Children return to the classrooms after the summer break as Covid restrictions as relaxed in favour of testing

Secondary school pupils across Shropshire are returning to the classrooms with a more normal air of normality.

LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 06/09/2021 - New Year 7 intake at Grove School in Market Drayton. In Picture L>R: Isla Wilkinson 11, Ellis Jackson 11, Harrison Stewart-Reid 11, Hannah Pearson 11 and Daniel Abbott 11.
LAST COPYRIGHT SHROPSHIRE STAR JAMIE RICKETTS 06/09/2021 - New Year 7 intake at Grove School in Market Drayton. In Picture L>R: Isla Wilkinson 11, Ellis Jackson 11, Harrison Stewart-Reid 11, Hannah Pearson 11 and Daniel Abbott 11.

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

The return to school has been staggered in many of the schools after the government said it was up to head teachers 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.

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 8-11 plus Year 13 returned on Friday.

Head, 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 within 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."

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.

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

"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 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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