Although there are concerns about a rise in cases of Covid-19, the national guidance for the public and for schools is that we are now in the stage of ‘living with Covid’.
The last two years have been a long and exhausting period which has been unprecedented in many ways. Over this time, we have been in lockdowns, reduced children’s access to school and stopped contact with family and friends. However, we have also found new ways of communicating, demonstrated great resilience, created solutions to new and old problems, and supported each other through a range of major challenges.
Thankfully, over the last few weeks, normality has been edging ever closer and, from April, it is clear that the expectations are for society in England to return to a pre-pandemic ‘normal’.
What does this mean for school?
In the coming days, ready for after the Easter break, school will be removing/changing the last of the main Covid-19 management systems which are no longer necessary such as:
- Associated signage has been removed
- Classes will be organised to play together as part of the yard/activity management
- A wider range of activities/events are being organised for the summer
- Larger groupings of children will return (e.g. larger assemblies).
It is important to understand that there will be some aspects which will remain as we have found that they have been beneficial for various reasons. Some of these include:
- Breaktimes/lunchtimes will continue to be staggered to allow children more time to eat and play
- KS2 toilets will continue to be assigned to Year Groups
- Year 3 and Year 4 will continue to use the front of the school for collection and drop off to reduce congestion
- Timetabling will support children washing hands at key points, and ventilation will be manged to reduce transmission of everyday virus’s
Overall, these are aspects which are manged in school and which will not be noticeable by families on a day-to-day basis. However, what is essential is that children have all the opportunities and provision which schools have previously been able to create.
This is now a time when we will move forward with our aim to be a community school which works with our children and wider families so that we can collaborate on education and wider experiences.
I want to take this opportunity to thank families for everything they have done during the pandemic. The sacrifices made by everyone have been enormous but they have also been instrumental in getting us to this point. Governors and staff know how much support they have received from parents/carers in many ways which ensured we were able to continue to provide for our community.
We must now be positive and believe that this is the end of the very long tunnel we have been travelling down. Schools are more prepared than ever to cope with issues that may arise in future but for now, we are ready to return to what we have hoped for for so long … normality.