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  • Torver Crescent, Seaburn Dene, Sunderland, SR6 8LG Tel - 0191 5634100

Letter to Parents/Carers - Update - Wk 4


I hope that you and your loved ones are well. I’d like to thank you for all of your continued support, friendship and positivity. The children we are seeing on a weekly basis, the families we are speaking to and our staff appear in remarkably high spirits, positive, yet missing the heartbeat of school life.

Over the next week, our senior management team will be working on plans for school; one is for the continuation of the current arrangements (to ensure much needed, high quality childcare for any family who requires it) and the other is the development of a gradual recovery plan for when lockdown ends.

Last week, we all heard about the further three week extension of lockdown. However, at some point either in the Summer term, or later, Seaburn Dene will reopen to children. I am sure you appreciate, this presents more of a potential challenge than the current arrangements. We will need to consider a range of key issues such as health and safety, staffing, transition, and curriculum delivery, amongst many other issues. We will be examining possible scenarios around how this could work, and we will support you in any way possible to ensure that when we do return to more normal arrangements, it will be a smooth process.

You must have heard about about the 99-year-old war veteran who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise £21m and counting for the NHS? Captain Tom Moore originally wanted to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. But, he smashed his target after more than 700,000 people made donations to his fundraising page. As he finished the challenge, he said: "I feel fine, I hope you're all feeling fine too. I never dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion as this."

Free School Meals Eligibility

As people’s circumstances change, many families are now in the process of applying for benefits because of the coronavirus. If you think your child may now be eligible to receive free school meals you are encouraged to contact us to check. As the process for applying for benefits / universal credit can take a number of weeks, we want to support you whilst a benefit application is being processed.


We have had a few queries about Nursery places for September. In both the summer and autumn terms, we will be holding open days for Reception and Nursery 2021 and we will inform you of these days,  when school finally re-opens.

Stationary equipment and food parcels

We want to distribute packs of stationary to every Free School Meal child and any those children who would benefit from them. The packs are going to include: coloured pencils and pens, sharpeners, rubbers, exercise books, scissors, glue and coloured paper. Contact the school if you would like to receive a stationary pack, contact:

Likewise, you do not need to hit eligibility criteria to access food parcel support, you simply need to ask for it. We are offering to support you and anyone you know by delivering food parcels. If you know anyone who requires this service, please contact, via the email above.


The council has asked for volunteers from those who are able to, to consider supporting priority areas, by delivering food parcels or prescriptions.

Let’s Not Return

At the moment, like many of you, I can’t see my sister, who is a nurse and working all hours or my god daughter, who has just celebrated her first birthday on Friday. I can’t see my mother who is in her 80s – I can stand, 2 metres apart outside the front door, but not cross the threshold and share a cup of tea. In this topsy turvey world rearranged world, I, like many of us, are beginning to shift my values and see the unseen, walking among us. This readjustment is leading me to learn to value those of us as they should always have been valued, for the way they have kept our community going, their kindness, dedication and determination. These days will come to an end. But we mustn’t go back to the world that we were living in before or unlearn the hard-won lessons of collaboration, grit, compassion and human vulnerability. As we look forward, we mustn’t stop seeing and valuing the delivery driver, the hospital cleaner, the care home worker, the checkout person, the stranger on the other side of the road, the person in need, the old,  the frail and the forgotten, those hidden in life’s shadows. Let’s not return to that. Remember the moments we clapped and what we clapped for and understand the true value can’t be measured by money alone.


Loneliness is a cold and frightening place. Particularly if you find yourself trapped in one of the deep ravines that dot the South West spur of Utah.  It would be difficult for anyone to hear you during the day – but in the dark, a cry for help would be met with only silence. No one knows that more than 44-year-old Aron Ralston. In 2003, he had gone hiking, alone, near Robbers Roost – an old outlaw hideout used in the dying days of the wild west by Butch Cassidy. But while Ralston was climbing down a narrow slot in Bluejohn Canyon, a boulder became dislodged, crushing Ralston’s right forearm and pinning it against the wall. For five and a half days, he struggled to get free until he was forced to do the unthinkable. Using a blunt knife from his multi-tool, he began amputating his arm. This incredible tale of survival was eventually adapted into a film directed by Danny Boyle, 127 Hours, from Ralston’s own account of his experience. What does this story tell us about tough situations? Ralston’s survival shows the power of the human spirit when pitched against adversity. How Ralston survived for so long, and even at the end of those five days, made the decision, few have faced, to self amputate is a story I turned back to, last week. In the midst of being thrown into terrifying life and death choices, Ralston was able to choose life, drawing upon something within, to survive what he was placed into. That spirit is within all of us and finding that spark – in whatever form – will be the legacy we want the children of our school to move forward with.

And finally...

Have a think and let us know if there is someone who requires any practical support (food parcel, advice, reading book, video message) or if you or someone you know (an isolated friend or grandparent) needs a card, a drawing or a call which might help to cheer them up. This week, your child’s class teacher will share their learning newsletter – your at a glance guide to the week’s learning – via Class Dojo or on you child’s class page on the school website. I will be announcing the Easter Egg winners on Monday and delivering the prizes door to door.

Stay Safe.


Mr Howe.