It’s Back to School in Ruddington

After an unprecedented period, where most Ruddington school children haven’t attended classes for five months, parents and carers of pupils at James Peacock Infant and Nursery School and St Peter’s C of E Junior School {classroom photo above} are being reassured that all is ready for their kids’ return.

Both our Ruddington schools resume onsite teaching this Thursday September 3rd 2020 – as does Rushcliffe School, which accommodates many children aged 11 to 18 from our village. However, with a possible vaccine against COVID-19 still months’ away, the need to protect both students and staff from the Coronavirus remains at the heart of all the ‘COVID-secure’ measures they’ve all put in place.

JPS Head Mr Waldron

James Peacock School (JPS) Head Teacher, Richard Waldron, says staff at his school have been very busy planning and preparing the autumn term ahead and are looking forward to welcoming everyone back: “We acknowledge how difficult the last few months have been and the time children may have lost in their educational development. We are, however, committed to narrowing any gaps in learning and ensuring the best outcomes for children with our dedicated team of professionals.”

A letter has been sent out today to all JPS parents and carers with information about staggered start times, school meals (some will be eaten in classrooms), clothing for PE days and how children will remain in year group ‘bubbles’ for playtimes and lunchtimes. It advises that all school play equipment will remain closed for now.

“We also request that parents avoid congregating with other parents and maintain a social distance of 1m+ between themselves and other families. Particular care and attention will need to take place when entering through the gate to the left of the school office, allowing others to pass by safely. Waiting may be a challenge at times!” admits Mr Waldron.

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Older children from ages 7 to 11 attending St Peter’s School (SPS) in Ruddington also have a raft of new measures to observe as they return to class. Head Teacher, Michael Bradley, says: “We are extremely excited to be welcoming back all of our pupils to St Peter’s. We are also very much looking forward to meeting all of our new Year 3 pupils and their families. We believe that returning to school is essential for our children’s education and their wellbeing. Public Health England (PHE) is clear that the risk of children catching COVID-19 is very low if schools apply a system of stringent controls. As a result, we believe that the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of all children returning to St Peter’s.”

SPS Head Mr Bradley

Mr Bradley adds they have put in place a thorough system of control which will effectively minimise any risk: “Many of these are an adapted form of the protective measures that we have already successfully had in place since the summer term for Year 6 and pupils of critical workers.”

For both schools, the essential measures recommended by the Government include:

  • a requirement that people who have COVID-19 symptoms stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • grouping children in ‘bubbles’ in order to minimise potential for contamination (this includes staggered start times, break/lunch times and home times)

Mr Bradley adds: “Whilst school will not look or feel as it once was for some time yet, we do believe we have taken every step to mitigate any risks. On behalf of everyone at St Peter’s, we would like to thank the community of Ruddington for their continued support and kindness since March. Ruddington is an exceptional place and we are proud to serve such a community.”

Meantime, Cllr Philip Owen, Committee Chairman Children and Young people at Nottinghamshire County Council, says: “The transport team has also been working hard to ensure school transport services in Nottinghamshire run smoothly with new arrangements in place from September to ensure sufficient capacity – working with commercial providers, as well as contracting additional coaches to provide dedicated school transport services.”

He continues: “The council is urging parents to encourage their children to walk or cycle or to school wherever possible. And even to think about leaving their cars at home when accompanying their children to school. If that is not an option and they must travel by car, we are asking if they can avoid parking too close to school and instead, walk part of the way. After the recent break from routine, the journey to school may be an opportunity for regular daily exercise for both children and their parents and carers.”

With the Government insisting that ALL children in England MUST now return to school, the authorities are desperately hoping this move will not lead to a major second wave of infections.

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