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Sark School is first in Bailiwick to open again

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SARK SCHOOL became the first in the Bailiwick to reopen yesterday after being shut to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but not for all of its pupils.

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The Education Committee announced last week that following detailed risk assessments, consultation with the island’s pandemic emergency committee and the relevant authorities in Guernsey, it was able to partially re-open the school for Year 1 and upwards pupils.

Committee chairman Amanda De Carteret said to maintain social distancing, children will attend classes at allocated times in groups of two or three, while the school will be cleaned continuously throughout the day.

There will be no playtime or social time for the children during their time in school.

‘Whilst we recognise that this is a long way from the superb educational provision on offer to children prior to the lockdown, we believe that this is a suitable first step,’ she said.

‘Sark is Covid-19 free, which has enabled us to move more quickly towards restricted teaching in the school building.

‘However, the provision will be reviewed constantly and risk assessed, and parents are clear that we may need to revert to the online provision offered during lockdown should the risk of infection change.’

The children will be invited into school for a one- or two-hour period and will be taught by their class teacher in their classrooms, arriving at the school through separate doorways to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Conseiller De Carteret added opening the school for younger pupils would likely not have been possible, but hoped soon it would be.

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‘The Early Years have as yet not been allowed under this proposed reopening,’ she said.

‘It would have been very difficult to enforce the social distancing of two metres for our younger pupils.

‘All of our children from Year 1 and upwards were in school today within the times that have been given.

‘They were all very excited to be finally going back into school, even for just a short time.’

Early Years children continue to be given work and activities each week.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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