‘It’s been a real pleasure to see them face to face’ - school begins to reopen

Year 10 pupils are back at North Walsham High School following the school closure due to lockdown. P

Year 10 pupils are back at North Walsham High School following the school closure due to lockdown. Picture: North Walsham High School - Credit: North Walsham High School

A high school at the centre of a community has began to reopen following lockdown closure.

From Monday, North Walsham High School has been welcoming back bubbles of its year 10 students a quarter at a time for five weeks of lessons which will run in tandem with online learning which was already being provided by the school while it was closed.

Before this week the school was only able to allow the children of key workers to learn on location.

The school is also now able to host one-to-one sessions with students from all year groups, however interim headteacher Roger Harris says these will be conducted only when necessary.

Dr Harris said: “We’ve got kids coming in on set days Monday to Thursday because we’ve got four quarters and then we’ve got teachers coming in to teach those lessons conveying information which is difficult to convey through the online platform.

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“It has been really positive, it’s really lovely to see the kids back in school, the year 10s are saying stuff like ‘it’s nice to be back in school’ and because they’re all spread out and I think they’re all a little bit reserved, their behaviour has been amazing.

“Every teacher has said it’s been a real pleasure to see them face to face because there is nothing that can replace a teacher standing in front of a class full of kids.”

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In order to minimise risks teachers have been allocated a bubble of students to teach and social distancing is currently in place across the whole school, with pupil’s desks split two metres apart.

Dr Harris says the school has been given no indication from the government on when it will be able to welcome back other years in bubbles or full year groups as a whole.

He added: “Even the fact that they’re only letting us have a quarter of year 10s at one time shows how seriously they’re restricting schools. If a child is struggling or they want to have a catch-up then we can start inviting individuals from years seven to nine in if we need to, but for us that’s as required as opposed to regular visits.

“We just want to offer as best as possible service to the kids.”

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