Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School

A Church of England school serving the Community since 1686

Headteacher: Mrs Nichola Russell
Telephone: 01924 303525
Address: Barnsley Road, Sandal, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 6AS

Diocese of Leeds

Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School

"Education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world" Nelson Mandela

Welcome to Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School

Food Parcels

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.

Thank you.



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.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Margaret Isherwood Beate Wagner

Cabinet Member Corporate Director and DCS

Local Authority Letter to Parents

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.


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.

Thank you

Entrance and Exit points for EYFS and KS1

Year Group
























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,

wherever possible.

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 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

Nichola Russell



Hot meals

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


- 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.

Nichola Russell


Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School Vision Statement

Ofsted Report - Sandal Castle VA Community Primary School, October 2019

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.

Contact Details:

Headteacher: Nichola Russell,

School Business Manager: Karen Tierney,

If you have any questions or queries please contact either the Headteacher or School Business Manager. Thank you.

Image preview