Preparing a primary school classroom for re-opening
With many schools in England planning to re-open at the beginning of June, the preparation workload for school leaders and teachers has increased drastically. Some schools are cautious about opening because they deem it unsafe for both the staff and children, however lots of schools want to get back to some form of normality for everyone’s sake. It is these schools that are having to plan for extra safety measures to be put into place. The UK government guidelines have suggested that children and staff are not required to wear PPE but huge changes will need to be made in regards to the functionality of the school day and the classroom itself.
Class sizes will be restricted to a maximum of 15 students but each student will need to be seated at their own desk and be 2 metres apart from one another. The resources/belongings that the child brings into school and uses will be strictly for their own use and not to be shared with anyone. With this in mind, several schools have opted to give each child their own desk, chair and tray. The Gratnells shallow tray which is now often placed on top of the desk is where the teacher places the learning resources and equipment solely for each child. Some schools have also opted for a larger Gratnells jumbo tray to be positioned underneath each individual desk.
Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge has opted for this style and when asked why they chose this particular layout their reasoning was because they wanted to avoid gatherings of children in communal areas like cloakrooms and this way the children only handle their own belongings. This in turn will reduce the risk of contamination between students. This school has also chosen to use Gratnells antimicrobial trays for the children because of its ability to reduce infection rates and simultaneously aid their classroom hygiene measures that are in place. Assistant Headteacher at Trumpington Park Primary School, Charlotte Leaver, has said “Gratnells antimicrobial products have allowed us to ensure that our keyworker children have been able to come into school daily and still access their own individual resources. Children have become familiar with using the Gratnells jumbo trays to safely store their possessions. Moving forward and thinking carefully about the possible reopening of our school for EYFS and Year 1 pupils, we are confident that the antimicrobial trays will safeguard the children from harmful bacteria”.
Trumpington Park Primary School has started to plan for smaller teaching groups across the school. All the children will be in their own ‘bubble’ with a few other peers and one adult and they will stay in those groups for the duration of the day.
With measures in place for social distancing between students and staff, Gratnells antimicrobial trays used for belongings and resources, smaller teaching groups and more awareness of hand hygiene, this will all help make the transition between home and school much smoother for all. In addition, parents will also feel reassured knowing the school has put in extra procedures to protect their children as much as possible. Keeping children and teachers safe during this unprecedented time is the priority for all schools across our nation. Many schools will have their own way of putting safety measures into place and all this will support the return of children coming back to school feeling safe and happy.