Key Information for September Re-opening

September Re-opening - Key Information
This page will be updated regularly to provide parents/carers and students with all relevant key information in advance of Benfield School fully re-opening in September 2020. Please check this page regularly.
Benfield School PE Department clarification on arrangements for PE lessons and PE kit for students (Updated 4th September)
We aim to reduce the use and capacity within our changing rooms on return to school.


During your child’s first week back (W/C 7th September) they will not need their PE kit.


Starting from the following week (W/C 14th September)  they will come to school dressed in their full Benfield PE kit on the day/s they have PE. Students should also bring their school uniform with them in their school bag in case it is required (e.g. wet weather/cold winter element temperatures).  This arrangement will be reviewed on an on-going basis.


If your child does not have the correct Benfield PE kit they are to arrive in their full school uniform and get changed into their temporary kit at the start of the lesson.


Lessons will be taught outside as much as possible, however when we do need to use an indoor space the lessons will be focused on improving mental health and well-being and will not be strenuous.


PE lessons will be taught in adherence to the government guidelines and also individual sports’ National Governing Bodies. We aim to move away from sports involving high levels of contact and focus on improving the well-being of our pupils.


Please note there will be no swimming lessons during this half term.

Benfield School - Arrangements for re-opening of school in September (Updated 2nd September)

Start dates and key timings

On Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th September only staff will attend school for two Staff Training Days and school will not be open to students.  It is important that staff can undertake full health and safety training in relation to the new systems which will be in operation from 1st September before all students return.

Please see below some new changes to arrival locations for some year groups and the newly adapted timings for Year 11 which have been updated since July.  This is due to the installation of several new external handwashing facilities for different year groups installed around the site over the summer break to support our increased approach towards health and safety. 

The remainder of the first week will operate as follows:

Year Group

Key Information for First Week (First day highlighted)

Year 7





Wednesday 9th September – 11th September

Students should arrive at 8:30am at the Main School Entrance Gate to enter Year 7 zone

Students will leave school at 2:50pm onwards via Main School Entrance Gate



Year 8





Thursday 10th September – 11th September

Students should arrive at 8:30am at the Main School Entrance Gate to enter Year 8 zone

Students will leave school at 3:00pm onwards via Main School Entrance Gate



Year 9





Thursday 10th September – 11th September

Students should arrive at 8:30am via the Cherrywood Student Entrance

Students will leave school at 2:50pm onwards via the Cherrywood Student Entrance



Year 10





Thursday 10th September – 11th September

Students should arrive at 8:50am at the Cherrywood Student Entrance

Students will leave school at 3:15pm onwards via Cherrywood Student Exit



Year 11





Thursday 10th September – 11th September

Students should arrive at 8:30am at the Cherrywood Student Entrance

Students will leave school at 3:00pm onwards via the Cherrywood Student Entrance



Year 12




Friday 11th September

All students will receive details of start times and outlines of the day



Year 13




Friday 11th September

All students will receive details of start times and outlines of the day



All students will attend every day at the start times and locations above in the following week of Monday 14th September.

Please see the attached letter to parents at the bottom of this page for a copy of the full information posted out to all parents/carers on 02/09/20.

Please see the Benfield School Risk Assessment document attached at the bottom of this page.

Benfield School - Use of face coverings in school from September (updated 2nd September)

Benfield School is focused on welcoming all of its students back to school in a safely planned manner so that they can restart their education, access a full curriculum and receive support in their studies and well-being. 

As you may have seen, the issue of students wearing face coverings in school has been a topical issue over recent days.  Headteachers in Newcastle have been working with the Local Education Authority and our Public Health England Lead who has today provided guidance about the use of face coverings in Newcastle schools: 

“The local public health advice is that secondary and middle school pupils should wear face coverings in corridors or communal (shared) areas where social distancing cannot be maintained, as set out in the government guidance.

This is advice rather than guidance and it is a matter for schools themselves to determine whether face coverings are required and to advise pupils and parents accordingly.”

Based upon careful consideration of the evidence to date, evaluating the layout of the school, the known challenges in maintaining social distancing with young people and the importance of increased confidence for parents and staff regarding re-opening of schools, Benfield School has made the decision that face coverings will be required to be worn on the school site as follows:

  • Face coverings are required to be worn in communal areas of schools only for both pupils and staff as a means to preventing the transmission of Coronavirus in school.  This includes when moving around the school site on all corridors and staircases
  • All students must bring a face covering with them to school (plain/without logos- a reusable covering is recommended) along with a sealable plastic bag to store it safely in when it is not being used to prevent contact with surfaces
  • Students should put their face coverings on as soon as they enter the building each morning
  • Face coverings are NOT necessary in the classroom or other locations where pupils are being taught in a group such as a sports hall, dining rooms where pupils are eating and drinking and outdoor areas The control measures detailed within the Benfield School Risk Assessment document already outline how other systems also reduce the risk of transmission
  • Once students arrive at their lesson or lunch area, face coverings can be removed
  • Students and staff therefore must wear face masks in corridors and indoor communal areas, other than when eating at lunchtimes in dining rooms
  • Some individuals (both staff and students) are not able to wear face coverings for medical reasons and are exempt from wearing them; if your son/daughter is unable to wear a face mask please contact Mrs Irving (Deputy Headteacher) or Mr Wardle (Pastoral Lead) here in school.
  • We reserve the right to ask a student to remove a face covering that is deemed inappropriate; this will be replaced by a school disposable mask until a more appropriate one is sought
  • This requirement may change as national guidance from the Department for Education/Public Health England is updated.

Here in Benfield the systems which we have in place are safe but we feel this approach towards face coverings gives and additional layer of transmission control to provide even more reassurance and confidence so that everyone can focus fully on learning and the support of young people as students return next week.


School Food Arrangements - September 2020 Full re-opening update (1st September 2020)

Due to newly allocated separate dining areas for each year group for students to socialise safely at break and lunchtime the following arrangements will be in place from September 7th 2020;

Before school

On entry all students will be offered a free warm bagel to take to their form room to eat.

At break-time

Students will be able to buy a small selection of pre-packed items such as baked goods, fruit and drinks. This can be paid for by the cashless system at till points.

At lunchtime

To help maintain easy and safe access to food at lunchtime Benfield have invested in a new 'Fusion' pre-order app which students can use to order their personalised ‘grab and go’ sandwich meal deal. 

All students will use the pre-ordering app to select a  ‘grab and go’ sandwich meal deal. They will be able to buy additional pre-packed items at the till points. 

‘Grab and go’ items will include foods which meet the needs of students, such as halal meat, non-allergen options (gluten free) and vegetarian/ vegan products. 

The new ‘Fusion Mobile’ app allows students to make a choice of sandwich, fruit, baked goods and drink. The app will allow payment (linked to our established Parent Pay system) and they can then collect it from their designated year group social area at the start of lunch.

Students will be given their own individual 'Fusion' access codes and further details on how to use the app in form time in the first week back.

As we would encourage the use of this new app, we also appreciate that a small number of students may not have a phone in school. Those students still wanting to order a ‘grab and go’ sandwich meal will still be able to do so with their form teacher in morning registration each day.

For all free school meal students meal allowances will be used by the 'Fusion' app.

Students can bring their own packed lunch if preferred.

We encourage parents and guardians to use Parent Pay wherever possible (via “quick links” on the school website) but we also have three cash collection machines in school where students can add money to their personal accounts. If the addition of money is necessary, we would encourage this at break time to avoid any disruption to students either collecting their food or buying it from the till point. No cash is taken at the till points by catering staff.  


For any information on Parentpay, please contact school reception for support.


For further general enquiries on School catering please contact:

Update - Saturday 29th August 2020

Getting ready for the start of the new school year: uniform update

We are aware of some current supply and accessibility issues with our uniform supplier, Emblematic. We want to reassure all parents, carers and students that we will be fully tolerant of the situation when we start the new academic school year.

Please note: Year 8 and Year 9 students will be provided with a new tie (no cost in exchange for old light blue stripe tie) when they return to school.

If Year 7 ties (navy with white stripe) are not available before the start of term, then students will not be expected to wear a tie until the issue is resolved.

Benfield School blazers must be worn as part of the school uniform but if students are not able to acquire a blazer in time for the re-opening of school, they can temporarily substitute this with a plain navy or black jumper or sweatshirt until the issue is resolved and they receive their school blazer (Benfield School PE hoodies are acceptable).

Students must wear plain, black flat school shoes (not trainer style, plimsolls or boots).

All student school uniform information was previously posted out to all parents/carers in the final week of the summer school term in July.  Alternatively, please also refer to the school website for more information regarding uniform expectations.  

Thank you.

Update - Friday 28th August 2020
On the 28th August 2020, The Department for Education (DfE) has released further changes to its previous guidance on the full re-opening of schools in September.
Following on from information posted out to parents/carers in the last week of term at the end of last academic year, Benfield School is currently reviewing these newly adapted opening plans and our detailed risk assessment document (see below) based upon these recent changes to information and guidance issued this week by the Department for Education and Public Health England.  This will include Benfield's approach towards the use of face coverings in-line with the new guidance.
Updated plans and information will be communicated electronically and via post to all parents/carers as soon as possible during the week of Monday 31st August.  We will also provide finalised details and information relating to our new systems for dining and catering provision for students.
Please note that the information listed here may be subject to change pending updates to current guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) and also advice from Public Health England.  Information nationally in relation to COVID-19 is changing frequently on a daily basis and the approach taken by Benfield School will reflect this, always prioritising the health & safety of everyone affiliated with the school and also our local community.
Please find below the most up-to-date Risk Assessment for Benfield School which will operate from September 1st 2020.  Please also find information which outlines arrangements and start dates for students within individual Year groups for September.