Whole School Update

17th September 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have been back at school for over 2 weeks now and I am pleased to report a very positive start to
the term. It has been fantastic to welcome everyone back, the huge majority of children are very happy
to be at school and busy making up for lost time. Pupils have adapted to our COVID-19 safety
measures very well and the school feels calm and safe. We appreciate that these are difficult times for
everyone and we are proud of the way your children are dealing with it all.

In light of today’s announcement of additional COVID-19 safety measures in Northumberland and 2
weeks of experience of our ‘new normal’, we would like everyone to make every effort to follow all of the
guidance below. This way we will maintain high standards of education at Highfield, and keep our
children and our community safe.

Rule of 6 and additional measures
In England it is now illegal for people to socialise in groups of more than 6, this includes children, before
and after school. We have been informed of a number of incidents in the community involving larger
groups of young people engaging in anti-social behaviour, some of these youngsters are from Highfield.
Please reinforce the importance of the new “Rule of 6” to your children, and encourage them to come
straight home after school, to stay in small groups, not to mix with pupils outside their year group
bubble (other than family) and to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Face Masks
In line with government guidance, due to today’s announcements regarding additional COVID-19 safety
measures in Northumberland, we need to increase the use of masks in schools. From tomorrow if
possible (Friday 18 th September), or from Monday at the latest, all pupils (including Yr 5 and 6)
should wear face masks when entering and leaving the school site. They should also wear a
face mask when using lockers, visiting the toilet and moving between lessons. Wearing a face
mask once seated in lessons is not compulsory. When face masks are not being worn, they should be
kept in a sealed bag (provided by school) in the child’s pocket or folder.

COVID Symptoms and school absence
If a child is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss
or change to your sense of smell or taste) they should not attend school and should get a test. Siblings
should also remain at home until the test result is known and take appropriate action depending on the

If the test is negative the child can return to school as soon as they feel well enough to do so and they
no longer have a temperature if that was their symptom.

If the test is positive the child must stay at home for at least 10 days from the date of the result of the
test or until they feel well enough to return after the 10 day period. Any high temperature must also
have receded.

For other illnesses, we would encourage you to make the same decisions that you would have before
the COVID-19 pandemic and get pupils back to school as soon as they are well enough to return.

A quick guide is attached to this letter.

Travelling to and from school
If your child is travelling to or from school in a car with members of another household they should be
wearing a face covering just as they would if they were travelling on school transport and open the
windows for ventilation.

School Uniform
Whilst we fully accept that we all have plenty to think about at the moment, we consider it very
important to uphold the new uniform expectations that we have clearly communicated in the months
preceding the start of term. The vast majority of pupils are coming to school looking very smart and
ready to learn, and we are very grateful to everyone who has made the effort to support these changes.
There is a significant improvement in uniform standards across the school, with all children wearing
appropriate trousers, shorts and skirts. However, unfortunately too many pupils, particularly in Year 8,
are wearing trainers and trainer socks. These are no longer part of our uniform, black school shoes
and plain black calf or knee length socks must be worn at all times, except for days when pupils
come dressed for PE. Black leather trainers such as Nike Air-Force 1and Adidas Gazelle are not
permitted, except on PE days. Please support us in finding suitable replacements for your children as
soon as possible. Black socks can be bought for less than £1 per pair in many supermarkets, and
school shoes are in the sales in a number of shops. If you require support to equip your child with
correct uniform, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have always been very willing to offer help
where it is needed.

Google Classroom
Teaching and support staff are receiving training on Google Classroom in the coming days and we will
begin to use this online learning platform with all pupils next week. We will set most homework tasks
this way, and, in the event of partial or full school closure, we will deliver our online learning provision
through Google Classroom also. We will be sending out a simple survey tomorrow to find out if
everyone has the necessary IT equipment to access Google Classroom at home. Please look out for
this and return it as soon as possible.

Thank you all for your support and I wish you and your families well through these difficult times.

Richard Oades