Search

How are secondary schools preparing to welcome back Year 10s and 12s after lockdown?

PUBLISHED: 14:23 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:23 11 June 2020

Classrooms will look different to usual when more students return to Copleston on June 15. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Classrooms will look different to usual when more students return to Copleston on June 15. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Archant

This is what secondary schools in Suffolk will look like when more students return to the classroom for the first time in nearly three months after the Covid-19 crisis.

Everything at the school will have a different feel to it from Monday. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOLEverything at the school will have a different feel to it from Monday. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

Secondary schools will welcome back some Year 10 and Year 12 students next week, after being closed to everyone except the children of some key workers since March.

Andy Green, principal of Copleston High School in Ipswich, said the return of limited numbers of students on Monday, June 15 would be an “invaluable” opportunity for young people and their learning.

But as these pictures from Copleston show, school life will be radically different from what they were used to before the lockdown.

The changes are designed to ensure that students can return safely, giving them some crucial face-to-face time with teachers which will complement their online learning - whilst minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

Signs will offer students clear guidance on what is expected during the current crisis. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOLSigns will offer students clear guidance on what is expected during the current crisis. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

The measures include:

■ Only 25 A-level students and up to 75 Year 10s allowed in school at any one time

■ Students will stay in ‘bubbles’ of around 10 people throughout the day

■ Young people will stay in one classroom for the whole day, including at lunchtimes - teachers will move around classrooms to teach students

Signs have been placed around Copleston High School giving clear instructions. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOLSigns have been placed around Copleston High School giving clear instructions. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

■ No breaks - instead, students will do shorter, staggered days to ensure they don’t mix with other ‘bubbles’

■ One-way system around the school to guide students to their classrooms - students will not be able to wander around the corridors

■ Floor markings to ensure two-metre social distancing

■ Hand sanitisers fixed to walls around Copleston - students will have to wash their hands regularly

Desks in classrooms at Copleston have been spaced out, according to social distancing guidelines. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOLDesks in classrooms at Copleston have been spaced out, according to social distancing guidelines. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

■ Increased cleaning throughout the day, including deep cleans of classrooms in use

The limit on numbers of students means the majority of learning will still be online, via screencast presentations or Microsoft Teams sessions.

Social distancing requirements mean young people will only go to school one day a week, with Year 10s focusing on the core subjects of English, science and maths when they are in school.

You may also want to watch:

Mr Green said he understood many young people and parents would still be nervous about the current situation.

However, he believes young people will understand and adhere to the new rules, particularly as they have got used to social distancing measures in supermarkets and other shops over the past few weeks.

“The parents are just really pleased that we’re taking social distancing measures as seriously as we are,” he said.

“Even very young children have been living this experience and, through their parents, they’ve come to expect to social distance.

Floor markings have been placed around the Ipswich school. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOLFloor markings have been placed around the Ipswich school. Picture: COPLESTON HIGH SCHOOL

“They are much more attuned to it then they would have been three months ago.”

Mr Green has previously warned there could be serious implications for children’s long-term education unless high-quality online learning programmes are in put in place during the coronavirus crisis.

MORE: Schools must be ready in case of further lockdowns, Copleston High School headteacher Andy Green warns

However, he believes allowing students to have some time in school - however limited - will develop a crucial “blended learning approach”.

“I don’t think social distancing in schools is going to disappear completely for some time yet,” he said.

“I think this gives students some confidence to see other students and teachers face-to-face and reduce any anxiety they might be feeling.

MORE: 5 ways teenagers can take care of their mental health during extended lockdown

“It’s not there to replace online learning, but it can act as a bit of a springboard when they are back at home.

“It can support their online learning.”

In a letter to parents, Mr Green added: “As parents/carers, you have the choice whether to send your child to school from June 15.

“I believe that the opportunity to see and hear from a specialist teacher to support your child’s home learning will be invaluable. It is an extremely important time in their educational career.

“It is also worth noting the potential positive impact on mental health of coming to school, seeing others and asking questions.

“I assure you that we will do our utmost to provide a safe environment for your child, whilst providing them with an opportunity to support their home learning as effectively as possible.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star