Inside Gedling school as pupils return for the first time since March

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A head teacher who welcomed back pupils this week has explained the new coronavirus measures which are in place to protect staff and students.

Carlton le Willows Academy, in Wood Lane, welcomed new Year 7s into the school for the first time yesterday since the closure in March.

Head teacher Craig Weaver said changes to the school day include year group "zones" with designated buildings, staggered start and finish times and a two-week timetable featuring three double lessons a day reducing movement between classrooms for students and staff.

Signs around the school remind pupils to social distance (Image: Carlton le Willows Academy)

He said mixed tutor groups have been replaced with year groups and a staff work base set up in the hall to ensure social distancing for teachers at all times.

Parents’ evenings are to be held virtually until further notice.

Mr Weaver said: “Senior leaders have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to come up with a workable solution that allows us to welcome all year groups back into school while adhering to Government guidelines in relation to Covid-19.

(Image: Carlton le Willows Academy)

“We are lucky here at the Academy in that we have two buildings on our site, allowing us to physically separate our year group bubbles for the entire working day. Because of this school looks pretty much the same however, the school day has changed quite dramatically to ensure there is reduced movement on corridors.”

Years eight to 11 and sixth formers in Years 12 and 13 had a supported return on Tuesday, with half-day inductions for each year group.

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Mr Weaver added: “There will also be other aspects to school life which will feel slightly different for us all. For instance, there will be no house or year group assemblies and my usual welcome back talk to students will be delivered virtually via a Youtube link.

“While all of this is very different for both staff and students alike, I have no doubt that we all adapt to the changes, working together as a community as is the Le Willows way.”

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