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Covid-19 Communications

Dear Parents and Carers,  

We are delighted to be welcoming our students back to Lonsdale School on Monday, 8th March 2021, when the fully school re-opens for all students after the national lockdown.  

The PM’s announcement yesterday has brought much needed clarity and direction for schools to plan an orderly reopening in the next 9 working days. We have been working during the lockdown constantly reviewing our plans and risk assessments in line with the Government and Public Health England advice and the most recently published guidance. Updated documents to follow shortly. 

We want to thank all parents and carers for their commitment to engage in their children’s remote education during this lockdown. Your messages, photos of your children’s work and Zoom session participation has helped your child to remain connected with their friends and their teaching team. Thank you. 

I will send you further updates as the week progresses, so please continue to check your emails and the school website for more information. This area has a wealth of information and resources to support your child’s return to school. 

Thank you for your ongoing support to our school community and I look forward to seeing your child at school on Monday, 8th March. 

On behalf of the Lonsdale Staff Team

Annemari Ottridge

23rd February 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,
You have no doubt seen the Prime Minister’s announcement this evening, including the information that from tomorrow all schools will be closed. 
I would like to confirm that the closure does not apply to special schools. As Lonsdale School is a special school and all students in our care  have EHCPs, they are classified as vulnerable according to the Government Guidance. We will remain open throughout the lockdown for all our students as long as it is safe to do so. 
If your child has been asked to shield and received correspondence from Health Professionals to do so, please follow this guidance. Your child will be able to access remote learning via our school website as before. 
I look forward to seeing all our students at school  or online tomorrow. 
Kind regards
Annemari Ottridge
4th January 2021           

Dear Parents, Carers and Staff members,

Earlier this evening we held an Extraordinary Governing Board meeting with the Senior Leadership team to review the current Covid-19 situation and make decisions in the best interests of the Lonsdale community.

As you know, the Government is asking us to open our school on Tuesday, 5th January and indeed, we are committed to staying open for all our students as long as it is safe to do so. In the short term, these are the decisions we made and the changes we have agreed to implement from tomorrow onwards:

  •  The whole school risk assessment has been reviewed and now includes additional, mandatory PPE for staff members. More details of these changes will be communicated to all staff during our INSET day on Monday.

  • We are increasing the amount of ventilation throughout the whole school by scheduling the opening of doors and windows on a regular basis. Whilst we will of course keep everyone safe and warm, we think it would be advisable to bring an additional layer of warm clothing to school with you. A Parent Governor will send parents and carers more information shortly.

  • Our lunchtime arrangements are changing to provide extra protection for our secondary students and staff. North Bubble students will have their lunch in their class bubbles to reduce contact with others. South Bubble students will have their lunch in the dining room to increase social distancing for everyone.

  • To ensure home school transport provides maximum safely at all times, the school has written to the Local Authority to confirm that sufficient testing is in place for all transport providers for their staff on a weekly basis. The school will introduce testing but it will be available for staff and those students who can conduct their own test on the school site. At this point it is unclear whether we will able to provide alternative testing arrangements for students and their parents should they wish to undertake the test themselves.

We recognise that this a changing situation and there may be further directives from professional unions and Government departments, which could impose more changes. We want to reassure you that, provided we have a safe number of staff on site to meet all our health and safety regulations and considerations, we shall keep our school open for our students.

I understand that this is difficult time for all of us, but as always, everything we do and all the decisions we make will be in the best interest of students, staff and our families.

My very best wishes,


Annemari Ottridge


3rd January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers, 
Lonsdale School will open on Tuesday, 5th January for all students. We are looking forward to welcoming students and staff back in January, and recognise that some members of our school community have been asked to shield. Online learning will commence from 5th January.
All schools have been asked to introduce weekly COVID-19 testing for students and staff. We appreciate that this requirement is new and we are in the process of agreeing practical and operational arrangements for our school. 
As you know from the most recent government communication, we are expected to roll out this testing to everyone; students and staff members. However, I should underline that although the test is strongly advised it is not mandatory. 
We will provide you with more updated information on Monday, 4th January, or as soon as it reaches us.
All good wishes for the New Year!
Annemari Ottridge


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Returning to school after such a long period of home learning and staying at home is a big step for all of us. Both, students and staff, have been impacted by the pandemic in so many ways. Our Lonsdale School community has always been strong in supporting each other through challenging times. This September calls for kindness, patience and understanding from everyone. As a school, we recognise how important it is to work together to manage uncertainty, unpredictability and all our different emotional responses over the coming months.

We do understand that learning might have to wait a short while until our students have had time to work through some of their experiences, get used to seeing friends again and to adjust to new ways of doing things at school. And, most importantly, to feel safe and secure being at school, away from home. For some of our students, returning to school may be the first time they’ve had an opportunity to meet up with their peers since lockdown and shielding began.

The Autumn Term will focus strongly on the transition back to school. Our post-Covid curriculum will reflect the need to re-establish routines, relationships and identify gaps in all areas of students’ learning.

This page gives you more details of how the School Governing Body and the Senior Leadership Team have put in place arrangements to make sure it's a safe return for students and staff. The Governing Body met on Tuesday, 25th August to agree the content of this page and we’ll update it as soon as new information becomes available.

Thank you for supporting our school. You can be sure that looking after each student’s best interest and doing what’s right for them and their families is top of our priorities.

I look forward to meeting up with you all.

Kind regards,

Annemari Ottridge


Click on the links below to watch videos with current information:

Information about the September 2020 Return to School



Information for Parents of Pupils Accessing REP

A Message from Mrs Ottridge Welcoming New Starters

'A Day in a Bubble @ Lonsdale School' - A short film made by pupils for pupils

Message from Russell Lebe, new Chair of Governors at Lonsdale School - June 2020

How to find us

Get in touch

  • Brittain Way, Stevenage
    Hertfordshire, SG2 8UT

  • 01438 726999