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Happy Birthday!


Who wants to be an archeologist and discover artefacts from 1666? KS1 do! We had to use our knowledge to work out who these artefacts belonged to.


Each child making their own progress. Kerr class learning to compete against them selves.


Kerr Class developing co-ordination in PE


Candle making, sewing and leather work...KS1 have been busy!


Our Great Fire of London day is so exciting! We are currently learning to do lots of jobs from 1666.


A couple of the final pieces of artwork in Dahl class, they look amazing!


Celebrating diversity by researching Famous chef who have shown resilience.


We were getting our dramatic juices flowing with some freeze frames in Dahl class this morning. See if you can guess what some of our portraits are of!


In Dahl class we have been working on our abstract Ordinance Survey Maps for Art over the past couple of weeks. We are excited to share the final products later in the week!


Elmer have become expert historians this afternoon asking questions about the Great Fire of London. We used the 5ws (who, what, where, when, why) to structure our questions about this event.


Kerr class taking a moment of stillness


Little pig, little pig, let me come in....because it is raining outside! What is the best material for our little pig to have a roof made out of that will keep him nice and dry? In Science, Elmer class have been investigating which materials were waterproof.


A herd of woolly mammoths has invaded Potter class! This morning, children were following instructions to create their mammoth and recognising any important information that was missing.


Happy Birthday!


Christmas is coming! Elmer have been learning about colour mixing and designing our Christmas cards.


Elmer have gone back in time to 1666 when the Great Fire of London was burning. We have been interviewing people who have experienced the fire ready for our special History day next week.


In Dahl class we have been practicing our dribbling and passing skills in PE this morning.


Thank you for inspiring so much wonderful learning in Kerr class. We have discovered how the Windrush generation has provided so much diversity to Britain. You inspired news report writing too.


Crazy coordinates in Dahl class this morning, we have been learning how to translate shapes.


Year six gymnasts so excited to be incorporating equipment into their counter balances routines along with varying dynamics such as speed, height and smoothness.


Potter class were put to work cleaning the messy toys left by the mammoth. They then had to write the instructions using the correct imperative verbs.


As cooks, we have been leaning about how British food has been influenced by other cuisine from around the world. So we made some naan bread.


Exploring our value of the month - resilience - by role playing situations where we may need to draw on this attribute.


Something snuck into Potter class whilst we were at P.E.... we investigated the clues (bubbles, leaves, shampoo) ... we think it might have been...the woolly mammoth!!!


Insightful and thought-provoking discussion in Year Six around British Black History, linked to our Rich and Poor histo topic.


Harpenden Academy are offering live tours for new Reception parents Sept 2021. Please check out our Reception admissions page on our school website and book your school tour with our Headteacher and EYFS Leader


Linked to World Mental Health day, Ladybird class focused on the Five Ways to Wellbeing. We got active, made cards to give to family members, enjoyed connecting with friends, learnt a new poem and took notice of the sounds around us while watching a candle burning. We feel good!


Positivity in Potter this afternoon! We talked about positive affirmations this afternoon as a way to help our mental health.


Dahl class celebrating world mental health day, we thought of as many positives as we could!


Tomorrow is World Mental Health day so Year 1 have been talking about all the things they love. We created hearts of positivity to celebrate all the things that make us happy.


Amazing artists in Potter class today! We got excited about Christmas and are experimenting with the different watercolour wash techniques ready for our Christmas card designs 🎄❄️


Kerr Class have discussed how we can look after our mental health. We created positive photos for each other.


Lots of birthdays this week at Harpenden Academy.


ELMER CLASS LOVE SCIENCE! Today we have been learning about materials and their properties. We made paper boats out of different types of paper and investigated whether they were waterproof or not. We grouped our observations into a table.


Today, year 6 were getting excited about Christmas in art! We were using our recent study of William Morris designs to produce inspired drafts of festive foliage for this year’s Christmas cards. We incorporated: symmetry, 90 degree rotations, half and repeat patterns.

Coronavirus Update

Useful Support Contact Details

Parents COVID information letter Sept 2020

Harpenden Academy Opening Plan Sept 2020

What to do if a child is displaying symptoms of COVID19 Early Years

What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of COVID19 Schools

SET Parent/Carer COVID Sept 2020 Guidance

SET COVID Flowchart for Parent/Carer

Behaviour Expectations for Parents & Pupils COVID19

Behaviour Expectations for Pupils COVID19

Our Harpenden Academy updated risk assessment will be published on the SET website on 28th August 2020. Please click here to access the risk assessment. 

Updated 21/09/2020


Harpenden Academy are receiving daily updates from The Department for Education on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We will publish any updates and advice on this page. 

This Department for Education (DfE) guidance is for parents and carers of children at:

  • registered nurseries and childminders (this includes nurseries, childminders, pre-schools, playgroups and maintained nursery schools)
  • primary and secondary schools (including independent schools, maintained schools, academies, free schools, infant schools, junior schools and middle schools)
  • further education colleges

Parents are encouraged to visit for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.

Guidance on the provision of transport to school and other places of education

To ensure that children can travel to school safely, and disruption for all passengers on the public network is minimised, we have published guidance for local authorities on the provision of transport to school and other places of education from the start of the autumn term.

This guidance provides information for local authorities on managing the capacity of, and demand for, public transport, and increasing capacity of both public and dedicated home to school or college services, so that children can travel safely to and from school or college. It also provides guidance about the provision of dedicated home to school or college transport in the autumn term.

Welcoming children and young people back to school and college

It is the government’s plan that all children and young people, in all year groups, will return to school and college full time from the beginning of the autumn term.

The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased since schools and colleges restricted their opening to most pupils in March, the NHS Test and Trace system is up and running and we understand more about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools. As a result, the government has asked schools and colleges to plan for all children and young people to return from the start of the new academic year.

The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill, and there is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. Of course, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, and that is why schools and colleges will be asked to put in place a range of protective measures.

In order to effectively manage the risks that remain, things will be a bit different when children and young people return to school and college for the new academic year. This guidance sets out some of the changes and protective measures the government is asking schools and colleges to put in place and what parents, carers, children and young people will need to do to help ensure schools and colleges are as safe as possible for everyone.

Parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) should also refer to the separate guidance for full opening of special schools and other specialist settings.

School and college attendance

It is vital that children and young people return to school and college - for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. School and college attendance will again be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. For parents and carers of children of compulsory school age, this means that the legal duty on you as a parent to send your child to school regularly will apply.

A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves, or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19). If your child is unable to attend school or college for this reason, you should talk to your school or college about what support is in place in terms of remote education.

Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means, that the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. See the guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable for the current advice.

Some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school in September (usually at their next planned clinical appointment).

Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, the absence will not be penalised.

If you have concerns about your child returning to school or college, because you consider they may have other risk factors, you should discuss with your school or college the measures they are putting in place to reduce risks in line with government guidance.

Many families will want to take a holiday over the summer period, which may involve travelling abroad. As ever, parents should plan their holidays within school and college holidays and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time.

Ultimately, local authorities and schools have a range of legal powers to enforce attendance if a child or young person misses school without a valid reason.

There is not a corresponding legal duty for post-16 education. However, if a young person fails to attend, their college may believe that they have left the course. This could result in your local authority getting in touch to support your child to find an alternative course or education provider.

How everyone can help make schools and colleges as safe as possible

Each school or college will do their own health and safety risk assessment as part of their planning for the autumn term and the return of all pupils.

As part of this, there are certain approaches that the government has asked schools and colleges to implement which are essential to reduce health risks. Parents and carers can support this by:

  • ensuring that anyone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or has someone in their household who does, does not attend school or college - this means if your child, or someone in your household, has symptoms you should not send them to school or college
  • engaging with the NHS Test and Trace process so that cases can be identified and action taken - this means if your child develops symptoms, you should arrange for them to get a test and you should inform your school or college of the results of that test

Alongside this, the government is asking schools and colleges to ensure they are:

  • managing confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current public health guidance - this means your child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by their school or college (based on advice from their local health protection teams) if they have been in close, face-to-face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
  • ensuring everyone at the school or college cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive at school or college, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating - this can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser
  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene, by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often
  • minimising contact and maintaining distance, as far as possible - schools and colleges will decide how best to do this, as it will be different for each setting, but in broad terms, it will involve asking children to stay within specified separate groups (or bubbles), and through maintaining distance between individuals. The government’s guidance to schools recognises that younger children may not be able to maintain social distancing so it is likely that for younger children the emphasis will be on separating groups, and for older children, it will be on distancing.

It will be really important that parents help schools and colleges to implement these approaches by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.

Arriving and leaving school or college

Some schools or colleges may need to stagger or adjust start and finish times as this helps keep groups apart on the way to and from school or college, and as they arrive and leave the premises. If schools or colleges choose to do this it will not reduce the amount of time they spend teaching - but it could be that start or finish times are adjusted for your child. In such instances, schools or colleges will liaise with any school transport or other providers, as necessary.

Where possible, children and young people are encouraged to avoid public transport, particularly at peak times, and to walk or cycle to school or college.

Where your child relies on public transport to get to school or college, and cannot walk or cycle, the safer travel guidance for passengers will apply.

Where your child uses dedicated school or college transport (that is transport that does not cater for the general public), the guidance for public transport will not apply. Your child may be asked to use a regular seating plan on this transport (to reflect where possible the bubbles that are used within school), and measures will be put in place to ensure vehicles are cleaned regularly and boarding is managed.

Face coverings are required at all times on public transport (for children over the age of 11). Where necessary, they may also be appropriate on dedicated school or college transport too (for example, if children are likely to come into very close contact with others outside their year group or who they do not normally meet). If your child has been wearing a face covering before arriving at school or college, it will be important that they understand how to remove it. The government has asked schools to have a process for ensuring face coverings are removed when pupils and staff who use them arrive at school and this should be clearly communicated.

Children and young people must wash their hands immediately on arrival at school or college, dispose of any temporary face coverings they may have been wearing in a covered bin, or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.

Public Health England does not recommend the use of face coverings in schools. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.

Curriculum, exams and inspection


The government has set out clear expectations on what schools are expected to teach when pupils return in September. Schools will continue to provide an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects.

There may need to be changes to some subjects - such as PE and music - to ensure they can be delivered as safely as possible.

Schools and colleges will also make plans for the provision of remote education where needed, to ensure that the small number of children and young people that need to be educated at home, for example, due to shielding or self-isolation, are given the support they need to continue learning.

Assessment and exams

We recognise that children and young people will have missed a critical period of their learning due to lockdown in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. It is vital that we better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on children nationally and can give support to schools that need it the most. The government is, therefore, planning on the basis that statutory primary assessments (for those going into year 6 in September) will take place in summer 2021.


Schools and colleges may need to update their behaviour policies to ensure they reflect any new rules or approaches that are needed from the autumn term. Your school or college will communicate these changes to you as pupils and parents.

Extra-curricular activities

Schools will be permitted to run breakfast and after-school activities. Schools will need to make sure these can be delivered in line with the wider guidance on protective measures, so they may need to run things differently and adapt over time.

You should talk to your child’s school about whether or not they will be able to run breakfast and after-school activities immediately.

In order to minimise risks, you should consider sending your child to the same setting consistently and limit the number of different providers you access. Where you choose to use childcare providers or out-of-school activities for your children, you will want to assure yourself that the providers are carefully considering their own protective measures, and only use those providers that can demonstrate this. There is advice available for parents on the use of these clubs and activities.

Process in the event of outbreaks

If a school or college experiences an outbreak, either because they have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils or staff in their setting within 14 days, or they see an increase in pupil or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), they will need to contact their local health protection team. This team will advise if additional action is required, though the closure of the whole school or college will generally not be necessary.

Where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school, if necessary.

If your local area sees a spike in infection rates that is resulting in localised community spread, decisions will be made on what measures to implement to help contain the spread. The government will be involved in decisions and will support individual schools and colleges to follow the health advice.

In all cases, where groups of pupils need to self-isolate or where a larger restriction of attendance at school or college is needed, your child’s school or college should seek to ensure children and young people’s education can continue remotely.

Safer travel guidance for passengers

From today it is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on public transport including a bus, coach, tram or train. Where travel with children is necessary, such as to an education setting, consider whether children could walk or cycle, accompanied by a responsible adult or carer, where appropriate. The law requiring passengers to wear face coverings does not apply to children under the age of 11. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3, for safety.

Children, even if they are over 11, are not required to wear face coverings on school transport. School transport is that provided by local authorities, academy trusts or schools for the specific purpose of transporting children to and from their home and school.

The Department for Transport’s guidance can be found here:

Please click here to view the photos of inside and outside the school building so that you can manage the expectations of your child and familiarise them with how school will look when they return to school.

Opening schools and educational settings: guidance for parents and carers

Schools Re-opening Guidance from the DfE

Updated: 28/04/2020

Updated 21/04/2020


We have brought together an initial list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home.

These websites have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts and offer a wide range of support and resources for pupils of all ages.

The list includes subject-specific resources for:

They are currently being offered for free.

Individual resources cannot replace a school’s properly planned curriculum, and the resources in this list are not intended to do so.

They may be useful for parents in considering how they could support their children’s education.

We will review and update the list over time. Details on how that will work will be provided in the coming weeks.

This list of resources is not exhaustive and there are many other resources available to schools.

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:



School Communication

At Harpenden Academy we are being vigilant and ensuring we adopt good hygiene practice to minimise the risk of infection.

We are:

  • frequently washing our hands
  • not coughing and sneezing over everyone
  • disposing of used tissues appropriately

Each class has been given further supplies of anti-bacterial gel and surface Dettol wipes and all children are being reminded to do the above.Lockdown Newsletter May 2020

Final Return to School Letter 2, 26th May 2020

Final return to School Letter 1 Headteacher May 2020

Suggested Home Timetable & Parent Resources - School Closure

20th March Key Worker Definitions

20th March School Closure Letter
16th March 2020 Coronavirus Update Letter to Parents

Coronavirus Info for Young Children

27th February 2020 Letter to Parents


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