SCHOOLS are facing many challenges during the coronavirus lockdown.
From providing for the children of key workers, to preparing online lessons to those children at home, schools are facing many new challenges.
Kemble and Siddington primary schools’ have joined their pupils together, opening daily for between five and 10 children from both schools.
Sian Tranter, teacher and head of school at Siddington Primary School said teaching had become very different ‘during these strange times’.
“Our aim is to provide a happy and safe space for children,” Sian said.
“We try our best to keep the children socially distanced by splitting them into two classrooms – but this is difficult.
“One classrooms is for those in reception to Year 2, with the other for those in Year 3 up to Year 6.
“Teachers help children to access and complete their online learning so as to match the experiences for those at home.
“At break times we set out socially distanced assault courses around the running track which the children love. Teachers join in with bikes rides and scooter races too!
“The afternoons are geared to play: forest school sessions, creating giant rainbows and even unearthing a sundial in the field.
“Frequent handwashing is an hourly event.
“The days go quickly, the children are happy and the parents who are key workers can go to work knowing their little people are safe, secure and smiling.”
Children from both schools are currently attending Siddington School, as the school is based on a small compact site with a good range of equipment for the children and an on site forest school.
A normal day at the school during lockdown sees the doors open at 9am, with the children hand sanitising before entering the site.
Pupils congregate in the hall, two metres apart, and register is taken.
The children and staff all carry out Jo Wicks’ PE session to get everyone going for the day, before the children start work in the classrooms on the on-screen lessons that staff have prepared.
All the teachers across both schools prepare lessons for the week – covering maths, English, reading and tables, and then some topic activities, some of which parents can take part in too.
The children, after thorough hand washing, have a break and play time in the morning as normal.
Different staff cover lunch times and play and then the afternoons are more creative with forest school, art, sport.
The day is ended with a story before parents collect them at 3pm.
Hand washing and sanitising is carried out at each break in lessons or during the day as needed and is also the last thing they do before going home.
Mrs Carol Dougill, executive headteacher at Kemble Primary and Siddington Primary Schools said: “I am so proud of our staff who are making children’s time in school fun and beneficial, enabling our front line and key workers to do their jobs without the worry or their children’s care and education.
“We are all missing the children so much and part of the reason I am so proud of our staff is because they are so willing to be on the school rota to teach and are passionate about keeping the school open – under all conditions.”