by Anna Pericleous, teacher and leader of Early Years and Primary education for over 7 years. 


WhatsApp Image 2020-04-16 at 17.19.46


I would firstly like to start this blog by commending all the parents/carers and family members who have worked endlessly hard to home school their children as best they can. They have had to adapt to circumstances they never thought they would find themselves in and I’m sure whilst juggling their own jobs, house work, cooking and other family member’s needs.


I would also like to mention those who have thanked teachers over this time for all the hard work they put in throughout the year (hindsight is a wonderful thing). By far one of the funniest videos I have seen over this time is by ‘Judi Love’ a comedian, radio host and Loose Women presenter who jokingly thanked teachers and apologises –


Now I am sure we all hoped there would be a prompt finishing line to quarantine… this week the government have proposed a road-map for reopening schools on June 1st. The schools will have a phased return (Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6). For some parents/carers this will be a blessing and I’m sure are looking forward to their children being in school and having a set routine once more. On the other hand, there will be also be parents/carers who feel anxious about the safety of the new school setting which the government has proposed.


I encourage everyone to read the governments outline and initial outline plan on how this will be done.


Planning guide:

Some proposed changes to the school routine are:


  • Cleaning and hygiene: Children and staff are encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day, equipment to be disinfected throughout the day. Minimise use of resources or toys/sharing.


  • Movement around the school: Social distancing (2m rule) at all times.


  • Site examination: Staggered start times, finishing times and lunches.


  • Review staff ratios: 15 children per adult (‘safety bubble’) – same adult and same children at all times.

There is a huge amount more to this plan.


As an educational practitioner, I read the document with a fine-tooth comb and even visualised much of the proposed guidelines. The guidelines are detailed and in parts contradictory. This leads me to my next part. Schools and head teachers will do their upmost to ensure that schools and settings are as safe as can be. If they feel they cannot provide a safe environment for your child they will re-consider whether they can open schools. The government has said they will not fine parents/carers and so the choice is inevitably yours.


I am purposely being cautious about the opinion I give, as I too am unsure whether the reopening of schools will benefit or hinder pupil’s well-being. I will say from my professional experience, that schools are working exceptionally hard to prepare and plan for the safest and securest environments to welcome children positively. There is no doubt that the school environment as we all know it will not be the same by any means.


I encourage parents/carers to have open conversations with their children about the changes being made in addition with outlining any anxieties they may feel. I personally find it helps to talk to children whilst they are engaged in a creative activity such as painting or colouring. Remember all children are different and will respond differently.


Here are some websites to support this.

Talking to your child:


Seeing other people wearing masks story:


Discussing Covid-19:


Coronavirus story for young children:




Follow my start up Instagram based on fun education activities for younger children.

  @ the_magic_of_eyfs

(Early Years Foundation Stage)

by Anna Pericleous