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Lowestoft pupils returning to school after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:31 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:38 03 September 2020

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher

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Pupils of all ages across Lowestoft have started returning to school this week for the beginning of a new-look academic year.

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker.
Picture: Nick ButcherPakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher

For some pupils, the return will mark a first day in school since lockdown was introduced.

Pupils at Pakefield High School have been returning in stages this week, with headteacher Anthony Walker praising the efforts of everyone involved.

He said: “It is a big thing for students and parents but things have gone really well. I am very proud of our staff and young people.

“We had our new year 7s in on Wednesday for their first day and it was lovely to see them so excited. We have got a lovely, airy school building which has allowed us to create bubbles.

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick ButcherPakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher

“It is almost like it is a school for just your year group.

“Our new year 11s had some time in school at the end of last year so they are more used to it and have walked in seamlessly.

“Everyone has responded magnificently.”

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Around 90pc of pupils returned to the school this week.

Mr Walker said: “I have been really pleased with the attendance, especially because we were worried about parents’ anxieties, but that hasn’t really manifested itself.

“We have tried to communicate with parents throughout. There is a concern about what happens if there are local cases or a local lockdown, and we are trying to reassure staff and students.

“We have a strong bubble system that is mitigating that and we believe we have put really strong measures in place.

“Our staff are also seeing this as an opportunity for our pupils.

“Because of the group bubbles, staff can get to know pupils a lot better than normal.”

At Hopton and Kessingland Church of England Primary Academies, run by the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust, pupils will be returning to school on Monday.

CEO Oliver Burwood said: “The time is right for all children to be back in school. We have class bubbles, staggered start times, provision of additional hand sanitiser and PPE. We have detailed plans in place in the eventuality that any pupil or staff member contract Covid.

“Each of our 34 academies has planned an exciting curriculum for the first term back, so each child can make a successful start to this unusual academic year.”


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