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Oxclose Road, Washington, Tyne And Wear, NE38 7NY

0191 691 3940

Columbia Grange School

Little Steps, Big Aspirations For All

Latest Covid-19 update 

Letter to all parents/carers.                                                                                   8th Jan 2021


On Monday 4th January Boris Johnson announced the closure of all schools. Mr Johnson said the new measures were necessary "because we have to do everything we possibly can to stop the spread of the disease". 


We would like to inform you all that late yesterday the government published new guidance stating:


 “Primary, secondary, alternative provision and special schools will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers only (recognising that the characteristics of the cohorts in special schools and alternative provision will mean these settings can continue to offer face-to-face provision for all pupils, where appropriate). All other pupils should not attend and should learn remotely until February half-term. Pupils who are self-isolating should not attend school. Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils are also advised not to attend school.”


Given this information we feel there are a few factors that you need to be aware of:


Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus 

  • Social distancing is NOT possible in our setting amongst the children and staff
  • Social distancing is NOT always possible between staff
  • If your child returns to school they are likely to be in a classroom with up to 10 other children and up to 5 members of staff throughout the day. This effectively equates to your child mixing in their bubble with up to 16 different households. 
  • Forming bubble groups reduces the risk of transmission by limiting the number of pupils and staff in contact with each other to only those within the group - logistically this has not been possible to adhere to in our setting due to a number of factors; staff absences, transport, playtimes, sensory needs, personal needs etc. 


While the risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low, they spread it to others, to their parents, their families and into their communities. 

  • SAGE stated that the new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible with a higher propensity to infect children
  • Children are more likely to be asymptomatic than adults. One in three people are thought to have no symptoms when infected with the virus
  • Our school staff do not have access to lateral flow testing unlike secondary schools, or vaccines unlike care workers and NHS staff
  • Absences will not be penalised during this national lockdown period


As a senior leadership team and governing body we do believe you should be fully aware of the risks before you decide whether your child returns to school and that we cannot guarantee that they will be safe from Covid.

If you want to discuss anything please feel free to contact Lesley Mavin, Head teacher on the school number or by email and please inform school or your child’s class team via email or dojo whether you are intending for your child to return to school or not as we need to make the necessary arrangements for lunches and transport and to ensure we can guarantee adequate levels of staffing - if we cannot guarantee adequate levels of staffing, some class bubbles may need to close to all but key workers on the grounds of health and safety.

Any child displaying symptoms will be sent home immediately, and following Public Health advice bubbles will be closed immediately in the event of positive cases. To this end you must ensure school has up to date contact numbers and that we can contact you immediately if necessary.   

Please follow the link for Government information on restricting attendance during the national lockdown:  School national restrictions guidance


We are delighted to share that we have received our fourth outstanding OFSTED report.  A massive thank you and well done to all our staff, pupils and all stakeholders. 

Latest News

  • We now have our own school app.
  • Last half term the SAFC foundation of light supported families in a ten week programme. see more about it by clicking the link
  • Staff inset training and work around our feelings. click the link to see more about what we have been up to.
  • Children from Class 8 and Class 10 enjoyed a trip to Nissan as part its Monozukuri Caravan Programme. Click the link to find out more about it.
  • We were delighted to have the RPO entertain us on Friday 6th January 2017. Click the link to read more about their visit.
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Latest School Calendar Events

Half Term Holiday15Feb2021

9:00 am - 19 feb, 4:00 pm

School closed for half term holiday

Calendars page(s): School Calendar >>

Columbia Grange is a co-educational school for children with severe learning difficulties and/or autism between the ages of two to eleven years. The school opened in September 2003 and is a purpose built provision with additional facilities for those pupils with autism. The school benefits from assessment facilities in our nursery, various therapy rooms, indoor/outdoor adventure playground, information technology room, music room, library, food technology room, sound and light studio and a parent’s room. The school has extensive outdoor facilities including a multi-purpose play area, pupil’s garden, nature trail and a discovery park.


With the current political drive towards increased inclusion, Columbia Grange act as a flexible base, whereby children (with ASD) from mainstream schools can attend on a temporary basis as part of a planned intervention strategy. In addition to these facilities the school also benefits from having an outreach department, which is staffed by a highly qualified and experienced team of specialists in autism. The school has established itself as a training centre for autism within the city, sharing good practice and delivering training.


Columbia Grange School is not affiliated to any particular religious denomination.