PUPILS have ‘responded well’ to a new routine after spending months apart during the lockdown.

This year, the return to school has been very different for pupils across the county, including those at Connah’s Quay High School.

Back in May and June staff had the ‘Check in, Catch up and Prepare’ sessions which enabled them to introduce some of the learners to the ‘new normal’.

Around 75 per cent of learners signed up to return to school for the three-week period and staff said the main focus was on health and wellbeing post-lockdown, as well as looking at other current topics in the news.

The school's main priorities at the start of September were to ensure a smooth transition as they welcomed their new year 7 learners to the school, and to ensure all other year groups quickly adapted to a ‘new’ normal, with the emphasis on learning.

One year 7 learner, Joe Wright-Roberts, said: “My experience at Connah's Quay High School has been extremely positive.

“The teachers and other members of staff have been very helpful and welcoming. At first, I was terribly nervous, as the school is so much larger than the primary school I went to, but we were given a tour of the school, which eased some of my nerves. I now feel ready for high school and I'm excited for the next few years.”

The ‘new normal’ for learners has included learners being introduced to:

  • A one way system when moving around the school
  • Designated entrances for each year group
  • Being kept in ‘pods’ to reduce the risk of cross-contamination
  • Separate areas for each year group for recreational time
  • Designated area for each year group to purchase food
  • Regular use of hand sanitiser
  • Virtual assemblies

Mrs Harrison, who has taken over the headship of the school since the beginning of September, added: “I have to commend both the staff and learners at the school. I have been extremely impressed in my first weeks in post by the mature and patient attitude of everybody involved within the school community.

“There is a strong sense of everybody caring and looking after each other. It is a real pleasure to see the school vibrant and focused on learning again and there is a genuine sense of relief that we are back together as a school community, for both staff and learners.

“As a school, we are focusing very much on trying to fill the gaps and ensure that key knowledge is revisited to ensure that all learners have a strong foundation to build on throughout the year.

“The learners have responded very well to the new routines and we look forward to a successful academic year.”