
When we do come back to school, I need you all to help me redesign our KS1 courtyard because we’ve decided to make this a special place in our school; a place where we can always remember our time off from school in the future. I can’t wait to hear your ideas 💡
I have been doing lots of cycling and walking with Mr Allan. I hope you’re all managing to get some daily exercise too!!
You all know how very proud I am of you because I tell you every day. But, I have been completely overwhelmed and sometimes have had a few tears (ssshh don’t tell anyone), when I hear from your teachers how you’re doing and how hard you have been working at home.
YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!! ❤️❤️ I am so lucky to be your Headteacher!
Take care and be good for your parents! 😘
Love to you all,
Mrs Allan xxx
A note home from Mrs Allan - Sunday 19th April
Hello boys and girls,
Tomorrow will be week 5 of lockdown. (5 weeks of schools being closed) Can you believe that?
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am missing you all. I think about you all every day. Your teachers are letting me know every day how you all are and that makes me very happy, knowing you are all ok and staying safe.
I love seeing what you have been up to and your class pages on our school website look fantastic. I’m glad you all liked our staff video. Hope it made you smile as much as your pictures and videos have made me smile.
I hope you’re all managing to get a little bit of exercise every day too because that is so good for your mental health too.
Today, Mr Allan and I have been on our bikes. Boys and girls, nobody told me how much my bottom would hurt from cycling. 🙈🙈🚲🚲
Love to you all. I miss you all so much. Love Mrs Allan xx
Schools North East News Article.
Following on from our wonderful staff and school featuring in The Chronicle Live, I am so proud to say that we also now feature in the Schools North East.
It's been a pleasure telling Schools North East all about Brighton Avenue Primary School and our amazing children, families and community!
Schools North East said, 'Thank you for everything that you and your staff are doing, it is really great to see all the positive things everyone is doing for the young people in your school'
Every Thursday, at 8pm, I am thinking of you all and hope you can hear my clapping and shout-outs!
Stay safe and take care everyone,
Here is the link for the article which has featured in the newsletter:
We understand the need to support families within our school community. Since the Government closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been providing packed lunches to all of our children who would usually receive a means tested Free School Meal (FSM)
We are replacing our free school meals during the closure with a £15 supermarket (TESCO) voucher for each child per week starting on Monday 20th April 2020. (After the Easter holidays)
You will receive a voucher equivalent to one weeks money the first week but after that we will pay this in a fortnightly voucher (eg £30, per child)
Vouchers can be collected from our school office (Liddell Terrace) on Monday 20th April at the appropriate collection time below.
We please ask that you adhere to the following rules;
· Only ONE ADULT should attend and you can nominate someone to collect on your behalf.
· Please DO NOT bring children to school.
· You MUST have valid identification with you.
· Practise good social distancing as you wait to collect your vouchers.
Surnames A - F - Please collect between 9.00am and 10.00am
Surnames G - L - Please collect between 10.00am and 11.00am
Surnames M - R - Please collect between 11.00am and 12.00
Surnames S - Z - Please collect between 12.00 and 1.00pm
Mrs J Allan
A note home from Mrs Allan to the children. Monday 30.3.2020
Hello boys and girls,
As this is the start of your second week at home,I just thought I would post this little note to you all from me.
Hope you are all ok, keeping safe and being really well behaved at home for your parents. 😀
Keep practising your reading and your times tables, because this will make you even more clever!! I am loving seeing you all learning at home. Keep sending your photographs because they are keeping us all connected and making all of your teachers smile every day!
I miss you all so much! I can’t wait for us all to be back together.
Stay safe and look after yourselves,
Love from Mrs Allan x
Free School Meals (Means Tested) Collection
From tomorrow (Thursday 26th March), Free School Meals (packed lunches) can now be collected from Brighton Avenue Primary School between 11.30am and 1pm only.
Packed lunches will be distributed from Y5S classroom door, which faces the KS2 yard. When collecting, please adhere to the 2m distance advice.
Thanks for your understanding in these unprecedented circumstances.
Mrs J Allan
What have you been up to at home?
We would love to see what you've all been up to at home! Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and class in the subject and we will put them on your class page so all your friends can see what you've been up to.
Dear Parents and Carers
You will no doubt have heard the message from our government that the country is in lockdown and movement outside of your home is significantly restricted.
Parents and carers who work as ‘critical workers’ or those of vulnerable children will have already been in touch with school and requested reduced provision.
Those children can still access emergency childcare but I would ask those parents and carers to consider the following very seriously before sending their children into our emergency childcare tomorrow.
Reduced provision is only for vulnerable children and children of parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response.
Many parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response may be able to ensure their child is kept at home.
And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
I can not stress enough that these are extraordinary times and that requires extraordinary measures.
As the Head Teacher of this school I need to do all I can to ensure that I can provide emergency childcare for the small minority of parents and carers who are currently playing a significant role in fighting CORVID-19. Please heed government advice and do not send children in unnecessarily.
Sending children into emergency childcare when it is not necessary will jeopardise our ability to support those parents who need it most.
The days, weeks and months ahead will be tricky and we need everyone to play their part.
Please let me do mine and please do not send your child in if they can be safely cared for at home.
Stay at home
Protect the NHS
Thank your you cooperation.
Mrs Joanne Allan
Due to our Site Manager having to go into self-isolation we are no longer able to deliver packed lunches to your home addresses.
From tomorrow (Tuesday 24th March) all packed lunches will be available to collect from St George's Church on Low Fell between 11.30am and 1pm.
As always if you have any problems or concerns about this or anything else please do not hesitate to email us using the following email address:
Thanks for your continued support.
Updated 22nd March at 5.15pm
We understand that over the coming weeks there may be certain things that you feel unsure about or need advice on; as a school we still wish to support our families to the best of our ability during this period of uncertainty and as it isn't physically possible for us to ring you all individually on a regular basis we would welcome you contacting us if you need any help.
From Monday 23rd March 2020 the school office will be closed therefore if you need to contact us for any reason please email us on email@example.com - this email address is checked on a daily basis and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Thank you for your continued support as always.
For children coming in to school as of Monday 23rd March 2020, the following measures/precautions must be taken:
* Own clothes to be worn which are fresh on – we recommend putting clothes straight in the washing machine once returning home from school to minimise and control the spread of infection.
* Up to date contact details for family members must be available within school and emergency contact details should your child become poorly/exhibit symptoms of contracting coronavirus.
* We must register your child in and out of the premises by somebody who either has parental responsibility or has been nominated by yourselves, as long as you are all fit and well and now showing symptoms of coronavirus.
* Children MUST be dropped off at 9am and collected at 3pm from our school community room.
* If you become unwell with coronavirus symptoms, you must immediately contact school and arrange for collection of your child.
* Social distancing must be enforced whilst your child is not in school if we are to prevent/minimise the spread of infection.
* School must be informed if you no longer fall within the Key worker list or you have been asked to self-isolate.
* Thorough hand washing to take place at home just before leaving the home.
* All children with medication must bring any medication with them on Monday. (This will go home daily due to unknown future circumstances)
* Can all change bring a change of clothes with them into school for PE/Forest School activities.
* All children will be provided with a hot meal free of charge, whatever your financial circumstances.
Letter received from the Local Authority
Date: 20 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Key Workers Update
Your school will be open from Monday 23 March for vulnerable children and children of Key Workers.
However, I need to stress the following key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
The Governments list of Key Workers is more comprehensive than we expected. I am therefore greatly concerned that schools will be supporting significantly more pupils than originally anticipated.
This will cause issues with the school’s ability to implement the policy of social distancing and a school’s capacity to staff appropriately.
Therefore, I ask you as parents in these extremely difficult times to only take up the offer if absolutely necessary.
Schools will ensure that children are safe and cared for. They will provide a range of activities but will not be teaching a National or Early Years curriculum.
Below is the key extract from the Government’s guidance on Key Workers:
“As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
As you will see the Government’s strong instruction is that as few children as possible attend school. In these , rapidly changing and challenging times I ask once again that you only take up the offer of a place if it is absolutely necessary.
Thank you for your support.
Caroline O’Neill Strategic
Director Children, Adults and Families
The Government has finally released the official list of those occupations considered “key workers” and therefore eligible for their children to remain at school after today.