Phased return to school

Vulnerable pupils and those whose mental health is suffering most would be first phased to return to school. Every household with school children completes a questionnaire to deem the desire to return to school. Those who are most keen would be in the next phased intake. Groups would attend a shorter session (say 10-2pm) so that proper cleaning could be carried out at the start and end of the session. Groups would alternate to keep numbers low enough to adhere to social distancing. Where possible teachers would group pupils based on a number of factors: level of the curriculum, friendship groups, using past experience and progressional judgement to form groups that will best be able to cooperate to adhere to social distancing rules. The shorter day will reduce the need for multiple playground breaks. Daily mile could take place after a supervised packed lunch (also outside where possible). Routine and consolidation tasks would be set for the ‘at home’ groups on non attending days. A number of days would be kept for transition days. Allowing new pupils to visit schools for non-contact familiarisation tours. Transition could be extended for some who require this. P1 transition could start in October and be staggered until Christmas as younger pupils will find it more difficult to adhere to social distancing.

Why the contribution is important

Minimising transmission is vital. Through only having one session in school per day - there is less chance of transmitting as cleaning will happen in between each group. Protecting vulnerable children is paramount. Giving them first option is important. Allowing those pupils who are overwhelmed by lockdown to next access school is important for their mental health. Next allowing those who are happy to return means that return to school is happening without being forced. Ensuring teachers have a part in how the groups are arranged is wise because not all children get along and work well together. Not all children learn in the same way. Teacher judgement is vital not only for ensuring learning and teaching experiences are effective, but also for planning the best possible groupings to minimise transmission. Teachers know which children are likely to engage in ‘rough and tumble’, which children find it difficult to retain their own resources, which children can’t stay in their seats etc. So providing scope for teachers to manage this is vital.

by aberdeenshire2020 on May 09, 2020 at 03:03PM

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