School reopening

Why not keep children with their current teachers next year. The first few weeks of a new school year is largely focused on teachers getting to know the pupils in their class. Starting the school year knowing the different levels and support the children need would help make up for time lost. Transitions between primary 1/7 could be a focus for term 1 with them starting in term 2. It is also virtually impossible to tell 4/5 year olds to socially distance and most schools have been working on a play pedagogy in primary 1, which won’t work with 25 kids in a class. Class numbers need to be reduced to help with social distancing but by doing this longer, it will create a wider gap. There are an abundance of casual teachers, could they not be asked to work full time this year to create more classes to help reduce class sizes but still allow children to go to school?

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Ideas to help with re opening of schools

by Username on May 06, 2020 at 10:13PM

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Average rating: 3.1
Based on: 21 votes


  • Posted by Alimac35 May 06, 2020 at 22:42

    Teachers move on; retire, go on maternity leave, move to different areas, quit teaching. Keeping same teachers just not always possible.
  • Posted by SuvCameron May 06, 2020 at 22:55

    Alternate the pupils morning/afternoon, alternate weekly. Keeping their own teacher and same lessons. Wrist bands which vibrate when they are in too close contact in playground or cafeteria?
  • Posted by fernae10 May 06, 2020 at 23:02

    I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep the kids off until after the summer holidays, then a phased return. I also support the idea above of keeping the same teachers. For those that are vulnerable then yes it would make sense to get them back. Though my fear is back then off again literally a few weeks later is also disruptive for the children.
  • Posted by Munro May 06, 2020 at 23:27

    I think were possible HT should ensure children stay with their current teacher for continuity and also from a health and well-being perspective. For a long time we have been debating the positive and negatives about children starting formal schooling at 6 , this might be the year to start ! As school inspections will be suspended can the HMIE staff be allocated to work in schools and as many staff as possible ( PT, NCCT, CLOL etc) be allocated to classes either in the buildings or preparing online learning .
  • Posted by Loui7 May 06, 2020 at 23:49

    After working in my hub school, I saw that it was virtually impossible for children to maintain social distancing and that was with only 9 pupils (P1-P5). In my school we have also adopted a play based learning approach where social distancing is impossible. As such, I would agree that either, more teachers are needed to drastically reduce class sizes or for children attend part time. Maintaining the hub limit of 10 pupils per class, if not less, would certainly be needed.
  • Posted by Cozmicblonde187 May 07, 2020 at 00:23

    I agree. Social distancing is not possible with younger children P1 up to P6 at least. I would feel so anxious sending my 5year old in. Great idea to keep children with same class teachers to reduce anxiety and further trauma which will only impact further on their learning when they do go back.
  • Posted by Eleeko May 07, 2020 at 00:29

    School reopening, it’s a difficult decision. I will agree with the government suggestions to allow those going through transition to next stage of their education should be allowed back With stricter guidelines. Not for the whole week, 2 to 3 days. The government have to implement more effective online teaching, this will take the pressure off parents. Opening school early is not advisable, considering all the scientific evidence, parents will blame the government if anything happens to their children, they would not have the recollections of forcing the government to open schools. Later on in summer, when the pandemic is under control, school could be allowed their school trips within Scotland only and only if the establishment they visiting can guarantee safety measures in place, the visit can be staged, limited group on each visit. Reduced occupancy rate. If it’s sleep 20 reduce to 10. Musical Practical examination can be Done with social distances. Except those Going through transitions should be allowed back. Improve online learning, private schools are doing online learning, it can be done efficiently and effectively. Thanks for this opportunity. We all together
  • Posted by MrsHanilton71 May 07, 2020 at 00:34

    A reduction in class sizes and maybe make it a week in school and a week out of school to support this. Also look at employing more teachers/classroom assistants to help so that this is achievable. Make it a bubble within a bubble so the same children with the same teachers to support continuity.
  • Posted by Lucy1980 May 07, 2020 at 00:58

    An abundance of casual teachers? I work in a fairly rural area and we struggle to get supply teachers at the best of times. Even if schools had ‘extra’ teachers on a long term supply basis, the school doesn’t have the space to spread out children and safely socially distance them. My school has 800 children in it (primary). I completely agree that class sizes need to be reduced initially in order to socially distance as there’s no way schools have the space to have up to 33 children in one class and sit 2m (even 1m) apart. It’s simply impossible. However adding in extra teachers wouldn’t help that as there would be nowhere for them to take a class or group as all the classrooms and support rooms would be in use. Children will have to return part time, e,g, a few days a week, morning/afternoon sessions or perhaps weekly rotations. However the reality is teachers will still be setting tasks remotely on google classroom, Seesaw etc for the ones at home. Plus in August a lot of teachers will not be there anymore. For example my school currently has 4 NQTs who are all moving on and 1 retirement. So those 5 classes would come back to a different teacher anyway. I completely understand where you are coming from, but logistically I don’t think it can work. (I think in some schools it probably could, but unfortunately not consistently in all schools across the country). I think children will just have to move on to the next teacher, and while pupils are all in part time, every school must have health and well-being as their number one priority on school improvement plans. Thorough handovers can be done remotely through 1-1 video chats before June, and teachers will focus on getting to know their class in the first month of returning to school (working with whatever that model looks like).
  • Posted by sammac May 07, 2020 at 05:49

    Really important in the senior phase (S4-6) that descions are made before August about courseworks which contribute to the overall award grade & if exams will take place. The teaching time for National Qualifications is tight in normal times & unless pupils doing a National 5, 6, 7 are in school full time, the current assessment arrangements are unfeasible. In addition, a lot more funding will be needed to enable schools to provide said pupils & BGE pupils (S1-S3) with books etc for home learning. School funding, even with the current relaxation of what PEF funding can be spent on, is woefully inadequate. Senior phase pupils should also be given free access to a laptop computer & free internet access. Within schools, urgent consultation needs to take place with staff now, so that refitting of classrooms for practical subjects, e.g. Home Economics, CDT, Computing Science, Admin , to facilitate teaching, while maintaining social distancing, can take place between now & August. Such refitting costs must be borne by Scottish government as schools do.not have adequate funds for this.
  • Posted by sammac May 07, 2020 at 06:03

    Might be a good idea to provide free packed school lunches for all pupils, which could be delivered to & consumed in the classroom where teaching with social distancing, is being maintained.
  • Posted by Niallb May 07, 2020 at 06:15

    ‘There are an abundance of casual teachers, could they not be asked to work full time this year to create more classes to help reduce class sizes but still allow children to go to school? ‘ Biggest restriction on that is not going to be teacher numbers but physical space. My local Primary and secondary schools don’t have capacity.
  • Posted by Sarahj May 07, 2020 at 06:42

    I think keeping children in their current group until January at least to allow them to settle in again. Learning and curriculum need to take a back seat and their wellbeing and emotional needs focused on first.
  • Posted by mariehutch1 May 07, 2020 at 07:05

    I feel it is so important for schools to reopen as soon as is safely possible the hugely negative impact school closures is having on children is extremely worrying. If all children and staff wore face masks/coverings (I have seen pictures of children in other countries doing this). The teachers have alcohol gel at classroom doors. Children of course have to wash their hands as before but if a teacher made sure every child had some in entering and leaving the classroom. Perhaps local alcohol companies could be paid to provide this. Children could be in on split days to reduce numbers. Classrooms redesigned. Parents not to linger at drop off/ pick up times. Perhaps even children’s temperatures could be checked at classroom doors. With all these measures in place, children can return to school with a greatly reduced risk.
  • Posted by Fairygodmother May 07, 2020 at 07:26

    Agree it is unfair to expect children to socially distance especially the younger ones. Also what about teenagers with boyfriends/ girlfriends how will they ever build relationships and get married etc if they have to socially distance. Really not good for mental health.
  • Posted by Eallan May 07, 2020 at 07:37

    Keep schools closed until the start of the new term in August. These are unprecedented times and I don't see the harm if children need to repeat a year.
  • Posted by vanessavj May 07, 2020 at 08:10

    Nurturing transitions is crucial for success for pupils returning to school. Allowing schools to prioritise P7s to S1 & exam years in secondary during Aug-Oct would support movement from primary school to secondary school as well as giving those taking exams a chance of more teaching time.
  • Posted by rakrak May 07, 2020 at 08:13

    Returning to school should be a slowly phased operation where the schools themselves scale up carefully for children who need to attend on a full time basis. Head teachers will have local knowledge on who this will be. A survey to parents will determine potential parents who need to work and this would help scale this up further. School staff need to experience school initially on their own to ensure the class environment is a clutter free, clear pace that can be kept clean easily. Children who attend hubs should be the first to return to their own school. Once management and staff feel assured, they can use their local knowledge to begin the scaling up of pupils returning. Siblings should be returned at the same time. Parents can wave their child’s place if they don’t want to be involved initially but would have to wait for the next phase of inclusion if they change their mind. June would be the best time to start this process in small scale as this would help schools plan how further upscaling will work in August. New S1 pupils should be the first to start in secondary schools in August. It would be difficult to keep the same teacher moving on as this would mean teachers with specific upper school skills having to teach P1s. We need teachers to be able to remain and control their current environment. The best we can hope for is classes moving on as they are without being split up. Children are very resilient. We need to credit them with that.
  • Posted by vanessavj May 07, 2020 at 08:14

    Returning to school for all stages needs to be within small groups which will alter in number depending on classroom size. It would be important that education authorities are given size & space guidance of room capacity for pupil numbers dependent on 2m distancing, that way parents , teachers & pupils will have more confidence & trust that pupils are safer to return to a class. This also means that schools can not be pressured into returning more pupils at a time than is safe to do so given classroom sizes are different from school to school.
  • Posted by Wingrave May 07, 2020 at 08:19

    Difficulty with this idea is that schools do not have the physical capacity to accommodate extra classes. Social distancing in schools in will be almost impossible to implement.
  • Posted by KateF May 07, 2020 at 08:19

    Reducing class sizes will create a need for more classrooms, which most schools simply will not have
  • Posted by Trishkinnaird May 07, 2020 at 08:21

    I hope that office and support staff in schools are taken into account and thought if when schools re open. It’s not just teachers that deal with pupils. School offices are very busy places and we need to be taken into account on social distances and Ppe. We are sometimes the forgetton people. Support staff deal with pupils on a 1-1 basis so a lot of thought needed.
  • Posted by Serendipity May 07, 2020 at 08:25

    There were no supply teachers available before the shut down.
  • Posted by Indyref May 07, 2020 at 08:31

    Schools do not have the physical capacity to create additional classrooms and social distancing is an unrealistic expectation for young children. Teachers cannot be expected to teach and police social distancing
  • Posted by Katie May 08, 2020 at 01:07

    Agree that we should delay moving children up to new class and year group until at least Sep weekend or October week - allow them to settle back into school life and p7s and nursery children will get proper opportunity to finish that stage of education and transition with much less stress and anxiety.
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