Please note school is now temporarily closed.
If anybody needs to contact school urgently about emergency childcare in the holidays, or indeed, for any other matter, please email email@example.com. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.
If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible
Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a worrying time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.
Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
If you wish to contact the school nursing service please ring 03000 263538
I have received E-Bulletin from 3 Towns Partnership with offers of help during this difficult situation. Please read on..
Virtual Support Hubs
A helpline, webpage and support network have been set up to help people in County Durham who are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Following government advice that people with certain health conditions must stay isolated for the next 12 weeks in order to be shielded from the virus, Durham County Council also wants to reassure residents that they will receive the help they need.
County Durham Together has been set up by the council to provide people with support, either through established networks of community or volunteer groups, or from the council itself through staff volunteers.
They will be able to help with a number of requests, such as food shopping, deliveries, general help and guidance, or someone who can listen and support.
People are advised to accept help from friends, family and neighbours where possible, but anyone in need of extra support can find a list of local groups on the council’s website www.durhamlocate.org.uk or fill in our Coronavirus help form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help
Those enquiries will be directed to our virtual council hubs, staffed by AAP workers and council volunteers, who will assess any requests for information and provide appropriate help to residents.
Alternatively, help can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03000 260 260.
Jack Drum are offering Arts and Crafts packs for 6+ Years children in the Crook, Willington and Tow Law areas. Packs are free for those families in receipt of benefits (evidence required) otherwise they can be purchased for £12 per pack.
They are also providing online dance classes for 7+ Years and 12+ Years. Please send the following information to the address below to register your interest:
Parent/Carer Mobile Phone Number
Any disability we should be aware of
These classes are free however if you are in a position to make a donation for the class and help us continue to be able offer our activities both during, and beyond this crisis, please email email@example.com so we can give you our bank details. You can also use this address to sign up to the classes or order an arts and crafts pack.
More information is available via their Facebook Page
Age UK County Durham
Age UK County Durham have provided an update on their services right now. They are extending their Home Help services to include community based volunteering scheme to support those older people self-isolating. This will include weekly phone calls.
If you know an older person who would benefit from a weekly phone call during the Coronavirus outbreak please ask them to phone us on 0191 386 3856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|30th March 2020|
Online Safety advice for parents and carers during Covid 19
Many families will be encouraging their children to make good use of technology while we start the second week of lockdown with no opportunities to see their classmates “in real life”. Technology can help us all stay in touch safely but parents and carers will want to make sure that their children are as safe as possible.
Almost all devices allow parental controls to be set. These can be adjusted depending on the ages of the children. They can :-
A good starting point is the internet matters website https://www.internetmatters.org/ , go to the SETTING CONTROLS section at the top!
Probably the best thing you can do to help your son or daughter is to talk to them regularly about how they use technology, which apps and sites they use and who their online friends are. Some children struggle with online relationships perhaps either sending or receiving hurtful messages. Parents and carers will be able to help guide youngsters through this difficult area. If children receive unpleasant messages these can usually be reported and each app or site will have a different way of doing this.
Apps and Sites
The list of apps and websites children are using grows by the minute so printed advice is likely to be out of date. In the UK the NSPCC have a site called Net-Aware https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ which explains many current apps , the risks and the benefits of their use. More apps are listed on the American site Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
Activities for Children
https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency. It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues. It also has games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.
For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue. LGfL have produced a lovely free video https://undressed.lgfl.net/ which has some great advice and a very catchy song!
The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/about-us/partners/nspcc-o2-online-safety-partnership/ to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002. They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.
Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice on anything that is worrying them.
Finally since 2015 is has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child (This is Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015). If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device. This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved. The Police can be contacted by phone or from the Thinkuknow website. https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
|26th March 2020|
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
|24th March 2020|
Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.
The full stay at home guidance is available at:
Would parents of Free School Meal children please note that we are currently working with a provider to enable you to receive e-vouchers. We will text you when this is up and running.
|20th March 2020|
Early this morning the Government set out its list of Key Worker categories that may be prioritised for educational provision in the period of wider school closure.
The most important message for parents is that any child who can be at home should be at home.
The recommendation to send children to school is only so that key workers who don’t have any alternative arrangements are not forced to stay off work. Therefore it does not follow that all key workers on the list would or should be sending their children to school. The guidance explicitly states:
“Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so."
It goes on to say
“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.”
The Government is asking schools to open to provide care for children of key workers and vulnerable children. This is not a statutory requirement – schools are being asked to help as part of a national response.
This will be a very different type of provision to that schools normally provide; it will be about care, not education. "This is about keeping children safe and allowing key workers (such as NHS staff) to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving. All expectations regarding educational provision have been lifted. Schools that provide this care are free to determine what the provision looks like and what they deem to be best for the pupils they are supporting."
Would parents please note that Government have placed a requirement on key worker parents to obtain confirmation from their employer that, based on business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. However, in order to ensure that pupils who have parents in critical key worker roles e.g. NHS staff are kept safe, this can be done retrospectively.
School is officially closed as from today but it will reopen on Monday to provide the reduced provision offer for pupils by prior arrangement.
We very much want to do what we can to support our families, given these unprecedented circumstances and we wish you all to stay safe.
|19th March 2020|
The Prime Minister and Education Minister Gavin Williamson have announced that all schools in the UK will close from Friday, with exceptions for vulnerable children, children with an Education Health and Care Plan and children of key workers (exact details on these categories are yet to be released).
The Prime Minister has announced that the government will be supplying vouchers for children who currently receive free school meals although full details have not yet been released. Durham County Council will be working over the coming days/weeks to explore arrangements around provision of food for families who receive free school meals.
The Prime Minister noted that exams in May and June will not take place and the details on this will also follow.
We are awaiting further guidance in order for us to support you to the best of our ability and we thank you for your patience at this time.
We will keep you updated as further details become available.
|18th March 2020|
The advice from Public Health England continues to be that all educational settings, including nurseries, preschools and childminders, should remain open unless advised otherwise.
|17th March 2020|
I am writing to update you about the school’s current position regarding Coronavirus.
We take the health and safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff very seriously, and, as such, we want to reassure you that we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education (DfE).
If circumstances arise where the school must close, we will inform you in our usual way.
We are currently making plans for supporting your child’s education should a closure become necessary and will keep you informed on this.
Prevent the spread of infection
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
The most recent UK government advice (16.03.2020) is:
Symptoms to look out for
Difficulty in breathing
Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
As I mentioned, we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the DfE, but this is being updated regularly in response to the changing situation. We will monitor and follow the national guidance as it is updated and would urge you to do the same.
If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your support
Mrs S. McQuiggin
|13th March 2020|
The Department for Education Coronavirus helpline for staff, parents, carers and young people is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm:
Coronavirus helpline 0800 046 8687