Home Page

St Andrew's Academy

Learning Together, Achieving Together

Interactive Bar

External Links


Google Services






Last updated 13th January 2021

Are the students on a rota?

In order to help us plan, we are trying to have two week blocks of attendance, and we will try to accomodate students in school, however, with staff absences it is difficult to plan. Please check your emails for updates.

How will my child learn at home?

Each class page has home learning tasks related to the curriculum. There are also lots of ideas and activities on the At Home Hub to do if your child needs structure and routine. There is also a contact form on your child's class page if you wish to speak to the class team.

What is happening about the governments announcement of testing in schools in January?

As you will be aware from the press coverage, the Government announced yesterday that there will be a staggered return to school in January for Secondary aged students so that a testing regime can be implemented in schools and has asked schools to use Monday 4th January as a planning day. At the moment, the staggered start does not affect Special Schools so all students at St Andrew’s will return to school Tuesday 5th January 2021.

As yet we have no information on if or how testing will be implemented in Special Schools. When we do, we will let you know.

The Government are changing things very quickly at the moment and often at short notice so if anything changes again over the Christmas and New Year break we will let you know.

How does the new 10 day isolation for children that have come into contact with someone that has tested positive, that came into effect on 14.12.20 effect students? 

Those that are currently self-isolating have been contacted. We will continue to follow government advice on self-isolation and work with Public Health England on contact tracing.

Do parents need to contact school during the Christmas holidays if their child tests positive?

Parents do need to tell us if their child tests positive any time on or before Christmas Eve. This is so that we can help Public Health England ensure that we contact families that may need to isolate as a result of this positive test. The names of any child that has tested positive will not be shared with anyone. 

Parents are invited and encouraged to tell us if their child tests positive on or after Christmas day. 

To let us know please email

You do not need to let us know of any other family members that test positive, only children that attend St. Andrew's.

Will school be open as planned on Friday 18th December?

Yes. We felt it was too late in the calendar to change things for parents/and carers to arrange childcare.

Can children give gifts to other students and staff?

Yes, as long as it is either in the students bubble, or there is enough time to quarantine the items.

Will my child be able to send Christmas cards this year?

Yes, we have a post box in school which will be emptied and the contents quarantined for 72hrs each day. The last day for Christmas cards in the post box will be Wednesday 16th December, otherwise you can send cards to students in the same bubble any day.

What happens about transport if my child has to self-isolate?

We will contact the Transport Teams, but this message may not get to the taxi drivers in time, so please also contact your child's taxi driver to let them know when they will be off and when they will return.

Why do you let us know at such short notice about shutting bubbles?

Unfortunately, we get notified of a confirmed COVID-19 case at any time of day or night and we need to act swiftly, we try our upmost to share information as quickly and efficiently as possible. We understand this can be frustrating and appreciate organising childcare can be difficult. We are grateful for your support in trying to keep our whole school community as safe as possible as soon as possible. Please check your texts, emails, school app and school website to get the latest information. 

Why can't I book a test for my child and finish the isolation before the 10 days?

The 10 day isolation period for everyone that comes into close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is government advice. This is because it can take 10 days for symptoms to appear, so you cannot end the 10 day period by having a negative test result. You need to continue to isolate for 10 days even if you have a negative test result within this 10 day period.

Am I allowed to go to work and my other children go to school when my child has to self-isolate?

Only the people that came into close contact with the positive COVID-19 case need to self-isolate. Parents/carers and siblings of students self-isolating do not need to self-isolate, unless they develop symptoms. Anyone that develops symptoms in your household needs to isoloate for 10days from when the symptoms were first displayed and book a test.

What does close contact mean?

The government definition of close contact can be found on their website CLICK HERE

What happens about school work if my child has to self isolate?

During this period of unusual and uncertain times where bubbles may need to be closed at very short notice, class school work can be found on your child's class page if you feel this is suitable for your child during any periods of isolation. As a school we understand this may not be suitable for all students but we welcome any feedback from parents which can be sent directly to the class team via the class email address or contact form found on the class page.

What are the latest changes?

We have been following and continue to follow the government guidance. The government updated their guidance for Special Schools on 17th September 2020. Please see our return to school procedures CLICK HERE.

What if my child has a cold?

If your child has a cold and you would normally send them in to school, you should continue to send them in to school. If they have a cold and are too unwell to attend school, you must notify the school each day that your child is not in school. 

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate, arrange to have a test, and notify the school. 

What happens if someone has symptoms of COVID-19?

Many of our students would not be able to express that they are suffering from symptoms. It is the staff working with them who will monitor each student. If a student begins to present with symptoms such as:

  • A high temperature (this means hot to touch on chest or back, clammy, red cheeked, or above 37.8 °C)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

They will be moved to the medical room with a member of staff wearing appropriate PPE whilst their parent/carer is phoned to collect them. If anyone is suspected to have Covid-19, then any PPE worn must be double bagged and stored separately for 72hours before being disposed of. The student should self-isolate for 10 days and arrange to have a test. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days.

Will my child be able to go out?

Unfortunately we are unable to run offsite activities at the moment, this will be reviewed regularly and as soon as we can allow staff and students going off site, we will.

Can I send my child into school with toys or equipment?

You can send your child to school with a bag and anything your child needs to allow us to support them including personal care items. You can send in small items that may help your child regulate their sensory needs. 

Will my child be able to wear PPE in school? 

PPE means Personal Protective Equipment, so that is anything to help protect yourself. 

In hot weather, students should continue to wear sun cream when necessary, parents need to apply this on before their child atends school. Students should be sent with a labelled hat. No open toe footwear should be worn. 

In cold or wet weather, parents should continue to send their child in with a jumper and a rain coat.

The government advice regarding students wearing face masks, gloves or visors is:

Face coverings should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.

Can I send a snack in with my child?

Yes. School will not be purchasing or providing snacks so paying for snacks will not be an option. Parents are to send snacks in with their child.

Do I need to send packed lunch to school?

School dinners will be provided, if you usually pay for a school meal, you will continue to do this on ParentPay for the school meal your child has. If you usually send a packed lunch, you will continue to do this. Meals will be eaten in different places at different times. 

Milk and Water will be provided in cartons and bottles, these must be ordered with the dinners, the kitchen staff have requested that any class who has a student with a dairy allergy to only order water for the whole class. The Menu will resume to a usual menu, starting with Week 1. Student lunches will be eaten in different areas at different times.

11.55am – ASC Corridor (Mull and Skye) – to collect dinners from the hatch and eat in class.

12pm – KS3 Corridor (Orkney, Bute and Lewis) – to eat in the hall, dinners will be plated up.

12.05pm – Campus – a member of staff to collect dinners from the side door of the kitchen and return once washed.

12.15pm - Jurra – to collect dinners from the side door of the kitchen and return as usual.

12.20pm – Barra – to collect dinners from the hatch and eat in class.

12.25pm – Iona – to collect dinners from the side door of the kitchen and return as usual.

12.30pm – KS4 Corridor (Stronsay and Taransay) – to eat in the hall, dinners will be plated up.

Students must not share food or drink items, utensils or equipment.


How will you social distance in school?

Students will be reminded by staff to follow social distance guidelines of staying 1 metre apart where possible from their peers and adults in school and on the outdoor areas.

The government guidelines state: Maintaining a distance between people whilst inside and reducing the amount of time they are in face to face contact lowers the risk of transmission. We know that this is not always possible, particularly when working with children and young people with complex needs, or those who need close contact care.

Settings should make small adaptations to the classroom to support distancing where possible. That should include seating pupils side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on, and might include moving unnecessary furniture out of classrooms to make more space.

This means that staff are not to encourage face-to-face situations, so where there are situations in the curriculum that would be face-to-face such as circle/ semi-circle seating, try to minimise these times and encourage social distancing. We understand social distancing will be more difficult for our students, they will be encouraged wherever possible to keep a distance from peers and adults, however, we understand this won’t always be possible. Students should use their own allocated equipment which will be stored separately and should not share these items.

My child missed their transition time in their new class, what will you do about that?

For YR6 students moving into YR7 we have offered a days transition with their new teacher in school. We have sent transition packs home for every student with photos of their new class team.

In September all students will follow a recovery curriculum CLICK HERE where there will be a focus on relationships, St Andrews community, love of learning, and space to be themselves and rediscover their environment. 

What will classes look like in September?

The government guidelines state settings should assess their circumstances and look to implement ‘bubbles’ of an appropriate size, to achieve the greatest reduction in contact and mixing, without unduly limiting the quality of breadth of teaching, or access for support and specialist staff and therapists. This means we have changed our bubble groups from classes of 4 to departments/ corridors of classes with a maximum of 3 classes:

KS3 Bubble – Orkney, Bute and Lewis (30 Students split in 4 classrooms)

KS4 Bubble – Stronsay, Taransay and Barra (25 students split in 3 classrooms)

Willows Bubble – Jurra (9 students split in 2 classrooms)

ASC Bubble – Skye and Mull (17 students split in 3 classrooms)

Lodge Bubble – Iona (6 students)

Campus Bubble – Shetland, Arran and Islay (27 students split in 3 classrooms and spaces in the building)

Will there be staggered start and finish times?

Unfortunately we are not in a position to do this because of the nature of how our students are grouped and transported it wouldn't be possible. Please CLICK HERE for the guidance.

Will my child still get transport when they go to school?

Yes. Students are being transported with other students in their bubbles.

Derby City Transport and Derbyshire Transport have made adjustments to their provision.

  • Making sure transport providers do not work if they or a member of their household are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus
  • Making sure transport providers, as far as possible, follow hygiene rules and try to keep distance from their passengers and wipe down vehicles after every journey.
  • Taking appropriate actions to reduce risk if hygiene rules and social distancing is not possible, for example when transporting children and young people with complex needs who need support to access the vehicle or fasten seatbelts.
  • Reducing the number of passengers per vehicle and increase the amount of space between passengers
  • Wearing face coverings

If you are transporting your child yourself, please arrive by 9am - and collect your child at 3.20pm. Each car will wait whilst the car/minibus at the front empties and leaves until the last vehicle has left. This will be the same on leaving school, each vehicle will queue up, the one at the front will be filled, then leave, then the next filled and leave until all vehicles have left. If you are walking into school to drop off or collect your child, please stand at the markers on the floor to the side of reception and wait for a member of staff to direct your child from/to you.

Will my child be safe in school?

We have followed and continue to follow all government guidance. To read our changes in school please CLICK HERE.