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Class act...East Gore School pupils (from left) Liam Meredith, Xavier Lamb, Trixie Howes (all 7) and Hugo Howes (9) are back in the classroom taking part in the lessons with the help of deputy principal Claire Welch. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Some East Gore School pupils are returning to school again but more has changed for them than just the layout of their desks.

Principal Wendy Kitto said that the school routine under Covid-19 Alert Level 3 was still far from ordinary.

“It’s similar to Level 4, just back on site,” Ms Kitto said.

Children that could were keeping away in accordance with Government recommendations.

“Normally we have about 125 pupils. Today we have five.”

A total of 10 pupils would be returning.

The number would vary day-to-day depending on the shifts their parents worked.

“It’s different.

“The school is so empty, it’s odd.”

Her school bubble consisted of herself and an office manager.

A teacher, teacher aide and pupils were in a separate bubble.

“You miss your students,” she said.

Pupils staying at home were meeting with their class via Zoom video calls for relationship building.

They also worked on maths and literacy tasks.

Pupils who came to school were doing the same things as those doing distance-learning “plus a few extra things.”

“They have a longer day.

“We are trying to make it as exciting as possible.

“They are making a time capsule.

“They’re creating history. They’ll be able to tell their children and grandchildren about Covid-19.”

One particularly big challenge for the students was physical distancing, she said.

“All desks are 1m from the others.

“Outside it goes up to 2m.

“They can’t share sports equipment.

“It’s difficult. They just want to play games.”

Pupil Hugo Howes (9) said that a lot had changed since the last time he was in a classroom.

“The desks are far apart,” Hugo said.

“There are different ages in my class group.”

He was disappointed that not everyone was back at school with him but was looking forward to seeing his friend who would be attending some days.