Children happy to be back in class
SCHOOLS have been welcoming back children who had been home learning for two months during the latest lockdown.
Secondary schools have had to put in place testing regimes, with pupils having three Covid-19 tests before returning to Downend and Mangotsfield schools, and being sent home with kits to carry out two more every week.
Teachers at all schools, which had remained open to key worker and vulnerable children throughout January and February, faced the challenge of settling those who had been learning remotely back into the classroom routine from March 8.
At Pucklechurch C of E Primary School, World Book Day events were postponed by a few days so that they could take place after all pupils had returned to classes.
The school’s ‘recovery curriculum’ focuses on belonging, and the day, rearranged for March 9, was a perfect opportunity to unite the school.
Head teacher Alex Capel said: “It was important for the school community to have this annual event together, and we were so pleased we did.
“On the day, our children came alive as their favourite book characters and it was magical!”
Pupils dressed up as favourite book characters and took part in activities inside and out, including ‘dino spotting’ in the forest area, creating scenes from natural materials and sketching plants that could feature in their own books.
They were given a World Book Day voucher and with staff they explored different books that they could exchange theirs for.
They were also read a story via video by a former pupil who is hoping to become a published author.
The return to school has seen children and parents at Barley Close Community Primary School in Mangotsfield able to take part in a project to encourage active travel – walking, cycling or scooting to school.
Children are able to log their journey to school on a Travel Tracker app and receive monthly badges for successfully completing an active journey.
The school has set up a ‘park and stride’ scheme with Living Streets and South Gloucestershire Council
Staff at Bromley Heath Infant School also delayed World Book Day so they could hold a book week after all children had returned to school, giving pupils who had been home learning the chance to visit the newly-improved library.
At St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, head teacher Mark Hilliam said children had “settled back brilliantly”.
He said: “We are exceptionally proud of how they have come back, with smiling faces and an eagerness to get back to their learning.
“Teachers are working hard to help the children get back into the swing of school life and have been careful to make the transition back as smooth and positive as possible.
“We are still in our class bubbles and are now very used to working in this way.”