Harrogate school where all pupils have gone back to class

Pupils at a Harrogate school have gone back to their classes.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 25th June 2020, 3:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 3:54 pm
Belmont Grosvenor School headmistress Mrs Ashworth Jones with the school dog Zola.

Independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor this week re-opened its doors to all of its pupils.

The Harrogate co-educational school had been partially open since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of children to nursery settings, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 earlier this month.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Belmont Grosvenor, following full consultation with parents and in line with Department for Education guidance, welcomed all its children, from three months to 11 years, back into its classrooms.

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Belmont Grosvenor School Headmistress Mrs Sophia Ashworth Jones said the partial re-opening of BGS, at the start of June, had gone smoothly with a large number of parents choosing to send their children back to school.

The full return across all year groups remains optional, she said, with some families deciding to continue to access the school’s daily comprehensive remote-learning programme.

She said: “It has been an incredibly positive few weeks in school – the children have really brought life and light back into the building.

“They are working with care and consideration for others – even our youngest pupils – and showing us that there is a way of managing this new normal."

The commitment to re-open Belmont Grosvenor to all pupils across all year groups has came after the Government handed the school opening decision to individual Headteachers and Governing bodies.

Belmont Grosvenor School, along with its Magic Tree Nursery, cares for children from three months to 11 years and is set in 20-acres of grounds in the village of Birstwith, just outside Harrogate.

New measures introduced at Belmont Grosvenor to ensure the safety of all pupils, staff and parents include staggered drop-off and pick-up times, the creation of small teaching bubbles for pupils and a simple re-designed timetable.

Mrs Ashworth Jones said: “We are fortunate at BGS to be set in 20-acres of beautiful grounds, our average class size is 15 pupils, and we have plenty of both indoor and outdoor space to manage the social-distancing guidelines well.

“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, our children, from nursery to Year 6, enjoyed outdoor learning daily, from taking part in Forest School lessons in our woodland, to performing in the school’s outside amphitheatre.

"Now our children are back in school, the outside space has taken on an even greater importance."

Since schools were forced to close their doors three months ago, Belmont Grosvenor has been running a remote-learning programme for all pupils, not only providing work for each child daily in line with their current attainment, but holding on-line assemblies, show-and-tell meetings, book clubs and well-being sessions.

The school has remained open throughout the pandemic for key worker children.

For more information or to arrange a tour, visit www.belmontgrosvenor.co.uk or call 01423 771029.

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