Welcome back as schools open to older pupils

Outdoor sinks at the entrance to St George's Academy. EMN-200615-172057001Outdoor sinks at the entrance to St George's Academy. EMN-200615-172057001
Outdoor sinks at the entrance to St George's Academy. EMN-200615-172057001
With primary school children returning to Reception, Years 1 and 6 two weeks ago, on Monday it was the turn of Sleaford area teenagers in Years 10 and 12.

Just 25 per cent of pupils were being allowed on sites each day due to Covid-19, with one way systems in place to avoid class groups coming into contact with each other wherever possible, no-one allowed off site at lunch time and canteens limited.

Hand washing stations have been installed at the entrances to schools, with the expectation that children use them before entering the premises.

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Principal of St George’s Academy, Laranya Caslin said they had opened both Sleaford and Ruskington campuses for the two year groups.

Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. Receptionist Linda Harbin working behind a screen. EMN-200615-161553001Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. Receptionist Linda Harbin working behind a screen. EMN-200615-161553001
Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. Receptionist Linda Harbin working behind a screen. EMN-200615-161553001

She said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with how it has gone. We sent all staff and students new handbooks, washable facemasks and other supporting documents, as well as a video briefing to help them prepare physically and mentally for their return.

“The behaviour of the students has been excellent and they have quickly got into the routine of washing their hands at the outside sinks before entering any of the buildings. They seem pleased to be back and it’s really good to see them.”

Year 10 student Ellie Thomas said: “I really appreciate my teachers, learning at home is just not the same without the help, although independent study is now something I understand and have learned to do.”

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Fellow Year 10 girl Katie Egan commented: “I was really scared about coming in with the new routines I read about in the handbook including wearing masks. Now I am here it’s fine, just new rules for our safety.”

Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. EMN-200615-161603001Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. EMN-200615-161603001
Sleaford and Kesteven High School re-opens for some pupils. EMN-200615-161603001

Niamb Nill in Year 12 added: “The one-way system is not great, a lot of walking, but it will improve the step count.”

Nick Law, principal of the Robert Carre Trust in charge of Carre’s Grammar and Kesteven and Sleaford High School, said: “We have been planning for this for a few weeks and have had to alter the plans several times to fit in with the changing advice and instructions from the government.”

Students queued in marked, distanced boxes outside to enter the high school.

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Mr Law said: “We have a robust risk assessment and safety plan in place, which we have shared with the members of our school community. Staff have been working throughout the pandemic setting work, contacting students, holding virtual lessons and trying to support parents in home-schooling.”

He said this will continue, to make sure lost learning is kept to a minimum and more lessons will be done via video link to enable more contact with students, which they have missed.

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