How two Lincoln schools adapted ahead of re-opening

Over 200 schools are due to re-open in Lincolnshire on June 1 in line with government guidance, but the environment is likely to be different to what pupils were used to just a few months ago.

The Lincolnite spoke to two local schools to find out how they plan to ensure the safest possible return for staff and students.

Both Navenby CE Primary School and Lincoln Minster School will have new safety measures in place, including social distancing markers, staggered start/finish and break times, as well as classes being split into smaller groups.

Navenby CE Primary School

Navenby CE Primary School normally has 198 pupils. Around 20 pupils will be returning in Reception and Year 1 on Monday, with both classes split into smaller groups.

27 Year 6 pupils are set to return on a rota, in groups of nine in one week blocks. Key worker children in Years 2-5 will continue to attend.

Several parents have expressed their appreciation for the school’s efforts during lockdown, including home learning resources.

Deputy Headteacher Sarah Sheardown, who teaches Year 6, told The Lincolnite: “The children on the whole are really excited about coming back as they have missed their friends. They don’t quite have an understanding of how tricky it’s going to be, particularly the younger ones.

“I’m excited to go back. It’s been horrible not to finish the primary school journey off properly with my Year Six children, so it will be good to have them in again.

“For some staff, particularly those with their own children, there will be some anxieties, but we are here to do a job and we have put in everything we possibly can to make it safe for pupils and staff.”

She added that for Year 6 pupils the focus will be on continuing with reading, writing and maths, whilst also focusing on secondary school transition. Online resources will continue to be available for those still at home.

Lunchtime supervisors will wear gloves and masks, which other staff will have available to use should they choose to do so.

Lincoln Minster School

Lincoln Minster School usually has 600 pupils across its three sites – Pre-Preparatory, Preparatory and Senior School – as well as domestic and international boarders.

From next week around 75% of pupils are expected to return for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

The lessons for Year 6 will be delivered virtually through their tablets in class, with two teachers present with their small groups to offer guidance and support. Children learning from home will access the same content.

Headteacher Mark Wallace told The Lincolnite: “We are making sure as far as possible that everything is in place for a safe return. We’ve done that as far as possible so everything is ready for Monday.

“It will be great to have more pupils back in the school community and it will be a positive step forward in getting back to some form of what we perceive as normal. It will be a new environment to adjust to and will take a bit of time to get used to.”

Meanwhile, academies in Lincolnshire also have plans in place, including the Priory Federation of Academies Trust.

Four of the trust’s schools open on June 1 with a further two on June 2 due to having a training day.

Opening dates for schools in the Priory Federation of Academies Trust (VC = vulnerable children, CKW = children of key workers).

The Tollbar Multi Academy Trust will begin a phased re-opening of its primary and secondary academies on June 15.

If you are unsure whether your child(ren)’s school is reopening, please check with the school directly.

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