Sugar Hill Primary School

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Sheraton Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, DL5 5NU


Sugar Hill Primary School

'Learning and Growing Together'

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  3. 5th June Update

5th June Update

5 June 2020 (by Vicky)

Update for parents and carers of children in Year 6, Year 1 and Reception

Dear Parents/Carers of Y6, Y1 and YR Friday 5th June 2020

I would like to start once again by thanking you for your fantastic support over the last few weeks in the enormous decisions that we as teachers and you as parents/carers have had to make.

As you are aware Durham County recommended school opening for YR, Y1 and Y6 on Monday the 15th of June. I agreed that the 1st of June was far too early.

I still have reservations about the children coming back to school, as you all know, and I have been watching the news to see how the schools that have opened to these year groups have managed and how the infection rate in our region is doing. I am a little happier having seen this in practice.

I also see that life around us is slowly getting back to normal and although I feel that there may not be a right time to open, we will from the week beginning 15th June open in some form.

This may only be to Y6 at first but I will let you know that by next week, once we are aware of the number of children from YR, Y1 and Y6 wanting to come back.

This is certainly the hardest decision I have had to make and it will be for you as parents. I just want to say that whatever you decide and I already know that some parents have made the decision not to send their children back until September, that I fully support that decision.

During the last weeks staff have been working hard to ensure the school is as safe as we can make it, ensuring stocks of soap, hand sanitiser and PPE is increased and available, signs are in place and classrooms changed and I do feel that if very stringent hygiene and social distance rules can be adhered to we have done the very best that we possibly can to make staff and children safe. I can not say 100% but I’m not sure I ever will.

However, I have said in previous letters that school will not be how the children remember it.

Classrooms are changed beyond recognition. In Y6 desks have been taken out to ensure only 12 in each room and taped to show where the children have to sit, there are baskets of individual equipment for each child so that nothing is shared, the exciting reading areas have gone, books have been taken out and there is tape to show the children where the teacher stands. See the pictures on the school website and Facebook page

There are signs around school and outside to show staff and children where to stand, 2m apart at all times. There are reems of Risk Assessments in place to deal with every eventuality and timetables to show when children will go out to play and eat lunch, all with the children in their group or “bubble”.

It has literally broken my heart to see this taking place and the exciting, motivating, lively environment pulled apart.

Reception has changed beyond recognition! Gone are the areas to play, gone are the fabulous reading areas, gone are the toys that are difficult to clean and gone is the most fantastic YR environment that we pride ourselves on.

Should you decide you would like to bring your children back to school, they will need to know that school will be very different.

Work will continue to be added to the website for those not attending in all year groups.

Once we know numbers I will send a letter outlining what will be expected from children and from their parents/carers. These are very detailed and very strict as to what children and parents/carers can and cannot do in order to make safety the priority.

In order for us to know numbers can you please let us know via a second survey whether you intend to send your children back, week beginning 15th June. Please have this completed by no later than Monday 8th June at 9am. Thank you for your cooperation in this, not an easy decision at all.

The link to the survey is as follows –

Thank you again for your support in all of this. This will be one of the hardest decisions you make for your children. My absolute priority is still and will always be the safety of our children and staff. If at any time I feel that this is compromised I will change my decision.

Take care and stay safe

Mrs Paula O’Rourke