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Catmose College, Oakham School, Stamford Endowed Schools, The Deepings School and Malcolm Sargent Primary School express excitement for return to school

Pupils are set to return to the classroom for face-to-face lessons.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced in his roadmap on Monday that all pupils can return to classrooms from March 8.

There will be mass Covid-19 testing in all secondary schools with tests able to be completed at home following three initial results in school.

Catmose College Covid testing unit
Catmose College Covid testing unit

Catmose College has already had a lateral flow test centre operating from the school during lockdown, which Stuart Williams, principal, says has put them in good stead for the full return.

He said: “We have really good measures in place.

“It will be far nicer to have a slightly noisier school than the last few months.”

Willow Munton, Hannah Collins and Daniella Innes, pupils at Catmose College
Willow Munton, Hannah Collins and Daniella Innes, pupils at Catmose College

A team of tutors is also ready to aid pupils at the school in Oakham who need any extra support.

Staff at Oakham School are also putting measures in place to ensure pupils can return to the classroom safely. This includes organising quarantine measures for boarders, adapting the timetable to stagger movements around the site and setting up testing.

Henry Price, headteacher, said:

“We will continue to spend a great deal of time and care putting rigorous measures in place that will help keep all members of our community safe, our pupils, our staff and all those who live and work in and around the town of Oakham.”

Will Phelan, principal of the Stamford Endowed Schools, said: “We are absolutely and throughly delighted that our pupils will be returning to school.

“Our absolute priority is to ensure that the return is as safe as possible, and that all of our pupils, after such a difficult year, have all of the support that they need to settle back into school over the coming weeks and months.

Richard Lord, headteacher at The Deepings School, believes the return of schools will help to get the economy back up and running.

He said: “It’s the part schools play in society. Ultimately to get things back open you need children in schools.

“Without a doubt children are more safe and secure when they are not left to their own devices.”

Mr Lord added: “We are really pleased to get the pupils back. This lockdown has been very different to the last.

“They’ve learned a lot since Christmas and all our teaching feedback from pupils, teachers and parents has been positive. There’s a lot more structure to their day but it just isn’t a substitute from having the children in front of you.”

For GCSE and A-level pupils, their return to school is tainted with the uncertainty of their results.

“When we look at this time last year exams had been cancelled,” said Mr Lord.

“There was no motivation on the whole to keep working but this year because it is being done by assessment, the engagement of students has been great.”

At primary schools, staff will continue to take two rapid Covid-19 tests each week.

At Malcom Sargent Primary School in Stamford, pupils will have staggered start times to ensure parents can social distance during drop-off times.

Tristan Revell, principal, said: “We are all very much looking forward to welcoming children back.

“We’ve got robust procedures which we’ve used successfully in school now all the way through since the very first lockdown.”

l Are your worried about schools reopening or glad to end home-schooling? Send views to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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