Barley Fields Primary School have shared their story of how they have adapted their school days to fit their key worker families and their plans for the future as schools are set to reopen.
The Stockton primary school has over 600 pupils who they have been supporting either remotely during lockdown or in school for children of key workers.
During the partial school closures the Head Teacher of the school, Caroline Taylor, had been forced to shield and work from home. Due to this, there was a significant level of delegation to the Assistant Head Teachers and Senior Leadership Team for the day-to-day running of the school. Caroline trusted that they would maintain the ethos and high standards of the school as well as keeping the children’s best interests in mind.
However, like teachers all over the country even if you are working from home it is no holiday with Caroline working extremely long hours at home and joking that “Zoom and Google Teams are my two new best friends!” Due to the help from the whole of their staff team the school has been able to provide childcare for over 70 families, throughout lockdown, as well as arranging a longer working day which stretched from 8am-6pm in order to support extended shift patterns.
The cooperation from the parents has also been acknowledged with their help coming through patience, kindness and support as well as using a closed Facebook group which has kept teacher and parent morales up as well as providing direct communication to staff members.
To prepare for the children’s return to school the planning has been “careful and considered” with a phased return planned for pupils from Nursery to Year 1. The staff in school have been preparing the buildings and organising classroom furniture in order to assure that the social distancing guidelines of 2 metres are being adhered to.
Caroline also took the time to say: “I would like to say thank you to my whole school family for everything they do – it makes my job an absolute joy.”