Tackling the Covid Classroom Dilemma
With many schools in England re-opening at the beginning of June, the preparation workload for school leaders and teachers has increased drastically. Some schools are cautious about opening because they deem it unsafe for both the staff and children, however lots of schools want to get back to some form of normality. It is these schools that are having to plan for extra safety measures to be put into place. The UK government guidelines have suggested that children and staff are not required to wear PPE but huge changes will need to be made in regards to the functionality of the school day and the classroom itself.
Class sizes will be restricted to a maximum ‘bubble’ of 15 students but each student will need to be seated at their own desk and be two metres apart from one another. The resources and belongings that the child brings into school and uses will be strictly for their own use and not to be shared with anyone. With this in mind, several schools have opted to give each child their own desk, chair and tray. The Gratnells shallow tray, often placed on top of the desk is where the teacher places the learning resources and equipment solely for each child. Some schools have also opted for a larger Gratnells jumbo tray to be positioned underneath each individual desk.
Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge has opted for this style because staff wanted to avoid gatherings of children in communal areas like cloakrooms. Children will only handle their own belongings, reducing the risk of contamination between them. For both desk and floor, the school chose to use Gratnells antimicrobial trays. These products carry an additive that helps to combat surface contamination of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Their use can help to reduce infection rates and complements classroom hygiene measures that are already in place.
Assistant Headteacher at Trumpington Park Primary, Charlotte Leaver, commented “Gratnells antimicrobial products have allowed us to ensure that our keyworker children have been able to come into school daily and still access their own individual resources. Children have become familiar with using the Gratnells jumbo F3 trays to safely store their possessions. Moving forward and thinking carefully about the reopening of our school for EYFS and Year 1 pupils, we are confident that the antimicrobial trays will contribute to safeguarding the children from harmful bacteria.
Maintaining social distancing where possible, having smaller teaching groups, keeping hand hygiene paramount and using Gratnells antimicrobial trays for personal belongings and resources will help make the transition between home and school much smoother for everybody. Parents will also feel reassured knowing the school has put in extra procedures to protect their children as much as possible. Keeping children and teachers safe during this unprecedented time is the priority for all schools across our nation. Many will have their own way of putting safety measures into place and this will support the return of children coming back to school feeling safe and happy.
You can see Gratnells range of products suitable for classrooms concerned about infection control here