Skip to content ↓

Return to school

This information has been updated extensively on 11 September 2020. Sections with new information/changes are indicated in bold/italic at the start.

To support parents during these challenging times we have updated our advice and information below. Please read.



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 the following guides to help support families make decisions about transport during the Covid-19 pandemic:

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

This information has been updated.

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

The school day will start and end as normal but we have made changes within the day so we can achieve two important things:

  1. Allow greater distancing at key moments.
  2. Allow time for Year 10 and 11 students to have catch-up sessions.

School starts at 8.55am prompt and this is when students will begin Lesson 1. It is vital that all students have arrived at school, on time. Students will have Lesson 1 and 2 without a break. 

Students will then have a break after lesson 2 and will need to remain in their designated year group bases. Where possible we would encourage all students to be in their designated outside spaces so would encourage them to bring an appropriate coat.

Lesson 3 will take place and then students will move to their tutor rooms for the tutor period.  During this tutor period, lunches will be staggered for Years 7,8,9.  Years 10 and 11 will have lunch at 1-1.30pm. 

Lessons 4 and 5 will be at the usual times. 

We will stagger students leaving Lesson 5 for their buses and students will be supervised onto the buses to ensure they are in year groups.


The school day timings are:

(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.



Students will be expected to be in their usual uniform from the first day of school and the usual rules apply regarding uniform. Guidance would suggest that clothes need regular washing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students need to ensure that they have sufficient uniform to ensure they are well-presented. The school building will be very well ventilated at all times so we would advise students to always have their jumper/hoodie with them at all times.  Students should also ensure they have an appropriate outside coat with them at all times so that, weather permitting, they will be outside at break and lunchtime.

You can read the full information about uniform (including a handy ticklist which can be downloaded from the bottom of the page) on our uniform and equipment webpage.



Students should  ensure that they have the correct equipment for class lessons. Please note we wish to avoid loaning equipment to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The full list of equipment can be found on our uniform and equipment webpage here. You can download a handy ticklist from the bottom of that page.

While there are hand sanitisers on the entry to every classroom we would encourage students to also bring their own, where possible, as this allow for quicker entry to lessons. Students also need to bring a filled water bottle.

If they are using a mask for use on public transport, please remember to bring one for their return journey. If wearing a reusable mast please keep each in re-sealable plastic bags. There will be bins at school where students can safely get rid of disposable masks before entering the school building.


PE Kit

Students will need PE kit.  We have made modifications to the PE curriculum in line with government guidance.  Students will be able to change into their PE kit in the usual way.

Students will need to keep bags and coats with them at all times as lockers have been removed to allow for greater social distancing on the corridors


Face coverings

This information has been updated.

Given the latest government advice and the increasing infection rate in the country, we are tightening the rules about face coverings.

Everyone in school should wear a face covering when they are in transition between classrooms/offices. 

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

Students should bring to school a supply of disposable or washable facemasks to wear. The school will not be able to provide them unless it is for emergencies as we are being provided with a very small contingency supply for this purpose.

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.


reporting an absence

This information has been updated.

Attendance at school is crucial to the success of our students.  We will continue with our high expectations that students will aspire to the highest possible attendance.  We recognise that there may be times when students are not able to attend school. 

How to report an absence

It is vital that you tell us directly if your child is going to be absent. Otherwise we will treat their absence as a safeguarding matter.

Step 1: let us know

You can let us know by:

Please include the following information:

  • Name.
  • Year and Class.
  • Bus.
  • The names of any siblings in school.
Step 2: fill in the absence form

You must also now complete our online form for ALL absences. This provides useful informatoin should we have to follow the 'track and trace' procedure.

Please complete this form, even if you think the absence is not Covid-related:

Please ensure you following both steps 1 and 2.


What to do if your child is ill

Lots of parents have contacted us asking what to do in different situations. Below is a basic guide to follow. However, please also check out the latest NHS advice if you are unsure.

You can contact the NHS by calling 111 or going to their website at:



My child has Covid-19 symptoms:

  • HIGH TEMPERATURE – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back.
  • A NEW CONTINOUS COUGH – this means coughing for more than an hour or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
  • A LOSS OR CHANGE TO THEIR SENSE OF SMELL OR TASTE – this means they have noticed they can’t smell or taste anything.

Get a test.
Contact school daily until test outcome is known.
Household to self-isolate until child receives test result.

Test is returned negative.

My child tests positive for Covid-19.

Inform school immediately about test result. Agree earliest date for possible return - minimum of 10 days.
Self-isolate the whole household for 14 days.
Contact school daily.

.....They feel better. Student can return after 10 days even if they have a cough or loss of taste/smell. These symptoms can last for several weeks.

My child tests negative. CONTACT THE SCHOOL. Discuss when your child can come back to school (same day/next day). FORWARD EMAIL OF TEST RESULT OR SCREEN SHOT TO SCHOOL. .....The test comes back negative.

Somebody in my household has coronavirus symptoms.

DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL. Contact school daily.
Self-isolate the whole household for 14 days (or until test comes back negative).
Household member and anyone else in household who is showing symptoms to get a test.

The household member test is negative.

Somebody in my household has tested positive for coronavirus.

Agree earliest date for possible return - minimum of 14 days.

The young person has completed 14 days of self-isolation.

NHS test and trace has identified my child as a ‘close contact’ of somebody with symptoms or a confirmed case of coronavirus.

Agree earliest date for possible return - minimum of 14 days.

The young person has completed 14 days of self-isolation.

We/my child has travelled and has to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine.

Do not take unauthorised leave in term time.
Consider quarantine requirement and FCO advice when booking travel.
Provide information to school as per attendance policy.
Returning from a destination where quarantine needed:
Agree an earliest date for possible return. Minimum of 14 days from return date. Self-isolate the whole household.

The quarantine period of 14 days has been completed.

We have received medical advice that my child must resume shielding.

Contact the pastoral team in school as soon as possible.
Shield until you are informed that restrictions are lifted and shielding is paused again.

….School inform you that restrictions have been lifted and your child can return to school.

My child’s bubble is closed due to Covid-19 outbreak in school. DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL. At home support your child with remote learning provided by school.
Your child will need to isolate for 14 days AND NOT GO OUT AT ALL. Others in the household can go to work/school as usual.
…..School will inform you when the bubble will be reopened.
My child is ill with symptoms not linked to Covid-19. FOLLOW USUAL SCHOOL ABSENCE POLICY PROCEDURE. …..After 48 hours following the last bout of sickness/diarrhoea if this is the cause of absence.

You can download an A4 sheet which contains this useful guide at the bottom of this page.

Please be assured that in all of these matters we will be closely adhering to the DFE guidance.


Symptoms Guide

The infographic below shows how to recognise symptoms for Coronavirus, cold and flu:


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.