Barnard Castle Preparatory School has developed a COVID-safe system that aims to help integrate pupils back into school. After trialing their bubble scheme with Year 1 and Year 6 students, the school is now adding its year 2, 3, 4 and 5 students to the operation. The bubbles consist of no more than 15 children, each with designated staff, where they will remain for their day, avoiding contact with other 'bubbles'. The groups are all assigned their own entrances, exits, classrooms, play areas and toilets for the days that they attend school before term ends.
In preparation for this, parents of Barnard Castle School have been sent a safety video outlining the new measures. When dropping off, parents are asked to park in a bay in the car park where they are asked some health questions and the pupils' temperatures are taken. Floor stickers are in place in order to maximise the efficiency of social distancing.
The school is to provide all classroom equipment, which is sanitised regularly and staff have access to PPE should the need arise, while domestic and maintenance colleagues are equipped with masks, face shields and gloves. Parents have been asked to send their children to school in clean clothes daily and the uniform requirements have been lifted to make this easier.
Headmistress Laura Turner said: “I have nothing but praise for the way pupils, parents and staff have engaged with our Learning@Home programme, which has minimised the impact of the pandemic on their academic learning. Pupils have enjoyed their on-line interaction but will certainly value seeing their classmates in person again. This time back in the classroom will allow them a sense of closure to this unprecedented academic year before, hopefully, starting afresh in September.”