SarcAndSpark
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Hey everyone

Most of us will be going back to school this week or next. I've been in for inset today, and there's another tomorrow. Then kids coming in from Monday.

I'm reasonably happy with everything that's been put in place around school- and our head is insisting masks are worn in communal areas/corridors and said they can be worn in classrooms.

I'm feeling more concerned about the kids coming back into school, getting used to new routines, and dealing with all the change after so long off.

And a few people have already floated the idea of "What happens if we have to close again?" Which would just be a nightmare.

So I thought it might be nice to have a place where we can chat about school reopening, and share what's working and what isn't!
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bluebeetle
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We've had kids in for two days now, and it's been much better than I expected actually! Generally, very good adherence to the mask / hand sanitiser rules. They're a bit more reluctant to keep in their bubbles, but so far there have been no major incidents of bubbles mixing up that I've heard about. I feel very lucky that our SLT have been extremely supportive and clear with expectations.

That being said, I'm already ready for the weekend!
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nursingstudentuk
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
We've had kids in for two days now, and it's been much better than I expected actually! Generally, very good adherence to the mask / hand sanitiser rules. They're a bit more reluctant to keep in their bubbles, but so far there have been no major incidents of bubbles mixing up that I've heard about. I feel very lucky that our SLT have been extremely supportive and clear with expectations.

That being said, I'm already ready for the weekend!
schools are putting kids in "bubbles"?
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by nursingstudentuk)
schools are putting kids in "bubbles"?
Yes, so the idea in our secondary is that students do not mix outside of their year group. That way, if some Year 10s test positive, it's not the case that the whole student body have to quarantine, only the students in that Year 10 bubble.
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nursingstudentuk
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
Yes, so the idea in our secondary is that students do not mix outside of their year group. That way, if some Year 10s test positive, it's not the case that the whole student body have to quarantine, only the students in that Year 10 bubble.
Oh! I see, i thought you meant like... actual plastic bubbles haha. Thank you
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
We've had kids in for two days now, and it's been much better than I expected actually! Generally, very good adherence to the mask / hand sanitiser rules. They're a bit more reluctant to keep in their bubbles, but so far there have been no major incidents of bubbles mixing up that I've heard about. I feel very lucky that our SLT have been extremely supportive and clear with expectations.

That being said, I'm already ready for the weekend!
That sounds pretty good! My school is pretty well set up for bubbles, I think, so hopefully we won't have too many issues with bubbles mixing.

I think the biggest issue will be staggered finishes- Y11 won't like staying til 3.10! And I think it could end up with kids milling about, waiting for older siblings etc. I think we will end up having to escort classes off site.

(Original post by nursingstudentuk)
schools are putting kids in "bubbles"?
Yes. For secondary, a year group is a bubble, and there is no mixing of students between bubbles on the school site. Each bubble has a slot for the canteen, a different lunch room, a different outside space and so on. Each bubble will stay mostly in one designated area of the school to minimise mixing in corridors.

The idea is that then if there are multiple cases in just one bubble, the school can stay open, rather than having to have the whole school off if there are cases in just one class.
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
That sounds pretty good! My school is pretty well set up for bubbles, I think, so hopefully we won't have too many issues with bubbles mixing.

I think the biggest issue will be staggered finishes- Y11 won't like staying til 3.10! And I think it could end up with kids milling about, waiting for older siblings etc. I think we will end up having to escort classes off site.
Oh yes, staggered finishes have been interesting. At our school, it means that some students only have a 30 minute lesson last period (instead of the usual hour!). It's only Y7s and Y8s, and luckily none of my classes are affected, but seems it will surely have a knock-on effect for those subjects.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
Oh yes, staggered finishes have been interesting. At our school, it means that some students only have a 30 minute lesson last period (instead of the usual hour!). It's only Y7s and Y8s, and luckily none of my classes are affected, but seems it will surely have a knock-on effect for those subjects.
We have 75 minute lessons anyway, so 10 minutes off the end for Y7 won't be the end of the world (IMO), and Y11 actually get 10 minutes extra, which is good in theory (even if we don't work for those 10 minutes, I'm hoping to be able to get them to work right up to 3pm, whereas usually they'd want to pack up at 5 minutes to). Losing 30 minutes of a lesson would be an issue- what can you really get done in 30 minutes?

Our Y7 are finishing P2 early so that we can get everyone through the canteen, though, but this will be rotated between year groups so hopefully no one group/lesson will be hit too hard. So that, plus early finish will mean they lose 30 minutes a day some days, but it's at least split between lessons, and like I say, the 20 minutes will be rotated.
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
We have 75 minute lessons anyway, so 10 minutes off the end for Y7 won't be the end of the world (IMO), and Y11 actually get 10 minutes extra, which is good in theory (even if we don't work for those 10 minutes, I'm hoping to be able to get them to work right up to 3pm, whereas usually they'd want to pack up at 5 minutes to). Losing 30 minutes of a lesson would be an issue- what can you really get done in 30 minutes?

Our Y7 are finishing P2 early so that we can get everyone through the canteen, though, but this will be rotated between year groups so hopefully no one group/lesson will be hit too hard. So that, plus early finish will mean they lose 30 minutes a day some days, but it's at least split between lessons, and like I say, the 20 minutes will be rotated.
That sounds like a pretty good system! I hope all goes well for you next week
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
That sounds like a pretty good system! I hope all goes well for you next week
Thanks!

I think everything is going to work alright, as long as we can keep staff absence down, but as soon as people start getting winter coughs etc, it will start to fall apart =/
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airfixfighter
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Are people moving to the kids or kids still coming to your rooms?

I've had a day of Y7 form today and I think my brain's melted from all the new rules and the inevitable questions.
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by airfixfighter)
Are people moving to the kids or kids still coming to your rooms?

I've had a day of Y7 form today and I think my brain's melted from all the new rules and the inevitable questions.
For us, kids are coming to our rooms still. Perhaps not the safest way, but I'm very glad for it, I think moving around could have been the thing that would have tipped me over the edge stress-wise. I taught in some other classrooms in the school during lockdown and they're just awful for maths - tiny whiteboards that you can't even complete a single A-level question on!
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airfixfighter
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
For us, kids are coming to our rooms still. Perhaps not the safest way, but I'm very glad for it, I think moving around could have been the thing that would have tipped me over the edge stress-wise. I taught in some other classrooms in the school during lockdown and they're just awful for maths - tiny whiteboards that you can't even complete a single A-level question on!
We're moving around and the more it's spoken about, I'm not sure how it's going to be sustainable for more than about two weeks! I feel your maths pain - I teach A-level physics and I've taught in rooms that don't even have a whiteboard :confused:
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5hyl33n
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Just popping on this thread to say thank you to the teachers who have supported us students in lockdown.
You guys are amazing at what you do! Xx

I know my Chemistry teacher is organising compulsory after-school sessions to help us catch-up on the content we have missed. She will do it once a week for an hour or two.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
For us, kids are coming to our rooms still. Perhaps not the safest way, but I'm very glad for it, I think moving around could have been the thing that would have tipped me over the edge stress-wise. I taught in some other classrooms in the school during lockdown and they're just awful for maths - tiny whiteboards that you can't even complete a single A-level question on!
I sort of wish we didn't have to do it, and I feel it will be an accident waiting to happen in science as we will have students left unsupervised in science labs.

But a lot of our corridors are really narrow, and there are just so many pinch points that having students move isn't going to be safe.

I do really think it is going to be a nightmare, and some of the rooms I am teaching in are really not great. But I can see why we need to try and make it work.

(Original post by airfixfighter)
We're moving around and the more it's spoken about, I'm not sure how it's going to be sustainable for more than about two weeks! I feel your maths pain - I teach A-level physics and I've taught in rooms that don't even have a whiteboard :confused:
I'm not convinced the changes are supposed to be sustainable long term- I think a lot of SLT in my school feel we will have whole year groups off before half term.
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04MR17
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Posting to subscribe.

Not a (proper) teacher but will be training and teaching in schools this year on my PGCE so this thread may well come in handy.

Advice very much welcome.
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bluebeetle
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Posting to subscribe.

Not a (proper) teacher but will be training and teaching in schools this year on my PGCE so this thread may well come in handy.

Advice very much welcome.
Good luck with your PGCE!

Don't forget to join a union would be my advice. It's usually free for trainees, and obviously nobody knows what's going to come up this year given the current situation, so it's good to have that bit of reassurance.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
Good luck with your PGCE!

Don't forget to join a union would be my advice. It's usually free for trainees, and obviously nobody knows what's going to come up this year given the current situation, so it's good to have that bit of reassurance.
Second this.

Regardless of the pandemic, you need someone to be on your side in case a child has an accident in your classroom, or makes an accusation against you. As a trainee you can also join more than one union.
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