Welcome to the website of Rockcliffe First School. We hope that this site will prove useful to current and past members of the Rockcliffe family, and to those who may be interested in joining our family in the future.

Rockcliffe First School is a North Tyneside Learning Trust School, catering for children from 3 to 9 years (Nursery to Year 4). We have a published admissions number of 45, with children entering two small Reception classes.

For over one hundred years, Rockcliffe has been an innovative and exciting place to learn. Overlooking the sea, with views of dramatic skies and boats on the horizon, Rockcliffe's ethos comes from its stunning location, rich heritage and place at the heart of its community.

Despite achieving consistently high academic results, we believe that the job of an excellent school is much broader and strive to help our pupils become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Therefore, our mission is ‘To Lay the Foundations for Life.

In order to help us achieve this, we aim to offer:

  • a broad, dynamic and challenging curriculum which allows us to be the best we can
  • a safe and inclusive community in which we all feel welcome
  • a rich creative environment in which everyone will flourish

Carnival Headdress Tutorial

posted Jun 11, 2021, 4:46 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Jun 11, 2021, 4:46 AM ]

A Merry Christmas from all at Rockcliffe First School

posted Dec 18, 2020, 6:51 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Dec 18, 2020, 8:11 AM ]

Kindness Packs Movie

posted Nov 26, 2020, 2:31 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Nov 26, 2020, 2:32 AM ]

Welcome to Rockcliffe 2020

posted Oct 23, 2020, 5:44 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Oct 23, 2020, 5:46 AM ]

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Summary Statement

posted Sep 14, 2020, 2:11 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Sep 14, 2020, 2:13 AM ]

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Summary Statement

Rockcliffe First School


In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Department for Education published guidance on the 2nd July 2020 to assist schools in their planning to safely re-open to all year groups from September 2020.  This guidance instructs schools to conduct a Covid-19 risk assessment which has resulted in the implementation of control measures that will ensure we provide an environment that is as safe as is reasonably practicable and in line with current government guidance.


Rockcliffe First School is are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our pupils, employees, governors, visitors and contractors.  Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely with our Local Authority partners to risk assess our premises and activities in order to develop and embed control measures and systems of work that minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus (Covid-19).


Our risk assessment was originally developed in May 2020 to enable the re-opening of our school to limited year groups and key-worker pupils from 1st June 2020.  Since that time our risk assessment has been subject to continual review and update as further government guidance has become available.


This document sets out a summary of the results of our COVID-19 risk assessment and demonstrates our commitment to provide a safe environment for the education of our pupils and a workplace for our colleagues who are working in, and will be returning to, their normal work setting.  It highlights examples of the measures we have adopted to ensure pupils, staff, visitors and contractors attending Rockcliffe First School can do so safely.


Our risk assessment follows the Health and Safety Executive’s Five Steps to Risk Assessment which includes:


·         Identifying the hazards

·         Deciding who can be harmed and how

·         Evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions

·         Recording the findings and implementing them

·         Reviewing the risk assessment and updating it where required (i.e. where guidance has changed)


We have developed our risk assessment in consultation with key stakeholders within the school, including our Governing Body, our staff and our trade union representatives.  The risk assessment is a ‘live’ document which continues to be reviewed on a regular basis following changes in guidance and taking on board feedback from staff, pupils, parents and visitors.


We appreciate that some of our parents and carers may have concerns about their children returning to school, but we would like to reassure you that the school has acted on professional advice; we have consulted with relevant bodies and we have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the environment is as safe as possible.



Summary of Results


Control measures include, but are not limited to:

·      Engagement with the NHS Test and Trace Program;

·      Implementation of an effective infection control program which includes:

o  Regular handwashing

o  Cleaning/sanitising facilities at key areas within the school

o  An increased cleaning regime for regular touch points and resources used during teaching activities

o  Immediate response to individuals showing COVID-19 related symptoms;

·      Introduction of class bubbles, which minimise the amount of contact between individuals on site;

·      Social distancing for staff and pupils who can follow social distancing requirements;

·      Introduction of one-way systems where possible;

·      Adaptions to classrooms including removal of furniture and changing of desks to prevent face to face or side-on contact;

·      Minimising the amount of staff who provide support to pupils;

·      Changes to the structure of the school day to ensure the integrity of bubbles (e.g. staggering entrances/exits, toilet breaks, break times and lunchtimes);

·      Signage to remind all staff, pupils and visitors of key COVID-19 control measures that are operating on site;

·      Review of our emergency response procedures including those in relation to evacuation and local outbreak;

·      Increased support from a wellbeing perspective for staff and pupils;

·      Revised visitor access arrangements to minimises the routes of access to the school site;

·      Individual risk assessments for staff and pupils with (or living with) particular characteristics, additional or complex needs including those with Educational Healthcare Plans;

·      Amendments to the curriculum activities to ensure safety (e.g. increased outdoor activities, changes in the way lessons are delivered);

·      Review of ventilation within the school to ensure there is a constant flow of outside air circulating;

·      Sharing of measures with key stakeholders including site neighbours and contractors to ensure consistent adherence to the school’s risk control measures.


Rockcliffe First School continues to work closely with the Local Authority and its partners to ensure we act on all advice and guidance as it becomes available in order to provide the safest possible environment for everyone within our school.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we move forward through this challenging period. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Sharron Colpitts-Elliott, on 0191 6434100 or at sharron.colpitts-elliott@rockcliffeschool.org.uk.


S Colpitts-Elliott                                     M Evans

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott                                 Mary Evans

Headteacher                                                 Chair of Governors

Message from Rockcliffe Staff

posted May 14, 2020, 5:42 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Jun 11, 2020, 3:51 AM ]

Latest Coronavirus Updates

posted Mar 19, 2020, 4:43 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Dec 4, 2020, 5:18 AM ]

4th December 

COVID-19 information for parents

North Tyneside, like all other areas across the North East, has seen significantly increasing rates of infection over the last few weeks and there is now widespread community transmission of the virus.

Working closely with North Tyneside Council and Public Health England, the school continues to ensure that we operate safely, and that we minimise the spread of the virus. This includes maintaining high standards of hygiene inside and outside classroom settings, grouping children in ‘bubbles’ and maintaining social distancing where ever possible.

As parents or carers, you can support the endeavours to help control the virus in North Tyneside by adhering to the national restrictions, maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.

We are also asking that you please keep your child at home if anyone else in the household is suspected of having, or has had, a positive test for COVID-19, or if your child has any of the following symptoms of Covid-19:

·         A fever – this means being hot to the touch on the chest or back;

·         A continuous cough -  a dry cough and coughing a lot for over an hour with more than 3 episodes per day;

·         Loss or change of taste and smell - this means no smell or taste, or that things smell or taste different to normal.


It is important that the whole household self isolates and that anyone in the household with symptoms get tested, as soon as any symptoms start to occur, via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119Only people with symptoms should get tested.

If the test is positive the person will need self-isolate for 10 days, and the rest of the household for 14 days.

The action  we will take in school if a member of staff or a pupil has a positive test result for COVID-19 is as follows

o   As soon as we are informed of the positive test result, we will carry out a risk assessment with Public Health colleagues to identify any other children or staff who may have been a close contact with the confirmed case.  

o   If your child is not identified as a close contact of the confirmed case we will contact you to tell you that you do not need to make any change to your usual routine and that it is safe for your child to continue to attend school.

o   If your child is identified as having been in close contact with the confirmed case we contact you and ask you to keep your child at home to self-isolate for 14 days, in line with government guidance.  Your child DOES NOT need to be tested. Other members of your household or contacts of your child DO NOT need to self-isolate and can continue normal activities. If your child does develop symptoms while self-isolating then the household should self-isolate and the child should get a test.

The evidence from the Chief Medical Officer  is very clear that the balance of risk is strongly in favour of children attending school and that serious illness or deaths in children and teenagers from Covid-19 are extremely rare.  Therefore, it is really important that all children continue to attend school or college (unless asked to self-isolate) for their educational progress, for their wellbeing and for their wider development.

24th September

Letter for parents about COVID-19 symptoms

Public Health England have produced a letter for schools to distribute to parents which explains when a person requires a coronavirus test and what the symptoms of coronavirus are. The Department would be grateful if you could share and circulate this letter amongst parents at your school.

The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing.

You can view the letter here.


27th March


Dear All

It's me again - sorry! Just to remind you that we'll be taking part in Earth Hour from 1.30pm to 2.30pm in school this afternoon, and we hope you'll be able to join us. Rockcliffe parent Fiona Robertson has kindly created a poster with the key details of the main event tomorrow evening and I've attached it here.

Best wishes,


PS Mr Singh thought you might be interested in events taking place at Chester Zoo today - the website will be live-streaming animal encounters throughout the day!

Earth Hour Poster

26th March


Dear All,

I do hope that you are all staying safe and well, and that your children are enjoying the activities within their home learning packs. The pupils who have been joining us in school this week have really impressed us all with their positive approach - their Rockcliffe Learning Superpowers are still very strong, and we're sure that your children are continuing to develop their powers, too!

Following an excellent suggestion by a Rockcliffe parent (thanks, Jo Bates!) we have finally activated the "Gallery" section of our website - accessed through an icon on the home page - and begun to add examples of our children's work/pictures/models/other stuff sent by parents or carers. This will help us all to see what fellow members of the Rockcliffe family are getting up to - it doesn't have to be linked to activities we have provided and might include, for example, photographs of sandwiches made/cakes baked/more adventurous dishes prepared, etc. Anything you would like to share would be welcome; just email me at: sharron.colpitts-elliott@northtyneside.gov.uk. Please understand, however, that there may be delays in the process - I am completely lacking in the skills required to upload pictures to the website and will depend upon our ICT Technician to do that for me. As we share Dave with several other schools, it may take some time - but then, that's something that isn't in short supply right now! 

Should you find yourself running short of things to do with your children, you might find it useful to check out the North Tyneside Early Years and School Improvement website at: https://nteysis.org.uk/home-learning/. Members of the advisory team have been working really hard to come up with ideas for all children within the borough, and will be updating the site on a regular basis.

Another thing you might do (!!) is encourage your child to make a card, or write a letter, to pass on to the residents of St. Anne's Nursing Home. Sadly, they are unable to receive visitors at the moment, and we have been asked whether our lovely pupils might like to cheer them up at this challenging time. Some children will make cards in school, tomorrow or next week, but it'd be great if you could join in at home, too. I'll forward any electronic copies I receive from you, but there will also be a box at the top of the school stairs over the next few days where hard copies may be dropped off, ready for delivery by a member of school staff. Everyone at St. Anne's will be really grateful for your support. Thank you in advance.

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott


Dear All

I am sorry to send another message so soon after the last, but I wanted to keep this one separate so that we (okay, I) don't get confused. I have been asked today by the local authority to pass on information about our Easter holiday offer, but in order to do that I need to have some idea of demand. We will DEFINITELY be open to the children of key workers on those days that are not bank holidays, but may be able to open on Good Friday and/or Easter Monday if necessary. We will, however, need to gauge interest so that we can sort staffing. Our wonderful teachers and support staff workers are happy to help, but to ensure everyone's safety I must only ask them to work on the school site when pupil numbers demand it. 

I appreciate that many of you have already let me know whether, and when, you require your children to be at school over the next few weeks, but I also know that your own, and the national/regional, circumstances are changing frequently, and that some people who have not needed our support in the past may do so soon. So I would be very grateful if you could let me know as soon as possible if you would like your children to attend school over the spring break, using the grid below. Thank you in advance - and apologies to those of you for whom this email is irrelevant. I am  aware, however, that I do not have a full list of key workers and that some of you may not have needed to contact me about this before now.

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

22nd March


Dear All,

Apologies for the lateness of this message, but I have important information to pass on to you about school lunches in North Tyneside schools. ALL CHILDREN IN RECEPTION AND YEARS ONE AND TWO are currently entitled to a free school lunch each day. During the period of partial school closure, NTC cooks will be providing a packed lunch for each of those children. We will collect them from Whitley Bay High School, and bring them back to Rockcliffe at the end of each morning. We will then distribute them, from the top of our school entrance staircase, to all those of you who choose to collect them between 12.00 and 12.30pm. If that time is inconvenient to you then please contact me at sharron.colpitts-elliott@rockcliffeschool.org.uk to arrange an alternative.

Of course, we are aware that not all of you will choose to collect a meal, especially in light of the rules on social distancing (we recommend you maintain a two-metre distance from each other when collecting them), and we have arranged to contact NTC on a daily basis so as to ensure they can cater for the actual numbers required and avoid food waste.

Take care, and very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott



Dear All

I am contacting you because you have indicated that you need your child(ren) to continue to attend Rockcliffe for at least some of the time over the next two weeks. I'm sorry to be sending this message so late in the weekend, but like everyone at the moment I have found myself extremely busy over the past couple of days...

For tomorrow at least, I would ask you to drop off and collect your child at/from the main school entrance, even if he or she is attending Kids' Club. The DfE and local authority both require me to send daily attendance information (of numbers, not names) of pupils and staff, and it will be much easier to get this right if we have a single point of entry and exit. After tomorrow, we may change those arrangements so as to prevent you from having to share a small space with other adults and children, and in the meantime I would suggest that you wait outside, maintaining a suitable distance from other families, unless the weather is much worse than expected.

Children should come to school dressed in their uniform, and it would be great if they could bring their home-school learning packs with them, including a reading book. Although we will be providing a much more relaxed environment than usual, we will be working for part of each day on the activities provided by teachers last Friday so that you don't feel you have to tackle these as homework at the end of a busy and quite possibly stressful day.

A packed lunch will be provided free of charge for your child, even if s/he is not usually entitled to such a meal. I'm afraid, however, that deliveries of milk and fruit to schools have been suspended. We have sufficient supplies for tomorrow, but from Tuesday you will need to provide a piece of fruit for your child if you wish him or her to enjoy a mid-morning snack.

We look forward to seeing you and your children soon.

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

20th March


Dear All

Following a meeting this morning of almost all North Tyneside headteachers, and key NTC staff, schools have been provided with a letter (attached) to distribute to parents. It outlines the need for us all to support the government's efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus using social isolation and social distancing. Clearly, this is very difficult for families including front line staff (categories are covered in the letter) who have problems providing childcare. This is why schools such as ours have been asked to remain open for children who are unable to stay at home with a suitable carer.

At Rockcliffe, we will continue to do our very best to provide a stimulating and enjoyable experience for your children, but of course our provision will be very different to normal. At present, most members of our staff team remain in post, but we do not know how staffing levels may be affected by the spread of coronavirus over the next few days and weeks. So, although we will welcome all those pupils in need of a school place, I must urge you to follow the governmental advice (below, and in the letter) and keep them at home wherever possible. This will help us as a community to stay safe and well.

Your children are bringing home learning packs today, and electronic copies will be making their way to you soon. Please keep checking the website for further activities and information. If you would like to collect a pack from school then simply let us know in advance, and we will make one available to you, either this afternoon (until 6pm) or next week.

I'll get back to you again later (sorry!) with information about school lunches, but in the meantime I must brief our staff on the latest guidance for our school. I will endeavour to answer any emails today, but please be aware that there are very many coming through, from different sources, so I may not get back to you until tomorrow evening or Sunday. If you know that your child's name has been added to the list of pupils who may be attending school next week, and you still wish to make use of the place, then let me know days and times and I will send you further information on Sunday. We will be operating from 8.55 to 3.15 as usual, and will also continue to offer care before and after the school day via Kids' Club.

Phew! Happy reading, and take good care of yourselves.

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

NTC Letter to Parents 20/03/20

DofE - Closure of education settings: Information for parents and carers 


Hi Everyone

Following the publishing of further details of the partial closure scheme in the early hours of this morning, we now have clarification of what constitutes a key worker. Please find a list below. We now know also that only one parent needs to be a key worker for a child to be eligible. I have tried to get back to everyone who has emailed me about this so far; apologies if I have missed anyone out. I'm about to attend a briefing for North Tyneside headteachers at which I hope to gain further information, and I'll get back to everyone who has expressed an interest with a definite decision by the end of the day. It's not too late to contact me about this, but please be aware that I will be unable to access my emails until 1.30pm.

Thanks so much to all those of you who have sent messages of support; we all appreciate them a great deal. We are also very grateful for the many kind offers of help; our amazing staff haven't needed to call on any of you so far, but we've kept your details and may well be in contact in the future.

I'll be in touch with more details later. For now, take care and stay safe!

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

Health and social care

Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.

Key public services

Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.

Food and other necessary goods

Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.

Public safety and national security

Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.


Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.

Utilities, communication and financial services

Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.

19th March


Dear All

Please find attached an NTC-approved letter relating to the (current!) situation; I'll be contacting you again later, once more detailed information has been received. In the meantime, thank you so much for your very kind messages of support, and offers of help. They are greatly appreciated, and I may well be contacting some of you about those offers once I've met with the teaching staff over lunchtime.

Take care, and very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

PS Our home-school learning packs will be uploaded onto the site tomorrow.

School closure letter

18th March 


Dear All

Apologies for the lateness of this message, but I've been considering the implications for the Rockcliffe community of the PM's announcement this afternoon. As you are no doubt aware, schools in England will close - for an indefinite period - for most children on Friday. However, they will remain open for vulnerable children and for the children of key workers. It is not clear as yet which pupils will be included in either category, but the Secretary of State for Education has contacted schools this evening to say that further information will be provided tomorrow. The local authority will also provide advice and support over the next day or two, to help schools fulfil their responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

Tomorrow, once I have details of which occupations are deemed to be key, and what exactly is meant by a vulnerable child, I will be contacting all parents and carers again, to ask you to let us know if your children will be eligible to attend our school next week and beyond. I expect that many teachers, teaching assistants and other school-based staff will be busy delivering learning in their own settings, and there will be other groups of workers included on the list besides the deliverymen/women, and of course the NHS workers, mentioned today. Once we know how many children from each year group will be attending our school, we will be able to arrange suitable provision for them.

The Chair of Governors, Mrs Mary Evans, and the deputy headteacher, Miss Karen Robinson, are working very closely with me at present. Indeed, I am fortunate in being supported in this work by an outstanding staff team and governing body, and together we will ensure that our Rockcliffe family continues to thrive. Although we will not be able to welcome all of our pupils into the school building, we will continue to support them throughout the period of closure; and will do our best to help everyone through this exceptionally difficult time.

Very best wishes to you all,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

PS I regret to say that we will have to cancel tomorrow's STEM Club session, as Miss Thompson will be attending a planning meeting of the Senior Leadership Team. We will be happy to accommodate your children in our Kids' Club free of charge should you be unable to collect them before 4.15pm.


Dear All

Please find attached a letter, and two sets of guidance, which the local authority has asked headteachers to send out to all parents and carers today. I am aware that the news is changing on a VERY frequent basis, and the situation in English schools may well change soon; but this is correct as of this moment...I will of course endeavour to keep you up to date with the situation at Rockcliffe. For now, and until we are told that we must change our policy, we are open for business as (nearly) usual.

We have, of course, been preparing for the possibility of a school closure, and devising learning activities for your children to complete at home. We have wanted these to be of as high a quality as possible, so have been spending a great deal of time putting the learning packs together. They will be ready by the end of the week, when we will distribute both electronic and hard copies. This would allow us to react instantly to any announcements over the weekend or on Monday.

If your child is already absent from school, you will of course receive the electronic pack on Friday, and we will make arrangements for you, or a designated person, to collect a hard copy before the end of the week should you wish to have one. If the school ends up being closed for a significant period of time, we will of course provide further activities in the future. The teachers, and the senior leadership team, are meeting tomorrow to finalise our plans for teaching and learning, and for communications, in the event of closures of different lengths, and I will let you know our decisions at some point in the next two days.

Thank you for your continued understanding at this very difficult time.

Very best wishes,

Sharron Colpitts-Elliott

NTC letter to parents from schools - Coronavirus

Guidance on Social Distancing

Stay at home guidance

World Book Day

posted Mar 11, 2020, 1:52 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Mar 11, 2020, 1:52 AM ]

World Book day 2020

Teddy Bear Hospital

posted Feb 24, 2020, 3:21 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Feb 24, 2020, 3:21 AM ]

Teddy Bear Hospital

Rockcliffe First School supports North Tyneside SCITT

posted Feb 7, 2020, 7:04 AM by David Jensen   [ updated Feb 7, 2020, 7:09 AM ]


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