The last few months have been challenging in innumerable ways for so many of us. Let’s help make sure that the school drop-off and pick-up routine does not add to these woes!

Here are five simple ideas to ensure we can collectively help ensure the return to school can be as safe and secure for everyone:

  • Be kind and respectful – to each other, to the staff, to yourselves – everyone will have experienced lockdown in different ways and have different pressures and expectations as well as adapting to new routines.
  • Observe and role model social distancing. If you are likely to be in a congested area, wear a mask, and please do not congregate around the school grounds. Avoid bringing vehicles into the vicinity of the school. This is especially the case in Hartington Gardens which has no turning point.
  • Recognise that for some children and parents, the return to school will be more anxiety-inducing than for others – don’t judge and support those around.
  • Help each other out – communicate and collaborate to get things done that help the school and our kids get back to a safe learning environment as soon as possible.
  • Remember we are part of a wider local community – other residents and traders as well as other school pupils will also be adjusting to new routines and will be sharing our spaces at potentially busy times.
    With a school roll of over 600 pupils, we are a community of around 430 families. If every family sends an adult to drop off and pick up, that’s a lot of grown-ups in a relatively small space at a couple of peak times, on top of local residents and businesses trying to get back up and running.

As a community, we need to consider the ways we can reduce this number by communicating, connecting and working collectively.

  • Get in touch with your neighbours and classmates to organise informal ‘walking buses’ – by clubbing together to walk multiple children to and from school we will reduce significantly adults in the vicinity;
  • Consider ‘park and stride’ to include kids who might otherwise be driven to school but could perhaps meet a “walking bus” further away;
  • Start off with the families you know locally from your class and try to reach out to those families who may be new to the area or not yet in your personal network;
  • For our older children (P6 and P7), where parents and carers are comfortable, encourage them to team up to walk together and without an adult to and from school or arrange a collection point at a known spot

For those who have been at school for a number of years, you will be well aware that the first few days can be chaotic with many children trying to readjust to their new class and teacher. Please give yourselves and each other time and space to navigate this. The staff are also trying to adjust so please be kind and patient with them.