Youngsters head back to school as headteachers aim for a ‘positive start’

School pupils across Shropshire have returned to classrooms with hopes high they can leave the disruption of the Covid crisis behind them.

Practical work such as science experiments are back on the timetable and there has been a relaxing of many of the social distancing measures that pupils had to comply with last term.

Testing of pupils and staff has become the main weapon against a rise in cases after the holidays

And the return to school has been staggered at many sites after the government said it was up to headteachers how they would bring the students back and how lateral flow tests would be administered.

Schools in the Marches Academy Trust now have all their students back in the classroom.

And at the Grove School in Market Drayton, part of the academy, staff welcomed back Year 7 and 12 students on Thursday last week then Years 8 to 11 plus Year 13 returned on Friday.

Isla Wilkinson, Ellis Jackson, Harrison Stewart-Reid, Hannah Pearson and Daniel Abbott, all aged 11, have started at Grove School in Market Drayton

Headteacher, Sonia Taylor, said: “The staggered start allowed new students in the main school and Sixth Form to settle in and find their way around before the rest of the school returned.”

Students are all taking part in lateral flow testing to help prevent any spread of Covid-19.

“We are delighted to see all of our children and young people return this September. We hope this year will be without disruption and we can kickstart our extra curricular programme to support our academic and vocational learning.”

Head at Charlton School, Wellington, Mr Andy McNaughton said the students were settling in well for the new term.

“At Charlton we will fully comply with the government guidance whilst looking to return to our full offer of activities to provide the rich and wide ranging curriculum.

“We are proud of the quantity and quality of experiences available at Charlton.

“Our immediate priority if of course to support student wellbeing and personal development, ensuring all children are able to make a positive start to the new term after what has been an incredibly challenging time for the whole school community.”

Meanwhile children at Longlands Primary School in Market Drayton returned to class with new uniforms.

Out went the typical school blue sweatshirts to be replaced by grey and a ‘buzz the bee’ logo.

Headteacher, Zillah Pope, said the children had been ecstatic to be back.

Longlands Community Primary School in Market Drayton has introduced two goats in its garden, one called Leo (Leonardo DiCapri-Goat) and Vince (Cincent Van Goat)

“They love the new uniform and they couldn’t wait to be back and to say hello again to the animals in or school farm,” she said.

The school has even introduced to pygmy goats onto the farm, Vince and Leo. Mrs Pope said the animals, which also include chickens, guinea pigs and even a resident school cat, help the children deal with returning to the classroom and with any anxieties they have.

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