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Schoolchildren adapt to 'the new normal' for their first day back

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

School term has officially started and schools across the borough are adapting to the new normal while welcoming their full quota of students.

Many schools have decided to stagger the return of their students, with one new year group reintroduced per day over the course of the next week.

As such, plenty of schools across the borough will not have a full house until next week.

For those who opened to the whole school on Wednesday (September 2), the experience has been busy but positive, with pupils happy to see their friends and teachers happy to see all their students again.

Oldfield Primary School welcomed back all of its 400 students on Wednesday.

Richard Jarrett, head-teacher at Oldfield, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the way things have gone. The children are excited to be back, the teachers are equally excited, as are all the adults in the school. It’s gone very smoothly.”

Each class of students has been asked to come up with a ‘COVID class rule’, on top of the pre-arranged routines of where to stand and where to wash their hands.

The whole school also had its first remote assembly yesterday. “They absolutely loved it, so maybe that’s the way to go,” said Mr Jarrett.

He also praised Oldfield parents for keeping to the staggered arrival times and social distancing requirements, and for the fact that many of them walked rather than drove to the school.

As for the guidelines set by the Government, Mr Jarrett felt they were ‘sufficient’, if very late in arriving.

Over at Foxes Piece School in Marlow, students are enjoying an adapted curriculum, including a ‘recovery curriculum’ for the first three weeks in the morning, to catch up on any lost learning over the lockdown period.

In the afternoons, Foxes Piece has a daily fitness session, including the ‘Daily Mile’ children’s jogging routine at lunch time, within their bubble.

“Lots of families don’t have a garden and we know fitness and outdoor spaces are really important for our children,” said Jane Byron, head-teacher at Foxes Piece.

Both heads expect to have to adapt further as changes unfold, but are confident that plans have been put in place that the schools will continue to run smoothly.

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