Our experience during the summer term, working with half the class at a time, means that both staff and the majority of children are already comfortable with the adapted procedures.
For the Autumn term, the content of the lessons themselves has been adapted to initially downplay competitive elements that could prove stressful for children who are already anxious after lock down. Instead, we are starting off with a focus on (re)building fitness and stamina after long period when many children will not have exercised much, as well as building up the children's confidence with the rules and routines of the 'new normal'.
Practical measures include:
-Children use hand sanitiser before and after P.E. lessons.
-To help with distancing, each class is split in half; half does P.E. while the other half stays in class doing other work, then the groups swap over.
-Equipment is wiped down by staff between bubbles.
-Different equipment for each bubble within 72 hours e.g. Year 6 use one set of footballs on a Monday, Year 5 use a different set on Tuesday etc, with the Monday balls becoming available on Thursday.
-Lessons being adapted to minimise unnecessary close-quarters face-to-face contact.
-Guidance now allows for contact sports such as football, although our initial lessons focus more on skills and drills than full-blooded contact matches.
The autumn term lessons are largely outdoors-based for each year group, which facilitates distancing. During the winter months, PE moves indoors for lessons on dance, gymnastics etc. We do have enough space in the hall for half a class to work whilst socially distancing. Again, equipment would be sprayed/wiped between bubbles.
Swimming: We are fortunate enough to have our own swimming pool on-site. We in on-going dialogue with our swimming instructor partners regarding procedures surrounding changing room hygiene and the number of children who can use the pool at a time. Previously, half the class would swim while the other half stayed in class, and then swap. It may be that this term we have to split into smaller groups with shorter sessions, or for groups to swim for longer on alternate weeks. We are hopeful of beginning KS2 swimming lessons before the end of the first half term.
We are waiting to hear whether the borough events such as the football league and cup and swimming gala will go ahead.