Pupils are returning to school in Hull and East Yorkshire next week.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be a much different learning environment that children and teachers are used to.
The Government set out rules for face coverings in schools in England, where older pupils will be required to wear face coverings in between lessons in communal areas of schools in areas where local lockdowns have been introduced.
Headteachers will have the option to ask pupils to wear them elsewhere in the country.
In primary schools, children are not required to wear masks, but many other schools have put in rules to stop the spread of the virus.
Wold Academy and Endike Academy have put in place preparations and to reassure parents and pupils ahead of a full return to school.
The two primary academies are part of the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), a national family of schools claiming to be dedicated to delivering a world-class education which broadens pupils’ horizons.
The two schools have put in place a raft of measures to help make the school environment as safe as possible. In line with the Government’s guidance, these include:
- Placing pupils in year group ‘bubbles’ and ensuring interactions between different bubbles are restricted;
- Introducing a staggered timetable for each bubble with separate start and end times each day, as well as staggered break and lunch times to ensure bubbles do not mix;
- Clearly marked entrance and exit gates to ensure an efficient one-way system and encourage pupils, parents and staff to move swiftly around;
- Pupils will either bring in their own packed lunches, or the school will provide a packed lunch style grab bag with a choice of hot or cold sandwich.
The schools have put in place a number of risk assessments to ensure the safety of pupils and staff ahead of a full return. These are reviewed on a daily basis to ensure they are as effective as possible, and to reassure parents that they have considered all aspects of school life.
Janine King, Principal at Wold Academy, said: “We are so looking forward to welcoming our pupils back in September. They have been absolutely fantastic in the face of adversity over the past few months, but we really believe that children benefit so much from being physically back at school – socially, emotionally and academically.
“We fully realise that some parents and carers may be apprehensive about sending their children back into school so we wanted to reassure them by outlining the measures we will be taking to keep pupils safe.
“The safety of our pupils and our staff is our utmost priority, and we will be taking every precaution to keep Wold Academy a happy and healthy place to learn.”
These sentiments were echoed by Emma Brown at Endike Academy.
She said: “We cannot wait to have all pupils back at Endike Academy again. Our families have done a wonderful job during lockdown and now is the time for all children to be back and showing us just how fantastic they are.
“The wellbeing of our pupils is one of our top priorities – happy children are ready to learn.
“With this in mind, we have developed our timetable and lessons to ensure that children have the time to discuss their feelings as well as many chances to develop their emotional resilience.
“We aim for our teaching and learning to be engaging and challenging so that every child has the opportunity to achieve their true potential.”