Newsletter – 3rd April 2020

We have had a couple of weeks of our new normal and I hope everyone is safe and well at home where they can be.


Next week both school sites will be closed and our childcare provision for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children will be based in our Conkers before and after school club, with drop off and pick up from our Rockleigh Road entrance only.  If you need to contact staff at the Conkers Club their telephone number is 07756263156.



There will not be staff in the offices during the two weeks which would usually have been the Easter break.


We will keep updating the links on our website and Facebook for help with working from home and we are looking to add all our Maths No Problem material (with the answers – don’t worry!) in the near future.


Please remember that, because we are working with greatly reduced numbers of staff, we will not be in a position to take work in or give feedback during the time that we are shut to the majority of pupils. Our focus is on making sure that we can stay open with a skeleton staffing structure to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable children.


We have been looking at ways to print protective facemasks with our 3D printers so we will see if we can help out with any local groups who might be able to make use of them. We only have limited capacity but, along with other schools who have 3D printers not currently being used by the children, we are trying to do our bit.



Enjoy Easter as much as you can, given our new restrictions, and have a break from the maths and English work if you need it – at least there’s still chocolate to look forward to!


Our governing body have asked me to pass on their thanks for your support in this difficult time while we all pull together.


Stay safe.


Newsletter – 27th March 2020

For those of us that have to be in school or other places of work, this is certainly a very different environment at the moment and I hope everyone who is able/has to stay at home is well and keeping safe in these difficult times.


We have a small number of children in school who we are keeping busy along similar lines to the list of possible activities on our website


New activities and links will be added to our website and shared on Facebook to help keep your children stimulated, engaged and learning at home while we can’t be open.


Social media can play an enormous part in keeping us connected at times like this but please don’t be under pressure to have the tightest, most rigorous schedule and feel you have to share amazing projects that your children have created each day. Your new job as home school teachers, whilst working from home at the same time in many cases, is hard enough. If you want to have that routine and fixed times with a schedule of lessons because that works for your family then go for it, but if something else works for you and your children then go for that too!


If you want to play Monopoly one day rather than do the maths, give your children the chance to watch a whole series of Blue Planet, teach them how to hoover or cut in around windows and skirting boards because you suddenly have free labour, have a water fight in the garden because it is sunny, build a fort, bake a cake, whatever – then do it!


If your children have had lots of interesting conversations, read lots of books, played lots of games, discovered something amazing because of David Attenborough and are still happy, curious, confident and kind then, when this is all over and we get everyone back together, they will be in a fantastic position to carry on with whatever comes next at school.


Stay safe and look after each other, we will see you all soon.

Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils


In line with the government’s announcement, Chalkwell Hall Junior School will close at the end of today, until further notice, to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children.


Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.


All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.


As advised by the government, we will do everything possible to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, education sector, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs.


Please note that this is a national closure, as you will have heard in the news, so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We will re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is via email, Facebook, Twitter and our website.


What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home


Your child’s learning is, of course, important to us so we will continue to help you help your child to learn.


  • Follow this link to find learning activities for your child to engage with at home. We will update this regularly. If you cannot access the internet at home, please contact us.
  • Children will be sent home with their medication, books, PE kit and some basic equipment.
  • If your child will not be attending school but is currently off school ill or in isolation, you can come in and get their books, PE kit, etc next week or whenever you are allowed out of isolation.
  • Given that we are working with greatly reduced numbers of staff, we will not be in a position to take work in or give feedback during the time that we are shut to the majority of pupils. Our focus is on making sure that we can stay open with a skeleton staffing structure to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable children.


For those children in school


  • Children will still need to wear school uniform and have PE kit.
  • If your child usually receives free school meals we will be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this, with support from a scheme that the government should be announcing soon.
  • School dinners will continue to be served for those that require them, although there may only be a cold option.
  • Conkers Breakfast and After School Clubs will continue to run as usual as long as we have enough staff to operate them safely. Please continue to book as normal and we will update if the situation changes.
  • We will provide a combination of the usual school subjects and a mixture of other activities in school. The school day will be different to what we usually provide and dependent on the staff we have available.
  • After school extra-curricular clubs (such as football, netball, drama, sewing, etc) will not be taking place as we do not have the staff to run them. If we can do some at lunchtimes we will.

This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.


We are still able to answer your queries in school but there may not be anyone on the phones at certain times and it may take longer to get back to you as we are all preparing to do many extra jobs to make sure we can stay open.


Thank you again for your continued support, we will be in touch with more information when we can.





Dear Parents/Carers,


You may have seen that the government finally released the key workers list during the night so my apologies on their behalf for the late notice of this communication, I would have loved to have done it earlier to save everyone a lot of stress! The Secretary of State for Education stated that the government’s intention was for somewhere in the region of 10% of pupils to continue to have access to school if necessary and it is extremely important to follow the key principle that if children can be at home then they should be. If everyone sends their children in to school as normal, and we have high pupil numbers, then we simply will not be able to provide a safe environment with our reduced workforce and will be forced to close, whereby the provision designed for those most in need will cease completely.


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.


That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.


It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But 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 vulnerable individuals in wider society.


Please, therefore, follow these key principles:


  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.


If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:


If you fit into the categories below and you are intending to send your child in to school next week please follow the link at the bottom of the page and fill out the form to let us know.


Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.


Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.


Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.


Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.


Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).


Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.



This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.


Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.


Link for form to send into school by 3pm today please and thank you!


We will be sending out a letter today to outline what will be happening for children that will be attending school next week and what will be happening for the vast majority of children who should be staying at home wherever possible.


Thank you for your continued support.


Mr Linfield

Key worker information

Unfortunately we have still not been updated by the government as to exactly who qualifies as key workers and whether or not it is both parents/carers in a 2 parent/carer family to secure a place at school.  We don’t want to make any assumptions or give out incorrect information so we continue to wait for the official release. Please keep an eye out for an email from us asking for your status when we finally get the information we require to plan for next week and beyond.



After School Clubs on Friday have been cancelled (Rugby, Dance, Code Club, Marathon Club).  After School Clubs will take place today (Thursday) unless notified otherwise (Year 5 & 6 Art Club, Boys & Girls Football Year 3 & 4, Year 3 & 4 Sewing Club, Year 3 & 4 Art Club, Year 5 & 6 Badminton, Year 5 & 6 Girls Football, Year 5 & 6 Sewing).


Conkers After School Club will remain open until further notice.


Chalkwell Hall Junior School will close until further notice at the end of the day on Friday 20th March. In line with the government’s announcement, we will be closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office today and we will update you as soon as we have this information.

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.

Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.

Please do not ring the office for information on the above points as they are very busy and that is all that we know at this moment in time, we will be in touch when we have been given more information by the government.

Kind regards,

Mr Linfield

Year 5 Braintree Visit Postponement

Unfortunately, today, we have received notification from Braintree Museum that they are cancelling school trips until further notice.


We will reschedule this trip for those concerned as soon as things return to normal.

4GW Information

I am writing to inform you that Mrs Weir will be absent for 14 days from school as she has taken the decision to self-isolate, along with her husband, as a precautionary measure in line with the guidance from the government.


We are fortunate that we are able to cover the class with existing staff who know the children well ensuring the least amount of disruption.

Coronavirus update


Currently, the advice we have from the DfE and Government is that we are to stay open.


We have had a number of questions from parents about absence so to clarify:


Children who need to stay off school because they are showing one of the two symptoms, or live with someone that is showing symptoms, will be recorded as authorised absence due to exceptional circumstances. Authorised absence will also be granted for other medical conditions that are listed in the vulnerable groups as advised by the government. Please read this link for details:


The new guidance ( advises to stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly


Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital and you do not need to contact 111. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.


How long to stay at home:

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms


If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.


We have had, and continue to have, families in self-isolation as a precautionary measure and we have had no confirmed cases up to this point. The situation changes every day and we will update our plans in line with the advice and instructions we are given from the government.


For children who need to be off school in line with the guidance above, there is a pack of work on the website in the homework section, please follow this link:


We will update families if and when necessary as the situation changes.


Thank you for your continued support.