#Backtoschool like no other?

It has been delightful to welcome all students back to school this week. We have had an extremely positive and successful start, it has been wonderful to see the joy, happiness and hear the laughter return to classrooms and the school.

I am incredibly grateful and proud of our students, staff and our parents for the way that they have responded and supported the new measures and rules to ensure that students and staff can safely return to school. Contrary to the reports from some of the media the education community are happy to be back to school.

An alternative observation on Covid-19 in schools (warning some of these are light hearted)

So, amongst all of the social distancing, blue tape safe zones for staff, face coverings, one-way systems, frequent sanitising and cleaning, here are a few immediate musings:

  • The queues for food are shorter (unlike the supermarkets) – there was the possibility that more children would bring packed lunches etc as a precaution, however, with the staggered breaks the wait time for food has been dramatically reduced and initially numbers seem to be up. I had a whole year group (180) most of them eating go through in just 6 minutes. Well done to our staff for their efforts with this.
  • PE lessons are longer – with the rule of no changing, PE teachers found themselves with much more time than normally to teach particularly with Year 7 students where you normally have to allow additional time for several attempts to put their tie on. It was so positive to see students running around doing games.
  • The corridors are quieter and calmer – They were good before but with staggered timings and a one-way system, I have been surprised how effective this has been in managing the flow of young people in tight spaces.
  • Staff are smashing their step count records – Particularly, the senior staff who are now doing numerous more duties each day, the one-way system is helping all staff clock up more miles which can be good for  exercise.
  • Blisters, blisters… everywhere – students and staff have not been used to wearing shoes, they have had to peel their flip flops off and break in shoes again (there have been quite a few people hobbling around the site by Friday afternoon). Once again, with the increased step count (see the previous point) and the new shoes there will be lots of foot treatments over weekend.
  • I haven’t found one person who wasn’t pleased to be back – sometimes there will be people who won’t necessarily be 100% ready to be start back after the summer, after the last few months, everyone is genuinely happy to be back, you can tell from the smiling faces and the extremely high levels of attendance.
  • The most tranquil start ever? – Despite the personal and collective anxieties of a return, we can all take confidence in having completed a successful and positive first week back, together we have supported each other, together we can do this.

I hope the start has been positive for you and your communities, I hope week 2 is just as positive. Next up, I will be picking up the baton to rant concerns over Covid-19 testing – watch this space.

How has #backtoschool been for you?

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