Plans in place for return to schools

Schools large and small will be welcoming pupils back - many for the first time in months - over the next few days.

Staff have been busy for weeks making sure social distancing can be observed and holding inset days to prepare for re-opening.

Glossopdale School has kept parents informed of its Covid-19 plans and precautions every step of the way through letters and online messages.

Head teacher Debbie McGloin in her latest letter said: “Our priorities as we plan for the full opening of the school is to ensure that both staff and students feel confident and safe as they return.” 

St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust schools in Glossop have also been preparing. 

Although St Mary’s, St Philip Howard, St Charles’ and All Saints and St Margaret’s remained open throughout lockdown, it is the first time all year groups have returned since restrictions began in March.

Louisa Morris, head teacher at St Philip Howard, said: “We have missed all of our pupils greatly over the last few months; our school has been quiet without them, but we are delighted to be opening to all pupils.

“As always, we will try to care for and educate every child under difficult circumstances and we will endeavour to keep parents and carers informed of any changes from the government.” 

Paul Ackers, new headteacher at St Mary’s CVA, said the school would be doing everything it could to support its families.

He said: “We want the transition back into school to be as smooth as it possibly can be and we want to allay any worries that our parents and carers may have by reassuring our families that the safety and well-being of their child will always come first.” 

Schools have been asked by the Trust to make arrangements that suit their own setting.

They could include limiting adult numbers on the playground, keeping children in ‘bubbles’ across classes or year groups, increased hygiene measures, staggered break and lunchtimes, zoned playgrounds, sitting side by side where possible and limiting items being brought into school.

Bernadette Quirke, headteacher at St Charles’ in Hadfield, said there would be a strong focus on pupil well-being in the new term.

She said: “Pupils will stay with their year groups and the school has timetabled in opportunities for extra handwashing and cleaning down surfaces during the school day. 

“Our main focus is to ensure pupils feel safe, are happy and begin to reconnect to our school community.”

Grainne Beaumont, headteacher at All Saints and St Margaret’s, told us: “I know some of our children and parents/carers may be anxious about returning to school. 

“We will be concentrating firstly, on the mental health of all in school. The children who were in school during lockdown found the routines fun and were brilliant in following the guidance. They enjoyed being back together, even from a social distance.”

 

Main image:

Some of the hygiene measures in place at Longdendale High School. Photo: Anthony Devlin. 

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