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Podcast: Coronavirus and the school returns

Students and staff are returning to schools and academies this week  - and most are very eager to get back into the swing of things, at least in one of Peterborough's academies.
Robin Grover
Nene Park Academy principal Robin Grover. Photo: John Baker

In our latest Peterborough Natters podcast Nene Park Academy principal Robin Grover told us about the changes the academy has implemented, and the way teachers and students coped with returning

The academy opened up from Thursday for years 7, 11 and 12, before opening up to the whole school on Friday.

Mr Grover said: "I've been really pleased with how staff have come back over the inset days. There were a few anxieties but most were chomping at the bit to get underway. There's really high staff morale and students today and yesterday have adjusted well to it.

"But it is early days and yesterday we found ourselves reviewing protocols because we went 'belt and braces', and we've been able to relax that slightly because of the ways people have approached the sensibility of the measures."

Mr Grover also spoke about what would happen in the event of a case of coronavirus, the examination crisis, and his recollections from March.

The changes at the academy include: 

  • Zoning the school in Year Groups, so that students in each year group will have the majority of their lessons in one area of the school.
  • Students will study all subjects where possible, for example students in Year 9-13 will have access to all of their options subjects.
  • If a child has PE on a given day, they should attend school in PE kit all day
  • Lockers will not be available for students, as students will be in one classroom for the most of the day and can keep their possessions with them in the classroom.
  • Face coverings being worn as per the government guidance on public, private and school transport, but not in classrooms and worn optionally in internal  communal areas of the school such as corridors, canteen and toilet areas. 

Listen to the pod below