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Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk schools adapt to 'new normal' in age of coronavirus




One-way systems, social bubbles, perspex screens and plenty of hand sanitiser were among the measures awaiting pupils when they returned to school this week.

Schools reopened for all pupils following the coronavirus lockdown with a number of changes to adapt to the ‘new normal'.

Imogen Senior, headteacher at St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Bury St Edmunds , said: “You would be hard pressed to find an area of the school where we have not made adaptations or changes, but we hope we have retained the integrity of the school and what we do.”

Pupils at Barrow Primary School on their first day back (41806034)
Pupils at Barrow Primary School on their first day back (41806034)

Yesterday, the school, in Beeton’s Way, welcomed Year 7 and 12 before all students returned today.

It has implemented a one-way system, students are being taught and socialising in bubbles and movement is being minimised between classes with a shortened lunch break.

They are using perspex screens in classrooms and staff are wearing face visors where appropriate.

Face masks are being worn in the corridors and communal areas and the school day is ending at different intervals for different year groups.

Students were back from today at County Upper School, in Beeton’s Way, which has introduced a one-way system.

It has set up class and year group bubbles, separate social areas for each year group, an altered school meals system and 67 hand sanitisers throughout the school.

Headteacher Vicky Neale said: “Staff have all returned very positive and are excited to be seeing all our students again. We have planned carefully to help students settle quickly and are confident that they will enjoy being back in face-to-face contact with their teachers and friends.”

At Barrow CEVC Primary, pupils in Years 4 and 5 were enjoying the school’s new classroom building, which cost nearly £1 million.

The building allows the school to increase capacity from 150 to 210.

Headteacher Helen Ashe said: “The contractors Brooks and Wood have performed a minor miracle in getting that building ready for us through the Covid scenario.”

She said they had ‘a very smooth start’ to term with staggered pick up and drop off and group bubbles.

“We’re delighted to see really smiley faces,” Helen added. “The children were clearly thrilled to be back and have the school properly vibrant and busy again.”

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