We find ourselves continuing to live through these most difficult of times. In school, your children are being
incredibly mature and very sensible as we try to make up for the periods of missed schooling over the last couple
of years. Obviously, the pandemic has affected all children in different ways and we have seen this in symptoms of
anxiety and lack of concentration. However, when you consider what our children have experienced – indeed
some of our youngest in daycare had never been with other children before starting in the setting – their resilience
and adaptability is remarkable. Also, as parents, I think you are doing a fabulous job in supporting your children
back into schooling, as seen in our attendance which has been very good this term.
Hartlepool Public Health Advice
I am sure you are aware that infection levels in the community and especially among teenagers and young adults is
very high at the moment. In response, Directors of both Public Health & Children’s Services, have issued advice to
schools to consider re-introducing some measures to reduce the spread of infection. In primary schools this
includes: the wearing of masks in communal areas and for visitors to school; for adults in school to continue to use
the LFD tests; limiting large gatherings and mixing in school; and, continue increased ventilation and regular
handwashing. The letter is on our website, in the coronavirus section, if you would like to read the wider
As explained above, we are continuing to ventilate the school much more than usual to reduce the risk of
infection, but this does mean that it is colder in the rooms. As the weather begins to become more wintery it
would be a good idea for children to have a warm jumper or top to pull over their uniform if they are feeling cold.
If you remember last winter, we found we needed a blanket to put over our knees, because it is colder when we
are sitting during lessons.
Illness in the setting
In our setting, we have been very lucky and although many children have had symptoms requiring a PCR test only a
very few have contracted CoViD. However, we have heard of several incidents where a normally mild childhood
infection has caused a child to need hospital admission and indeed in a couple of cases this has been a very serious
illness. The ‘flu’ vaccinations, which for children is administered as a nasal spray, is being offered in school this
month (remember to register online). This might help, but the best way to reduce this risk is for children who have
symptoms of any illness is to stay at home for a couple of days until they are better which would reduce the risk of
spread in school.
Arriving and leaving school
It is lovely to see that some of the children in the upper years are beginning to walk to and from school. Some
parents have asked that children use a mobile to let their parents know when they have arrived safely in the
morning and let them know when they are setting off in the evening, which is no problem. The children simply
leave the phones with their teacher during the day.
Because there are more unaccompanied children now, it is even more important that we all keep the area around
the school safe. If parents who need to drop-off or pick-up with cars could leave them safely at a distance from the
school and walk a short way, that would resolve the dangers in front of the gate. I am aware that the traffic police
do pass our school periodically and have issued tickets for illegal parking and, have expressed concern about the
visibility for the crossing patrol and the need for children to feel safe on pavements and crossings.
If you have a child in the upper years, you will know already about the improvements happening to the children’s
toilets in that part of school. We are hoping this work will be completed in the next couple of weeks. We are all
very excited to see how this turns out. We also have some work happening in the school garden next week and
once again, I’m sure your children will be excited to tell you how this develops.
From our school intentions relating to Love, Serve, Heal and Bless, the children on student council have introduced
four intentions that they think all the children in setting will be able to help to achieve this year:
- To champion reduce, reuse and recycle (in response to COP26);
- To talk with each other to identify difficulties in learning and otherwise (caused by the pandemic or
- To peer-mentor each other to improve their creative writing;
- To give time to quizzing each other on what they are trying to learn.
You might want to talk with your children about how they are helping and I will update you about their progress as
In light of the first intention, this may be the last letter on paper. In future they will be published only through our
electronic media – the website, tapestry and facebook. However, if you still need to have a hard-copy please
complete the attached form and we will ensure you receive one.
John L. Hardy (Head Teacher)