Getting used to a new sort of normal in the classroom

By Megan Archer | Kingswinford | Education | Published:

Pupils are gradually making their way back into the classroom – as schools across the Black Country and Staffordshire open up this week.

Headteacher Lisa Maskell at Dawley Brook Primary School, Kingswinford

Schools across the country welcomed back certain year groups yesterday as part of phased reopening.

Many students are now having to adapt to a new way of learning; ditching the uniform, keeping their desks and hands clean, and staying two metres away from their friends.

One school which is slowly getting back to normal is Dawley Brook Primary School, in Kingswinford.

The Dudley primary is operating a "cautious, phased" opening over the next few weeks to prevent any parents, teachers or pupils from becoming too overwhelmed.

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Headteacher Lisa Maskell said it felt like the right thing to do.


Mrs Maskell said: "We're doing a cautious phased opening. We've reopened the school again this week to key workers then next week it will be Year 6. Then the week after that Year 1 will start and then the week after that Reception will start.

"One thing I'm conscious of is that children can pick up on people who are anxious. If we go too quickly and bring back too many students at once then teachers will be anxious and children will pick up on it.

"Then we have a whole school of unhappy children."

The end of the first day back for these children who attend Dawley Brook Primary School


Dawley Brook has introduced a number of new measures to keep children and staff safe, including arrows on the ground directing people, little chalk drawn hearts and smiley faces on the playground showing children how far apart they should be standing, and new hand sanitisers.

Mrs Maskell added: "We've put up lots of posters, hand sanitisers around the school, and new equipment pens and pencils. We've got so many new measures in place.

"We have been open all the way through lockdown for our key worker children. We have about 18 children in, before lockdown it was about 220.

"We don't do a set school day either. We run from about 8-4pm and parents can come and pick up and drop off their kids when they need to, whatever works around their job."

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email

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