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Big thanks after over 90% return to school

Graham Ellis, headteacher of Brookes School has paid tribute to his “special community” after more than 90% of children returned before the end of term.

The leading independent school reopened last this month following the Government lockdown and was able to welcome back nursery-aged children right through to their oldest students in year 11.

The school’s small class sizes meant the Brookes was able to adhere to guidance around classroom bubbles and headteacher Graham Ellis said it made for a very special end to the school year.

Mr Ellis said: “In what has been a very strange few months across the education sector, it was great to see so many of our students face-to-face.

“They have missed their friends and their teachers, as we have missed them. Staff and students were delighted to get back to some form of traditional education although it has been small steps. But it was only made possible due to our exceptional school community at Brookes.

“The children have quickly adapted to the safety guidance we have issued them and we have got them outside as much as possible.

“Parents have been very pleased to see their children back at school as we look to find some form of new normality.

“It has been a challenge and we have been forced to think outside-the-box. But my staff have done a superb job and it was all worthwhile to see students return and be so happy.

“I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last few months – staff, students and families alike.”

Mr Ellis said he also hoped to welcome back Brookes’ cohort of international students in August ahead of the school fully restarting in September.

In the meantime, he also called for more clarity from the Government over what the new school term will look like.

Mr Ellis explained: “We all know about school bubbles right now, but specialist teachers need to be able to move around various classes and year groups.

“Everything has moved so quickly and it has been great to welcome so many children back over the last few weeks.

“But in terms of September and planning, it is a bit of a grey area at the minute and we need more clarity from the Government, but we have everything in place to enable a total re-opening at the start of the new term and we are hopeful that we can do just that.”