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Return to school

We are very much looking forward to welcoming all of our students back into school from 8 March 2021. Below is information which has also been sent direct to parents, carers and students, about our arrangements.


When do students return to school?

Return date Year group
Monday 8th March Year 11
Tuesday 9th March Year 10
Wednesday 10th March Year 9
Thursday 11th March Years 7 and 8


What will happen on their first day back?

Please watch the video below from Mrs Petts about what will happen when students return to school on their first day:


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Parents should ensure that they are available to come and collect their child on their first day back, should they test positive for Covid.


What should students bring with them?

Please ensure that students have:

  • the correct school uniform
  • outdoor PE kit for days they have PE (all PE will be outdoors as the gym is being used for Covid testing)
  • reusable face masks
  • a filled water bottle
  • their own pens
  • the exercise books they have had at home during lockdown.

For a reminder of our uniform and full equipment list please see our uniform webpage.


Important information about the Covid tests in school

Negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) results do not rule out COVID-19 infection, particularly in the early stages of infection when viral loads are lower. Therefore it is very important that your child continues to follow all of the guidelines (both in and out of school) in order to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Please do not send your child to school if they (or anyone in the household) has Covid-19 symptoms, even if they have had a negative LFD test at school or at home.  LFD tests should not be used if your child (or anyone in their household, support bubble or childcare bubble) have Covid-19 symptoms.  If anyone in the household has symptoms, you should book an NHS PCR test and the whole household (including support and child-care bubble) should self-isolate. 


Covid-related absence

For more detailed information about this please see our attendance webpage here.



The official advice we have is that, where possible students should walk or cycle to school.  However, for the vast majority of students, they will need to rely on the school bus network.

Information from Derbyshire County Council

Derbyshire County Council have issued new advice about school transport which you can view here

School buses

We have been asked to reinforce the message that face coverings should be worn on buses. Please talk to your child to ensure they do this.

Derbyshire County Council has worked hard with bus providers to ensure that they are as safe as possible.  You should have received information with your bus pass about how students should travel on all school buses, and this information is attached in the documents below.  Timetables for buses run by the local authority as also included.  For students who would normally travel from Hathersage the advice is to travel on the nominated ‘school’ bus.  All designated ‘school’ buses are now closed to the public.  Students can still pay on the bus, if they do not have a bus pass, however the charge each was is £1.  The request is that the exact fare is paid so no change needs to be given.  This is to limit the handling of money.  Buses will only stop at designated stops and students should not ask the buses to stop in the village.

The request for all students who travel on a bus is as follows:

  • Students must sit in year groups.
  • Students must have their own hand sanitiser as not all buses will be able to provide this.
  • Students aged 11 and over are required to wear a face covering unless they have a medical exemption or reasonable adjustment under the Equalities Act.

At the end of the school day any students who travel on the minibuses will need to make their way to the car park where the mini-buses will be waiting. Larger buses will still be at the front of school. 

Car travel

Morning drop-off: please use the bus bay. The school car park will be used for Post-16 students to arrive safely.

Afternoon collection: please park at the far end of the car park and keep the circulation route free. Bear in mind that this car park will be busier with minibuses.


Students are welcome to cycle to school and are able to store their bikes safely. Our website has details of a ‘bike bus’ being trialled by parents:  


Arriving at school

Students should aim to arrive in time to go directly to their period 1 lesson at 8.45am.

If they arrive earlier, between 8.30am and 8.45am because of their bus times, they should go to their outside designated space:

The time between 8.45am and 8.55am is for making their way to their period 1 lesson.

Students are not permitted to enter or exit school through the main reception unless requested to do so.  They must enter school through the designated gates. There is also a one way system around school that students need to stick to.

Students will be greeted as they arrive at school.  If they choose to remove their face covering at this point they should do so safely and sanitise their hands immediately. 


Changes within the school day

he school day timings are the same as they were last term:

(Please note that for arrival, break, lunch and social times students will be in separate areas supervised by staff)

08:30                    Students can arrive in school and go to year bases

08:55                    Period 1

09:55                    Period 2

10:55                    Break

11:15                    Period 3

12:15-12:35         Y7: time to buy and eat food
12:35-13:00         Y7: tutor time
13:00-13:30         Y7: social time

12:15-12:35         Y8: tutor time
12:35-13:00         Y8: time to buy and eat food (dining hall)
13:00-13:30         Y8: social time

12:15-12:35         Y9: tutor time
12:35-13:00         Y9: time to buy and eat food (hall)
13:00-13:30         Y9: social time

12:15-13:00         Y10: catch-up time          
13:00-13:30         Y10: time to buy and eat food (dining room)

12:15-13:00         Y11: catch-up time      
13:00-13:30         Y11: time to buy and eat food (hall)

13:30                    Period 4

14:30                    Period 5


End of the school day

This information has been updated.

Release for buses as follows:

  • 3.25: Y7

  • 3.30: all other year groups


Break and Lunch

Currently we are not able to provide food before school.

The dining room will continue to provide food at lunchtime. We have amended the menu and will continue to provide a hot meal each day. You can view the new menu here.

Students are welcome to either purchase food from the dining room or bring their own packed lunch. Initially we will be unable to provide snacks at break time so students will need to bring a snack with them. We are also unable to use the water fountains so students will need to ensure that they have a filled water bottle each day.

As a school we are moving towards a cashless system. Payments for lunches should be made via Wisepay (see our Wisepay webpage here for further information). If this presents an issue please contact the finance department.


Face coverings

Staff, students and visitors will be expected to wear face coverings in school nearly all of the time from our return until the Easter holidays 2021 at the earliest.

Staff will not wear face coverings in the classroom if they are able to maintain social  distance. Government guidelines advise that students, staff and visitors should wear their face coverings on corridors, in the dining hall when not eating and in classrooms.

Face coverings won’t need to be worn outside, or in PE lessons.

Students should also wear face coverings when travelling on buses and public transport.

All students should bring their own face mask (and a spare) to school every day. We suggest students bring with them fabric face coverings which can be easily washed. We will continue to contact parents/carers of children who repeatedly request replacement single-use face coverings, which are very costly to school and to the environment.  Please don’t wear masks that may be deemed offensive, and please be aware that some of our staff and students are exempt from wearing masks, and have been issued with an exemption pass and lanyard for this reason.

Students should have a sealable plastic bag to keep their facemask in, to avoid contaminating other items.

To help with this, please make sure your child knows how to use a face covering safely and hygienically. There are links below to the guidance on face coverings and how to use them below. Please remind your child, this does not include classrooms and they will be expected to remove their face covering on entering a classroom. 

You can read full guidance on face coverings on our dedicated Face Coverings webpage here.


Year group bubbles and changes to tutor groups

According to government advice we must aim to keep our young people in year group bubbles as far as possible. This will allow us to be able to track and trace any potential infections in school. This means that we will have to change our tutor groups from mixed year groups to single year group tutor groups.  Each year group will be put into tutor groups and named HOPE (for example 8H, 8O, 8P, 8E); this will be familiar to students as these are used for teaching groups, particularly in Key Stage 3.  We will not be keeping these groups in every subject where other groupings (within the year groups) will still apply.  As we put tutor groups together, we are taking into account what we know about our young people and their friendships etc.  Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s tutor group.

Another change will be that our Senior House Tutors will take responsibility for a year group or key stage so Mrs E Scorer will be the point of contact for Y7, Mr M Fitton for Y8 and Y9 and Mr A Jenkinson for Y10 and Y11. They will still keep an oversight of the house system but as we cannot mix year groups their focus will be on the year group rather than the house. Their contact details are:



The school behaviour policy will be shared with all students on the return to school in September and attention will be brought to some key amendments in the current climate.

The aim of the amendment is to ensure:

  • The safety of students and staff.
  • Pastoral and academic support for all students can take place with being inhibited or interrupted.
  • Teachers are supported at this critical time.
  • Social distancing and other measure to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 infections are adhered to by all members of the school community.


Additional Expectations of students

Additional expectations of students in response to the above aims are as follows:

  1. All students will enter and leave school via the designated entrances and exits.
  2. Students must follow all hand sanitising and washing procedures established by Hope Valley College.
  3. Students must go directly to the classroom they are assigned. They must not attempt to enter another classroom, accompany peers to other classrooms or congregate in corridors or other parts of the school.
  4. Upon entering the classroom students must immediately sit at their assigned seat. They must not sit at another desk, approach the teacher’s desk and work area or touch or interfere with any equipment that is not their own personal belongings.
  5. At breaks and lunchtimes students must stick to their allotted year group areas and timings for lunch.
  6. Students must not behave in a manner that causes concern, anxiety and worry to others. This includes; imitating the symptoms of COVID-19, threatening others with not adhering to social distancing, threating to cough, sneeze or spit on others and other actions that lead students and staff to worry for their safety.
  7. When arriving and departing from school students must adhere to the requirements set down by the bus companies.

Like you, we are taking a common sense approach and will keep up to date with guidance as it is released.

We know that these changes will make a difference to the day for all our students but we hope that they will maintain safety, maximise learning time and provide important social interaction. We will review this provision every half-term and react to any changes in guidance as they arise.