Hotspur Primary School

Mowbray Street, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne And Wear, NE6 5PA

0191 276 2762

Monday 2nd November 2020 Update

 Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to the new half term. After the weekend we now know there that are going to be more restrictions brought in from Thursday this week. Currently there are no plans to close schools although there is some pressure to do so from some northern leaders and teaching unions. The government view is:

‘The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and there are negative health impacts of being out of school. We know that school is a vital point of contact for public health and safeguarding services that are critical to the wellbeing of children and families.’

It is certainly positive to see children in school as I have said before. We also have to remember that we have over 70 adults working in school each week. Five of these have had the virus and for some it is taking a long time to fully recover. So we have to be aware, and taking care of, everyone’s health and mental wellbeing. Levels of anxiety can be high at times. Thank you to those of you who have shown support and understanding towards members of staff in recent weeks.

The government advice is clearly to continue sending children to school. As you know we are prepared now for home learning via Tapestry (EYFS and Y1 until Christmas) or Showbie (Y2 upwards). Teachers cannot run both school teaching and home learning fully at the same time. If there is a fuller lock down in the future please remember that teachers will also often have young children at home and have to rely on their home internet. There will be interactive sharing sessions as we have done before with Showbie.

It is a good time to reinforce and tighten up on some of our procedures in school. The vast majority of families are adhering to these but there has been an increase in people coming to the main entrance or trying to talk to members of staff at drop off and pick up times. We understand people’s frustrations but do have to enforce the measures that we have put in place.

Please note:

  • We encourage face masks to be worn by parents and carers if they are on the school site - including dropping off and collecting as a few of you have asked for this
  • Parents and carers dropping off on the bottom yard (Reception, Y1 and Y2) must keep moving in the line and not try to talk to members of staff – being organised with what children need for the day would be a great help in this
  • Water bottles, book bags etc should not be dropped at the front office. People should only be calling at the office if it is urgent
  • Children should not be collected early for appointments etc – if these cannot be arranged children should miss the whole of that morning or afternoon session
  • Children should not be in school if they display Covid symptoms as this could lead to whole classes having to isolate for 14 days

Parent/Carer Consultations

These are not going to be possible in the way we had planned, during this tighter lockdown period. Teachers will instead ring parents and carers from school on the day already allocated. We will use the information collected before the holiday to choose a suitable time. This is not ideal and is going to be tricky to organise. Everyone will have to be disciplined to keep to the schedule. Further details for each class will be circulated in advance of the consultations.

Car Parking

We are still getting a few parents driving up to the top gates to drop children off and then reversing up the road. This is very dangerous as other families and younger children are around. It is also selfish as most families are making other arrangements. The City Council is exploring ways to introduce ‘School Streets’ which would mean that cars were not allowed in the area at the beginning and end of the school day but this will take a little longer than we had hoped. In the meantime please don’t park directly outside the school gates or drive up to drop children off.

Miles Wallis-Clarke