St Mark's CE Primary School


Welcome to St Mark's CE Primary School

WEEKLY UPDATE (01.03.2021)


Dear All,


The Prime Minister announced his road map out of current restrictions last week. The information shared included a commitment to the wider opening of schools, from Monday March 8th 2021. Throughout this pandemic,  I have remained very proud of the way our school community has come together, to support the children since the start of the new year. Throughout these challenging times everyone has responded as true St Mark’s HEROes!


Parents and carers have shown patience and understanding, as we have tried to navigate changing policy and practice and staff have gone above and beyond, to ensure children have continued to access their learning.  The children have been exemplary in their resilience!


The next step is to get all our children back to school, and back to their learning in an environment where they can feel safe and happy– something we are very much looking forward to.




The narrative, using language such as “catch-up”, “falling behind” etc. is one of negativity, and I am determined that we do not fall in to this trap.  Language is so important to our perception and practice, and it will impact on the children and families, too.


Now, more than ever, our school vision to “Let Your Light Shine” through our HERO values of HOPE, ENERGY, RESILIENCE and OPTIMISM will be what we need to pull together, as we embrace the challenging opportunity that the rest of the year, and beyond, will bring.


Therefore, our recovery plan will be our “Time to Shine” plan. Time for us to shine, and time for us to make sure each and every child is given the opportunity, through our provision,  for their light to shine!


There are likely to be a few changes and updates in the coming days however it is important that we give you as much as we can at this time so you can start your planning and also we can all start preparing the children for a return.  More detailed information will be posted on the website once the documents and plans have been confirmed and written up however the key information at this point is set out below.


In summary- our plan is pretty similar to the one we had before lockdown.


The biggest risk to all in school remains not what is happening in school but what is happening out of school. We therefore will be doing our best to manage this however need your support and cooperation.


Parents will be asked to wear facemasks when dropping and collecting children and will be asked to socially distance, to drop and collect quickly at the agreed times- not waiting or hanging around and to ensure they are following the rest of the rules set out by the government outside of school.


All children will be expected back on Monday 8th March 2021.

Only children who have a medical reason (and provide proof) will be authorised not to attend.


Social distancing of 2 metres will be promoted.  Children will be grouped into Class Bubbles for the whole school day.


Parents will be asked to wait outside the school gate and arrive and pick up children and then leave immediately- no waiting.

We are finalising the timings and collection points with staff,  and we will share further details over the next couple of days. 


Anyone displaying symptoms or requiring to isolate will not be allowed to attend school.

In the event of a confirmed case Bubbles will be closed and children will be required to isolate for 10 days at home and Remote Learning will be set daily

Handwashing and sanitising will take place for all children at regular points.

Windows and doors will be opened to provide good ventilation, with opportunities for “purging” air at key points.

Enhanced cleaning will take place across the school.

Staff will wear facemasks in communal areas.


ALL staff are asked to lateral flow test twice a week.

Children will not be tested in school.

School staff have not yet been prioritised for vaccinations.

All households with school aged children will be provided with lateral flow tests.  We are awaiting further guidance on this.



Breakfast Club and After School Club can be booked as normal.  There is a limit of 10 children for each.

School Meals are provided as normal.

Packed lunch boxes and water bottles allowed.

Children are expected to wear school uniform.

PE kit to be worn to school on day of PE.

1 bag is allowed per child along with a hat/coat- if required.

No trips at the current time.

No clubs at the current time.


Teach an ambitious, enjoyable and broad curriculum in all subjects.

Focus on less screen based learning and more hands-on creative activities, including sports and outdoor learning.

Chance to enjoy lots of phonics and reading, vocabulary, writing and mathematics.

Focus on Well Being and a chance to enjoy re-connecting with friends, staff and school routines.

Statutory Assessments have been cancelled eg SATS.

 REMOTE LEARNING– Google Classroom

Used in the event of Bubble Closure/ further lockdowns.

Homework will be communicated on here.


Contact the school via the office by phone or email.

Weekly Update posted on school website.

 Thank you for your ongoing support, we remain ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and we want to carry on listening to your ideas. To help us as we move to our TIME TO SHINE plan, please take the time to complete the survey, so we can take on board your thoughts. Follow this link.


 CMHW Walking Bingo_Instructions.pdfDownload
 February Half Term Activities.pdfDownload
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WEEKLY UPDATE (08.02.2021)

Dear All,



As we approach half term,  I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support with remote learning. We hope that you and the children manage to enjoy some time away from a screen and rest / relax as best you can, given the current situation. Please find information above about: - non - screen fun activities if you're looking for something to do! - information about a number of organisations that can be contacted during the half term break for advice / guidance and further information.


 PHASE 2- W/C: 23rd February 2021

* 12 children per on site bubble.

* Priority spaces remain for Critical Workers, Vulnerable and EHCP/SEND.

* Families will be sent invitations.

* On site bubbles open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

No children on site on Thursday.

Thursday afternoon –Well-being Thursday-there will be NO online activity during this time, so ALL pupils can be off screen.

* Children will be set creative tasks to complete during this time, that do not require technology.

 PHASE 3 - This will be confirmed when we receive further guidance from the government.


As we break for Half Term we have to have a Track and Trace procedure in place.  Please see below about what to do to keep everyone safe.


Don’t forget if you have any queries around HUGGG vouchers, please email our dedicated address:  You will continue to receive vouchers over half term of £25 to be issued from 10th February – Expiry date 07/03/2021. Don’t forget that we were also successful in a bid to FARESHARE and offered an additional £25 Asda voucher for all families.  To claim your free £25 Asda voucher, please just email, stating what difference this would make to you and your family. Every little helps! -sorry wrong store!

 Thank you all for your ongoing support with your child’s remote learning, and for the lovely messages of appreciation for the support you and your families are receiving. As the children’s work highlights, we remain in this together, and can’t wait until the whole school can be together again. This time will pass, and we praise you for being true St Mark’s HEROes  during this time! Showing HOPE ENERGY RESILIENCE and OPTIMISM.

Contact over Half Term if a child or member of staff tests positive for Covid.

The following advice has been sent to schools by the Department of Education to share with parents and staff about the Half Term holiday.

We recommend all schools ensure staff, parents and carers are aware of the following information and relevant arrangements regarding positive cases in the holidays:

  • Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  • For the first 3 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
  • School staff are not asked to remain on-call or conduct any contact tracing more than 3 days after the final day of teaching.

Where pupils are required to self-isolate due to contact with a positive case after the first 3 days following the end of term, schools do not need to be informed about their absence until the first day of the new term.

For the first 3 days after the end of term, schools are not asked to be on-call at all times. Staff responsible for contact tracing may designate a limited period in the day to receive notification of positive cases and advise close contacts to self-isolate (this can be done by text or email). The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline and PHE advice service are available to support with any queries you have about positive cases in your school.

So what does this mean for parents/carers at St Mark's.

  • If your child tests positive for Covid on Saturday 13th, Sunday 14th, Monday 15th February 2021 you will need to contact the school via  where you will need to leave your name and contact details. A member of the school will then be in contact with you to discuss this further and advise as to what action we will need to take, what you will need to do and who we need to contact.
  • The help@ email address will be monitored at 9am and 3pm daily on these dates.
  • Up until Monday 15th February 2021 if a member of your child's bubble tests positive for Covid we may be in contact with you to advise about isolating depending on the circumstances.
  • If your child or a member of your child's bubble tests positive outside of this time (after the 15th) you can contact us when we return on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 to update us. 



As we all adjust to the new learning regime, it has been amazing to see so many of the children engage with their learning. We appreciate this is a very tricky time for families, and it can seem an impossible task to keep on top of the remote learning expectations.

 The expectations for remote learning are set by the government, and it is the law that all children complete home learning.  Your child’s class teaching team will happily support you with any queries and advice. You can email them at the class email address, for their year group. For example, if your child is in Year 6 you should email

 As we plan for the remaining four weeks of the half term, we are reviewing what has worked well, and what we could improve upon. Please take the time to complete this short survey. We will listen to your views and consider them in our planning.

 None of us want the children to fall any further behind with their learning.  The government has set out legal requirements for providing remote learning during school closure. Your child must take part in remote learning – it is the law.

 The teachers work very hard to plan and prepare learning that will meet the children’s needs and we use Google Classrooms to deliver the learning.

 You can find all of our information about remote learning on the school website here.

 Your child must attend the Google Meetings at these times, and then complete and share their completed tasks via Google Classrooms.  If you have any queries, there is further guidance in the Google Classroom guide for parents/carers (attached).

 Reception-  9.00- 9.15am, 1.00pm and then 2.30pm

Year 1-9.10-9.20am then 2.45-3.00pm

Year 2- 9-9.10am then 2.40-2.50pm

Year 3- 8.50-9.00am then 2.30-2.40pm

Year 4- 8.40-8.50am then 2.20-2.30pm drop in 9.00-10.00am

Year 5- 9.15-9.30am then 2.10-2.20

Year 6- 9.30-9.40am 11.00am Maths support, then 2.30-2.40


Of course, we understand just how hard this time is for families, and we are here to help when we can.  You will find the information on this page including links for support with food, remote learning, technology, mental health and parenting.  If you require support for food, mental health, parenting, please email .If you require support with technology, including the loan of a device, please email

Here is an overview of school, local and national support available.

We are awaiting the delivery of our government devices, but please let us know if you wanted to be added to the list.  We have been very pro-active in securing devices from other sources and organisations.

 What other help is out there? 

 The Sussex Learning Network is offering a free six-week programme led by an experienced trainer/therapist aims to teach parents of seven- to 13-year olds skills and strategies to manage their and their children’s anxiety .  Follow this link.

 Held in Mind—the service that provides our therapy sessions for children in school, have generously offered FREE 12 WEEK SESSIONS OF COUNSELLING TO ST MARK’S PARENTS/CARERS.   If you would like to take up this offer, you can contact Ruth Lazarus on 07794889272 or let Mrs Sellins know on

 The Library Service  is offering story time and other activities. Click on this link to follow.

 BBC are offering a range of activities and learning on their website.  I have attached this week’s overview.

 Safety Net  are also able to offer advice and support, and I have attached their Spring Term Newsletter.

 The Family Learning Service are offering free workshops and training, to help families with home learning. You can find further information here.

  We have responded to all Parent and Pupil Survey feedback, by designing more independent activities for the afternoon that are topic based and more creative.  We have also included more small group and 1:1 tutorials-for upper key stage 2.  We have also produced outdoor options for those concerned about screen time, and to respond to this request.   In response to requests for information on longer term planning, I have attached an overview of the topics and subjects to be covered up to half term. 

 The children will be following their National Curriculum topics that they would usually cover in school.  If you have any queries, don’t forget that you can email your child’s teacher, as indicated on the Remote Learning Plan.   We are always updating our Remote Learning Page, and you can now find videos on how to upload work to Google Classrooms o our Remote Learning Page.  Just click on the Home/School Links header.

Beezee Bodies  We have received the attached information about offers for families  for the Healthy Lifestyle programme BZ Live is starting next week. This may give parents and children something exciting and informative to do over the new lockdown period.  See the document list on the Coronavirus Update Page on the school website.


Brighton and Hove are offering support for parenting ideas and strategies during this time and you can self refer via this link.  I have also attached the relevant information for Triple P.


If your child is entitled to free school meals, then you will receive £10 per child per week in vouchers from HUGGG.  If your child is accessing a school place during the week, then they will receive £5 per week.  If you have any queries, please email admin@stmarks.brighton-hove.sch.ukIf you received a voucher over Christmas then please check your email and spend this as the deadline for these is the 17th January and only 80% have been spent so far.


We have received a number of requests for the school photographs. Unfortunately, owing to the National Lockdown, we do not feel this is an essential item, and therefore cannot accommodate collection of the photographs from school, I appreciate that this may be disappointing, but we have to keep everyone safe and prevent visits to the school for everything except essential reasons.


If your child is entitled to free school meals, then you will receive £10 per child per week in vouchers from HUGGG.  If your child is accessing a school place during the week, then they will receive £5 per week.  If you have any queries, please email admin@stmarks.brighton-hove.sch.ukIf you received a voucher over Christmas then please check your email and spend this as the deadline for these is the 17th January and only 80% have been spent so far.

 It is vital that we have your most up to date contact details, so we can alert you to any updates. Please inform the office on

 Please also find attached links to other organisations that may be able to help.


 I have attached some ideas  here  that you can use to help your child during these difficult times. We are always happy to offer advice and support, please email


 We are only able to offer a very limited provision at this time.  It is important that we limit numbers on site to the bare minimum, if this lockdown is going to work.   Please only use the Childcare Provision as a last resort. It is not an entitlement that you must use, it is support if absolutely necessary.  

If we stand a chance of eliminating the spread of the virus, we have to keep in school provision to the bare minimum.  The spaces are extremely limited. The message from the government is that if children can stay at home, then they should stay at home. 

  We will have limited places and as we are in Tier 4, we are expecting more parents to be working from home.

We follow the government's guidelines on key workers here, if you are unsure if you are eligible:

We will also not be able to take the numbers of vulnerable children we did previously. We will be in touch with those families in this category, who will be invited to attend.


 Following the recent outbreak of the new COVID strain at the school before Christmas, we suffered with 60% of staff testing positive for COVID-19. Many staff members are still suffering the effects of COVID, and we are therefore limited in what we are able to offer at this time.

 We continue to liaise with Public Health England, the Local Authority and the DFE and have reviewed our Risk Assessment. I will be sharing the final version on the website by the end of the week.  All staff have received training form the Infection Control Nurse, and we have used the guidance to inform our risk assessment.  We have very strict and stringent systems of control in school, and need your help in keeping the community safe.  We urge you to support us in the following ways:


  • We need to limit the number of people on site to the absolute, bare minimum.
  • At drop off and collection you need to wear a face covering-preferably a face mask.
  • You must not come on site if you have any of the COVID symptoms eg. new persistent cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell.
  • If you display any symptoms, you need to take a COVID test and inform us of the results.
  • We ask that you phone or email any queries, to limit the face to face contact for urgent contact only.
  • For urgent queries, there will only be one person allowed in the foyer at a time.
  • We need to protect office staff and we will not be using the front window for communication.
  • You need to press the buzzer and wait for a response, staff will help you as soon as they are able to.
  • We ask that you follow the rules set out by the government during lockdown.
  • Please inform us if any of you or your family test positive for COVID 19 and follow the government’s guidelines on self isolation and track and trace.

 Thank you once more for your support during these challenging times.  We want nothing more than to see the children return to school and we hope that if we all follow the guidance, then this will happen sooner rather than later.

 With all good wishes,

Mrs Fendley


If you need and help, support or guidance at this time Brighton and Hove Council has set up this service to help. Please see a link to the councils help form, which is a service that has just been launched:


 Parent Mail Brighton Jan 21.pdfDownload
 Support for families.pdfDownload
 Google Classroom information guide for families JANUARY.pdfDownload
 Daily Wellbeing Activities.pdfDownload
 Top Ten Tips for coping with change.pdfDownload
 Help with Technology (1).pdfDownload
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Click here to see our guide to how we are keeping you safe during COVID-19.  It contains details on how we have prepared the school, and how we can help you and your family during this time.

 What do I do if my child is unwell?

We expect all of the children to be in school. If your child is unwell, please follow the guidance hereYou can also find our FAQ information for a quick reference guide here.

 Drop off and Collection Arrangements

We ask that you leave the drop off and collection points as soon as you have dropped off, or picked up your children, to limit congestion.  Remember gates are open between 8.40am and 8.50am.  

Mrs Fendley and Miss Moulson will be at the gates to ensure the children arrive and leave safely.  If you have any messages for teachers, or wish to speak with a member of staff,  Mrs Sellins is available on the South Gate.

 Please see our message to visitors here.



Drop off arrangements

Collection arrangements








(Morning work available in the  classrooms, with a member of class teaching team present)


SOUTH GATE 2.50PM (Reception)


SOUTH GATE 3.00PM (Year One)

Year 1

Year 2



Year 3


Year 4






 (Morning work available in the  classrooms, with a member of class teaching team present)


Year 5


Year 6


If you have any questions, please email

 You can find the latest statement from the Local Authority here.

Travelling to school

We encourage our community to walk, or cycle to school whenever possible.  We advise against car sharing. If you must use public transport, please see the latest guidance from Brighton and Hove Buses here.

Is the school open?

The government has said children and young people in all year groups should return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. St Mark's is OPEN.

You can see the DFE's most current information and guidance here.

We will be updating this information as we receive updates from the government. Please see our most recent communication to parents/carers in the file list below.

How can I explain the situation to my children?

Please look at this social story which explains the Coronavirus to children in a clear and simple way:

There is useful guidance here on how to explain the Coronavirus to children with autism:

and here

Follow this link, for Coronavirus information translated in to different languages:


Where can I access food banks?

East Brighton Food Co-operative : Call 01273 885068 if you or someone you know needs a freshly cooked meal, 7 days a week. Or a food parcel delivered (Thursdays).

The Brighton Table Tennis Club, The Fitzherbert's Centre | 36 Upper Bedford Street | Brighton | BN2 1JP. Info is here - People can just turn up between 1-4pm 7 days a week to the carpark from St George's Terrace. Or if they want delivery they can email or call the club 01273 670145 when the club is open.

See this flyer for further information. 

How can I help my child with their learning at home if their bubble is closed?

Follow this link to find out about how we are supporting learning o our school website, here.

How can I keep my child safe on line?

This page has been created by CEOP to support parents during COVID-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, we will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will spending more time online at home.

How can I contact the school?

You can email your child's teacher on the class email address eg . Mrs Fendley and Miss Moulson also access these accounts. or the school office .  If you need help, you can also contact Mrs Sellins on

The school office is manned during school time: 01273 605588.

How can I manage my family’s worries?
We are aware that pupils / students are feeling understandably anxious about coronavirus.  As parents and carers you may want to repeat the messages above and support your child to
manage any difficult feelings. If your child is struggling with anxiety about this or other things you may  find these links helpful:
This website provides helpful information to support adult wellbeing:

What if I have other worries if the school is closed?
If you are worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing, please contact the Primary Mental Health Worker on 01273 293331 or CAMHS 0300 304 0061 or go direct to GP or A&E
Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service
If you are worried about a child’s safety call Front Door For Families on 01273 290400
If you are worried about your own wellbeing, contact The Samaritans on 116 123
Children who are worried can call Childline on 0800 1111
If you are having financial difficulties and in need of food, there is the local food bank or call 07941 397648 or
If your child has SEND and you are worried, contact AMAZE:
If you are already working with other services, please keep them informed of your situation eg social workers, health visitors and school nurses. They will all be happy to help.

If you are suffering domestic abuse, please go to the Rise website:  or call 999

 If you need support you can still call the RISE helpline 9-5 Mon-Fri on 01273 622 828. Out of hours please call the 24-hour National Domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000247. You are not alone 

We have also updated our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy to ensure this remains a top priority throughout this time.  This can be seen here.

The school nurse service is able to offer advice during school closure please see attached information here and text 07480 635423  if you need their help.



 To gain an understanding of why we continue to keep the doors and windows open in school you may want to read this article from the Spanish Media about how Covid is spread in different environments. 

As you can see it is important that we maintain good ventilation- even in winter months.  We are gathering warm, waterproof coats, please let us know if you require any extra layers!

 NORTH GATE ENTRANCE Y4, 5, 6.mp4Download
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 Covid Daily Care Card PDF.pdfDownload
 coronavirus update 20.03.2020.pdfDownload
 coronavirus update 20.03.2020.pdfDownload
 coronavirus update 19.03.2020.pdfDownload
 coronavirus update 18.03.2020.pdfDownload
 coronavirus update 17.03.2020.pdfDownload
 UPDATE 16.03.2020.pdfDownload
 coronavirus letter to parents.pdfDownload
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