Students return to the London school with hand washing and emotional support
LONDON: Elementary school children returning to Harris Academy in London on Thursday sit in rows, wash their hands regularly and are supported by teachers who have been trained to provide emotional support after the lockdown.

The kids returned to school this week – for the first time since the spread of Covid-19 when classes closed in March, they were back in full-time education.

To prevent large gatherings, schools stagger, keep students in smaller groups, control where they go in common areas, and require bottles and pencil cases to be provided to prevent sharing. The desks will likely be lined up so that students don’t sit in groups on a table.

Harris Academy executive director Sam French said the staff were delighted to be back and while there were many challenges, they wanted the school to look as normal as before.

“We did our best to keep (the challenges) at our level. When the children came back today, they came back as much as possible to the school they left in March,” she told Reuters from students the playground.

The children were greeted by a teacher who was providing hand sanitizer when they arrived in an archway made of balloons on Thursday.

While schools stayed in contact with students during the lockdown and worked regularly, teachers now have to use the first semester to assess how many children have fallen behind and how many have progressed in learning.

“In the first few weeks it’s all about finding out where the gaps are, where the strengths are and then building up so that we are all back where we need to be by halfway through October and can continue the year.” “French said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration is under pressure to ensure schools can stay open after the long hiatus and a debacle over estimated exam scores that had an impact on whether some students went to university this year.


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