The doors at Ullswater Community College re-opened this Monday to welcome back a group of year 12 students for some face-to-face learning, as outlined in the government’s plans for the phased re-opening of schools.
The last few months have been incredibly challenging for students, their families and the local community, and the school has worked closely with colleagues at Cumbria County Council, the Local Authority and the wider community to ensure the safe re-opening of the UCC site. Students and staff will notice many changes including: the introduction of one-way systems to reduce contact with others; floor markers, both inside and out, to facilitate queueing at a safe physical distance; a reduced number of desks in classrooms to enable physical distancing; regular sanitiser stations around the school site; continuous cleaning and sanitising of the classrooms, toilets, etc. and, of course, a much reduced school day.
Mr Jackson, Head of Sixth Form, said: “We were delighted to welcome back some of our year 12s today. On-line activity continues for all the students but it can’t replace face-to-face interaction and I am really excited about seeing and speaking with the students on their return. Their effort and the work that they have produced in recent weeks has been outstanding.”
Mr Castle, Head of Year 10, commented: “Monday the 22nd of June marks the phased return of our Year 10 cohort and I will be delighted to see the students back at UCC in person. Throughout lock down the students have engaged really well with their on-line learning but the opportunity to have some face-to-face time with teachers will be hugely beneficial and set them up for a hopeful full return in September. As their Head of Year, I couldn’t be prouder of this cohort of young men and women who have dealt with these unprecedented times with such maturity and composure… they are what make UCC the brilliant school it is.”
Summing up the last 12 weeks, Mr Gilby, Headteacher, observed: “Over the last twelve weeks UCC has manufactured visors and wash bags and supplied 1000s of pieces of PPE to front-line organisations as far afield as the Wirral. Students have ‘walked’ to Manchester, climbed mount Everest and been accepted into very prestigious organisations for the coming year, including the Youth Parliament, the National Youth Theatre and the National Children’s Orchestra. We’ve raised money for charity and helped our neighbours. Above all we’ve looked after each other and kept everyone safe.
I couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful way our whole school community has responded under these strange circumstances. Today we welcome back year 12 and next week year 10. It’s unfortunate we can’t invite back more year groups and students but I know they’re all working tremendously hard at home to stay on top of their studies. Amazing things have been achieved over the last 12 weeks and I know there is far more on the way over the coming weeks and months at UCC.”
Classrooms have been re-arranged so that desks are spaced at least 2 meters apart and there is sufficient space for the teacher to maintain a safe physical distance at the front of the room. Sanitising stations have been provided in all classrooms.