16 July 2020

Plans for full reopening - September 2020

First week of term 

This September we will have a slightly slower transition back to a full timetable. This is primarily to give our new Year 7 cohort, who have not yet had the opportunity to see the school building in person, the chance to have some focused transition over the first two days. We also feel that it is important for other year groups to spend sufficient time with their tutor, understanding the changes that have been put in place before a full week of lessons begin the following Monday. Therefore, please note carefully the following arrangements for the start of term: 

Monday 31st August: Bank Holiday (school closed) 

Tuesday 1st September: Staff training day (school closed to students) 

Wednesday 2nd September: Year 7 induction day (Year 7 only in school) 

Thursday 3rd September: Year 7 induction (full day of lessons); NE12 6th form induction (8.30am-10.30am Year 12 induction; 1.30-2.15pm Year 13 induction) 

Friday 4th September: Years 8-11 tutor half day (Year 7 not in school) 8.30am-11.15 for Year 8 & 9 and 12.15-3.00pm for Year 10 & 11 (students will have a break but there will be no lunch provision). 

Y12 familiarisation visits for those travelling to George Stephenson High School starting at 9am 

Monday 7th September: Lessons start for Y7-13 

A reminder that students should be in full uniform from their first day; please refer to our letter to parents and carers on July 10th here: https://longbenton.org.uk/parents/newsletters


Key Stage 'bubbles'

We have been carefully working through the government guidance regarding full reopening to all year groups, which include a set of protective measures which make up a system of controls. One of these - minimising contact between individuals and maintaining social distancing where possible – is one which schools are required to consider properly. 

In order to meet these requirements and reopen safely, we will need to put in place two main changes in September: the creation of key stage ‘bubbles’, and a readjustment of the timings of the school day. 

Control measure 


What this means at Longbenton High School in September 


Creation of ‘bubbles’ of an appropriate size 

Students will be divided into key stage bubbles: 

Bubble 1: Key Stage 3, Years 7-9  

Bubble 2: Key Stage 4, Years 10-11  

Bubble 3: Key Stage 5, Years 12-13  

Avoiding crowded corridors and reducing movement around the school 

The school will be ‘zoned’ into 3 spaces, one for each bubble. This limits the number of different rooms students are taught in, will reduce general movement within the school, and prevent contact between bubbles. 

Different bubbles will have their own entrances/exits: 

Bubble 1 - Café doors 

Bubble 2 – Dining doors (enter through Year 7 ‘yard’) 

Bubble 3 – Main front doors 

Prevent contact between bubbles 

Each bubble will have a different start and end to the school day and a different break/lunch time, to avoid the entire school population mixing at any one time. See changes to timings below. 


Timings of the school day 

Keeping bubbles separate requires an adjustment to the timings of our school day, so that we can stagger start and finish times and stagger lunch/break times. These are outlined below. Please also note that we continue to finish slightly earlier on Tuesdays. 

The main points for parents/carers to note are the slightly different start and finish times for key stages: 


Years 7-9 

Years 10 & 11 

Years 12 & 13 

Start time 

8.35am (with tutor) 

9am (go straight to Period 1) 

8.35am (with tutor) 

Break timings 




Lunch timings 




Finish time 




Finish time Tuesdays 




*Year 7 will initially have a slightly longer lunch, starting at 12pm, so that they can get used to our dining systems  


Please keep checking the website later in August for any further news and changes regarding reopening - we may have to respond to changes in government guidance. Please read the full letter dated 16 July regarding September reopening here: https://longbenton.org.uk/parents/newsletters