Pupils 'wait patiently in the rain' as thousands return to lessons and testing at Doncaster schools today
Schools across Doncaster returned to a post-lockdown era this morning, with youngsters queueing for tests early today.
Some pupils at schools across the borough had already been tested, with some lateral flow tests to make sure they were clear of the coronavirus having been carried out on Friday at many schools.
Schools have been open through lockdown for children of critical workers and vulnerable youngsters, but have not been fully open to all pupils since they broke up for Christmas.
Among those returning this morning were the year 10, 12 and 13 pupils at McAuley School, with testing carried out early, ahead of lessons starting properly. The school’s year 11s are due back tomorrow in a phased return.
Headteacher John Rooney said they were running testing for year 10s this morning with full lessons from break.
He said: “In statistical terms we are getting through 140 students per hour and have had a remarkable response from parents with 96 per cent giving consent to the testing.”
He said his key message to pupils this morning as they patiently waited in the rain was that it was a second new start, but some things had stayed the same, such as pupil ‘bubbles', a one way system, teachers travelling to lessons rather than pupils. Lunch times are still split, and there were hygiene and behaviour expectations around the site.
But he said some things had changed including the expectations that face coverings will be worn in all social areas, including classrooms, until Easter.
Children will be tested for Covid at school and at home with kits and details to follow when they arrive.
Mr Rooney also told pupils there would be a change in emphasis with more attention on year 10s who would have a big 19 days until Easter.
On Friday, March 5, the school completed over 250 Lateral Flow Tests for sixth formers, all of which returned negative results.
Assistant headteacher James Tucker added: “It is fantastic to have the school filling up with pupils again
“By the end of this week we have a full school with many having completed their second lateral flow test. Staff pupils and parents/carers have really pulled together.”