Last Monday, Badgemore School fully reopened welcoming back all their children for the first time after schools were closed on 20 March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This is the first Henley state primary school to do this.
Children arrive and leave the school at staggered times and the children have been split into bubbles of 15 and social distancing is in place for children in years 1 to 6. All children are wearing their home clothes.
Headteacher Tim Hoskins said, “I was very keen to get all the children back in school before September. We’ve got the space to adhere to the current government guidelines. We’ve had about 90% return. The ones who haven’t returned are self-isolating or parents are nervous about them returning. The children in reception class are not social distancing as it is not realistically possible to do this with this age group. We spoke to the parents about this and they agreed that it was more natural for them.”
The children have returned to a normal timetable and are enjoying the great outdoor space the school has.
Mrs Robinson, Reception Teacher said, “We’re making sure that we keep the risks as low as possible with lots of hand washing between classes.”
Best friends Lottie and Jaymee were pleased to see each other, Lottie told us that the first thing she said to Jaymee was “I missed you!” When we asked Jaymee about wearing home clothes she said, “I like wearing my school uniform more.”
Jaymee’s, Nan Lucy Schofield who was volunteering at the school said, “It’s lovely to see them back altogether like a happy family. I was nervous about bringing her back the first day but everything is set up really well with markings outside and they are already used to it. It’s great for them to be back together for psychological reasons too.”
Last week, one of the teachers had chest pains after school and went for a test in the evening. She had the test result (which was negative) back by the next morning at 8am and could return to work. Tim commented, “This just reminds us that we can’t slip with what we are doing. It is essential that everyone continues to follow the social distancing and hand-washing guidance from the government.”
From September government guidelines will change for schools. Bubbles will be made up of an entire class (up to 30 pupils). The bubble will only be asked to self-isolate if 2 cases emerge in the bubble. Uniforms will return and staff can move between bubbles. Staggered start and end times will continue. There will be no social distancing between pupils, but staff will have to continue to socially distance. Resources will be able to be taken between home and school.