HEADTEACHER Fiona Gresty has acknowledged her school will be a ‘very different place’ in the coming weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fiona is headteacher at Holmes Chapel Primary School, where staff are looking forward to welcoming back children in reception, years 1 and 6 on June 15, 22 and 29 respectively.

Fiona told parents that all the staff were eager to make the new arrangements work, and would do everything they could to make the children, parents and carers comfortable with them.

“However, we all need to be realistic about our school being a very different place in the coming weeks,” she said.

She was speaking in a letter to parents and carers detailing plans for reopening the school for reception and year 1 and 6 children.

Children will attend in small groups or ‘bubbles’, with each class being split in half.

Fiona said: “We will attempt to keep pupils two metres apart, but this has proved to be very difficult, particularly with younger pupils.

“We will place the desks as far apart as we can and remind the children during playtimes to not play too close to each other, but they are children and we know we won’t be able to ensure the recommended level of social distancing at all times.

“Reception children will not be isolated in the same way as we believe this will not be good for their wellbeing or development.”

Break and lunchtimes will be staggered so the ‘bubbles’ are not mixing together.

The school would be completing a comprehensive risk assessment which would be reviewed weekly.

Very frequent hand washing and sanitising of surfaces will take place, and each classroom will be sanitised where possible during the school day and at the end of every day.

Doors will be propped open, windows opened and rooms well ventilated, and the school aims to do as much outdoor learning as possible.

Parents are asked to send their child in to school in clean clothes each day and wash all clothes at the end of the school day.

Fiona said: “We understand you may struggle to provide clean uniform each day and/or uniform may no longer fit, so there will be some relaxation of the uniform policy.”

Parents are asked not to arrive too early to avoid congestion and not to stop and chat in the playground or outside the gates.

Fiona added: “It is not compulsory for your child to attend and there will be no sanctions for non-attendance.

“We will endeavour to follow all the guidelines and to take all the precautions we can to keep your child safe should you decide to send your child to school.

“However, we understand you will want to make your own decision about what is best for your child under these circumstances, and we will support and respect whatever you decide.”