Learning alongside COVID-19
All schools across The Corinium Education Trust have adapted their practice to ensure all pupils and staff have been able to cope with COVID-19. Attendance has been consistently above the county and national averages and, at Chesterton Primary School, we have been especially pleased to see improvements.
'Parents have been reassured by the measures we have put in place to maintain class bubbles and the children are responding to the short outside breaks between lessons. As a school we are especially pleased with the high numbers of children regularly attending school, resulting in an increase in our attendance rates which are now above the national expectations.' Karen Venner, Chesterton Headteacher
School leaders reflected on their experiences during lockdown and worked closely with Chief Executive Chiquita Henson, trustees and their local governing bodies to put together robust actions plans and risk assessments in preparation for the full reopening of schools in September 2020 and we are all pleased with the progress that has been made.
‘I have been impressed by the tremendous efforts that staff in each school have made to maintain the rhythm and momentum of learning. While the arrangements for arriving and leaving, breaks and lunch times may have been staggered and our daily routines and seating arrangements altered, pupils, parents and staff are working together and this spirit of cooperation and partnership is central to our ethos across The Corinium Education Trust.’ Chiquita Henson, Chief Executive.
We have taken great care to follow the government’s guidance and our provision in each school has been regularly reviewed. As the Autumn Term has progressed we have made some adjustments. For example, Deer Park introduced the wearing of face coverings in the corridors and indoor communal areas at the beginning of October following the Prime Minister’s announcements on Thursday 22 September 2020.
Pupils and staff in each of our schools have become accustomed to our new COVID-safe routines. These include
- remembering to wash hands on arrival and regularly throughout the school day;
- using hand sanitiser routinely;
- following the wipe down routines in lessons;
- maintaining an appropriate social distance with each other and adults in each school.
Our preventative measures have been tailored to each school’s context. We are all making our best efforts to enrich our pupils’ learning.
At Kemble Primary School, pupils were still able to make a field trip to Greystones to complete a river study. This was relevant to their curriculum studies and all staff took care to ensure government guidance was observed. ‘We always seek to engage and enhance the children’s learning opportunities through visits and experiences. This trip to Greystones was the hook for the project ‘Flow’ undertaken by our Year 3 and 4 pupils. Staff carefully planned and risk assessed the trip and we were satisfied that DfE guidance was being followed and the trip could go safely ahead. The trip gave staff confidence and allowed us to develop protocols for planning future visits.’ Emma Morrogh-Ryan, Headteacher.
At Chesterton Primary School staff and pupils in Year 3 are looking forward to a trip to The Corinium Museum in November. Headteacher Karen Venner is especially grateful to the museum staff who will be opening the museum especially for pupils. 'This museum trip will help them learn more about Cirencester’s Roman heritage. We are reassured by the measures put in place by the Museum to allow the children to still benefit from an education visit to bring their study of Roman history to life.' Miss Thomas, Chesterton Year 3 Class Teacher
At Siddington C of E Primary School pupils have been enjoying virtual school trips. The younger children had a visit from the Fire Service and the older children have a virtual trip planned to Edinburgh Zoo. ‘I am constantly surprised by the innovative ways the school staff continue to make learning meaningful and fun for the children, despite the new restrictions. Enjoyment remains at the heart of the curriculum at Siddington.’ Katie Cook, Headteacher.