22nd October 2020

As there won’t be a newsletter this week, here are a few updates for you.

During half term, if your child or anyone in your household develops Covid symptoms or goes for a test, please inform us via office@hempland.pmat.academy.

Have a look at what has been happening this week in school: 22.10.20 Happening this week


We just wanted to say thank you to all children, parents and staff at Hempland primary for facilitating such a great harvest collection. We absolutely do not take it for granted and especially this year amid the new rules and restrictions you will have been adapting to we are very touched that you went to such lengths to make this collection.

I have created a short video which could be shared with anyone you feel would appreciate seeing it as a small expression of our thanks. You can access this via this link:


We hope you all have a good week, and also can enjoy a restful  and (I am sure) much needed half term break next week.


Adam Raffell

Foodbank Manager

Reading Challenge

York Explore libraries are running a Viking themed reading challenge.  Details can be seen here: https://jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk/about/bloodaxe-book-challenge/

Team Points

Well done to all children who earned team points this term.  You’ve all shown what a wonderful contribution you can make to school every day.

The winning teams this half term are blue (Mary Ann Craven) for both KS1 and KS2.  As you will see below it was a close run contest.  You will notice more tokens in the KS2 tubes, but there are of course more children and classes in KS2 and Y1 have been absent from school for the last couple of weeks too – their efforts are just as valuable of course.

As a reward, all children in blue (Mary Ann Craven) team may come to school in non-uniform on Friday 6th November.

19th October 2020

As you may know, there has been an update on the wearing of face masks in primary schools.

Here is an extract from the guidance:

In primary schools where social distancing is not possible in indoor areas outside of classrooms between members of staff or visitors (for example, in staffrooms), head teachers will have the discretion to decide whether to ask staff or visitors to wear face coverings in these circumstances. Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

As a result of this, the following change will come into effect from Tuesday 20th October:

  • We recommend that you should wear a face covering when dropping off or collecting at the start and end of the day or visiting school for any other reason.

In addition to this, also from Tuesday 20th October:

  • All adults in school will wear face coverings in communal areas when social distancing is more difficult.
  • Staff will wear face coverings at the start and end of the day as children arrive and leave school.
  • At lunchtime any staff on duty will wear a face covering.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a face covering in communal areas.

16th October 2020

This week we have thinking about Ambition as our word of the week and it has been wonderful to see and hear about how aspirational our children are.

We have updated our recommended reading lists for each year group too this week.  These can be seen on the website in the Curriculum / Subjects / English page.

This week’s newsletter: Weekly News 06 16-10-20

This week’s ‘Happening This Week’: 16.10.20 Happening this week

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter: https://pathfinder.academy/news/

Letter from Wisepay about their recent issues: WP Letter

Information about Bootham School’s open morning: Bootham

9th October 2020

This week we have focussing on Opportunity as our word of the week and it has been great to see how the children have embraced this – taking opportunities to practise their times tables, develop their writing skills, or to be kind to others.

We have named our team points teams now – more details in the newsletter below.

This week’s newsletter: Weekly News 05 09-10-20

This week’s ‘Happening This Week’: 9.10.20 Happening this week

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter: https://pathfinder.academy/news/

Flowchart to use if your child is unwell: Should you send your child to school

2nd October 2020

It has been a lovely day in school today.  We have restarted our praise assemblies and it was an absolute pleasure to run these for the KS2 classes during the day – with separate assemblies for each bubble.  In these, I gave out certificates for children who had done some excellent work or shown an outstanding attitude this week and also to those who were shining examples of our ‘word of the week’ which this week has been respect. The children had some amazing ideas of how to be respectful and were attentive and polite throughout.  I know that Mrs Innes feels the same from the KS1 assemblies that she led too.

We have also started our team points system this week and have started filling the tubes in the halls with those from the classrooms – we will share a photo of these next week so you can see how it is going.  In three weeks time, we will award the team with the most points a non-uniform day as a prize for their efforts.  Next week we will also be announcing the names of the teams, following some splendid suggestions made by children and families across the school.

Once again, we are sharing the flowchart below with advice about when you should send your child to school if they are unwell.

We have also put together the plan for children who are absent due to Covid as mentioned last week.  This can be seen in this week’s newsletter.

This week’s newsletter: Weekly News 04 02-10-20

This week’s ‘Happening This Week’: 2.10.20 Happening this week

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter: https://pathfinder.academy/news/

Flowchart to use if your child is unwell: Should you send your child to school

25th September 2020

Once again I would like to thank you and the children for being so supportive and for doing all you can to work with us around the control measures for Covid.  We are looking at how we can improve systems and are looking to purchase some additional sinks for outside to speed up handwashing at all times of the day.  We are also adding paper towel dispensers to walls around school in order to reduce waste and stop the problem of them blowing around in the wind.

The flowchart is included again below with advice about when you should send your child to school.  Whilst our attendance is good at the moment, there is always room for improvement and we urge you to read the advice carefully about Covid symptoms and the difference between these and a regular cold.  Of course, if your child is unwell, they shouldn’t attend and you can always ask for advice should you need it.

We are finalising a plan for children who are absent due to Covid – self isolation for their own illness, that of someone in their household or someone they have been in close contact with and will send this out next week.

Although we have only been back for three weeks, Y6 parents will already be thinking about secondary school, with applications due next month.  We have created a page on the website to share information about transition – you can see this here.

Finally, thank you for supporting our ‘Virtual MacMillan Coffee Morning’.  We look forward to seeing your photos on Twitter or sent in via email for a display in school.  We have encouraged staff to take part too and will share photos of their creations next week too.

This week’s newsletter: Weekly News 03 25-09-20

This week’s ‘Happening This Week’: 25.9.20 Happening this week

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter: https://pathfinder.academy/news/

Flowchart to use if your child is unwell: Should you send your child to school

18th September 2020

There are a number of updates this week.

This week’s newsletter: Weekly News 02 18-09-20

This week’s ‘Happening This Week’: 18.9.20 Happening this week

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter: https://pathfinder.academy/news/

We have set up a page for information about transition to year seven: Y7 Transition Information

Flowchart to use if your child is unwell: Should you send your child to school

Welcome videos for each year group:

11th September 2020

Please see this week’s newsletter below:

Weekly News 01 11-09-20

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter can be seen here: https://pathfinder.academy/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Pathfinder-Weekly-Newsletter-11.09.20.pdf

Each year group have prepared their half termly curriculum overviews.  These can be seen here: https://hemplandprimary.co.uk/curriculum/curriculum-overviews/

We have received a letter for all Year Six families about secondary school admissions and open evenings.  This can be seen here:

Year 6 Letter

7th September 2020

Here is the final update before tomorrow’s return to school..  We are looking forward to seeing you back in the morning.  Please remember that only one adult should bring children to school and that you can’t enter the school premises.

Breakfast Club

This runs from 7.45.  Entrance will be clearly signposted to the double doors at the front of school.  Please use the buzzer / intercom to alert staff who will come to collect your child.  Parents can not enter the building.

After School Club

This runs till 5.00pm or 6.00pm depending on your booking.  Collection is as above for breakfast club drop off.

New Reception Starters Staggered Intake

Please note that for attendance at afternoon sessions, the back gate will be locked and entrance to school will only be via Whitby Avenue.

Early Years Wraparound Care

Children should be dropped off for this at the Early Years entrance at the front of school, unless they are also attending breakfast club.  Drop off time for morning wraparound is 8.40-9.00 and for afternoon sessions is 12.15-12.30.

All children attending this should bring a packed lunch.

This facility is now full and no more bookings can be taken.


Children who need regular medication available in school (eg inhalers or epipens) – these should be brought to school on Tuesday and can be handed to the class teacher who will store them.  A new medical form must be completed and returned to the school office for all children requiring this.  This form can be found here and should be emailed back to the office: Request to Administer Medicines

Please note that all medication, including inhalers must show the prescription label.

3rd September 2020

In response to some questions from parents, here are some further updates about next week’s return to school:

PE Kit should be brought to school and can be left here.  They will be sent home from time to time to be washed as would normally happen.

School bags – children may bring a small bag to carry reading book, water bottle, lunch box or snacks in.  No extra things should be brought to school and large rucksacks should be avoided.

Homework – whilst we stated that homework will be accessed through Google Classroom for KS2 children, we will of course support any families without access to a device and can provide printed copies as needed – please contact your child’s class teacher via the school office to request this if needed.

Children who need regular medication available in school (eg inhalers or epipens) – these should be brought to school on Tuesday and can be handed to the class teacher who will store them.  A new medical form must be completed and returned to the school office for all children requiring this.  This form can be found here and should be emailed back to the office: Request to Administer Medicines

Food and Snacks in school.  We have a number of children with serious allergies in school and as such we are now a nut free school, effective immediately.  This includes all snacks, packed lunches and includes actual nuts and nut products (eg Nutella, some cereal bars).  Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe.

Children’s birthdays – Children will not be able to bring sweets, cakes or other presents in to share on their birthday.  Instead, they can wear their own clothes (ie non-uniform) on their birthday as a special treat.  If their birthday falls on a weekend or in a holiday, they can wear non-uniform on the closest school day to this either before or after their birthday.

Keeping Safe Online.  We have had an email from North Yorkshire police with the following information:

We have had a concern reported to us of young people forming group chats on snapchat of people that they have befriended on Roblox, leading to verbal conversations with other people that they do not know – please can a message be sent to parents to encourage them to talk to their children about the internet. If parents are unsure on age limits for games and social medias they can find them on www.net-aware.org.uk

School lunches – the menu can be seen here: School Lunch Menu.  Please note that dates are missing from the menu but should read week one as the first row, followed by week two in the middle and week three at the bottom.  This then repeats from the top again.

September 2020

As we approach the last few days before returning to school, we thought it was important to highlight some details for the start of term as well as pointing you to this page once again which has details shared at the end of last term.

We are very much looking forward to seeing all children back in school from next Tuesday, 8th September and of course to welcoming the 60 new reception children, alongside others in older year groups who are new to the school.

Information for new reception starters

Return to School Information Y1 to Y6

Aerial Map HEM Sept 2020 EY KS1

Aerial Map HEM Sept 2020 KS2

Friday 17th July

As we get to the final day of the school year, we would normally be looking back to celebrate the past 12 months and saying goodbye to children and staff who are moving on.  We have enjoyed seeing year six in school today, giving them a chance to say their goodbyes.

As the term does come to and end we have a few more pieces of information to share about the return in September, which you can see below.  There may be further updates over the summer which will be posted here as needed.

You can also see my final weekly newsletter of the year, alongside the final Stars of the Week and examples of Good Work – in September this will look different as we will be able to celebrate this with children in person.

Weekly News 10 17-07-20

Stars of the Week 17-07-20

Good Work 06 17-07-20

Also included this week is a letter from the governing body about school leadership Governor’s Letter 17-07-20

Over the summer we will not be setting home learning and the Google Classrooms will be archived on Friday 24th July so children will no longer have access.  We will set up new ones for September.  There is the Pathfinder Summer Challenge for those of you looking for some things to keep your children occupied in the next few weeks.

Pathfinder Summer Challenge

The following is information about September:


Lunches will be staggered so that bubbles do not mix in the hall and to allow for cleaning times in between.  Children will get plenty of time to eat and play.


Sadly we cannot accept any volunteers into school till at least the end of September.


We will be using Google Classroom only for homework from Year Three to Year Six – physical books will no longer be used.  Children in Early Years, Years One and Two will have a system explained in September.  We will, of course, support any families who don’t have access to a suitable device for their child to do their homework.

Reading books & Reading Records

Children will still have reading books and reading records.  We are looking at a system for changing and issuing books on a consistent day of the week to allow time for cleaning or quarantining books.


We intend to offer as wide a curriculum as possible from September.  There will be time spent catching up on missed learning, but children also need a broad and balanced curriculum to thrive.

We will have an increased focus on wellbeing and the PSHE curriculum.

Entering and exiting the site

The maps below set out where children will enter and leave classrooms.  They will be directed to hand wash stations on entry to school.  You can use either the front or back gate to come to school and should make the most of the lengthened start and end times to get children into school and collect at the end of the day.  Classes will have story time at the end of the day so will be ready to leave when you collect them – staff will send children to you when they see you are waiting.

Aerial Map HEM Sept 2020 EY KS1

Aerial Map HEM Sept 2020 KS2

This week’s Pathfinder newsletter

Our risk assessment can be seen here on the Pathfinder website.

Tuesday 14th July

As we approach the final few days of the summer term, there is a lot of planning and preparation going into September when we expect to be able to welcome all children back to school in all classes.  We are working on risk assessments and relevant planning both as a school and as part of Pathfinder trust to ensure the safest return possible.

I’d like to set out below some of the key elements that we are working on now.  Please bear in mind that the guidance from the government does change from time to time and there may be further updates while we are closed for the summer.  Everything set out here is subject to change – we will follow government and local updates over the summer and send out anything relevant during the holiday.

This is not an exhaustive list and we will write to you again by the end of the week with any further updates.

Who will be back at school in September?

We are expecting all children back from Tuesday 8th September (Monday 7th is a staff training day).  Children will be able to come to school 5 days a week.


We expect all children to be back at school and will monitor attendance.  Our approach to managing attendance will be to work with you to ensure good attendance – we don’t intend to issue fines for non-attendance any more than we do now.

The school day

We will be extending the opening and closing of school to try and support social distancing.

Start of the day

Classroom doors will be open from 8.30am-9.00am at the start of the day

End of the day

Early Years and KS1 2.45pm-3.05pm

Years Three, Four and Five 2.55pm-3.15pm

Year Six 3.15pm

Children can be dropped off at and collected from school during this window at each end of the day.

We ask that you and your children don’t arrive earlier than these times and don’t remain on site any longer than you need to in order to help the flow round school to be a steady one.

Children in years five and six may come to school unaccompanied as usual, all other children should be brought to school by one adult only.

How children will be grouped

Children will be in their own class with their own class teacher.  We will be using bubbles for break, lunch and sharing resources.  Our bubbles will be as follows:

  • Reception & Year One
  • Year Two
  • Year Three & Class BDTC (Year Four – Mrs Dean and Mrs Campbell)
  • Year Five & Class GD (Mr Dyer – Year Four)
  • Year Six

Most of the time, children will stay in their own classroom but we will need to mix sometimes and this gives us the flexibility to do this.

How classrooms will be organised

Reception and Year One children will have some tables in the classroom but will learn through a mixture of areas of provision and in small groups, sometimes with a teacher or teaching assistant.

Year two children will, where possible be seated facing the front of the room.

Year three and older children will be seated facing the front of the room.

Outdoor Provision

Bubbles will have access to shared outdoor space and will use this at break and lunchtimes and throughout the day.

Uniform and Equipment

We expect all children to wear correct school uniform, including PE kit.

Children must not bring pencil cases or other equipment to school.

Children walking to school alone may bring a mobile phone but they must switch it off when entering the school grounds and hand it to the teacher on entry to the classroom.

Water bottles should be brought to school as usual and taken home daily to be washed.

We will not maintain a lost property box.  Unnamed items will no longer be stored in school.

Parents in school

Unfortunately we cannot let parents come into school other than by prior appointment (eg for a meeting with the SENDCO).  For general queries, please phone or email the office.

Parents will not be able to talk to the teacher at the classroom door at the start or end of the day – all queries will need to come through the school office by phone or email.

Bikes and scooters

Children may come to school on a bike or scooter and park them in the racks.

Hygiene Requirements

Handwashing will be a big feature of the school day – with handwashing before entry to school and regularly throughout the day.

We will follow the ‘Catch it, Kill it, Bin it’ routine with tissues being available in all classrooms.

All children should wash their hands before leaving the house each day.


We will continue with the enhanced cleaning regime we have in place now.

Social distancing

Staff will be encouraged to keep socially distant from each other and from children where possible.  We will, however, support and comfort children if we need to.

Friday 10th July

Please see this week’s newsletter and examples of good work:

Weekly News 09 10-07-20

Good Work 05 10-07-20

Stars of the Week 10-07-20

Pathfinder Google Meet Protocol

Pathfinder Parent Update

Home Learning

Next week’s home learning will be live on the website later and can be seen on the Home Learning page.  A reminder that this is the final week of home learning.

Friday 3rd July

It has been another busy week in school.  We have started to look through the new guidance, published yesterday, about September and will write to you again here in the coming days and weeks about these plans.  There is a letter from Pathfinder here about this: Returning to school in September

We are working on some ‘non-Covid’ parts of school life at the moment too – such as welcome packs for new starters, leavers plans, after school provision, reorganising and refurbishing some parts of the school, end of year reports and allocation of staffing from September.  I will continue to give more details on this page over the coming days about each of these aspects of school.

After School Club

Thank you for completing the short survey about after school provision.  The results were very positive meaning we can push ahead with these plans.  For more information, please see the new Out of School Club section of the website.  It is important to highlight here that these plans are not a replacement for Hempland Kids Club or any other local providers who we will continue to work alongside and support, it is to add extra capacity to meet high demand for childcare.

My weekly newsletter, stars of the week, good work can all be seen here:

Weekly News 08 03-07-20

Stars of the Week 03-07-20

Good Work 04 03-07-20

Year Six

Year Six parents – please see the following letter about a planned Y6 Picnic

Home Learning

Next week’s home learning is now live on the website and can be seen on the Home Learning page.

Friday 26th June

It has been another busy week in school and we have been enjoying the sunshine with the children.  There are many excellent examples of home learning once again – well done to everyone for this.

Here you can read this week’s newsletter from myself and from Pathfinder as well as a parent update on the situation in schools over the next few weeks and the summer.

The key message in this to note is that we will be closing on Friday 17th July, at the end of term, to all children – including vulnerable children and those of key workers.  We will make plans for September when the guidance is released by the government.  The current set up in school will not be changing before the end of term and we will continue to provide places for key workers, vulnerable children and the reception and year one bubbles.

Weekly News 07 26-06-20

Stars of the Week 26-06-20

Good Work 03 26-06-20

Pathfinder Weekly Newsletter 26.06.20

Parent Update 26 June 2020

Next week’s home learning is now live on the website and can be seen on the Home Learning page.

Friday 19th June

The weekly newsletter can be seen here, along with a revised aerial plan of the school, a letter from City of York council and the work of the week.

Weekly News 06 19-06-20

Aerial Map HEM v2

Good Work 02 19-06-20

City of York Statement

We are swapping the rooms that two of our bubbles use from Monday.   Our reception, year one and year two key worker group will now be in Mr Dyer’s classroom and the years three and four key worker bubble will be in the small hall – this is to accommodate slightly larger numbers in the older group as the hall can take more children than the classroom.

The good work this week shows an excellent array of learning going on at home – including writing, maths, model making, artwork and more.

Well done everyone who is managing to get some home learning done – I hope the new timetables continue to be useful to you.

Have a good weekend and stay safe.

Tuesday 16th June

Contacting Staff

I am delighted to see a lot more interaction between staff and parents in the last couple of weeks.  I hope this is proving useful for you all as well – I know that staff are really enjoying talking to the children and yourselves.

We are introducing a protocol now for emails so that you know what to expect from staff in terms of responses.  We recognise that everyone has a different work pattern and that for many people working in the evening or sending emails after children have gone to bed is appropriate.  In order to make this clear for everyone:

  • Emails sent to school or to staff after 5.00pm will be responded to the following working day, not the same evening.
  • Some staff do not work every day so it could be slightly longer in these cases.
  • For urgent queries, please email office@hempland.pmat.academy

Thank you for your support.

Friday 12th June

The weather has been pretty gloomy this week, but it hasn’t dampened our spirits at all.  We have had a great week in school, with lots of fun activities and learning taking place every day.  The children have once again come in very positively and staff have really enjoyed being in school with their bubbles again this week.

Home learning seems to be going down well, with the changes we have made being well received.  I have enjoyed looking at some of the work and especially today at the examples of great work sent to me by the teachers and shared with you below.

Each week we will be highlighting the work of some of the children in each class through our ‘stars of the week’ and ‘work of the week’ pages.  We are very proud of the children at Hempland Primary and are really pleased to be able to share some examples of their home learning and the things they are doing in school.

You can read the latest newsletter here: Weekly News 05 12-06-20

Our Work of the Week can be seen here: Work of the Week 12-06-20

The list of our stars of the week can be seen here as well as in the newsletter: Stars of the Week 12-06-20.

You will see their names when you open up the link above, but I would like to personally send my own congratulations to our stars for their extra special efforts this week and I look forward to seeing and sharing even more great examples next week.

As promised, timetables for next week’s home learning have already been uploaded to help you plan ahead.  You can find these on our home learning page.

Wednesday 10th June

As we reach the half way point of the week, it is lovely to see the children who are coming into school smiling and happy to do so.  The staff are all really positive about their days with the children – it’s what we all want after all.

You will have seen or heard the latest government announcements yesterday about school.  It will take some time for us to look at the detail, when any new guidance is published – which to date it hasn’t been – and we will of course keep you updated with any plans for September.

Home learning feedback has been excellent so far and staff have really enjoyed talking to the children and parents on the phone too.  We have listened to feedback and to make things easier for you moving forward we will make two changes next week:

  • Timetables will be uploaded to the website Friday early evening so that you can look through them before Monday and start to plan the week ahead.
  • Work scheduled will appear on Google Classroom  the evening before so that you can look through it in advance of your children logging on if this helps you prepare the day.

Monday 8th June

Reception and year one parents – please see attached a letter about school capacity.

School Capacity

Friday 5th June

The first week back has gone very well; children skipping down the path to school has been an absolute delight to see.  Staff have been very happy to have children back in school and it is great to hear music playing, games being played and the sounds of laughter in the building.

As promised, we have been reviewing home learning and have some changes in place from next week.  Rather than detail them all here in a very long post, there are a few attachments to read which explain all the work that has been going on.

Whilst we are pleased with the new systems, we recognise that there may be teething troubles which we will need to iron out in the comings days.  The staff have worked incredibly hard to change to a new system in just a couple of days so please bear with us while this changes over.

Our main aims of the changes have been to provide consistency and simplicity of systems alongside provision of a structured working day for all children.

You can see the letters below:

An overview an explanation of the changes: Parent letter about home learning 05-06-20

A guide to logging in and how to use Google Classroom: Parent Guide to Google Classroom

A guide to Uploading photos or videos as some tasks may require this for the children’s work.

Wednesday 3rd June

The rain hasn’t dampened our spirits today – we have had children from key worker families in school doing some great activities in school.

We have had some good discussions in school this afternoon (via a virtual staff meeting) about home learning and are working on some changes which you will see in place very soon.  I will share some information and help guides on this page in the coming days.  We will be streamlining systems to make things clearer to parents and children and will be setting out our key principles for home learning.

One of the first changes we are making is that I have asked all staff to make telephone contact with each child in their class every week.  They will be ringing during the school day and can talk to you and your child about how home learning is going, what more support they might need and how they are feeling about being at home all the time.  This regular contact will hopefully give you a chance to share some successes and say where you need more help with a particular piece of work or subject area.

Two reminders for today:

  1. For key worker families – if you book a place and no longer need it on a certain day, please contact the school office to let us know.
  2. Please ensure children bring things in packed lunches from home that they can open themselves.  It is hard to help children with this and still maintain social distancing.

Tuesday 2nd June

It was lovely to see more children back in school today, we were all really pleased to see them all again.  I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for sticking to the social distancing requirements – the children were great at handwashing, lining up and waiting their turn, even during our fire drill that we had this morning.

Just to clarify lunches as we have had a few questions about them:

  • All children in reception and year one are entitled to a free lunch.
  • Lunches provided are cold, packed lunches with a choice of sandwich filling, a piece of fruit and a biscuit.
  • Lunches should be ordered by 9am Monday morning for the week ahead (whichever days your child comes in) – you can do this by phoning or emailing the school office.
  • Children not entitled to a free lunch may also order in the same way and these can be paid for in the usual way.
  • Children may bring a packed lunch from home if they prefer.

Home Learning

We have been conducting a review of home learning and will be discussing this at a staff meeting tomorrow afternoon.  Look out for more information about some changes coming from next week in the next few days.

Monday 1st June

All staff have been into school today having an induction into the new systems, walking round the site to be clear on entrances and exits and discussing all things health and safety as well as planning for the children in reception and year one to be back from tomorrow.

I have sent out information in the posts below about our health and safety planning and the key measures in place.  Please see here the key messages:

  • All children must be accompanied to school by an adult – this adult should supervise hand washing at the outdoor stations and wait until the child goes into school before leaving.
  • Please follow all social distancing signs and instructions round school.
  • Please use this map to ensure you use the correct entrance and route around school. Aerial Map
  • Please arrive at the correct time as indicated on the map.
  • Please use the specified entrance only.
  • Key workers can arrive for breakfast club between 8.00am and 8.20am – please make sure you book these places with the school office in advance.  Otherwise, they should arrive at 8.45am at the specified door as per the map above.
  • Children should only bring the following items to school:
    • Packed lunch (unless a school packed lunch has been ordered)
    • Sun hat
    • Sun cream (if can apply it themselves)
    • Inhaler (ideally in a zipped bag)
    • Chromebook and charger (Y5 & Y6 children if borrowed a school device)
  • There is no access to bike storage at school.
  • All other equipment and resources will be provided by school
  • Any work children do at school can be brought home at the end of the day but cannot then be returned to school
  • Children will work in their bubble with their staff all day, with time inside and outside to learn and play.
  • If your child or anyone in the household has symptoms of Covid-19, they must not come to school and should be tested as soon as possible.

Thursday 28th May

Today’s update is a short one again to tell you that we are almost there now.  We have had 2m social distance markings put outside school and have made signs and posters to help you navigate your way round next week.  There will be staff at the entrances to help you as well.  The hand wash stations are unpacked and ready to go and we have all the equipment we need to keep rooms clean and safe.

The line markings and signs round school look like this:

On Monday we will be open to those key workers who have booked places with us already.  Staff will be in school having orientation and training on all aspects of health and safety as well as talking about the kind of things they will do with the children in school from next week.

A couple of other key reminders:

  • If the weather stays sunny and warm, we recommend sun cream – this must be applied before children come into school as we cannot help with this.  Children should also bring a sun hat to school on sunny days.
  • Children don’t need to wear school uniform.
  • Children should not bring any equipment with them to school, other than a packed lunch and water bottle (and sun hat if needed).
  • If your child is unwell and displaying symptoms of Covid-19, they should not come to school.  Tests can be accessed for anyone over the age of 5 – we can help you with this if you need it, please contact the school office should this be the case.
  • Timings have been sent out and should be adhered to in order to minimise people arriving and leaving the site at any one time.  If you are running late, please call the school office to arrange a suitable time to arrive.

If I have any further information or updates I will post them here at the weekend.

Finally, a huge thank you to the brilliant staff team at Hempland who have worked tirelessly all week to get this right.  I am very proud to be involved with the school and am looking forward to moving forward with the team.

Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine.

Thursday 28th May

I hope you are managing to enjoy some of the weather on this lovely sunny day.

Our work has continued today to prepare safe spaces in school.

Following yesterday’s quite lengthy update, today is a very short one.  Attached here is a return to school guide which provides useful key information for you and your children ahead of next week.  A reminder also that a map and more detailed guidance can be found under yesterday’s update.

Returning to School – Guide for Parents

I will post a further update tomorrow about our plans for next week.

Wednesday 27th May

It has been another busy day in school, with lots of staff coming in to help prepare rooms and outside spaces for children to use.  We have been marking areas in classroom as ‘teacher zones’ so that children and teachers know where to stand or sit in order to stay safe.  Tables and chairs have been set out 2m apart and resources prepared for use that can be easily wiped or washed clean after use.

We have had a delivery of PPE and cleaning equipment today along with three hand wash stations that will be placed outside in key areas to enable children to wash their hands before entering school and also at break and lunchtime and during outdoor sessions.

Attached here is a document with many more details about the return to school and a map detailing entry and exit points for all children and parents, along with start and end times for each group and details of which adults will be leading each group.

Parent Letter Detailed Plans 27-05-20

Aerial Map

These are some key messages below that you may want to share with your children to help with their return to school confidently next week.  We considered sharing some photos of the rooms as we prepare them but feel on balance that it is better to show the children in person and explain and talk through the changes – a photograph won’t tell the whole story and could end up looking worse than it really is.

  • We are looking forward to seeing you back in school next week.
  • You will be in a class with other children that you know and teachers or teaching assistants that you know – although it might not be your own teacher or teaching assistant if they are working with another group.
  • School won’t look the same as it did before we closed but we are working hard to make it still be a fun place to learn.
  • Some of the tables and chairs have been taken out of classrooms to make more space for us all to learn and help keep everyone safe.
  • We have put some colourful tape on the floor so you can see where to go in the classroom.
  • Some equipment and toys have been moved but we are setting up boxes of exciting things to do when you are in school.
  • Your group will stay together all day, playing outside and inside together as well as having lessons from the teachers.
  • You will have lunch in your classroom or outside if the weather is nice.
  • We will remind you lots of times in the day to wash your hands and make sure you can do this properly.  We might even learn some songs to help us remember how to do this.
  • You don’t need to wear school uniform or bring anything with you from home apart from a water bottle – we will give you everything else that you need.
  • We want you to come back to school happy and ready to learn but know that you might be a bit worried about it.  Everyone will feel the same and we will help you to settle back in again.

Finally for today, a reminder of our three over-arching priorities at the moment:

1. Ensuring that school is as safe as possible for children, parents and staff.

This has been the major focus of our work in the past week, creating safe spaces to learn and work.

2. Planning for the wider opening of school

We are almost ready for this now and once we have had all staff in school on Monday to look at walk through the health and safety requirements we will be ready to go.

3. Home learning

This is now going to be the priority moving forward.  As the majority of children will be remaining at home for some time yet, I will be looking at how we refresh home learning in order to maximise engagement and learning opportunities for all children.

Tuesday 26th May

Today we have been working on risk assessments, preparing to clear and set up classroom spaces for the return to school next week of more children and organising logistics of groups.

We have taken the difficult decision that we can’t accommodate year six children at this stage because of the restrictions on the number of children we can fit in one room with social distancing and the fact that we simply don’t have enough staff to run this safely.  As per the government guidelines we need to prioritise the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable first, followed by reception, then year one and then year six.  I am sure children and parents will find this disappointed and we are also feeling the same, but the priority remains safety at all times.

We have contacted parents of children who requested places from 1st June in reception and year one with details on which days their children can return from next week.

A reminder that we are closed on Monday 1st June to all but the children of key workers and will start admitting reception and year one from Tuesday 2nd June.

I will write again tomorrow with more details – including which room your children will be based in and with which members of staff, how to enter the school site and other safety measures we have in place.

Please also see Keeping our Schools Safe to staying safe and the planning that is taking place to prepare for next week.

Friday 22nd May

I said yesterday that I would write again today with more details for the return to school of some pupils.  We are not quite ready for this as we are still working on risk assessments and grouping children so this will now come out at the start of next week – after the bank holiday weekend.

A few key questions that I know parents have been asking:

  1. Lunches – these will be cold lunches only, provided for reception and year one pupils at no cost (as usually happens).  Year six pupils can purchase a packed lunch in the usual way, payment must be made online – no cash will be accepted.  Children may choose to bring a packed lunch instead.
  2. Uniform – children are not expected to wear uniform.  I know that lots of children will have grown out of their clothes or school shoes so may wear their own clothes.
  3. Groups and days – we will be allocating children to groups taking into account friendships.  Groups will be as small as possible but may not be in the children’s usual classroom or with their usual teacher.
  4. Start and end times – we will publish information next week on the start and end time for each child’s group along with details of which entrance children should use to enter and leave school each day.
  5. Other equipment – children must not bring any additional equipment to school – this includes PE kit, pencil cases, mobile phones, book bags or backpacks.  We need to restrict the amount of items brought into school from home

I will provide further information next week.

To avoid repetition, the latest update from Pathfinder details all the work that has been going on and continues in school through next week.  This update can be seen here: https://pathfinder.academy/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Parent-Update-22-May-2020.pdf

Next week would have been half term.  We remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers at this time.  I’d like to wish you all a safe and peaceful weekend.  The next update will be on Tuesday 26th May.

Thursday 21st May

Our number one priority at this time remains the safety and wellbeing of all pupils and staff at school as well as the wider families of everyone involved in school.  All of our planning and risk assessment is based on the premise that we can bring more children back to school as safely as possible and following local and national guidelines.

Many thanks to those of you with children in reception, year one and year six who you completed the survey indicating whether you were sending your child back to school.  We now know the numbers that will be in so will be sorting out the finer details over the next couple of days. If you have not made contact with us regarding a place, we have assumed that you do not want one. Should you change your mind after this date, please contact school. Please note that we will need at least 7 days notice to arrange this, so that we can prepare the classrooms, organise staffing and ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.  We will not be able to accept any parent or child that turns up without being booked on and having received confirmation from school.

What if I don’t want to send my child back?

It is absolutely fine if you have decided that you do not want your child in school at this time. The home learning we have in place will continue and your child’s teacher will still be responding to their work, although you will appreciate that they are in school some of the time so might not be responding immediately. We are continuing to look at how we can develop home learning and will keep doing so over the coming days and weeks.

What about children in Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5?

For those of you with children in other year groups, home learning will also continue. During the course of the week all staff will be in school working with small groups of children from reception, year one and year 6 so again there may not be immediate responses to questions and to work done, but we will respond to all messages and make contact with all children over the coming weeks.

What happens next if I said I want to send my child back?

If you have decided to send your child back to school, please find below further information about how we are beginning to organise this. You will understand that we are having to make changes to the way we come and go from school as well as the way we learn both in and out of the classroom. I am sure that you will support us with these changes which will become clearer in the next few days.

We will write to you tomorrow with more information about which days your child will be in school – Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. As I am sure you will understand, we are unable to accommodate individual requests from parents as to which days they will be in, although we have of course considered siblings and friendships when grouping children.

Coming to and leaving school

We will be having a staggered start and end to the day and we may be asking you to come in to school at a different time of day than usual. We are looking next week at systems for moving round school and will be marking out using spray paint lines and cones to make this clear to everyone and to aid social distancing. It is vital that everyone sticks to the timings given for their child to be in school. If you are late we may not be able to accommodate you that day. If you have more than one child to bring to school we may contact you individually to make separate plans. It is also important that only one adult accompanies their child on to the school premises and other siblings stay at home where possible.

What next?

We will be contacting parents very soon with more specific details for their child. We know that you may still have concerns and questions and we hope that we can answer as many of these as we can.

What about key workers?

Provision for children of key workers has not changed.  Places can be booked by contacting the school via phone or email.  Places are available across the whole week.  This will be a ‘bubble’ in itself, with mixed age groups – including some children who are in reception, year one and year six (if they need to come more than two days as outlined above).  There will be consistent staff with these children and they will have access to learning and teaching based on either their home learning or on what their peers are doing in the classes attending school.


School will look and feel very different to normal. However, we will all do our best to make your child feel happy and settled. They will be taught and be learning during the day but this won’t look and feel like a normal day and may not be with your child’s usual class teacher – class teachers will be supporting and leading planning for this learning.

Take care and stay safe.

Wednesday 20th May

Thank you to everyone who has a child in Reception, Year One and Year Six who has filled in the survey so far.  We have 109 response so far, with 71 still to come in – we need these responses back as soon as possible so we can finalise the plans and then contact you again with more information about what happens next.  Thank you also for the positive comments we have received about communication – we are absolutely committed to getting this right and will be open and transparent with you throughout this process.

I have had a number of meetings today to start planning, including a whole staff ‘Zoom’ meeting where we discussed the information I shared with you all yesterday.  Staff are keen to get into school and to see the children again and are dedicated to getting this right for everyone – keeping safety as our number one priority.  We discussed home learning and how this will work when some children return to school and I want to be clear that there needs to be a continuation of provision for those children who remain at home – whichever year group they are in – and also for the days when the children who are returning aren’t in school.

For those parents who are key workers – please also complete the survey but also continue to book places on the days you need via the school office by phone or email.

If you haven’t yet completed the survey, it can be found here:


Tuesday 19th May

There is a lot of information to share today.  To see the latest information there are three documents to look at:

  1. A school update with more details of what the return to school will look like for children in reception, Year One and Year Six: Parent Letter 19-05-20 Outline Plans
  2. A Pathfinder update about the return to school: ParentLetterYork_19May final Primary
  3. A leaflet providing some visual guidance to questions you may have: Leaflet_YSAB

Alongside these, there is a short survey for parents with children in reception, Year One and Year Six to complete: https://forms.gle/c4n2q9qksWwC26Yr8

Thank you for your continued support and patience at this difficult time.  I will continue to provide further updates with more details as soon as we have

Monday 18th May

I hope you all managed to have a good weekend and had a chance to relax.  I apologise for any rain you may have had – I got the barbecue out and the sky darkened over my village, although it didn’t put me off!

There is still much speculation and debate about the re-opening of schools and I want to keep sharing our position and the work we are doing at Hempland to prepare for this.  I will be able to add more detail in the next 24 hours once key discussions with other schools in the city have taken place – it is a testament to the passion of leaders across York that we are working together so closely to provide clarity and consistency and I thank you for your patience – we want to get this right and not rush out mixed messages.

Once again I address our three key areas:

1. Ensuring that school is as safe as possible for children, parents and staff.

Our overarching priority is to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the school.  We have been developing a comprehensive approach, both as an individual  school and as part of the trust, to this aspect and will share these with you prior to the children returning to school.  This is a vital part of our planning.  We want you to have the confidence that we are planning for more children to be in school, following local and national guidelines for safety, cleaning and protocols.

2. Planning for the wider opening of school

We are firming up plans locally to re-introduce children to school and will be sharing these plans with you over the next 24 hours or so alongside the information on health and safety considerations in order to give you a clear picture of next steps.  Our plans will continue to evolve as the situation develops and we will keep you fully informed about any new developments.  We want to ensure our plans can be scaled up to meet any changes in local or national policy to minimise disruption to the children.

3. Home learning

We are almost at the point of setting out our key principles for home learning that are being developed across the trust and in tandem with the return to school of more pupils.  There has been a lot of positive feedback about this work, but I also recognise that some of you are finding this more difficult and we want to support you, and importantly your children, as best we can so are reviewing this provision to take all of this into account.

Friday 15th May

As we reach the end of another week, I would once again like to reassure you that we remain absolutely committed to the priority of making sure school is safe place for everyone.  I provide our latest updates here alongside warmest wishes to you all for a safe and relaxing weekend.

As mentioned previously, we are working towards the potential re-opening of school to more children from 1st June.  We are focussing in particular on these areas:

1. Ensuring that school is as safe as possible for children, parents and staff.

We are working with the estates manager at the MAT to confirm maximum safe numbers for different areas of the school and work out the best way to manage social distancing for drop off and pick up from school as well as during the school day.

We are getting extra cleaning materials and equipment as well as signage to increase facilities for and awareness of handwashing.

2. Planning for the return of Reception, Year One and Year Six children

I will give more details at the start of next week of our planning for this.  We are working tirelessly with safety as our number one priority.

3. Continuing to provide resources for home learning for those children who aren’t coming back in June.

This is a big area of focus for me.  I want to make sure we are getting this right and see how it can evolve from the initial set up we put in place to providing the best support we can.  This will take some time and has to run parallel to plans for re-opening for more children.  Thank you for your patience and support with this.

We are working closely with other schools in York to get a consistent approach so we can get the very best for our children.

Remember at this time that we remain open for children of key workers and if you have alternative to keeping your children at home.  To book a place, contact school in the usual way:

• Call the school on 01904 555495
• Email office@hempland.pmat.academy

The weekly newsletter  is available on the website and can be read here: Weekly News 04 15-05-20

The latest updates from Pathfinder MAT can be seen here: https://pathfinder.academy/2072/coronavirus-information-and-advice/

Thursday 14th May

We are continuing to work on our planning for the potential re-opening of school on 1st June to some children. Our key areas of focus are:

1. Ensuring that school is as safe as possible for children, parents and staff.

We will be carrying out risk assessments of the school – both inside and outside.

We are enhancing our cleaning regime and providing more equipment and resources – such as for handwashing, cleaning surfaces regularly during the day and measuring classrooms to see how many children can safely be accommodated in them whilst maintaining social distancing.

We will be setting up systems for example around the safe drop off and pick up of a larger number of children.

Safety is our top priority at all times.

2. Planning for the return of Reception, Year One and Year Six children

Looking at what we can provide for children who return to school. It will be a very different experience to that which they have had prior to school closures, but we need to make sure it is meaningful and supportive.

3. Continuing to provide resources for home learning for those children who aren’t coming back in June.

We are reviewing systems for other year groups and for those in Reception, Y1 and Y6 who don’t return on 1st June so that we can still provide support online or in hard copies.

We will continue to follow national guidance and to be transparent with staff and parents as we move forward.

Read the latest Pathfinder update here: Parent Update 14 May 2020

Wednesday 13th May

There are now a large number of documents available regarding the potential re-opening of schools on 1st June.  Here are the links to the most recent and relevant documents:

Covid 19 government recovery strategy


Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020


Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers


We are continuing to work on a strategy to ensure that the school is as safe as possible and that any return to school is well managed and provides a meaningful experience for the children as well as maintaining and developing the online learning offer for the children staying at home.

We will continue to follow national guidance and to be transparent with staff and parents as we move forward.

We know that some people will have real anxieties about this situation and will continue to do everything we can to alleviate these.

Headteacher Update – Tuesday 12th May

We are busy looking at the guidance from the government which was released yesterday about the potential re-opening of schools to some pupils on 1st June.  As we work through the plans, we will provide further updates.  Please be assured that safety of pupils, parents and staff remains our number one priority.

For now, the usual conditions for school places apply – we are open for children of key workers if you can’t work from home.  Bookings can be made by phoning the school or emailing office@hempland.pmat.academy

Pathfinder Update 12th May – can be read here: Parent Update 12 May 2020

For further information and guidance, please see the Pathfinder website: https://pathfinder.academy/2072/coronavirus-information-and-advice/

Support for families

As this crisis continues, we are very aware that there are many families who may be struggling for different reasons.  This can be financially, emotionally, practically or for many other reasons.  If you are in need of support, please remember you can get in touch with us at any time, we may be able to help.

City of York Council have information and support available via their website https://www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus

For an easy way to check your eligibility for free school meals use this website https://www.york.gov.uk/free-school-meals/apply-free-school-meals/1

Citizens Advice York have support available via telephone.  They can be contacted on 03444 111 444
Lines are open Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm

Headteacher Update – Monday 11th May

Pathfinder Weekly Newsletter – can be read here: Pathfinder Weekly Newsletter 11.05.20

Read yesterday’s Headteacher update: Parent Update 11-05-20