This week thousands of children are returning to school after almost six months off due to the pandemic.
Many parents have expressed concern over their children’s safety and schools have implemented strict social distancing measures and staggered start times in order to keep pupils safe as they return to school.
Rachel Smith, headteacher at Fir Vale Academy, explained: “Parents, when you drop your children off please drop them off at the gate and we will escort them to where they should be for the day.
"If you can, please bring a packed lunch, water and a face mask.
"We are having to wear face masks as we move from room to room. Don’t worry if you haven’t got one. We can provide your child with one of these.
"For the first couple of weeks we recommend bringing your own packed lunch. If a child is on free school meals or chooses a meal from school these will be in grab bags.
"It is also really useful if you can send your child with hand sanitiser and tissues in their own bag, so they can be self-sufficient in that way and stay healthy.
"We are looking forward to welcoming our students back.”
At many schools staggered start times are being used to ensure that different classes can remain as ‘bubbles’ and not come into contact with one another.
This means different year groups may start at different times or on different days.
At Fir Vale Academy, pupils will start to return to school this Thursday (September 3). Half of the new year 7 will go in on that day, and the other half will start on Friday (September 4).
Then on Monday 7 year 11 will start, Tuesday 8 year 10 will start, Wednesday 9 year 9, Thursday 10 year 8 and then all years will be in on Friday 11 September.