About: Mrs English

BBC Look North

We were lucky enough to have BBC Look North in school today, talking to Mr Broom and some pupils about our enterprising activities and the food we donated to the food bank as a result. They are hoping to air this on tonight’s Look North, so be sure to tune in!


It’s results day for Year 11 on Thursday! If you’d like to come to school to collect them staff will be available between 10am and 1pm. We’d be grateful if you could wear a mask when collecting. Any results not picked up will be put in the post on Thursday so should reach you on Friday. Good luck everyone!

Y7 Isolation

We have had a number of positive Covid cases in Year 7 and as a result have closed most of the Year 7 classes. Parents have all been informed if their child needs to isolate. Unfortunately this will mean that these pupils will not return to school until September. Remote teaching will be put in place for those who are isolating.

School closed

The school grounds are treacherous this morning, so we have made the decision to remain closed. Online learning will continue as usual.

Vouchers for free school meals

We’ve had quite a few calls asking about when vouchers will be available for pupils who have free school meals. We have been informed that this will be “soon” but haven’t yet got a date. We will let you know as soon as we receive word about how and when this will happen.

Change of return date

In order to make sure that we keep everyone as safe as possible given the current situation, we have decided to close to all pupils until Thursday 7th January. This will allow time for us to organise and undertake training for testing procedures. We realise that this is short notice and apologise for any inconvenience caused. everyone will return to school and to learning on Thursday.

Return to school

Just to let you know that The Oaks will be fully open to pupils from Tuesday 5th January. The only exceptions to this are pupils who fit into the government’s Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category who must shield at home. If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable and will not be able to return, please would you let us know via the school email.

We will be engaging in the testing process for pupils whose parents give consent. This will not happen during the first week back to allow us time to plan and prepare for the process. You will be sent a letter regarding consent in due course.

We hope that you’ve all had a lovely holiday and look forward to seeing our pupils back at school in the new year.

Latest Government announcement

You will have heard that the government have announced changes to the return dates for secondary schools. We are not yet clear how that impacts on us in special schools, but as soon as the guidance is published we will be in touch to let you know.

Happy holidays!

Thank you from everyone at The Oaks for your patience and support during this difficult term. We hope you all have a lovely summer and look forward to seeing all of our pupils back in September. Year 7s start on Thursday 3rd September and all other year groups return on Monday 7th September.

Provision for pupils after half term

Following the recent government announcement regarding a phased return to school for some pupils, we have been working closely with Durham County Council to establish what is right for our school. The council is supporting all schools in the county, to establish a pattern and timeframe that works for them. They have provided a risk assessment, which is designed to put the health and safety of children first and ensure each school mitigates, to the best of their ability, risks associated with a phased return. Working with the Council, we have decided that the following approach best suits the needs of children and families at The Oaks.

Pupils who have been attending school (children of key workers and pupils deemed vulnerable at home) will continue to attend.

The school will contact and offer places to a very small number of additional pupils whose parents are key workers or who are deemed vulnerable at home to begin to expand provision when we believe it is safe to do so. This will not be before 8th June.

Following this, it may be possible to hold meetings between staff and Year 10 pupils who have already begun working towards exams next year. All other pupils will continue to receive work at home and regular welfare calls from staff.

We have carried out risk assessments and believe that this is the safest approach for our pupils and staff at the current time. We will continue to update you via the school website.