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The headteacher of a primary school near Burntwood says the experience of returning to to class will be “very different to the normal school life” pupils knew before the coronavirus closure.

Government plans will see children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 beginning to go back into classrooms from 1st June.

But Gentleshaw Primary Academy has confirmed it will only reopen for part-time hours with children split into “learning bubbles” of no more than 15.

Headteacher Genevieve Parsons said she was aware that the plan will be difficult for some families.

“The re-opening of the academy will be very different to the ‘normal school life’ we left in March.

“I am wholly aware that some families may be disappointed that we are offering part time hours.

“However our opening plan outlines the areas, restrictions and limitations it has been necessary for us to consider.

“In order for this plan to be most successful it is vital for the academy, parents or carers and employers to work together.”

Genevieve Parsons, Gentleshaw Primary Academy

The plan will be for some children to attend on Monday and Tuesday, with others going in on Thursdays and Fridays. Home learning will be provided for groups when they are not in school.

Only children of key workers will be eligible to attend on Wednesdays.

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“We will not be marking or taping off areas”

The ‘learning bubbles’ will also be allocated toilets and areas within the school in order to “avoid cross-contamination”.

“The Government has acknowledged that children consistently adhering to a two metre distancing within a school setting is not consistently possible.

“Even so, we will be encouraging and expecting pupils and staff to retain a safe distance from one another and staff will act as role models for this.

“Routines and activities will support social distancing. We will not be marking or taping off areas for individuals as we want to ensure that children feel safe and as comfortable as possible during this different time.

“Classrooms will be configured to support pupils working at a safe distance and activities and resources will support social distancing at all times.”

Genevieve Parsons, Gentleshaw Primary Academy

The school said it would also be relaxing rules on what children attending school should wear.

“As children have not been attending the academy for a number of months we are aware that uniform may no longer fit and we do not wish for families to incur unnecessary costs at this time.

“Formal school footwear will not be compulsory and children can wear comfortable and practical footwear when on site.

“Where possible school clothing should be worn, however this may not always be feasible which we understand.

“It is recommended that pupils change their clothing as soon as they return home and that this is washed immediately.”

Genevieve Parsons, Gentleshaw Primary Academy


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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