Welcome to Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School
Due to the adverse weather conditions, the food delivery of items to make the
food hampers for families eligible for free school meals is arriving on Tuesday 19th January
rather than Monday 18th January. Could parents please collect the food parcels from the
main reception on Tuesday 19th January from 11am rather than on Monday.
Tuesday collection is for next week only and will revert back to Monday
collection as of the following week.
ADVERSE WEATHER - SNOW
SCHOOL CLOSURE 15.1.2021
There has been significant snow fall across the district and West Yorkshire.
This is causing severe disruption across our area and the whole region.
The snow is forecast to continue until 6pm tonight, with temperatures dropping to
well below freezing overnight. It is expected that this will mean the disruption
continues into tomorrow.
The weather is unlikely to improve tomorrow so we have been advised by the LA
to make early decisions as to school closures. After much deliberation, we have made
the decision to close school on Friday 15thJanuary 2021, as we feel this is the safest option
for children, families and staff who would be making the journey in freezing conditions.
It is rare for school to close, but on this occasion, the health and safety of the school
community must be our priority.
11th January 2021 - Local Authority Letter to ALL parents
The content of the letter is vitally important.
Dear Parent(s) and Carer(s)
As you know, England has entered a third national lockdown and Primary and Secondary
schools have closed for everyone except the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
We would expect all vulnerable children to attend school. For all others the best action for you to
take for your child, yourself and the whole community is to keep your child at home if it is safe to do so.
You may have already had communication from your school and we thought it would be helpful to provide
the view of the Local Authority.
We continue to be vigilant in Wakefield and to encourage everyone to follow the national guidance.
The infection rate increased to 285 per 100,000 and continues to rise. We must all continue to follow the lockdown
rules to help NHS Hospitals to continue to function for all of us. In time vaccinations will provide us all with hope but
we must remain strong and determined at this point in time.
The national Government guidance allows for the children of critical workers to be in school. However,
the most recent guidance broadens the definitions of critical workers and, as a consequence, increases the
number of children who may be seeking a place in school as compared to previous phases in the pandemic.
Consequently, Schools are under increased pressure and we would ask that you do all you can to support
them by keeping children at home if you can. The safety of your child and their staff is the school’s number
one priority and all school decisions about school places will be guided by this.
For some of you, we understand that your work is of such critical importance that your child absolutely has to be in school.
However, if you qualify as a critical worker, but can manage to have your children at home, please do this,
and let your school know. Government guidance published on 7 January reinforces this point.
It says “Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can.”
Government guidance also says that there should be a place for all children of critical workers “who need to attend.”
We know that many of you are in families where both parents are involved in frontline work that takes you out of the
house and where your work is essential in the fight against Covid-19. Where this is not the case, we would urge
you only to send children to school if absolutely necessary.
This would greatly help our Wakefield schools and our local effort if those children stayed at home and
accessed the school’s remote learning offer.
Your cooperation will help schools reduce potential transmission of Covid-19 by minimising the numbers on site and to
ensure staff have the capacity to support the home learning of all other pupils. Each school will have undertaken a health
and safety risk assessment and will know the maximum number of pupils they are able to have safely
on site at any one time, given the amount of staff they have available.
We do ask that you support our schools during this challenging time. They are having to make very difficult
decisions about how to balance the number of children and staff in school to reduce transmission, with the need to
ensure that critical workers are supported and the most vulnerable children are kept safe. That means that
not everyone who meets the criteria for attending school in person will be able to have a place.
We are also acutely aware that not every child that needs a laptop or internet access has that provision yet.
Many schools are waiting for the devices to be loaned to families through the national scheme, but some are
not yet able to order their allocation. We ask for your patience whilst schools work through arrangements to ensure
that all children can access their remote learning. Wakefield schools are working hard to provide support for home
learning which we know poses challenges for many families. We encourage parents to work with their schools where
there are any specific concerns.
Thank you for your understanding in what we recognise is a very difficult situation for everyone.
We recognise that this will cause considerable disruption to your personal and working lives. Like you, we wish our children
could be in school for the sake of their education and well-being. We really do appreciate the pressure this situation places
on all of us but we are acting in the midst of a pandemic. We hope the progress with vaccinations means we can see a
brighter future ahead and so there is hopefully an end in sight.
We will of course continue to keep all arrangements under constant review as we progress our response through this
period of lockdown and beyond. Our best wishes to you all please stay safe.
Cllr Margaret Isherwood Beate Wagner
Cabinet Member Corporate Director and DCS
6th January 2021 - IMPORTANT UPDATE
Key Worker Places
We are aware that we have a number of families who are not
complying with government requirements regarding key worker status
and the necessity to ensure that attendance at school is the FINAL RESORT and
to be used ONLY if you have no other alternative childcare arrangements.
Please do not ask us which children are in school, as your child would like to be
regarded as a 'critical worker child' if their friends are also attending school.
We will not give you this information and this also means that you have a
choice of your child being in school or not. This means that you have alternative
childcare options and that you do not need to attend school.
Please do not ask us if particular children are in school as you DO NOT want to
send your child if these children are in school.
This is highly inappropriate, disrespectful and morally offensive.
If these are the questions we are being asked, you do not need a critical worker
place as you have a choice.
YOU SHOULD ONLY SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF YOUR WORK IS CRITICAL TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE.
If it is at all possible for your children to be at home, they should be.
If you are working from home, or you can work from home, this is the safest place for your child.
Government directive states that parents need to keep their children at home, wherever possible.
Please do not put children, families and staff at risk by accessing a place in school if this is not a final resort.
6th January 2021
Drop Off and Collection Reminder - Key worker children
Only one parent or carer allowed on site to accompany their child to school.
This is to minimise risk.
Please follow social distancing measures as advised by government. If social distancing measures
are not adhered to on the journey to school and whilst on the school premises, it makes all of the
school's effort to keep children safe all the more difficult.
Thank you as always for your support and cooperation
5th January - Critical Worker update
As of 6th January 2021, could we ask that children attending school in Foundation Stage,
Year 1 and Year 2 access their class bubble via the following entrance/exit points each day
(note the different points on different days).
Children in Years 3,4,5 and 6 will continue to access and exit school via their usual
classroom routes as established since September 2020.
As of 6th January 2021, children accessing school will not be required to wear uniform due to
the PE aspect of the curriculum being undertaken each day.
Entrance and Exit points for EYFS and KS1
4th January - Government Update
As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household
isolation and social distancing and 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.
It is important that we protect the NHS and that school, colleges and other educational
establishments remain safe places for children. 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 individuals in wider society.
Schools are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a very 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. We have our registers
from the previous lockdown and anticipate that these children will continue to be our
key worker children and therefore may attend school.
We do not anticipate a high number of children attending as we appreciate
both how cautious and supportive you, our school community are in ensuring
the safety and well-being of children, families and staff. Thank you.
Current government directive states that if an individual in your home is classified
as a key worker, and if you have no alternative child care arrangements,
we can offer childcare places from 8.30am-2.30pm, as a final resort. We must do all we
can to limit the spread of the virus. We also fully understand that as key worker parents,
you may want to keep your children at home, as the government states it is the safest option.
The small number of children we envisage being in school will access the school remote
education curriculum as all children working from home will. The provision is the same.
If it is at all possible for your children to be at home, they should be.
If you are working from home, or you can work from home, this is the safest
place for your child.
Government directive states that parents need to keep their children at home,
Please do not put children, families and staff at risk by accessing a childcare place.
School Reopening - Spring Term 2021
We are aware that there is currently a huge amount of conflicting guidance and advice
being discussed and debated between government, SAGE and education professionals
around transmission amongst young children and the severity of the new covid variant.
We understand that as parents and carers this is frustrating, and it is certainly not an
easy task to navigate through the evidence and make decisions based upon your own
family circumstances. We understand that everyone’s circumstances and the needs of
each family bubble are very different, particularly if caring for elderly or vulnerable adults
and/ or children.
Unless we receive further guidance to the contrary, school will open on the 5th January
as expected with our robust and rigorous plans, procedures and risk assessments in
place as they have been since March 2020. Our plans continue to be updated with
every new government publication and are therefore always up to date based upon
new measures and guidance received. We will however, respect any parent/carers
wishes to use our remote education curriculum should you consider this to be
the safest option for your own personal and family circumstances.
If you intend to undertake our remote education curriculum due to covid related
reasons, please leave a message on the school voicemail - 01924 303525 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure that you have all
the information you require to access our remote education curriculum. Staff will
also be in contact with your child/children regularly via tapestry (EYFS), purple mash ( Years 1-6)
and phone calls home will be made to give feedback and next steps ensuring regular
contact and a productive partnership between school and home which will ensure that the remote
learning programme is successful.
We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, but please be reassured that as a school,
we will continue to do all we can to keep our children and families, staff and school community
as safe as we possibly can within current expectations and government guidance.
Thank you as always for your support
Hot meals will be offered as part of the weekly menu as of Tuesday 5th January 2021.
BBC Breakfast - The Importance of Putting PE at the Heart of School Life
SANDAL CASTLE VA COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
- A Church of England school serving the Community since 1686
On behalf of the children, staff, governors and myself it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our School. As a Church of England school, we value the spiritual as well the educational development of all our children,
whichever faith tradition they come from. We seek to be inclusive of everyone and to help our children to build their lives on firm moral foundations of love and service of one another.
If your child is joining us for the first time, we look forward to establishing a happy and successful partnership with you over the coming years. If you already have a child here, we hope to strengthen our existing links with you to
enable us to provide the best education possible. Parents are welcomed and valued as partners in their child’s education, as we believe that our children learn best when staff and parents work together.
Together we can ensure our school remains the popular and very special place that it is today.
We are all extremely proud of our school and committed to providing the very best possible education for all of our children. Sandal Castle Primary is a school where children are happy and feel a sense of belonging.
They are supported, encouraged, nurtured and loved. They enjoy learning in a stimulating and attractive environment in which each child is encouraged to have fun whilst achieving their potential in the widest sense.
It is within this positive nurturing ethos that children understand the skills they need in order to learn. We want our children to develop lively and enquiring minds, to discuss and debate, to be creative and imaginative and to
apply themselves well as they strive to reach their full potential in all aspects of school life. Our whole school vision underpins every decision we make within the school environment considering what is in the best interest
of our children. In this way, our children will always lie at the heart of everything we do
If you would like any more information, or to arrange a visit, please contact the school. We look forward to meeting you.
If you would like a paper copy of the information on our school website, please ask at the main reception and we will organise this for you.
Headteacher: Nichola Russell, email@example.com
School Business Manager: Karen Tierney, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions or queries please contact either the Headteacher or School Business Manager. Thank you.