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Kings College And George Abbot School Welcomes Back Pupils

Published on: 9 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 12 Mar, 2021

Two of Guildford’s secondary schools who welcomed pupils back on Monday (March 8) have spoken about the preparation for it and how it is being managed.

Kings College in Park Barn welcomed back its Year 11 pupils, with other year groups returning on a staggered basis over the course of the week.

Getting ready for Covid testing at Kings College.

In line with government guidance, all pupils will be offered three rapid lateral flow tests in school as well as receiving home testing kits to test themselves twice weekly from home.

Kings College’s principal Alastair McKenzie said: “We are so excited to welcome our students back. Children have been very upbeat and our team are doing a tremendous job of ensuring everything runs smoothly.

“I have been incredibly proud of how pupils at Kings have taken to remote learning but nothing compares to having them in front of us in the classroom. We have prepared extensively and while safety measures will still have an impact on day-to-day life, children are happy and eager to learn.

“It has been a big job for us all – staff, parents and students alike – but we have collectively rolled up our sleeves and taken a big step towards normality.”

Year 11 and sixth-form students returned to George Abbot School in Burpham on Monday after the two-month national lockdown, with Year 10s joining them on Tuesday.

Its Covid testing system will be the same as at Kings College.

The Covid testing team at George Abbot School.

The headteacher of George Abbot School, Kate Carriett, said: “We are delighted to start welcoming our students back to school. We chose to stagger year groups returning to ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible and so that we are able to carefully manage the flow of young people through our testing facility. In a school of 2,000 students, that is a key consideration.

“Managing a positive return to school is incredibly important – we are here to support our students as they transition from learning at home to learning at school.

“Our young people will need positive opportunities to re-familiarise themselves with the environment and routines, to reconnect with their friends and peer group and to recommence all of the extra sport, music, artistic endeavours and clubs that are such an important part of education at George Abbot.

“We look forward to the months ahead and are determined to ensure the return to school is managed calmly and positively for every student.

“I would really like to thank all of the staff, students, families and community members who have supported the school and our children throughout lockdown – it has been a superb team effort.”

Both schools are members of the Guildford Education Partnership (GEP Academies). Other schools in the partnership are: primary schools Guildford Grove in Parn Barn, Boxgrove in Burpham, Sandfield close to Guildford town centre and Loseley Fields in Farncombe; as well as secondary school Fulbrook in New Haw.

Of Kings College and George Abbot School, a spokesperson for GEP said: “Kings College is known for its student-centred approach to learning and has been supporting children and their families as they have prepared for classes resuming. School might seem a little different, but what remains unchanged is a commitment from staff to do their best for pupils at what has been a uniquely challenging time.

“George Abbot School is known for its highly successful, non-selective secondary education and has been working with children and their families as they have prepared for classes resuming.”

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