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Primary schools welcome back more children in Black Country

By Jamie Brassington | Walsall | Education | Published:

Primary schools welcomed back more children yesterday as part of the Government's easing of lockdown measures.

Teacher Lizzie Bowdige takes her class as Hydesville Tower School, Walsall, reopens after lockdown

One headteacher said pupils were "bouncing with joy" to return to lessons on their first day back at school in months.

As of Monday, the Government has allowed all pupils in Year 1, Year 6, reception and nursery to return to classrooms.

They will join children of key workers who have already been going to school amid the pandemic.

Yesterday, parents at one Black Country school aired mixed thoughts on the Government's move.

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Monica Sidhu, 35, from Willenhall, has a daughter who attends Hydesville Tower School, on Broadway North, Walsall.

She said: "I think it is difficult to say [if it is a good idea]. I know class sizes are small which I know are easier to manage, so to speak.

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"In September, she will be back at school at a different school.

"If the situation is still the same [with coronavirus] then I would be more nervous. I think it all depends on your personal circumstances."

Ruby Mughal, 42, from Leeds, added: "I'm a frontline key staff worker.

"Having schools open for me is quite essential. I couldn't do NHS work otherwise.

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Pupils at Hydesville Tower School, Walsall, which has reopened after lockdown

"I think they [the school] have explained what conditions will be put in place. It is definitely a new approach."

The school has put in safety measures like social-distancing and hand washing stations to ensure children and staff are kept safe.

The school has also checked with parents if they have been involved with track and trace systems for Covid-19.

Warren Honey, headteacher at the school, said: "The most exciting bit has been getting everyone safely into site.

"It has been a bit of a logistical task. It will get easier once parents get used to the system."

He added: "Some children were literally bouncing on their seats before they even got into school."

The end of the first day back for these children who attend Dawley Brook Primary School, Kingswinford, which has opened for more pupils after lockdown

At Dawley Brook Primary School, in Kingswinford, staff members have been looking after key worker students amid the pandemic like Hydesville Tower and other schools around the country.

During these difficult past few months, staff have tried to brighten up everyday life with some creative ideas.

Social-distancing dots, painted outside the reception for parents when they come to collect their children, bear colourful designs and stars.

Badges have also been made bearing colourful designs which have been given to teachers to boost morale.

At closing time earlier this week, just a handful of parents were seen collecting their children.

But staff are gearing up to welcome back more Year 6 pupils next week.

Headteacher Lisa Maskell, of Dawley Brook Primary School, Kingswinford, which has opened for more pupils

Headteacher Lisa Maskell said: "What we are trying to do is make sure children feel happy and safe coming to school.

"We will be extending to more key children. Next week will welcome back our Year 6."

Schools have been allowed to reopen so long as certain criteria has been met.

A spokesman for the Government said: "From the week commencing June 1, we are asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6, alongside priority groups.

"We are also asking nurseries and other early years providers, including childminders, to begin welcoming back children of all ages from June 1."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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