Our local primary schools are following guidance from the Department of Education and Wiltshire Council and are opening their doors to the children in the Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 6 over the next two weeks. Each school has had to adapt the guidelines to fit their own particular circumstances in order to ensure the safety of children and staff.
Marlborough St Mary’s and Kennet Valley School will be opening for the selected Year groups of children from June 1 whereas Chilton Foliat School and Preshute School are opening a week later on June 8.
Emma Russell, Headteacher at Kennet Valley School, told Marlborough.news, “At Kennet Valley, we are looking forward to opening to more children from the 1st June. We will have 3 groups, or ‘bubbles’, from this date, with staff who stay with them all day. These bubbles are Reception/Year1, Year 6 and a Key Workers bubble. We are expecting approximately 20 children back in the first two weeks, but know that we may get more key workers’ children in the coming weeks. We can’t wait for more of our children to return.
We have changed the layout of the school quite a bit, so that we are providing as safe an environment as we can for the children coming into school. Classrooms only have the minimum required furniture in them, such as a desk for each child with individual trays of equipment for them to use. We have put in place staggered start and finish times and have repainted our playground so that parents know where to stand to ensure social distancing is strictly adhered to at drop off and pick up.
The teaching team are working hard to continue to plan learning packs which children will complete at school if they are attending or if not at home. All of our children will have the same opportunities for learning. When in school, teachers will also be taking their bubbles outside to work as much as they can, including to have picnic lunches when the weather is fine. Learning packs include work on English writing and reading, Maths and topic work linked to other subjects such as science or history. We have also built in opportunities for children to complete mindfulness activities such as yoga and meditation and of course safe physical exercise.
The whole staff team, along with our governors, have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that our school is clean, tidy and safe before the children start back. We have a detailed risk assessment which has been carried out in line with County and National guidance and which the full governing body has approved, and we have rigorous cleaning plans in place. Children and staff will be regularly handwashing and will be following social distancing as appropriate.
We are looking forward to welcoming back our children and parents and hope that we will see more of them in school very soon but only when it’s safe to do so.”