About: Mrs English

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.

Latest guidance

Following the Prime Minister’s latest announcement regarding slowly increasing the numbers of pupils in schools, we are considering carefully how we can achieve this safely at The Oaks. As soon as we have a potential plan, we will let you know.

Free school meal vouchers

The DFE have just released guidance this morning to allow us to pay free school meals vouchers to parents of qualifying children throughout the Easter holidays.

We have 137 pupils on Free school meals but only have emails for 101.
We have processed these so if we have parents’ email addresses you should receive your first £15 voucher tomorrow (for this week) followed by an email every Monday for £15 up until the 18/05/2020 depending on when the schools re open. Once you receive this, you will be able to choose which of the six supermarkets you want to use this voucher at.

For those families for whom we don’t have email addresses, we will be sending this week’s and next week’s vouchers out by post hopefully on Friday. This will cover you for the Easter Holidays. After this time these will be sent out every Friday until the schools re open. Unfortunately, you will have no choice about which supermarket you can use.

As the system is new and very busy there could be a delay initially but after the first couple of days this should just be a rolling system.

I will post some frequently asked questions separately.

School meals vouchers

The government has developed a scheme to send vouchers to families whose children have free school meals. We will be taking part in this after the Easter holidays and will organise weekly vouchers for parents worth £15. We do not have email addresses for all parents. If you receive an e-voucher, this will last for a year and you will have a choice of supermarkets. If we do not have your email address we will post a gift card to you. These only last for 1 month and will be specific to one store, so it would be better for you to receive e-vouchers. If you have an email address but have not shared it with us at school, please could you do so using the “contact us” form on the website. Please note that food parcels will not be provided again after this week and will be replaced by vouchers after the Easter holiday.

Wellbeing calls

We will be calling everyone today to check that all our families are ok. If you receive a call with no caller ID please pick up – it’s probably us!


If you can keep your child safely at home or are a key-worker who can arrange other childcare we urge you to do so to limit the spread of Coranavirus.

The Oaks is closed today

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are closing today for safety reasons. Our drive is covered in snow in spite of Chris, our caretaker’s best efforts and the roads are unsafe for buses.

The school is open!

See you all there!

Happy Christmas

Wishing all of our pupils and their families a very happy Christmas. We’ll see you all next year!