Students Embrace Safety Measures To Be Back In The Classroom

Somercotes Academy Year 7 students are back to classroom lessons after the Covid-19 lockdown. These students remain in their own bubble and don't mix with other students or leave the classroom, other than for PE.

Classroom bubbles, frequent hand sanitising and extra cleaning of the site are just some of the safety measures in place to ensure that students at Somercotes Academy have been able to return to school-based learning this month.

Yet students have taken it all on the chin when it comes to adapting to a new regime at the Academy, with most admitting that they are just happy to be back in the classroom.

For Year 7 students, who only joined the Academy this month from Primary School, the change has been a steeper one, but the children say they are happy to be back at school and feel confident of their health and safety at the larger Academy.

Principal Frances Green is delighted to have all of the students back in the classroom and says the strict regime of Covid-19 measures has been embraced wholeheartedly by staff and students alike.

“Everyone has missed classroom learning. There is no substitute for it,  despite the advances in online learning through our FROG platform.  Teachers and students all agree that nothing compares to being face to face in a classroom where you can tackle things as they arise. For that reason, everyone has fully embraced the measures we have introduced to keep them safe and I am very proud of everyone for doing so,” she said.

At the Academy, each year group has its own bubble and its own part of the building for lessons. Younger students remain in their classroom bubbles and only the teachers move from class to class.  The only time they leave the classroom is for PE lessons. Older students who are studying for their GCSEs move classrooms when required in order to access specialist resources and areas for option subjects. In addition, breaks and lunch are staggered, and each year group has its own space for these periods, as well as designated toilets. Students have all received health and safety briefings and are encouraged to regularly wash their hands and to sanitise.  

Year 7 student Alyssia Khan said: “I am pleased to be back learning things and back to seeing friends. I think the school is keeping us safe. We now have a lot of health and safety lessons. The main difference is that we are in bubbles and use hand sanitisation. We are just in one classroom in a bubble with teachers coming to us. All our lessons are here apart from PE.”

Zach Hicken (Year 7) said: I’m quite confident that we are in safe hands. It's frustrating that we missed the transition from Primary School and SATS though, but I am enjoying it here. It’s fun to be at school again.”

Mrs Green said: “I am very proud of the students and staff for reacting so positively to the new measures so that we can all get back to school-based learning.”

The Year 7 bubble in the classroom.

The Year 7 bubble in the classroom.

Year 7 students Alyssia Khan and Zach Hicken are happy to have joined Somercotes Academy, especially with the extra safety measures in place.

Health and safety lessons now include updates for Coronavirus.

Year 11 student Onyx Clancy sanitises at one of the many stations throughout the Academy.

Somercotes Academy cleaner Pauline Dyson is doing extra hours sanitising all of the toilets, wiping down the computers when classes are changed, and wiping down tables and handles frequently.

Reminders of social distancing are everywhere.

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Somercotes Academy Principal

Frances Green

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson