Return of Prep 2s
The staggered return to something like normal schooling began with our Prep 2s (Year 7s). It is so lovely to have children back with us in school, to hear their chattering and laughter; although, of course, the children of keyworkers have been coming in since schools closed back in March. Everyone seemed pleased to be back: the smiling faces said it all. Dhiya said, "I missed my friends the most and I’m looking forward to getting out into the sunshine to do some PE." and Nandika, "I was looking forward to seeing my friends and my teachers."
Life isn’t quite back to normality yet for the Prep 2s and we would be wrong to pretend that it was: we don’t anticipate it being so for some time. Mr Layburn and his team, however, have worked very hard to adapt things to make sure everyone keeps as safe as possible. It has been necessary to make changes to daily routines and the children might find that school life is a little strange to start with. We are confident, however, that they will adapt.
The children are in groups of around 12, and housed in a separate part of the building to keyworkers’ children. Each child has a designated desk and desks are spaced apart in line with guidelines. The children have been asked to bring in their own equipment: including sun cream and sun hat; this kit will be kept in school and each child has their own box in which to store it. We have set up an enhanced programme of cleaning the classrooms. Frequent hand washing/sanitising is encouraged throughout the day. At break times and lunchtimes each group has its own designated area of the field for play – of the non-contact variety, of course. Packed school lunches will be provided and if the weather remains kind these will be eaten outside. We have introduced a one-way system around the school so that children and adults do not pass each other on the corridors and staircases.
All of us were looking forward very much indeed to seeing the children again – in real life as opposed to via Microsoft Teams! Our Prep 2s are a resilient and positive groups and I very much hope that they will find this next half term a productive and enjoyable experience.Joe Layburn, Prep Head
Parents too have their part to play! They have been asked to observe social distancing and to queue along the footpath when dropping children off or collecting them on foot. There is a designated drop-off bay for children who arrive by car. We have requested that children wear freshly laundered uniform each day. Of course, if a child shows any symptoms of Covid, parents are asked to keep them at home and observe the Government’s guidelines for self-isolation.
Although most of the Prep 2 year group have returned, we understand and respect the decision of parents who have decided to keep their children at home rather than send them to school. Children who have not returned to school will be able to continue their learning remotely.
By the end of the day, the Prep 2s had settled down – not quite into their old routines – but they were all in agreement that it was good to be back:
I missed all of my friends in lockdown and I was a bit worried about coming back t school, as I thought everything would be too different. However, my first day has been really fun and I’m glad I came back!Caitlin
I was really missing the interactive lessons at school and I really wanted to get back to see my teachers and friends again. The first day back at school has certainly lived up to my expectationsAtharv