Holy Cross Primary School in Uckfield will be welcoming more children back into the classroom next week.
Headteacher Cathy Dart says pupils from Reception, Year 1, and Year 6, have settled in and from next week the school will open its doors to pupils from all other age groups.
She said Holy Cross is fortunate to have a large site and very spacious classrooms.
“Each group of children is taught in a different classroom and has access to toilets solely for their use.
“Tables are set up to accommodate the two metre rule and pupils keep to the same workspace every day which is set out with their own set of resources. No sharing is allowed, which is very different from usual when we try to encourage children to share.”
Cathy said pupils who were back in school were happy to be there and many parents had commented on how good this had been for the children’s mental health and overall wellbeing.
“The Year 6 group are continuing with their weekly Forest School sessions, and everyone on the school team has worked hard to make school feel safe, welcoming, and as normal as possible.
“Pupils are only attending school for two-and-a-half-hours a day and this has enabled us to roll out our plan to open to all year groups. Some year groups will attend in the morning, and others in the afternoon.
“By doing this we are able to offer daily school to all pupils which supports them in getting back into a routine.”
Cathy said that, so far, just over 50% of pupils who could go back to school had done so. While the school would be opening more widely from Monday some parents had chosen not to take up the offer. It looked as if the school would be just over 60% full from next week until the end of the summer term.
• Holy Cross kept in touch during the Coronavirus lockdown by making weekly videos. They have stopped now that the school is back in action, but Cathy said they were fun to make and had lots of views on YouTube.
All the videos can be seen here. One that was particularly popular was Wake Up and Shake Up with Holy Cross – this had more than 800 views, which amazed the school; considering there are only 80 pupils there. Another popular video was We’ll Meet Again by Vera Lynn | A celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
• East Sussex County Council is encouraging families across the county to send their children back to school as they begin to reopen.
Cllr Bob Standley, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for education, said: “Schools in East Sussex have been doing an amazing job under extremely difficult circumstances throughout lockdown and my thanks go to all those involved.
“With restrictions beginning to ease headteachers, teachers, support staff and governors continue to work incredibly hard to get children back to a school which is as safe as it can possibly be.”
He added: “It is incredibly important that parents feel confident enough to send their children back to school.
“Having missed three months of learning and with the summer holidays fast approaching, it is so important for those in the identified year groups to be able to start to get back on track with their education and begin to prepare for the new academic year.”
• Uckfield News is hoping to hear how other town schools are getting on with opening again and we will report on their progress once we do.