A SCHOOL trust in Oxfordshire has revealed how it has dealt with pupils returning to the classroom.

Abingdon Learning Trust (ALT) oversees two secondary schools and a primary in the town.

The trust said that comprehensive risk assessments were in place to ensure the schools - John Mason, Fitzharrys and Rush Common - were as safe as possible for staff and students.

Both secondary schools have adopted one-way systems and a ‘bubble’ year group policy for children to only mix with those in the same year group as themselves.

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Children have been allocated areas of the schools in which to have all their lessons, meaning teachers move to the children, rather than pupils moving around the school and increasing the risk of infection.

Will Speke, head of school at Fitzharrys, said: “Our students have come back showing great maturity in dealing with the new roles and measures in place, they seem genuinely happy to be with us again and keen to learn.

“Both schools [Fitzharrys and John Mason] have communicated regularly with staff to ensure that they can work safely and feel supported in such difficult times.”

Paulini Tabuadua, a Year 11 pupil at Fitzharrys, said: “I was a little bit worried about coming back to school and what it would be like because we had got so used to being online and working on our computers at home.

“Over lockdown, school helped us prepare for Year 11 by giving us a bunch of online work, so if we need to revise we now already know a lot of useful websites. I know if I need help, I’ve got all the resources I need.”

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Adrian Rees, head of school at John Mason, added: “I have been impressed by how responsive and proactive our team have been as we have returned.

“They have increased pressure on them because they move rooms every hour, do not have the resources that they would usually have and have to think every time they move or help a child about the risks that they are exposed to.”

Executive headteacher and director of secondary education, Sarah Brinkley, said: “Teenagers have a remarkable social conscience and are emotionally intelligent young people, they will not put their families and friends at risk, they are acutely aware of what is going on in the world.”