Outdoor sinks and hand sanitisers have been provided at Pilgrim Academy so that pupils can wash their hands on entry to the Academy and frequently throughout the day.
Pilgrim Academy Principal Andy Clark has praised parents, pupils and staff for making a safe transition back to the classroom possible in the most difficult of times as attendance figures at the Academy remain high.
The Immingham Academy has introduced a raft of measures to protect against transmission of Covid-19, as all pupils finally returned to the classrooms this month.
Mr Clark explained: “We have put lots of new health and safety measures in place since returning to school in September. So far it has been extremely positive, with just a few little bumps in the road to adjust. The staggered starts, mornings and afternoons, have been reviewed again and we have looked at our timings and our entrances to make this smoother. We have actually put a new gate in this week to relieve pressure on one of the other entrances too.
“All pupils are now being taught in class bubbles of 30 pupils maximum, and this is working extremely successfully. None of the bubbles mix with others at all. We have introduced staggered breaks and lunchtimes, and we have moved away from sets to have classes of mixed ability, which has meant that we have no reason for children to be mixing with others.
“In terms of the curriculum, we are operating as close to normal as possible. We have slightly restructured the classrooms to have all of the desks facing forwards, but things are working largely the same.
“Homework has been a little more tricky because we are trying to avoid children taking things home, so we are using our online platform Frog for homework, which we used very successfully throughout lockdown and through the summer.
“We are also reviewing our system of teaching from home, so that if we do have any children who have to stay at home to quarantine we can adapt our Frog platform to make sure that we can provide for those individuals, and also for any classroom bubbles of children if they were to go into lockdown for any reason, although we hope not.
“So far, attendance at the Academy has been really good, with well over 90% attendance every day, and I am thankful to parents for being so supportive of that. Our daily average is around 93-94%.
“I did have concerns about the staggered lunchtimes but, working closely with our catering providers Aspens, this too has worked really well, and every child in Key Stage 1 and 2 has their lunch delivered to the classrooms where they can eat within their bubbles, and then go outside and play, which ensures that they don’t mix with any other groups.
“One of the most pleasing things for us all is having all of the children in school again. Obviously we remained open throughout the whole pre-summer period, but having all of the children back is what the school is about. They seem extremely happy and we are very glad about that. It is nice to see them enjoying their lessons and learning again.
“Equally the staff are happy to be back. We are fully staffed and that is testament to their resilience and their desire to provide a solid and consistent education for the children at Pilgrim Academy.”
Children are back in the classroom in strict social bubbles.
The pupils practise social distancing by keeping at arm’s length.
Children can still enjoy playtime within their social bubbles.
Being back in the classroom calls for some concentration.