It will be a shock to my teenage sons system tomorrow when he has to get up before 8am and go to school. Having schooled from home since March and then enjoying the six weeks summer holidays have meant he has forgotten what it’s like to put a uniform back on.
He only gets to dip his toe into school for one day as his year group (year 10) return on Friday and then are off again for the weekend. The school staggered year groups back into the building over the week and it just so happens that his year group is last to return. Three years of high school ticked off, only two more remain where does the time go?
Initially he found it all strange schooling online but eventually settled into it. He did used to remark how he missed being at school and missed being with his friends which was good to hear from a parents viewpoint. Then over time he has felt anxious about returning. He seemed to be settled at home, working to the online timetable and felt safer at home with us. He always has been a bit of a home boy in that respect.
The emails from school started to trickle into my inbox over the last ten days about what is expected from parents and pupils alike as well as what to expect differently in school this term.
There will be no mid morning snack facility in the canteen. No hot food for lunchtimes only cold food options and children preferred to bring in packed lunches for the first few weeks. Face masks to be worn at various times around the building and parents asked to avoid coming onto campus to drop off or pick up their child.
The world has to return to some sort of normality but my concern will be how schools deal with any child with the slightest cold, cough or sickness. Research suggests that children develop differing Covid symptoms to adults and those can be anything from diarrhea, vomiting, coughs and runny noses. In truth, most children develop those symptoms within the first month of returning to school anyway. The only thing missing is head lice! All those children in warm classrooms means bugs spread like wildfire and I have already heard of children having to take a Covid test before they can return to school if they have a “common cold”.
Whilst staff are rightly trying to keep the schools open and reduce infections there has to be a balance and common sense applied. I have already said to my wife I will bet my mortgage on our son being off school within a month or returning to some sort of lockdown in school due to children displaying some symptoms, it is inevitable. I just hope the school year does not become a farce with him in and out of school regularly. We have seen locally how schools have sent pupils home already after only being open a week. It has the potential to become a farce but fingers crossed for his education and health.