‘Best day ever’ at village school as pupils return to classroom

Lucy Bates headteacher at Ormesby Infant and Junior Schools said day one of the schools' reopening h

Lucy Bates headteacher at Ormesby Infant and Junior Schools said day one of the schools' reopening had gone well and that there had not been a single case of Covid-19 at either school Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

Whether it was “too soon” or “too risky” some children were only too pleased to be back in the classroom.

At Ormesby Village Infant School headteacher Lucy Bates said day one had gone well with most of the challenges being around PPE and whether it would all arrive in time.

She said some of the younger children had hailed it “the best day ever” as teachers went above and beyond to make it fun despite all the changes and the different look and feel to the place.

“They have their own desk and everyone here is happy,” she said.

MORE: Less than half of schools reopen to returning pupils“Some children have said it is the best day ever and they are so pleased to be back .

“The teachers are giving them nice things to do and it is nice to have them back.”

Ormesby Infant and Junior Schools are essentially a split-site primary meaning there is more outside space than would normally be found at a single centre.

It means Miss Bates who is head at both and flits between the two within the same village has less of a headache when it comes to play time and being outside given the choice of separate playing fields and playgrounds.

At the infant school 34pc of Reception and Year 1 children had turned up, while 42pc of Year 6’s were in school at the Juniors site in North Road.

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For the younger ones that meant four bubbles with four teachers and still some capacity.

With desks 2m apart the size of bubbles depended on how big the rooms were, which generally meant at least eight.

At the junior school there were six bubbles.

MORE: Parents and carers to hold protest against June 1 school openingsOverall Miss Bates said it was “so far so good” with teachers at both schools pulling out all the stops.

“Our biggest worry has been ‘can we get enough PPE?’,” Miss Bates said.

“But we probably ended up ordering more than we needed because they couldn’t guarantee if it would come in time.”

Because children are not allowed to move around the school protective equipment for all eventualities including if a child displayed symptoms or was sick had to be available in every classroom including aprons, gloves, masks, and visors.

The school had also had to buy lidded bins, signage, and all rubbish had to be double bagged.

Although arrival and departure times had been staggered lunch times had not been a problem.

With the current numbers returning, the school was able to cope.

She said she was relieved that no children at either school had had Covid-19 or suffered a bereavement as far as she knew, which was “the most important thing.”

And while some staff were shielding, no-one had reported any grim news.

Under current guidelines it would be impossible to welcome back all pupils and if take-up increased more advice would be needed as to how that was managed and what the priorities were.