Schools in Shoreham, Lancing and Steyning ‘excited’ for full September return – despite challenges posed
Headteachers in Shoreham, Steyning and Lancing have said they are pleased to welcome all students back in September, despite the challenges this might pose.
It comes after the Government confirmed that pupils should return to class full-time from the beginning of the Autumn term.
Safety guidelines have been issued to schools, which will be expected to keep classes or whole year groups apart in separate ‘bubbles’ to minimise the risk of a virus outbreak.
Schools across the area have reacted to the news.
Jim Coupe, principal of Shoreham Academy, said: “We are really pleased to be welcoming all students back to face to face schooling in September.
“Our students have risen to the challenge of remote learning and engaged fully with live remote lessons, as well as in school teaching for the groups permitted to attend.
“It will be great, however, to have everybody back in school in September.”
He said the school was currently working on its delivery plan for the Autumn term return.
While it was too early to give details of exactly how it will work, he said the plan would be shared this with parents and students before the end of term.
When it comes to getting to school, he said the ‘vast majority’ of students either walked or cycled in, with ‘very few’ using public transport.
Those that do will be advised to follow Public Health England advice on wearing face masks.
Kieran Scanlon, principal at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Lancing, said: “I think the school has equipped itself very well online, we’ve taught over 3000 live lessons, the staff at SRWA have gone above and beyond.
“We are very grateful to the support we have received from our parents and the community in general.
“Having said that, I think we all recognise the limits of what can be achieved online.
“The year 10s ,who have been with us onsite for the last few weeks, all agree that the chance to be around people their own age in a positive environment is what they have missed the most.
“So for that reason I’m really pleased to welcome all students back.”
He said the school was ‘very fortunate’ with its building, which was designed in the era of ‘small schools’.
“Each ‘Small school’ has it’s own entrance and almost everything it needs to function,” he said.
“So while there is a lot to do in terms of making sure everything is as safe as possible, I’m confident we will do a good job.
“We also have kept the school open for Key Workers during the lock down, so we have learned lots of lessons about social distancing onsite and the latest guidance has not contained anything we don’t feel we can do.”
Natasha Nicol and Noel Kennedy, the co-headteachers at Steyning Grammar School, said; “We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming back students in all years, as well as new year 7s and boarders, back into the SGS family.
“We have missed our students enormously and we are keen to get everyone back into the swing of school life.”
They said the school had spent a lot of time planning for the full reopening of its sites.
“Keeping students in bubbles will inevitably be a challenge but one we are preparing for; we will ensure that staff, students and parents/carers are as informed as possible about our risk assessments and new ways of working so that everyone is as safe as possible,” they said.
For students who use public transport to get to school, the headteachers said they would continue to follow local and national guidance, working with the bus companies as they have throughout the lockdown to enable keyworker children, year and 10s and year 12s to get to and from school.
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