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Teachers reveal what it's REALLY like in schools as pupils return to classrooms

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Pupils at London’s Bonneville, Jessop and Stockwell Primary Schools started to go back to school earlier this month.

And lead head teacher Andrea Parker (below) has today lifted the lid on how things have been for staff and pupils since doors reopened.

She said: “The children have been thrilled to see their friends, they’ve been thrilled to see their teachers, and just to be able to play with each other.

“Usually you’re stood at the gate in the morning and children come bouncing down the road and the odd child will come and hug my knees before coming into school. They would love to be even a tiny bit closer, but they’re really understanding about social distancing, and just giving waves and saying: ‘Thank you, Ms Parker.'”

Teachers have noticed children supporting each other and playing together in their bubbles of 15 or less.

“There’s no child left behind in the playground,” said Ms Parker, who understands the importance of keeping friendship groups together.

Over the weeks, the number of children returning has increased and Ms Parker says the reopening has worked out far better than she imagined.

“It’s actually been a really slick operation,” she said. “That’s to do with the planning that was put in place between myself and the senior leadership team. It’s been unduly meticulous. The communication that we’ve been having with parents has been regular, and we’ve been updating those parents, even with things that we’ve previously told them, just to give a reminder of how things work.”

Another teacher speaking out about the reopening of schools is Principal Mark Patterson of Hinchingbrooke School (above), which is just outside Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.

His school, which is part of the ACES Academies Trust, has implemented one-way systems with clear arrows and markings so the pupils don’t get too close to each other and classrooms are used for just one bubble before being closed down for cleaning.

Mr Patterson said pupils had welcomed the return to school. He explained: “You could see it on their faces. In many ways they were more pleased to see each other than they were the teachers – but they were pleased to see the teachers as well.

“It’s getting back to some sense of routine, structure and normality. I think a lot of them have been surprised by how much they’ve missed school.

“I think if you’d asked them before lockdown: ‘Would you like a week off?’ They’d have said ‘Please!’ I bet if you asked them now they’d say, ‘Can I come back?’. I think the parents and students now realise how important school is.”



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