Schools across England have made the safety of their pupils and staff remains a priority as some children returned to schools throughout June.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to staff changing learning environments and introducing health and safety measures in line with UK Government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At Dulwich Wood Primary School in Dulwich, south-east London, headteacher Helen Rowe and her team have ensured the school is safe by cleaning resources, offering hand sanitiser and by completing risk assessments a week before the school re-opened to staff and pupils
Class sizes reduced to a maximum of 15 pupils to ensure social distancing is in place. Children’s safety has been a priority in the school and groups are organised into a social ‘bubble’ based on alphabetical order. Families can also come to the school on the same days if they have children in different year groups.
Since the school opened on June 8, 90% of year six children have returned to school full time in order to prepare them for transitions to secondary school.
Year One and reception children are attending the school on a part-time basis while children of key workers also continue to attend the school while restrictions remain in place by the UK government.
Helen Rowe, said: “I’m at the gate every morning so it’s really lovely to see them come in. They’re all really excited to be back, it’s just wonderful,
“We sent out a home-school agreement initially to parents, to let them know what the expectations were,
“We explained that the children had to come into school with clean clothes each day, that they only needed to bring in a water bottle and they wouldn’t be taking anything home on them. They will just come straight in, wash their hands, and get on with the routine exactly as they did before the lockdown.
With younger children returning to the school, organising younger children into groups has been considered carefully. “On Monday and Tuesday, for example, we have Group A and Group B coming in. You’ve roughly got about seven children in each group at the moment,
“We’re trying to make it as fun as possible and tailor the learning to their interests as well as looking at the curriculum and ensuring that they’re covering the transition work. It’s been really positive for them. Especially in the sense of looking at current events – for example, Black Lives Matter – it’s been really important for them to be able to explore those topics as a group, instead of in isolation.”
Please check with your local authority for the latest news on schools opening in your area. This is UK Government advice for England.