Thoughts on sending kids back to school in June.

iangreasby

Well-known Member
It's not just the education that the really young ones are missing out on, it's the general social interaction with other kids that is very important at an early age.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
As ill thought out as everything else is. Most people should clearly be able to see by now the pattern that has been emerging.

No doubt the kids needs to go back without question, but my sister as a teacher has echoed similar sentiments to Miss Mandy and Rusty.
 

iamsludge

Active Member
The risks are not to the children themselves in the main, it’s the risk to vulnerable parents and grandparents they live with that is the major issue.

My secondary age son would be going into a bubble of over 200 other kids? Everyone knows what it is like with ordinary cold/flu every year, let alone a much more infectious virus like covid.

My son has been doing lots of school work at home that has been set by his school. It’s working okay as it is.

If the numbers do not dramatically improve before september he will not be going back, fine or no fine.

If necessary we will move to home schooling for the coming year.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Its true that there is still a risk to vulnerable parents and grandparents, but unless the entire house goes in to full isolation that risk will always be there. There will almost certainly be at least one person in those households who is going to work or going to the supermarket for groceries, going to the doctor's, etc. We cannot eliminate the risk completely so we have to find a balance.

For you this home schooling system is working well, but for increasingly large numbers it's not. These children are not only missing out on a proper and decent education, they're missing out on socialisation which is incredibly important in childhood.
By keeping them off school longer we'll be slowly but surely destroying their futures.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
My little one seemed like he was doing great at home and home schooling. He is in reception but happily learning year 2 and 3 stuff as he got bored of easier stuff. We are both at home working remotely and it was tricky but worked ok but he did start to get bored of the similar work we were giving him as there’s only so much you can find online.
The work set by the school was so basic and maybe 30-60 minutes per day.

When he went back the immediate love and connection with his friends who had been back a few weeks was unmistakable and we realised how much he had been missing out...on social interaction, definitely not school work.

Anyway, yes I think the way the figures are going if we don’t get a nationwide 2nd peak then schools will probably be back to normal by September. Thing change daily and weekly and we have 8-9 weeks before autumn term. Fingers crossed of course.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Speaking to my wife there are some bizarre rules.

First one is that if TWO students within a bubble are tested positive then the whole bubble has to go home and self-isolates. With primary schools a bubble is a class (so about 30 kids) in secondary school it is a year (so 300 at my wife's school). You can easily imagine TWO students in 300 testing positive at some point.

Teachers have to stay 2M away from a bubble. This is because teachers will have to teach all 5 (or 7) year groups or bubbles.

The government have said that a bubble will be a year group and up to 240 are allowed in a bubble. They have clearly based this on the recommended class sizes (25), not the actual class sizes (35) that you can encounter in reality. So bubbles at my wife's school will be around 300.

How will buses work. You need bus services that are in route and bubble combinations - potentially 7 times more busses that usual required.

Somehow, doesn't make sense other than to fit in with the goal, a teacher can spend up to 15 minutes in close contact with each kid in a bubble. Science tells me this is BS - because kids in a bubble have no separation requirements and can interact as much as they like the whole bubble should be treated as a single entity so a teacher should only be allowed 15 minutes contact with the bubble, not each student within the bubble.

What they haven't worked out yet is how students will move between lessons without the bubbles mixing in the corridors.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Wouldn’t buses be the same as normal buses where you have to wear face mask if on them? Same with kids going to school by train, at the moment they would have to wear a face mask.

If you cannot maintain social distance then you need to wear PPE of some kind.

How this is unforced is another matter entirely. Though I expect kids at school are way more responsible than the 20 somethings off out going to raves and Soho!
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Yes they won’t be able to do anything more with buses. In pre-covid times there were never enough. Kids are crammed on like tube trains.

The idea of bubbles breaks as soon as they leave school grounds. There is no way that you can stop bubbles from intermixing. If nothing else imagine a family where siblings of different ages go to the same school - very common - that is cross bubble contamination right there.

It will be what it will be. Just have to make the best of flawed precautions.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Yeh basically the school bubble might be 200-300 kids but the wider numbers who are in contact with that bubble would be thousands and thousands. Not much you can do about that really.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Yeh basically the school bubble might be 200-300 kids but the wider numbers who are in contact with that bubble would be thousands and thousands. Not much you can do about that really.
True and remember the current rules, if just two kids test positive in a bubble of 300 then the whole bubble gets sent home for 14 days.

And PPE - the shop assistant at the counter 2m away from customers gets a mask and a visor. Teachers are going to get (are currently getting) nothing.

Rules that apply elsewhere have been thrown out of the window so as to make return to school possible.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
The children at my school have been back for 7 days now and it's very strange. I'd not really given them much challenging to do until this morning - mostly mindfulness / very basic maths and English work - this morning I turned the screws slightly with some relatively straight-forward magic number squares and had 5 of my 15 children in tears within minutes because they had to think for the first time in 4 months. A few of them are happy (relatively so) to come into school and sit and chill / read all day, refusing to engage with any of the work.

September is going to be very, very challenging.

We've got between 150-175 of our 650 children back - a good handful showed up last Monday and Tuesday and haven't been seen since because it was 'boring'!!
 

gaaron

Active Member
The children at my school have been back for 7 days now and it's very strange. I'd not really given them much challenging to do until this morning - mostly mindfulness / very basic maths and English work - this morning I turned the screws slightly with some relatively straight-forward magic number squares and had 5 of my 15 children in tears within minutes because they had to think for the first time in 4 months. A few of them are happy (relatively so) to come into school and sit and chill / read all day, refusing to engage with any of the work.

September is going to be very, very challenging.

We've got between 150-175 of our 650 children back - a good handful showed up last Monday and Tuesday and haven't been seen since because it was 'boring'!!
My grandson who is aged 10yrs has been going to school 2 days a week. He says he just does art or football & a bit of writing. He says his mum's curriculum is more like teaching. My daughter does at least 3 hrs a day in core subjects with 2 children. ..I look forward to hearing about the book that my 8yr granddaughter is reading....500 pages!
Plus, I'm learning from them !
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
The DfE / Government are making their 'final' decision on school reopening on 11/08/20. So presume that all the measures we've been desperately scrambling around trying to set up for September to be obsolete.

The Govt has also offered all schools two training days in September to help get prepared. This is a little contentious, as parents and the general public struggle to get their heads around INSET days and many will likely cause a fuss - 'why couldn't they do it over the summer?' etc etc.

We've decided to take one of the two, pending anything substantial happening on the 11th August, in which case we'll have no choice but to take both.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
I think the issue people have with Inset days is that we don't know why they exist as we never had them when we were kids ;)
It's annoying but one of those things we just suck up and deal with.

EDIT - I did just Google it and they were introduced when there was the new National Curriculum in 1988 so needed more training to convert to it...still odd they exist as a thing though.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
I think the issue people have with Inset days is that we don't know why they exist as we never had them when we were kids ;)
It's annoying but one of those things we just suck up and deal with.

EDIT - I did just Google it and they were introduced when there was the new National Curriculum in 1988 so needed more training to convert to it...still odd they exist as a thing though.
They had them when I was a kid 😉

Education moves so quickly with so many changes, it would be impossible to keep up without days in school without the children.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
They had them when I was a kid 😉

Education moves so quickly with so many changes, it would be impossible to keep up without days in school without the children.
I would say...what about the last day or two of the holidays...but I won't go there.
For another day\discussion :)
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
But then it wouldn't be a holiday would it? 😉

Inset days are done during the children's holidays.
Nope, not here. Autumn Term last year started 4th September but that was an inset day at our school. Same with end of summer term this year. The end of term date is 22nd July but that is an inset day as well. Just two examples but they are all the same, during term time.

So, no, not during the children's holidays although they are "forced" holiday. Won't be a holiday for teachers but still the set holiday for the kids.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
Nope, not here. Autumn Term last year started 4th September but that was an inset day at our school. Same with end of summer term this year. The end of term date is 22nd July but that is an inset day as well. Just two examples but they are all the same, during term time.

So, no, not during the children's holidays although they are "forced" holiday. Won't be a holiday for teachers but still the set holiday for the kids.
It's a technicality. Yes 'term' has started, but it's an INSET. If there wasn't an inset, the children would be in, but would break up a day earlier in the summer. The children will usually have the same number of teaching days / hours over the course of a year regardless of INSETs.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Hmmmm...anyway...semantics ;)

Only 2 whole days left for the boy and then 6 weeks of back to trying to find things to do when there isn't really much worth doing atm. Think this might be the longest summer ever!
 

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