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Covid communications

Below you can find the regular bulletins from the Head of School to parents and carers during the Covid pandemic in 2021.


saturday 27 february 2021 

Dear parents and carers,

covid testing

Thank you to all the parents who have already returned the consent form for the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests.  If you would like to give consent for your child, please complete the online consent form here before 1pm on Monday 1st March.


Phased Return to School

Our testing programme begins on Monday 8th March and the students will follow a phased return to school during that week:

  • We will communicate the time your child needs to arrive for their LFD test next week.
  • Provision for key worker and vulnerable students will continue during this week.  Students in this group with consent will be tested with their year group and subsequently join their year group for face to face teaching.
  • If you do not give consent for your child to be tested, they should return to school for face-to-face lessons with their year group.
  • Students will receive their second and third LFD tests during school time after 11th March.  After this, we will transfer to providing home testing kits.
  • Period 6 and Period 0 for Y11 and Y13 students continue to be suspended.
  • On the face-to-face teaching days, students should arrive at school between 9.15 and 9.30 am.
  • Y7 and Y8 students will be dismissed between 3.05pm and 3.15 pm.  All other students will be dismissed at 3.15pm.
  • Please note that you need to complete one form per child.
  • Please also note that this is a new consent agreement so, even if you have filled one in before, you need to fill in this one too.

We will communicate further with students and their families next week to remind everyone about our school routines and expectations (and also to explain some minor changes)  and to give more detail about the LFD testing process in so students know what to expect.


School Meals from 8th March

We have made short-term decision to provide ‘grab bags’ only for our school meals.  A ‘grab bag’ consists of a healthy choice of lunch items that are pre-ordered by the students in the morning.  The measure is to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (both for students and supervising staff) in the queue for hot food.  We will review this decision at the end of term.


Silverdale PTA

Silverdale School's PTA (Parent and Teachers' Association) is eager to welcome new members. If you would like to take part in this important part of the school community please register your interest using the online form here. For more information, please email Mr Jones at:


Assessed Grades Summer 2021

We are pleased to share with you the Department for Education plans for assessed grades this summer. The key message is that Y11 and Y13 students will receive grades awarded and determined by your teachers, you will only be assessed on what you have been taught.  

Further details of these plans can be found on the government website here. 


PSHE Curriculum Update

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the DfE has postponed the full implementation of the new statutory requirements surrounding RSE (Relationships and sex education) and health education. As a result of this, in conjunction with the restrictions surrounding social distancing, we have chosen to delay the mandatory parental consultation with regards to the new curriculum. We anticipate that this will now occur in the summer term and will provide you with additional information as soon as possible. 

Best wishes,

Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School

tuesday 16 february 2021

Dear parents/carers,

Thank you for all your support over a very unusual half term.  We are pleased that numbers of students attending their remote lessons have remained high and are very proud of our students’ commitment to their learning.  Even when students are ‘present’ online, we are aware it is challenging to keep up their concentration throughout the day and remain engaged.  We are working on methods to check our students’ understanding through a range of methods and hence make the lessons interactive. 


Half Term Activities

Please join us in encouraging all our students to have a break over half term.  If you are looking for ideas for entertainment, have a look at the suggestions on the dedicated page on our website at:

This includes a video from our Computer Science department about their Build-A-Bot Challenge. Plus free videos where you get to a learn a dance routine to one of the songs from Sheffield's own musical 'Everyone's talking about Jamie'. You might even like to try some of these out yourself!


Volunteers to assist with covid testing

When our students return to school, it is likely there will still be a recommendation to offer all students  ‘Lateral Flow’ Covid tests before they return.  We are looking for volunteers to help us with the testing programme for a few hours or days; the roles will either be around processing the tests or assisting with the registration process and training will be provided.  At present, we do not know any details of dates or capacity needed but we are asking for expressions of interest so we can start putting plans in place.  All volunteers will be required to complete a DBS application, and since this process can take a couple of weeks, we would like to start processing the DBS applications in preparation for re-opening.  If you would be willing to help with the testing and help to keep us all safe in school then please contact us via email at:


Contact tracing over half term

School will continue to contact trace for COVID-19 over February half term.  If your child has a positive COVID tests and has been into school less than 48 hours before developing symptoms (or having the test if they are asymptomatic), please inform us via:


Free School Meal Vouchers

If you are eligible for the Free School Meal vouchers, you should now be receiving email communication directly, with details and links to download the vouchers. Further guidance can be found on our dedicated webpage here.

Voucher details for February half term holiday vouchers were posted directly to eligible families on the 29th January. Information about how to claim your half-term vouchers is on

If you have any queries or problems obtaining these vouchers, please contact school for support.


Remote Learning Update: A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies

A-level Drama and Theatre is going from strength to strength in lockdown with a wide range of fantastic opportunities provided.  Last week students participated in workshops with a professional company that focussed on ‘Antigone’, a piece of Greek theatre.  

Next half term, our students will be working online with 'Paper Bird' theatre company in another live workshop to experience the methodologies of this fantastic theatre company. This will give great hands-on insight into the profession and students will gain creative insight into a new and very different style of devising theatre. They are also booked into the Royal Shakespeare Company's 'Dream' live performance where digital interaction meets live performance. Despite lockdown, our students continue to have access to exciting opportunities and ground-breaking ideas that are sure to develop their creativity, knowledge and skills.


Year 9 Options

A reminder to all Year 9 students and their parents that the deadline for completing the options form is Monday 22nd February.  The link to the electronic form has been sent to the students’ school email address.


Best wishes,

Mrs Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School

monday 8 february 2021 

Dear parents and carers,

Contact tracing over half term

School will continue to contact trace for COVID-19 over February half term.  If your child has a positive COVID tests and has been into school less than 48 hours before developing symptoms (or having the test if they are asymptomatic), please inform us via


Free School Meal Vouchers

If you are eligible for the Free School Meal vouchers, you should now be receiving email communication directly, with details and links to download the vouchers. Further guidance can be found here.

Voucher details for February half term holiday vouchers were posted directly to eligible families on 29 January. Information about how to claim your half-term vouchers is at: or on our dedicated webpage at: 

If you have any queries or problems obtaining these vouchers, please contact school for support.


Year 9 Options Interviews

We have enjoyed discussing options with our Year 9 students this past week and have been impressed by their maturity whilst conducting the interviews.  We still have a few outstanding interviews to complete next week, so please ask your child to look out for an email if they haven’t yet been interviewed.  The deadline to complete the online form is 22 February.


Year 12/13 Support Evening – change of date

The Year 12 and Year 13 Support Evening that was due to take place on Tuesday 9th March has been rescheduled for Tuesday 23rd March. 


Best wishes,

Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School 

friday 22 january 2021 

Dear parents,

Key Worker and Vulnerable Students

We are looking forward to welcoming our children of key workers and vulnerable students back into the building from Monday 25th January.  We aim to test all students in the building on Monday and Thursday, using the Lateral Flow (LTF) test.


Form Tutor Wellbeing Checks

From Monday 18th January, form tutors have been performing routine wellbeing checks with all of the students in their form. The purpose of these meetings is to allow form tutors to stay in contact with their tutees during the remote learning period, and also provide an informal space for students to discuss any issues they may be experiencing with a small group of their peers and their form tutor.

Just like live lessons, these wellbeing checks are being performed over GoogleMeet and each student will be required to attend one session with their form tutor per fortnight. The meetings will take place in small groups of students between 9.30am and 9.45am, and the date of your child’s meeting will be communicated to them over Google Classroom.

Please encourage your child to make a note of their scheduled appointment and take responsibility to ensure they attend their meeting, so that we can ensure we support all of our students during this challenging period of education.

If you have any feedback or questions about the wellbeing check process, then please email Mr Clayton at:


Year 11 Parents' Evening

Apologies to Year 11 students and their parents whose evening was disrupted by a fault with the host 'School Cloud' website.  We have been in touch with the company again today and they have assured us they are working to resolve the issues for the future.  If you missed any appointments, subject teachers will be in touch next week to arrange an alternative time.


GCSE and A levels 2021 Ofqual Consultation

The Department for Education and OFQUAL have launched a joint consultation on how GCSE, AS Vocational Qualifications and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021.  

This is an opportunity for Year 11 and Year 13 students and their parents to contribute their views on how grades should be awarded this summer. Please follow the links below to read the consultation documents and respond online:

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on Friday 29 January.  


Free School Meals

We have registered all families who are eligible for free school meals, so please look out for an email from 'Edenred' with instructions about how to redeem your vouchers. 

Further information is available below:

Please contact school if you need help to access your vouchers.


Free mobile data

This Department for Education scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that disadvantaged children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted, and they do not have access to broadband at home.

Who is eligible for this assistance?

This scheme is open to children and young people in Year 3 to Year 11 who:

  • Do not have access to a fixed broadband connection (the request may be unsuccessful if the account holder also has broadband).
  • Cannot afford the additional data needed to access educational resources.
  • Have access to a mobile device that uses a participating network.
  • Are facing disruption to their face-to-face education.

If your family is eligible, please complete the online form here.


Best wishes,

Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School

monday 18 January 2021 

Dear parents and carers,

Following my message to you on Friday, I wanted to update you on today’s meeting with Public Health. They are confident in the school’s response to the cases we’ve had this term and, as a safety measure, recommend key worker and vulnerable students stay at home for the rest of the week. The provision in school for key worker and vulnerable children will therefore recommence on Monday 25 January.  

Remote learning will continue for all students and, if you need any support with this, please view the information on our website at:

Please also find attached a letter which Sheffield City Council is sending out via all schools. You can also view it at:

Best wishes,

Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School

friday 15 january 2021 

Dear parents and carers,

School building closed on Monday

Unfortunately, several members of staff have tested positive for Covid this week. We have consulted with Public Health and have a meeting planned with them on Monday to review these cases. Given that, whilst all safety protocols have been followed in school, it is unclear how the cases have been transmitted, we have decided to close the school building completely on Monday. We will make a decision about when to reopen after we have held the meeting; this is likely to be late on Monday afternoon.

I know this will cause significant disruption to students who normally attend school but we must put the safety of students and staff first. No students have been identified as close contacts of the staff who have tested positive.

Remote live teaching will continue as normal for students on Monday, but there may be some disruption, given that all staff will be working from home. Students should check on Google Classroom in the first instance for their lessons.


Free School Meals

As you may have seen in the media, the Department for Education has now specified that students eligible for free school meals will be provided with vouchers rather than food hampers.  We hope to be able to start processing the vouchers from Monday but we think they are unlikely to be issued until the end of the week.  Further details about how to access the vouchers will be sent to eligible families next week.


Year 9 Options

Year 9 options were launched to Year 9 students during their English lessons last week.  Further information will be shared with Year 9 students and their parents next week, so please keep a look out for the email.


Update for Year 11 students about sixth form applications

As you will be aware the deadline set by Sheffield council for applications to sixth forms is approaching. Given the current situation with students learning from home and the uncertainty surrounding the awarding of GCSE grades in the summer, we want to reassure students attending schools in Chorus Education Trust, who are considering applying to Silverdale Sixth Form, that they will not be disadvantaged by these circumstances

This year, the Silverdale Sixth Form team will continue to consider applications that are submitted by students after the deadline, in light of any changes to internal assessment data, as the year progresses. Their advice to students who are on the borderline of achieving the entry requirements for sixth form or individual courses would be to apply but have a viable back up application in place as well. 

Ultimately, the confirmation of a place in Silverdale Sixth Form to study desired courses will be on the condition that entry requirements are met in the summer. So please keep engaging with your studies, whatever your plans are for post-16 options.


Year 11 Parents’ Evening

The Year 11 Parents’ evening is now scheduled for this Thursday 21st January as per our messages to Year 11 parents and students.


Best wishes,

Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School

Friday 8 january 2021 

Dear parents and carers,

What a week!  On Monday we were planning to set up a testing regime for all staff and students; then the national lockdown was announced on Monday evening and we have spent the rest of the week dealing with ‘U turns’ and changes in guidance about a number of issues.  I continue to be incredibly proud of my whole staff team during a very challenging week.


Remote teaching

We are really pleased with the levels of attendance and engagement to our first week where the entire curriculum has been live-streamed.  Although the rapid switch to live teaching for all has been challenging, teachers have commented on how much they have enjoyed their lessons and interacting with your children.  Thank you for supporting your children to access their learning from home, and also for the positive feedback.


Year 11 Parents’ Evening

We have taken the decision to postpone the Year 11 parents' evening that was due to take place on Thursday 14 January 2021. We feel that parents’ evening will be more useful to our Yeare 11 students and their parents once we have greater clarity on the Department for Education's plans for awarding  GCSE grades.  


Attitude to Learning (ATL) reports

  • All Y7 to Y11 students will receive their ATL reports electronically next week.
  • The Y11 reports will also include the outcomes from the mock exams.
  • The Y12 and Y13 assessment points have been delayed until next half term.


Free School Meals

If your child is eligible for free school meals, school can provide a weekly food hamper for you to collect from school.  The catering team will put together a package of ingredients that will enable you to make a healthy lunch for your child each day.  Please contact for more information.


Free Mobile Data

The Department for Education is rolling out a scheme that allows eligible families to access free mobile data.  We know the live lessons will be using up lots of your data packages (especially if you have multiple people in the house online all day) and we will send out more information next week about how to access this.  If you have an urgent problem with lack of data allowance for your children to access their lessons, please contact


Year 11 and Year 13 Period 6 and 0

The additional lessons that were happening before and after school have been suspended.  Year 12 and Yearm13 twilight lessons will continue as per their timetable.


COVID-19 testing in schools

We have been setting up our testing site and training staff this week.  After a successful ‘walk-through’ on Friday afternoon, we intend to begin testing all staff and students in school next week.  If your child is in school, please remember to return the consent form on Monday if you would like them to have the tests.


Best wishes,
Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School